Marketing Collateral – Why it is still Important

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In this age of paperless offices, online platforms and social media marketing, it is still important that companies of nearly all sizes invest in some marketing collateral assets as a part of their marketing strategy.

Marketing collateral is a suite of materials providing varying levels of detail and which can be printed and online, that presents your brand identity, business capabilities and product or service benefits to customers. Each piece should consistently feature the same branding and key messages and tell a customer what they need to know about you to assist them in making an informed purchase decision.

Well-designed collateral makes a good first impression, tell customers that you’re professional, credible and trustworthy and most importantly supports the sales process.

Not convinced and think it’s a waste of money that ends up in the recycling bin? Let us persuade you.

Its helpful to have something to leave behind.

It sounds silly and I agree. Tools for their own sake rarely make sense, but read on, the reasoning gets better. When your business gets a call from a prospective client, partner or investor requesting more information, what do you have to send? If it’s not something that’s been professionally produced, printed and up to date, the chances are you won’t be taken seriously and will run the risk of looking very unprofessional. Your competitor, who does have a professionally printed and well thought out brochure, will win the sale.

Even if you don’t expect to have a massive demand for sales materials, you will still have some requests or attend occasions when it helps to have something schmick to leave behind. A brochure, DL Flyer, business card and/or prospectus goes a long way and can be designed with flexibility so it can last a number of years and serve a variety of occasions and purposes.

Collateral materials as a competitive tool. 

It’s disappointing when you request some product or sales materials from a company you are interested in using and then are completely underwhelmed by the quality by what you receive. Unfortunately it’s a common mistake and will often see you look elsewhere. Companies put time, money and resources into smart hiring decisions, successful growth strategies and product development, but then undersell themselves in the presentation of it all.

But the reality is it’s just as important to market yourself well. By investing and developing professional and competitive marketing collateral you provide your brand the opportunity to communicate your value proposition and competitive advantage and hopefully win the sale. It is especially worth considering that if you are selling high-end services and products the marketing collateral that supports this must also look the goods. Corresponding marketing materials must be up to the challenge of representing your product and brand at the same level you have positioned yourself and impress discerning decision makers.

Look the part.

Companies of all sizes need to be concerned about perception. For small to medium sized companies this is a specific challenge. Small companies looking to penetrate an industry, bring a product to market, and compete against established organisations, it is essential to look the part from the get go and then leave a lasting impression.

Marketing collateral assets are an effective way for smaller companies to communicate their unique selling proposition to buyers and look bigger than they are. Good materials can make small and mid-sized players look like leaders in their industries.

Collateral carries the brand. 

The most effective collateral gets noticed and builds and maintains strong brands. Bad marketing collateral is at best ignored and at worst does immeasurable damage to your brand.

The point is that good collateral makes an impression, positions your brand, and influences buying decisions. It acts to provide a competitive statement and win business. It is important to think of marketing materials as a strategic asset, highlighting performance and showcasing your talent for potential new clients.

Think of it as an extra employee

It’s all about expanding the sales team. Sales people need good tools if they’re going to be effective and proud of what they are selling. And everybody in the company can be some sort of sales tool with the right collateral behind them!

Collateral materials give sales representatives the resources they need to be effective in sales meetings. They also provide the tools they need to create appointments and follow them up.

These same materials also keep working for you once the meeting has finished as they stay on the desk or in the clients office, reminding them of who you are, what you do and how to contact you. Not all sales decisions are made immediately and memorable collateral will ensure that they are picked up again and they sell themselves! Think of it as investment in a 24/7 sales employee!

The end 

The bottom line is that although we are moving towards a paperless executive experience, it still remains important to have some physical marketing communication assets to leave behind. Some companies fail to see collateral as the strategic asset it can be. Be sure you use it to highlight past performance and showcase the difference you have made to existing customers and what you can do for new ones! Marketing collateral can be used to shape perceptions about your company and brand. It is critical that the assets used are relevant, up to date and professional. You just never know who might read your information and pick up the phone. Sales leads and new business can come from anywhere and to remain competitive and viable its crucial to have all roads nicely paved and leading to a correctly positioned and attractive you!

 

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Margot Stolle

Margot Stolle

Margot Stolle is a marketing professional with over 15 years experience within several different industries including: sports and events sponsorship; business and financial planning; and fashion. She also owns and manages her own brand of children's sleepwear which is e-retailed and has experience in designing and editing websites and managing social media platforms.

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