Marketing collateral is a term used for printed materials used to present information about your business and its capabilities, products or services. It can include brochures, flyers, fact sheets, direct mail pieces, and other communications pieces that are produced directly by the company. All of your company's printed pieces should be in tune with your overall marketing message and company image.
When planning the production of marketing collateral, special consideration should be given to the following elements:
Design and Layout
- Is the material visually attractive and appealing?
- Does it invite the reader to open it or read further?
- Do the design and layout components complement the message?
Formatting components of design and layout include:
- white (or empty) space
- font types
- paper stock
- paper size
You may use product photos or illustrations in marketing collateral. Graphs, charts or other graphics also help to visually communicate messages.
Message and Written Text
- Is the information accurate?
- Is the collateral piece easy to read?
- Are the sentences simple and clearly written?
- Is the text grammatically correct?
- Does it spark the reader's curiosity?
- What is the implied tone of the message? Is the tone appropriate for the audience and does it reflect well on your company?
- Does it communicate the benefits of doing business with your company?
- Does the message ask the reader to respond?
- Does it tell the reader how to contact you?
- What is the specific marketing goal for the collateral piece?
- Who is the intended audience?
- Does the production cost fit within your budget?
- What is the production schedule?
- Is the timing appropriate?
- Does it complement your other marketing materials?
- How and when will you distribute collateral pieces?
- If you're planning to mail collateral, does it comply with post office mailing requirements?
When preparing your written communications, think creatively. Use key terminology (words and phrases that catch your prospect's eye) and catchy slogans. What distinguishes your business from your competitors? Highlight the benefits your company offers. You might want to make a special pitch and offer an incentive for readers to respond. You might also include testimonials, sample listings of clients, awards and honors you have received.
Types of Marketing Collateral:
- Usually printed on 8 1/2 x 11 paper folded in thirds or 8 1/2 x 14 paper folded in quarters. Brochure contents range from information about your company to specific product features and benefits. It may be appropriate to place all of this information in one brochure or to create a family of brochures for individual products. Individual businesses and budgets guide this decision.
- Business Cards
- Usually printed on 2 x 3 1/2 card stock, contain all necessary contact information, including email addresses and URLs.
- Usually single sheets printed front and back, and used for inexpensive distribution. Flyers are frequently used to announce a sale, open house or other limited-time event.
- Slip sheets
- Mini-flyers typically designed as a mailing insert or to leave as a take-one counter display. Slips sheets may be inexpensively produced three up or three slips on single sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 paper. (Each slip, when the paper is cut, is then about 3 1/2 x 8 1/2)
- Direct mail
- Advertising pieces that vary in shapes and sizes but usually conform with standard mailing requirements. A direct mail package may include a marketing letter and/or brochure. Typical recipients of direct mail are customers, individuals on purchased mailing lists or individuals on mailing lists the business itself has developed.
- Marketing letters
- Usually included with direct mail pieces, may be used as a written introduction or follow-up to a sales call.
- Vary in length from just a few pages to hundreds of pages. They typically showcase products through photographs or illustrations and provide product descriptions and prices.