What is Marketing Collateral?
Marketing collateral refers to a wide collection of media items which are used for supporting the sales of products and services. Previously, marketing collateral was used to explain adjacent advertising materials like catalogs, brochures along with other sales supporting tools. Today, this term is mostly used within digital marketing and its implementation has increased significantly since the widespread proliferation of multimedia, blogs, and social media platforms.
Marketing collateral is used when the client has entered into a contract with the brand or the company through digital marketing or advertising campaigns.
It can go parallel with the main campaign or after its completion and most often includes a call to action or detailed information about the product that is being advertised. The aim is to deliver the client compelling reasons so as to make informed purchasing decision along with assuring that they have taken the right decision.
Why Marketing Collateral is Important
Marketing collateral helps in communicating quickly the key benefits associated with businesses and the products with prospective customers in a manner which is visually compelling. Marketing collateral can be thought in terms of how it influences the way in which a business or product by prospective customers. Many times the business card, letterhead or brochure can be the first way to come in contact with the company. Marketing materials that are well-designed can make a good first impression and may speak about the business itself. Marketing collateral is also helpful in building credibility as prospective customers may refrain from buying products that lack credibility.
Types of Marketing Collateral
Marketing collateral is a collection of content, media and information which is compiled to provide support to sales and marketing activities. Common types of marketing collateral include:
Brochures are printed materials like pamphlets, brochures, promotional flyers and guides. You can find brochures in digital and traditional formats and can opt these formats according the your marketing strategy.
These are visual aids used in sales presentations including images, slides and videos. If delivered as required, sales presentation can be the most effective sale collateral.
This is the content which allows customers to conduct their own research within products and services. Sales collateral targets customers who are near to making a purchasing decision as well as offering more data and details than any other marketing content such as advertising.
This is a collection of presentation outlines that have been successful or what has been designed by the top sellers within the sales team.
These are scripts to make a customer walk through the products. It is very important for complex products and services like software.
Product Data Sheets
This commonly provides requested product information in an easy to understand layout like a table. In many cases, customers tend to compare products and data point and will sort out those products that are difficult to research upon.
Product White Papers
Product white papers are reports that covers a complex topic in the industry. According to its name, it is to be filled up with text which is against the glossy marketing images. In many cases, white papers discuss a problem space addressed by the products.
Developing a Marketing Collateral Strategy
A System and Guide
Is there a single marketing collateral design system? Is there a style guide that enhances brand image and assures marketing consistency? These tools help multiple writers and designers on the same page while making it a lot easier to add in new communications within this collection.
Is print on demand being utilized or saving over storage and obsolescence costs or print in bulk in advance for saving over printing along with improving print quality?
Is every piece being personalized which means utilizing print on demand and if so, is it customized completely and if so will it be fully customized or will templates be used, only customizing certain fields?
Is the printed collateral in sync with online communications and whether the material matches advertising and the overall brand image.
When and Why Use Material
Have all the prospect interactions been mapped along with all the touch points of the client noting where collateral is used and why? Do certain components support others (e.g. mailers can work as teasers, while WebPages strength them with additional detailed information)?
Have competitors activities are researched and have focus groups been conducted for gaining customer insights.
Have paper stock to be used determined? Is it over recycled paper? Are there multiple colors on the paper and whether there is a glossy finish to it?
Are results tracked directly related to the use of collateral? Does your CRM database record collateral usage? Can you analyze routine reports?
Is the fulfillment plan is developed with set time of delivery, coding systems, low-inventory warnings, approved-usage time frames, legal approvals, etc?
Integrating with other Departments
Are you receiving regular input from sales and service teams to learn what is required to help them? Once, it is created, do you have day to day communication and a training plan to teach others on how to effectively use the collateral?
Examples of Marketing Collateral
Content Marketing on a Dedicated Blog
Many popular and not so popular dedicated blogs are available; however, what is important is the way in which collaterals are brought to life by developing a dedicated website that is linked with the official blog.
Though stories over social media are quite informal however, these channels can be used for promoting collateral marketing materials to support marketing and advertising campaigns.
Published Case Studies
Case studies are not easy to make and involve long hours of hard work as well as research for compiling and writing. However, when they are finished they serve as an excellent addition within the marketing collateral list.
People like free materials and this likeness increases when they are available with valuable information. You can create eBooks, guides, tutorials and product descriptions and share it with the traffic over website and blogs. These materials can be printed and distributed freely amongst the peers of the industry.