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Developing a marketing collateral strategy

When creating multiple marketing pieces (e.g. flyers, brochures, letterhead, business cards, etc.), a company should step back and construct a collateral strategy that integrates all communications, not just those printed. The strategy should be well defined, yet flexible enough to add new components, as needs arise.

Here are ten things to consider when structuring a marketing collateral strategy

1. A system and guide. Do you have one marketing collateral design system (i.e. all your material looks and reads like it comes from one company, while at the same time well-thought-out distinctions can be made between products and services)? Do you have a style guide to enhance your brand image and ensure marketing consistency? These tools keep multiple designers and writers on the same page, while making it easy to add new communications to the collection.

2. Printing plan. Do you utilize print on demand (to save on storage and obsolescence costs) or do you print in bulk in advance (to save on printing and improve print quality)?

3. Mass produce? Will each piece be personalized (utilizing print on demand), and if so will it be fully customized or will templates be used, only customizing certain fields?

4. Consistency. Is your printed collateral in sync with your online communications (e.g. website, emails, etc.)? Plus, does your material match your advertising and overall brand image?

5. When is material used and why? Have you mapped out all prospect interactions and all your client touch points, noting where collateral is used and why? Do certain components support others (e.g. mailers can be teasers, while web pages might compliment them with more detailed information)?

6. Research. Have you researched what your competitors are doing well? Have you conducted focus groups to get prospect and customer insights?

7. Finished product. Have you determined what paper stock you will use for varying pieces? Will it be on recycled paper? Will you use multiple colors on all material or can some be black and white? Will material have a glossy finish?

8. Tracking. Have you tracked results directly related to the use of your collateral? Does your CRM database record collateral usage? Can you analyze routine reports?

9. Back-office logistics. Have you developed a fulfillment plan with set delivery times, low-inventory warnings, coding systems, legal approvals, approved-usage time frames, etc.?

10. Integrating with other departments. Have you received input from your sales and service teams to learn what is needed? Once created, do you have a communication and training plan to teach others on how to effectively use the collateral?

If you need assistance developing a marketing collateral strategy, contact Byrnes Consulting.

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