Are you updating your marketing brochure?
Do you need a hard-working marketing brochure to drives leads and sales?
Not sure how to get it all completed in time for a key meeting, tradeshow or website launch?
Before you start writing, start thinking about your ideal customer. An effective brochure focuses on your customer and their top problems or ideal opportunities. Position your company, services and/or products as the best solution.
So how do you get started?
Step 1: Identify your Business Goal
Why are you creating or refreshing a marketing brochure? What goals are your trying to achieve? What work do you need your marketing brochure to achieve?
Possible goals could be to fulfill a prospect’s request for more information, to close a major deal, generate high-quality leads at a tradeshow, or convert more ideal customers from your website. Ask yourself:
- Who will use the marketing brochure (sales, marketing, CEO, business development, customer service) and why?
- Where will they use it? (In meetings? At tradeshows? During a conference presentation? Direct mail? On the company website or social media platforms?)
- When will people need the marketing brochure? Next week, over the next year, over the next two years?
Tip: Knowing why you are producing marketing materials helps you create a marketing brochure to meet your business goals.
Step 2: Identify your Ideal Target Customer
Are you targeting the CEO? C-level executives? The Marketing Director? The Vice President of Sales? Is the business a start-up? National name brand? Global enterprise? Clearly identify who your marketing brochure is for so you influence their buying decision. Identify the person’s:
- company size
- time at company
- main challenges
- age and demographics
- information sources – trade magazines, newspapers, conferences, network, LinkedIn
- motivations (Up for promotion? up for replacement?)
- any information you have on buying decisions
Tip: Knowing who your marketing brochure is for will help your choose the right content, tone and style.
Step 3: Identify Your Ideal Customer’s Top Problem or Desired Opportunity
Don’t guess what your customers’ problems are! Ask your:
- best customers, in person or through a brief survey
- sales reps and account managers – Why do customers come? What problem drives them to your business? What solutions do they seek?
- community manager or social media manager
Tip: Regularly gather ideal customer feedback from the people who deal with your customers every day formally or informally in meetings, a suggestion box, or by email.
Step 4: Outline your Marketing Brochure
Before you start writing, outline your marketing brochure and get it approved. A customer-focused marketing brochure should include some or all of these sections:
- main customer problem or opportunity (there may be more than one – select the biggest and most pressing issue)
- your company’s main solution to the customer problem, or opportunity
- about your company, about management and key contacts
- products and services and how they solve your ideal customers problems
- testimonials & case studies of how your business solved customer problems and the results for your customer
- a clear call to action and contact information
- Think about the number of pages you need – 2, 4, 8? Double sided?
- Consider the look and feel of your marketing brochure – what colours, images and visuals will you include?
Tip: Outlining your brochure helps you identify any missing information and additional steps. Do you need research? Case studies from clients? Identify the steps you need to take to gather your information.
Step 5: Choose Your Project Team
You may do your marketing brochure in-house, through an agency or using contractors. You will need:
- a B2B writer
- a graphic designer
- possibly a photographer
- a printer – check availability, lead times, paper weight, quality and size of print runs as well as process. You should always sign off on all files before a print run, as mistakes can be costly.
If you’re working with an agency or contractors, get quotes and referrals. LinkedIn is an excellent place to find contractors working in your industry or location.
Tip: If you can, gather samples of marketing brochures you like. Look at both the content and look and feel of the brochure. Show these samples to your project team so they have an clear view of what you are looking for.
Step 6: Set a Budget and Timeline
Look to create a marketing brochure to meet your needs versus a budget. Quality writing, design and printing of a marketing brochure often costs several thousand dollars. Ask about rates for the number of pages, panels or words.
- create an end date when you need the brochures in client hands
- work backwards and account for shipping time, print times (and possible delays), as well as time for design, and initial research and writing
- allow a buffer of time for unexpected delays – in my experience, a marketing brochure often takes 3X as long as a first time estimate
Tip: Images, page numbers, number of colours, finish and paper weight can all contribute to cost in printing a marketing brochure. Ask ahead to avoid surprises or have the printing company show samples and examples at your office or theirs.
Step 7: Writing Your Marketing Brochure
Once you have all of your information, it’s time to start creating the first draft of your marketing brochure.
- Have a first draft written
- Write out the customer’s main problem clearly and compellingly in one to three paragraphs
- Write out your company’s solution to that problem in one to thee paragraphs
- About Page: write a short, clear description of your company. Describe what your company does and why, who it serves and what makes your business different from your competitors.
- Are you looking to build trust? To appear more human? Include head shots of your management team and people who will help your customers. You may want to add different levels of people, such as the CEO, community manager and head of sales or marketing. Include business accomplishments and a small personal detail.
- Include your top products or services. Describe how they help customers solve problems and list their features. Whenever possible, include high resolution photos.
- Don’t forget case studies (with photos!) of satisfied, live customers describing, in their own words, how your business has helped and any hard results your help has generated.
- Include a clear call to action at the end of the brochure. What should your ideal customer do now? Book a demo? Call x for a meeting? Sign up for a free trial on your website?
- Always include your contact information. Your company name, address, phone number, email address and website.
- Once the first draft is written, review and make larger changes and return it to the writer.
- Receive a second draft and make smaller changes and return it to the writer.
- Receive a third draft for sign off.
Tips: Book a few hours to carefully edit and review your brochure for spelling, content, legal wording and so on. Have two people sign off on the written content.
Step 8: Designing your Marketing Brochure
Now that your content is written, it’s time to lay it out.
- Have the designer create a template and lay out the marketing brochure
- Review and make any large changes and return it to the designer
- Receive a second layout
- Tweak it or sign off
Tip: Be sure to get a file you can make changes to in the future. Also, ask the printer exactly what kind of file they need the brochure in. The designer can send it to the printer, or you can handle it.
Step 9: Printing your Marketing Brochure
Work with the print company closely.
- Send the appropriate files
- Select print dates
- Determine any shipping requirements
- Choose the font, paper weight, finish and any other details
- Sign off on a mock up and carefully check it for accuracy (like the right contact information!), spelling and other details
- Pick up your order, or have it delivered
Tip: Sign off should be done by two people. If you sign off on a mistake, you will have to pay for your marketing brochures anyways. If you sign off but the printing company makes an error, they will have to reprint your marketing brochures again.
Step 10: Repurpose your Marketing Brochure Content
All of the content in your marketing brochure can be adapted and recycled to create other marketing materials. You reformat your marketing brochure content and use it for your:
- Website – use the information for your About Page, for blog posts, case studies
- Presentations and Tradeshows
- Sales material
- Training new hires
- Social media profiles, such as LinkedIn
- White papers
- Annual reports
- Awards submissions
- Anywhere else you care to use it!
Tip: Once you’ve clearly identified your business goals and target audience, use this to create all of your marketing and sales materials.
What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to creating marketing materials?
Tell us below in the comments in a word or two. (For example, no time, too much work, no process, no desire, no resources, no skilled staff).