Less is More:
Best practices for developing marketing collateral.
“I need a brochure,” is one of two things I hear most often. Sure, I’d rather hear, “Do you think a brochure is the right vehicle to achieve my communication goals with my target audience?” but, hey, it’s not an ideal world and we do get to that conversation eventually. So, let’s assume you have a strong brand foundation and marketing collateral is what you need next.
Let’s get started. Instead of me getting out the crayons and you saying, “Make the logo bigger,” let’s step back and consider some best practices to make it go smoothly and efficiently, and make everyone happy with sound, successful results.
Less is more.
Avoid the temptation to regurgitate every fact, feature and benefit of the organization into your marketing material. A brochure is not the company encyclopedia. You’ll only overwhelm and lose the interest of the reader.
Define the goal for the brochure (or other collateral)
What do you want to achieve with the piece: introduce a new product or service; provide background information or credentials; create an ordering or response opportunity; provide technical specifications; open the door for further contact? Less is more: focus on one main goal and structure the piece to support it.
Establish the hierarchy of information
Successfully herding your customer through the wealth of information you want to impart requires more carrot and stick than cattle prod. Entice them gently with a crisp headline that appeals to their wants or needs. Once you pique their interest, you can organize the remaining information in a logical hierarchy beginning with what is most important to the customer first. Less is more: more about their needs; less about you.
A picture (or video) is worth a thousand words
Incorporate visuals to which they can relate—that allow them to put themselves into the picture. Visuals aid memory retention and, so, will reinforce your message. Less is more: show, don’t tell.
Align with your brand style
Any collateral needs to reflect your brand style and position. If your brand is high end, make sure your brochure is printed on high quality paper and the layout exudes elegance. If you are Redneck Bank, wear it loud and proud. Less is more: brand more, reiterate less.
Go with your strengths
The team that works together on your marketing collateral should be the best and brightest in their particular subject area. You may have an engineer for the technical data, a sales manager who understands the customers, a marketing manager to guide the strategy and a creative team for the writing and design work. Be sure not to let the designers do the engineering work and please keep the engineers away from the crayons. Less is more: too many designers spoil the marketing.
These simple guidelines are a start to keep your marketing collateral on track. Your team will shine when they focus on their area of expertise. And, your target customer will get the information they need to take the next step.