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Designing a Brochure

Why are brochures still important?

‘Which marketing channel is the most successful for growing your business’ is still a popular discussion amongst business owners and marketeers. Digital methods including SEO, PPC and Facebook marketing are hailed as being the perfect channels to grow your business. However, what this discussion doesn’t take in to account is where the audience is and at what point in their decision-making process they are.

Yes, digital can be a highly successful method of communicating with potential customers but only if they spend their time on these platforms. Just a few markets that come to mind; mobility furniture, mobile food services and card suppliers all rely on more traditional methods to reach their target audience. Brochures continue to be highly profitable, where businesses rely on communicating with their audience through the post, in a face-to-face sales meeting or when they visit their store.

Why do I need a brochure?

If your potential customers don’t spend their time online, it’s important to consider where they do spend their time. Consider:

  • How direct advertising in newspapers can be used as a method of communication with older demographics.
  • The use of out-of-home advertising to generate brand awareness to customers who can’t be found so easily online.
  • The role direct mail still plays in targeting niche markets that online tools simply don’t allow you to target effectively.

HubSpot identifies over 41 types of marketing communication, which will vary depending on your objective and brochures still very much have their place.

What benefits will my business see from a brochure?

Brochures are a great way of succinctly providing more information to potential customers who have already shown an interest in your product or service, acting as an opportunity to make that lead warmer when you’re not in the room.

They provide you with opportunities:

  • To create further communication following an event.
  • To utilise as part of a direct mail campaign, targeting potential customers by post at a time where there’s arguably less competition with more businesses turning their attention online (rightly and wrongly).
  • To close a deal following a sales call. When your potential buyer is looking for solutions to their problems from a number of sales representatives, a great brochure offering can make all the difference.

How do I design a brochure?

As with any successful marketing campaign we’ll refer back to the research and strategy stages to create a brochure which will have the desired effect in your marketplace, converting more customers. As a word of caution, there are a lot of beautiful marketing brochures out there that don’t convert sales, as their purpose was never considered from the outset.

So, where to start? During the research stage (link to finding customers page), you will have identified:

  1. How to use the way your customers are feeling to market to them effectively.
  2. All the problems your customers have to solve and how each potential customer group has different problems.
  3. Where your customers spend their time.

To understand how to conduct this research to create a supporting brochure, we’ll use a shipping company as an example:

1. How to use the way your customers are feeling to market to them effectively.

To some shipping and logistics may not seem very exciting, when in reality there’s a lot going on. A lot of leading technology is at play to get cargo from A to B and with tough deadlines to meet and little margin for error, a lot of emotions are at play.

How would a business owner, who’s success abroad relies on them ensuring their products arrive on time feel? We’d guess, quite anxious as they’ve already heavily invested in attracting their clients and producing the stock for delivery. How could you, as a shipping company ease this anxiety and what does that look like?

2. All the problems your customers have to solve and how each potential customer group has different problems.

We observed the overall feeling of anxiety involved in transporting goods above but what problems does each individual group of customers feel on an individual level? Through market segmentation, we can identify different groups and produce individual offerings to each.

For example, we may have the following segments:

a. IT Hardware Manufacturers

IT Hardware is a robust but highly desired item. What advanced procedures are in place to prevent theft during transit and what action is taken if a system does go missing?

b. Budget Glassware Suppliers

Due to the low margin retailers make on each piece of glassware, it must be delivered intact. What measures are in place to ensure the cargo is well protected and what action gets taken if there are damages?

3. Where your customers spend their time.

Initially potential buyers will spend their time online, searching for solutions before making contact with potential suppliers. Providing the shipping companies SEO strategy is sufficient in getting the buyer to the desire stage, a brochure will be critical at and following the sales meeting, to ensure the buyers emotional and rational needs are being met more effectively than the competition. This will provide a point of reference for all future discussions, if they can’t close the deal at the meeting.

Using this research, we will create a strategy which will support the use of design elements within our brochure. Considering the same questions but this time from a strategy perspective (informed by our research), we consider:

1. How to use the way your customers are feeling to market to them effectively.

Our buyers are anxious that their cargo gets to their customers on time. To ease this anxiety, we will provide information on the leading technology used through case studies and customer testimonials.

The brochure will detail the percentage of successful deliveries and the boats used to demonstrate the prestige of the operation.

2. All the problems your customers have to solve and how each potential customer group has different problems.

Having identified the specific problems and anxieties faced by the IT Hardware and Budget Glassware industries, we propose the following solutions to their problems:

a. IT Hardware Manufacturers

The brochure will detail how IT hardware is kept secure and free from damage. It will go further and detail the procedure in place for what action takes place if something does go missing.

b. Budget Glassware Suppliers

The brochure will explain the measures in place to ensure the glassware is not damaged during transit and how the staff handle the cargo to and from the ship. It will detail what happens if anything does get damaged in transit.

In both situations above, the testimonials included will be specific to the industries being targeted to show their expertise.

3. Where your customers spend their time.

Potential buyers will initially find solutions through Organic SEO (Google Search) or Pay-Per-Click (Google Ads). It’s important that both methods of search are considered and invested in, to support the brochure achieving its objective. Without attracting the right target buyer to begin with, the brochure won’t be able to convert effectively.

The brochure can then be utilised during and following a sales meeting, to stay front-of-mind in a buyers’ decision-making, addressing their problems highlighted above more effectively than the competition to close the deal.

Using this strategy, we will again answer the same questions to create a communication and design that reflects this and everything we know about our customers to increase conversions:

1. How to use the way your customers are feeling to market to them effectively.

The statements and testimonials we develop within the brochure must be quick, accessible and stand out from the main content and case studies. This is highly important information which potential customers must be able to pick out and utilise in their decision-making, quickly.

The in-depth technology pieces can be a little more fleshed out as naturally they will require detail to explain. However, they must be in their own section and easily accessible to our audience.

Images of the boats must be used across the piece to show the prestige of the company. These images must only show the fleets most prestigious and largest vessels.

2. All the problems your customers have to solve and how each potential customer group has different problems.

We will demonstrate the following solutions to our potential customers through supporting imagery.

a. IT Hardware Manufacturers

An infographic demonstrating how security is managed within the processes, along with imagery of friendly staff moving the freight.

b. Budget Glassware Suppliers

We will provide imagery an infographic and supporting text of how the boat is packed with protection of individual items in mind. Imagery of friendly staff moving the freight with care will be used across the brochure.

3. Where your customers spend their time.

Understanding potential customers find the company through both Organic SEO (Google Search) and Pay Per Click (Google Ads), means we can use the brochure at this stage of the process also to, to entice them to have a conversation with us.

Researching the keywords people search for both through Google Search and Google Ads, ensures we can send potential buyers to an online brochure.

We will consider these three stages in the marketing process:

a. Research
b. Strategy
c. Communication and Design

Considering each will allow the shipping company to create a highly impactful brochure, which not only looks greats but converts sales too.

Designing an effective brochure can be tricky. If you would like some support discussing the objectives of your brochure and how you can achieve them, get in touch here for some advice, free of charge.

What else do I need to know?

There are other elements within your brand guidelines to consider when designing your brochure.

These are:

  • Using a consistent tone of voice alongside the rest of your marketing communications.
  • Ensuring the correct colours and pantone references are used, to ensure they are consistent with every other piece of marketing.
  • Using your own imagery, to ensure it’s unique and effectively communicates your messaging.

Ensuring all your marketing remains consistent with the brand guidelines, is essential so that the message is retained by your potential customers on repetition of messages across different channels. If an audience has to figure out if it’s your brand or not, the impact to the message will be lost.

At Need to Know Marketing we love providing information for SME’s so they can grow. We also understand this work can be time consuming and difficult to begin with. To assist you, we provide a free of charge one hour consultation, where we have an open discussion about your business objectives and what you’re looking to achieve.

Following the consultation we will provide you with a marketing strategy, advising how we recommend meeting your business objectives through marketing. If you are interested in knowing the cost of our services, you can use our calculator as a guide.

“Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.”

Walt Disney knew telling a story is always always easier with pictures. It crosses all barriers. The best story tellers are always the best at engaging their audience.