Marketing collateral is more encompassing than any specific brochure, direct mail piece, individual Web site, or email. Each specific initiative is part of a larger, integrated, campaign in which different pieces work together to build awareness, develop connections, initiate transactions, and build relationships.
The first step in developing marketing colleral is to map goals, function, audience, lifespan, production value, cost, and environmental impact, and develop a strategy around what to make, what to use and when, and how to spend money wisely. At a time when most of our daily communications are through email or on screen, print collateral has the opportunity of making a tactile impression and emotional connection with the recipient that electronic media can’t. That said, not all marketing collateral is the same. Some pieces need to be custom-designed and printed on good stock with die-cuts and embossing; other pieces can, and should, be produced from templates and printed on demand.
A smart marketing collateral system provides the flexibility to combine components as needed—and to structure engagements and dialogues that deepen over time: an introductory brochure, a more detailed data sheet; applications examples on the web, a branded thank-you card or email. While a brochure is often a better choice to generate a more emotional response; Web pages are more useful for adding specific depth.
What holds an effective marketing collateral system together is an underlying set of shared visual identity—typography, color, imagery, design, and language. This shared identity, across all media, is what connects a Web site to an invitation, a data sheet to a reply form, a brochure to an online video; each builds on and reinforces the value and meaning of every other. The final result of an integrated marketing collateral system: more impact for fewer dollars in less time.