Do you have corporate collateral? Brochures, corporate profiles, product leaflets, folders… even business cards? Almost every traditional bricks and mortar business has this type of printed material. In about 99.9% of companies I’ve worked with, these items cost money but do not produce any measurable return. So why do companies continue to spend money creating them?
Probably because it’s expected. It makes management feel that they are creating a professional image and it’s something the sales people like because they can leave these items as hand outs when they visit prospective clients.
Many of my clients have found, to their delight, that these ‘costs’ can easily be converted into ‘investments’ with the correct approach. Even if you still have 5,000 corporate or product brochures sitting in a box in your storeroom, you can still score.
I’m going to give you some ‘insider secrets’ for turning money sucking corporate collateral into profit generating tools:
- Existing brochures, folders etc. There’s not a whole lot you can do with an item that’s already printed. Or is there? Obviously you’ve spent money on the production and it seems to me to be a pity to let it go to waste, even if it was misdirected. Here’s what you can do: Create a powerful direct response sales letter that can be used as a cover letter with the brochure as an ‘add on’. That way, you get your beautiful material in front of prospects while creating a selling opportunity.If you are concerned that your industry is not suited to the use of direct response selling, let me set your fears at rest. All B2B businesses, as well as professionals of every description can use direct response if it is created with sensitivity to your market. The biggest mistake you can make is to NOT use this tool as part of your ongoing marketing activities.
- New brochures, folders etc. When you create new printed collateral, bear in mind the ultimate purpose of the item. If your purpose is to encourage the reader to purchase immediately or call to enquire about a product or service, your material needs to be written and designed to stimulate this response. Simply ‘showcasing’ a product or service is like sending a sales person in to see a client and then only allowing them to say, “We offer such and such a product. it’s a great product.” and not allow them to ask for the sale or motivate the prospect to make a purchasing decision.
Equally important is including some type of response device in the material. You may want to have more than one. There may be a toll free number featured prominently on the front with some tag line motivating the prospect to call. There may be a ‘coupon’ of some description that motivates the prospect to take action giving them a number of options (call, fax, email, go onto the web site etc) as well as offering some incentive for doing so. There are many ways of doing this so that the production maintains a professional look and feel.
- New business cards - rather than simply having your corporate and contact details on your card, use it to make an offer. This can be done on the reverse of the card, or, if you feel you need more room, create a tent card with the message inside. Yes, this will increase the printing cost slightly, but it is well worth it. Your card is more likely to be kept and get a response if you make some sort of offer on it – it could be a discount on a purchase, an added value bonus or even a free consultation.
- Existing business cards: Use exactly the same approach I’ve outlined for new business cards – simply get a stamp made so that you can stamp your incentive onto the back of the card or produce a sticker that can be stuck onto the card. I know it doesn’t look great, but if you don’t want to throw away your existing stock of cards, this method is a good interim solution.
Use these techniques and you’ll find that your corporate collateral has a lot more ‘oomph’! If your business is retail, stayed tuned for my next post which deals specifically with ways to turn ordinary retail collateral into extraordinary profit generation tools.