Let’s talk about brochures.
The Daily Telegraph distributed an independent report from Lyonsdown on the print industry this month. Fascinating stuff but the piece I want to talk about is a survey they carried out on marketing and sales printed collateral and in particularly brochures. 54% of the UK companies surveyed (123 companies participated) use brochures as a sales tools but many were not happy with the performance this piece of collateral delivered.
I believe this is because many companies when designing their marketing collateral don’t actually think through how each piece is going to be used. They might spend a lot of money, time and effort coming up with a concept, getting the piece designed and printed without understanding how they are going to recoup their investment.
The question to ask at the very beginning is what is the brochure’s job? Is it to get people interested in your company, products and services or is it to provide detailed information to help you secure a sale or a mixture of both? Is it something that people are actually prepared to read or is it just something to hand out at events or a leave behind after a sales call because that is what you think you should do? Is its job to be the piece you send out in response to a request for information and if so will it make someone want to pick up the phone to find out more about your company and actually want to buy?
The trouble I often see is that the brochure is the only sales tool created and therefore has to multitask and as a result does not do any one thing particularly well. A simple compelling message that is focused on the value to the prospective customer is the piece that will get someone excited about talking to you further. If you send out a brochure that goes into too much detail you are risking the chance of it confusing the prospect which can lead to them making assumptions about what it is you do or do not do - or even worse it might just bore them rigid.
A good sales tool needs to have a job, be used at the right time and be meaningful to the person who is receiving it. The one size fits all brochures will only satisfy a percentage of people receiving it, multiple versions designed to be effective by prospect type, stage in the sales cycle etc will suddenly produce the performance companies are looking for