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Marketing collateral. You already know it without realising it.

Marketing collateral is a means of following up or supporting your main advertising activities. In the old days this used to be all printed materials, from brochures to business cards. Nowadays, things are slightly different. Alongside your print you also need to consider the intangibles, i.e. everything that is presented on screen, be it via the Internet or a simple PowerPoint presentation. Oh, and let’s also not forget about the company documents, such as facts and sales sheets, white papers and CEO profiles, which are oftentimes forgotten or bypassed but powerful collateral tools.

The print

Whether you are starting a business, re-branding or simply looking for a fresh new touch, you need to be consistent. Consistency is the key to success in print marketing, in the same way that repetition is critical for an advert to be successful. Once you have your logo, this needs to appear on every piece of collateral you plan to use. If you decide to produce some fun gifts for your clients, from mugs through to tape measures to leather folders, these also form part of your marketing collateral, reinforcing your brand name and, depending on how cool your mug design is, strongly influencing your potential sales.

The media

Contemporary advertising reaches out to clients via number of different channels, of which the Internet takes prominent position. Your website content, newsletters, blog posts and anything you publish on social media is all marketing collateral, as well as all of your downloadable – PDFs, e-books, presentations, videos etc. This is because all of these contain written messages about your business, products or the services you offer, and a potential customer will most likely have seen one or more of these prior to speaking directly to you. So whatever you put live on the World Wide Web, do bear consistency in mind, yet again. Your design and wording should all match up and convey the same message. No one wants to do business with a split personality or inconsistent entrepreneur.

The facts

In recent years fact sheets seem to have been put on a shelf. However, they are fabulous, tangible documents that support and form a strong base for all of your marketing efforts. Facts and sales figures and white papers all enhance your perceived trustworthiness and credibility. Well documented track records and achievements are sometimes actually more likely to secure a deal than flashy adverts or a sophisticated email. It is also worthwhile remembering that people are nosy; no matter how hard we try to hide it, we like to know who we are doing business with, and so having short staff profiles for everyone, from CEOs to admins, increases your overall appeal as a company.

After reading this article you might be thinking, “Hang on a minute, why are all of these things called marketing collaterals when they seem to just be my core tools?” Well, the fact is that the central idea, strategy and plan are your main means, which, when properly aided by your collaterals, will help you sail on the sea of business.