How to make the most of your marketing collaterals – Keep them lean, mean & lethal

It is nearly five months since the world woke up to this new frenemy named COVID19. It has grounded our game, stalled our plans and forced almost everyone to rethink their ways of working and doing business.
Almost overnight, marketing plans went kaput, growth sheets stared at an abyss and consumer spending underwent a never-seen-before slump. 

As a marketing and communications professional, this has been a landmark year in terms of rethinking almost every aspect of brand communications to set new rules and guidelines. As we move into a phase of slow growth, as conscious marketers and communicators, I’d love to pitch this question – how can marketing collaterals be made more cost effective, data efficient and reach the intended recipient within a stipulated time?  

Marketing collaterals are hugely loved because of their tangibility – it is a living proof of the execution of a marketing or communication idea and gives every firm, marketer and brand manager a thrill, which is inescapable. 

However in my 10 years and counting career, I have come across cupboards full of marketing collaterals – brochures, promotional flyers, handouts, and leaflets, standees which are either unused or definitely outdated. They lie forgotten, and pretty often, see the daylight when an office cleaning is done.  

The amount of resource wastage that goes unaccounted for in creating or producing more marketing collaterals in every organisation without calculating their production cost or mapping their exact usage is precious marketing money, which can be saved or utilised more effectively. 

Brand managers, marketing and communication leads often face a tightrope – requests for creating marketing collaterals from user departments without much thought and balancing scale of production since, more quantity or volume will lead to reduction in the per piece cost of production. 

The flipside is that quality of design, content takes a backseat and without a proper mapping of the usage of the collateral; the efficacy of the marketing message remains largely unmapped and is like shooting a dart in the dark. 

We are all too often caught in a trap of creating marketing collaterals rather than ever having a plan for its effective use within stipulated timelines for the intended audience. 

Creating large number of collaterals – print, radio, digital while not focusing enough on targeting its usage creates an unnecessary demand on the precious resources of the brand managers and the creative firms. Content creation and production of marketing collaterals is a cost that is accounted for (firm, photography, design etc.) which are marketing expenses but inefficient use of marketing collaterals is a loss that is rarely looked into. As we gear to step into the last quarter of a rather unusual 2020, and begin drawing up budgets for 2021, it is time for organisations to rethink their marketing money not only in terms of how much content/ promotional material has been created but how efficiently has the content been used. 

  • Create content that stands out – this can be done in two ways – either the content is clutter breaking or the content is soothingly familiar. Know your marketing game. 
  • Create Power Point Presentations which are strategic and have the latest information. Know where it will be used, who will use it and who the intended recipient is and how often it needs to be refreshed. Less is more. 
  • Create promotional e-mailer content and also build a database to send these to. 
  • Print limited quantities of collaterals and map out their use by your sales team or user departments. 
  • Keep master content created for multiple uses. This is content that can be adapted to your marketing needs and channels. 
  • Invest in translation services – it can be a huge game changer if your audience is region specific. We often overlook this simple communication hack – familiar language means quick reading and quick information assimilation by the audience. 
  • Digitise your collaterals – keep the basics in mind. Clean layout, clear content, a definite call to action and file size that doesn’t jam emails. 

Happy marketing to you! 

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Matuli Madhusmita Swain
Matuli Madhusmita Swain is a seasoned marketing and communications expert with over 10 years of experience in hospitality, social development and advertising with brands like The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts, Hyatt, Movenpick Hotels & Resorts, IHG, Grey Group and Dr. Reddy’s Foundation.
A writer, speaker, artist and WICA (Women in Corporate Awards) Nominee 2019; her communications expertise is honed working on stellar marketing campaigns and creating compelling PR pitches.
She loves good content, digital storytelling and champions conversations on marketing, women leadership, new age work place practices, economics, entrepreneurship, sustainable travel and tourism.

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