Is Marketing Collateral Still Relevant?
The question about the relevancy of marketing collateral in the digital age pops up every-now-and-then. Before I explain our approach, let’s define what we mean by “marketing collateral”:
Broadly speaking, marketing collateral refers to any sales-supporting materials intended to be given to a prospect. As such, this definition covers all types of media from printed documents to videos, digital documents to slide shows, and even commercials. More commonly, however, marketing collateral is referred to brochures, catalogs, sales (or product) sheets, and similar elements containing written words.
For the sake of this conversation, I am referring to the narrower definition of marketing collateral, namely the various documents that are produced by marketing professionals to support sales efforts.
As mentioned above, there are those who question the usefulness of such documents, in an era where most communication is digital. Furthermore, some say “everything a prospect would need is on our website!”
This is how we look at collateral:
Not Either Or
First, let’s make it clear that digital documents are not the opposite of physical documents – They are just another “state” of the same thing. In other words, when we design a marketing collateral piece for our clients, we make sure it can be easily read, and just as effective whether it is viewed electronically or physically held. As a matter of fact, we encourage our clients to distribute their collateral both electronically and physically as a tangible item, whenever possible.
Push Versus Pull
One of the main advantages of having marketing collateral is the ability to ‘push’ it out and isolate a topic from the overall marketing “noise”. For example, even though you may have all your products listed on your website with their descriptions and specs, for a prospect to get your message, at least two things must happen: First, the prospect must go to your website, and second, the prospect will have to find the information that’s relevant. Conversely, a product-specific marketing collateral (also known as ‘product sheet’) can be ‘pushed’ by emailing, mailing, or handing it to the prospect. This gives you the control over the situation and requires very little effort on the prospect’s part.
No matter how digital we are, tangible items still pack a punch. You should keep a certain number of copies of physical collateral on hand. A well-designed brochure, printed professionally on high quality paper and finished elegantly, can make a lasting impression. Choose the right materials and printing techniques to support and accentuate your branding and positioning.
As you can probably tell, we strongly believe that collateral is still very relevant. Printed or digital (hopefully, both), these traditional marketing collateral pieces can be made modern and still provide tremendous value to support sales. At the very least, we recommend that every company consider a general company flyer, product sheets (one for each product or product category or market segment), and case studies as marketing collateral pieces to create, and have ready to be sent or handed out.
If you are not sure what to do about your marketing collateral and how it may support your sales efforts, we will be happy discuss this with you with no obligation on your part. Just call us or click here for a complementary consultation.
Duke Merhavy, MBA, Ph.D.
President & Chief Marketing Officer
What Is Fractional CMO & Marketing?
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Tips for Leveraging Employees to Expand Social Media Footprint
Social media is something that almost everyone engages in, it’s a way to both connect with friends as well as catch up on the latest news. Chances are your employees are an active part of the social network. These employees who are viewed as “People like me” by customers, have the potential to be gold for your social media marketing campaign!
How? Employees know your customers, they’re on the front lines with them every day and speak their language.
And, your employees know a lot about what they do
– They read and know about the competition
– They are on top of industry trends
– They are very knowledgeable about your offerings and their benefits
– They understand what customers care about
It takes some encouragement to get your employees to share what they know on social media. Their posts could make a significant contribution to your marketing efforts. Employees’ individual social media engagement regarding the company is likely to be perceived as sincere and less ‘formal’ than company posts, and therefore pack a high impact. Here are a few things you can do to spark the engagement:
- Share the company’s social media goals and mission with employees and encourage them to engage and help.
- Ask employees to follow the company’s social media accounts (provide them with the links) and ‘share’ posts with their friends and followers
- Offer employees an opportunity to compose posts for the company’s social media accounts and arrange for them to be posted
- Encourage employees to share company’s achievements, news, events, culture and other positive information on their own social media accounts
- When appropriate allow them to share pictures and videos of company’s products and company functions
- Discourage employees from posting anything about the competition or reveal any information regarding customers, without their explicit written permission
- Complement employees who are actively helping promote the company on social media and consider symbolic recognitions or even occasional rewards for those who do best – Try to have fun with it!
If social media is already part of your organization’s marketing strategy, then it only makes sense to add employee advocacy to the mix. By making your employees brand ambassadors via social media, you can quickly (and measurably) increase your reach with the audience you’re trying to engage.
Marketing Lingo: Niche Marketing
(Pronounced “niCH” or “nēSH”)
A strategy of focusing marketing efforts on a specific segment or a sub-segment of the market that is often relatively small and has specialized and well-defined interests or needs.
‘Marketing Lingo’ is a regular column in which we define, or otherwise explain, terms often used in marketing but not necessarily correctly or properly by some
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