Your Marketing Materials Are
An Extension Of You And Your Company
How are yours working?
You can have a lot of fun creating Marketing materials for your business. It is an opportunity to work on a project that is not a spreadsheet, or a graph or an order form. You can really get creative!
Your materials send out a message (or messages) about your company and what you sell. They are ambassadors for your business because they speak to your potential customers when you are not there.
As you probably know, it is easy to get carried away with Marketing collateral. You are surrounded by flashy, clever advertising everywhere you look, and when the time comes to create your own, you cannot help but feel that you must keep up with the joneses.
Most of the time this does not work. You spend more money and see less impressive results. On this page, I’m going to show you some proven strategies for simplifying and strengthening your Marketing materials, and focusing on the materials you need, NOT the materials you think you should have.
When trying to stretch your Marketing budget,
focus on the materials you need.
Just because your competition has an eight-page, glossy color brochure, does not mean you need one to run a successful business. When one brochure can eat your entire budget for Marketing, you must prioritize what is essential. Make sure you are spending on the items that are going to bring in the most return on investment.
Your Marketing materials need to communicate your message to your target and motivate them to act. Do you really need a glossy brochure when black and white flyers will be just as effective? Think about this when making decisions about your Marketing items.
Make choices with your marketing materials based on
how your target audience prefers to receive information …
Make green choices – your customers will appreciate it.
Create a list of your essential Marketing materials then, below it, create a list of your “wish” Marketing materials. You can use your “wish list” when you have a little extra budget or are looking to create a “wow” piece.
Take your existing Marketing materials
through this audit and look for opportunities
to improve and strengthen.
Are you fighting for their attention with a powerful headline? You have about four seconds to grab the attention of your reader with your headline. If you do, you have a few more seconds to convince them to read your sub headline. If you are successful in doing that, you have a few more seconds to get them to read further. See what I am saying?
Make sure your headlines:
• Offer to take away pain or give pleasure, hit your target market’s hot buttons, and bring up emotion, are bold, dramatic, shocking, or unbelievable, and answer the question – what is in it for the customer? Why should the customer care?
Are you triggering an emotional response to a problem, fear, need or want? Once you have their attention, you need to continue to keep it. Shake up their confidence in what they are doing now, or the urgency with which they need to solve their problem. Put their fears, concerns and desires in black and white text in front of their eyes:
Ask them if they:
Are doing enough? Can wait any longer? Can sacrifice anymore? Are paying too much? Are getting the best product or service for their money?
Are you building their trust or confidence in your ability to meet their needs? You got their attention, and tapped into their emotions, now you need to build their confidence in your ability to solve their problems and meet their needs. You will need to show them your solution and prove that you can be trusted to do what you promise.
Tell them how:
You are different from the competition, you are highly qualified, you have documented results, you have a high number of happy customers, you get recognized from others in your field.
Are you wowing them with your competitive edge? You may be the best at what you do or have the best product but if your customers cannot get a hold of you when they need you, how valuable are you? Here are some examples:
Tell them how you do more than the competition:
24-hour hotline, House Calls, or free delivery, customer rewards program, other convenience services
Are you overcoming their objections before they have raised them? It makes no difference what business you are in; there will always be objections to buying what you are selling. Most often the biggest objection is the price. You should confront them head-on by explaining why it is worth paying your price. You need to put their fears to rest before they will be ready to buy.
Are you providing an element of risk reversal with a strong guarantee? Stand behind what you are claiming about the quality of your product or service and offer a guarantee in your Marketing materials. Typically, the strength and length of the guarantee indicate the quality of the product in most customer’s eyes, so create a strong one.
You can guarantee:
Performance, Benefits, Longevity, Satisfaction
Are you showing them what other people have said about your product or service? Use testimonials to speak to your credibility and merit. Let the testimonials show your potential clients how trustworthy you are, and how much benefit they
have received from your product or service. Make sure the testimonial addresses the problem that your customer had before they used your product.
Are you giving them an easy way to contact you? Make it easy for customers to be in touch with you or get more information. Clearly display your phone number and website address on everything you produce and consider including a map of your store location, so you are easy to find.
Each piece of marketing materials should provide:
Location (with map), Phone / Fax / Cell, Website, Toll free number, Email
Are you giving them a reason to act NOW? The last job your Marketing piece must do is motivate your viewer to act. You need to make them want to call for more information, visit your website, or just come into your store. Invite them to act on every page.
To motivate customers to act, you can:
Offer special “bonus” offers to quick responders, make a time-sensitive offer, tell them how rare your product is, or what limited quantity you have, and offer limited-time added value. (Also, special information they cannot easily find anywhere else) …
Are you telling them what your product or service will give them? Your customer does not care about the features of your product or service, they only care about the benefit that feature will provide them. Customers buy benefits, not products or services. A client is looking to buy some more confidence from a new hairstyle, not a haircut.
Does your Marketing material tell them a story?
Remember that you are painting a story to tap into the emotions of your viewers. Detailed technical descriptions should be replaced with descriptions of how the customer may enjoy the benefit, and how they might feel.
The story will help the reader picture:
How they’ll feel after using your product or service, what they’ll look like using your product or service, what they’ll have time to do once they buy your product or service, and the relief they’ll experience after purchasing your product or service.
Are you giving them a reason to keep your Marketing piece? Give your customers a reason to keep your business card, brochure, newsletter, or direct mail piece, refer to it, and pass it on to others to see. If you are selling hair care products, you
can give your readers tips on how to combat split ends, frizz, unruly curls, and heat damage. If you sell kitchen products, you can provide recipes that use your cookware or tools.
Some ideas for keep-able Marketing materials are:
Top 10 lists, Tips for product caretaking and longevity, Recipes, and How-to’s.
Flashy design is not important to
your Marketing campaign – but clear
and professional looking materials
are essential …
When it comes to the visual presentation of your Marketing materials, you need to strike a balance. On one hand, you do not want to spend all your budget on design and production. On the other hand, the cost of sending out materials that do not look and feel professional is usually much higher.
Discussing time management, you’ll want to see if your time is best spent designing your brochures, ads, flyers, direct mail, and pretty much all of it, or if you should hire other resources.
You will need to constantly monitor the success of each piece of Marketing material and look for opportunities to strengthen and improve it. Since you already have your lead tracking and management system in place, this is a matter of sitting down on a regular basis and reviewing the leads each piece generated, and how many turned into sales (I review this when discussing conversion rates).
Remember, always test, measure, and then make choices. If you are not sure about a new strategy, do a test run to a limited distribution area, or test the message online. Do small production runs of brochures or flyers you are not sure about, so you do not end up with heaps of flyers that did not work.
In the end, the strength of your Marketing materials
is in what you say, how you say it, and where you say it.
Too often, flashy design gets in the way of the message and you miss an opportunity to attract a customer. Simple, clear Marketing materials deliver an easy-to understand message to your target audience, and result.
Business Coach & Marketing Strategist