Marchand--Questioning the Capabilities Brochure
The answers should not be given in vague terms like the following: The brochure will be a qualifying piece. We'll mail it to prospects, use it as a leave-behind after meetings with print buyers.
We are a printer. How can we not have an outstanding brochure?
Don't get me wrong. Brochures can be effective marketing tools. But not when statements like these provide the rationale for their creation and the plans for their use. My plea is a simple one: Do the homework; evaluate alternatives. I admit to harboring a secret prejudice. Other marketing activities may provide a greater return for your dollars; direct mail, publicity and focus groups are three examples.
Look closely at what you can expect from your marketing choices before committing the dollars. If you decide to develop a capabilities package, plan carefully, manage its use and evaluate results. The outcome—increased sales—is much more likely to justify the cost.
About the Author
Jacques Marchand may be phoned at (415) 357-2929. His firm, Marchand Marketing, provides strategic consulting services, positioning and marketing communications to help companies in the printing industry increase sales. E-mail may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Information about the firm's work for clients is also available on its Web site, www.marchand.com.
REMEMBERING THE OBVIOUS:
What's It All About?
Your brochure should focus on customers' needs and how you meet them, not on your manufacturing process. It's about the solutions you provide, not about the bells and whistles on your equipment.
Remember a second obvious, but too often overlooked, fact. A brochure that costs $20 a unit to print and finish may make you proud, but it will end up under lock and key, treated as a piece of fine art, not a marketing tool.