Every manufacturer and distributor that markets products or offers services, needs sales support collateral. Some marketers may think, “We have all our products listed on our website, so we don’t need anything else”. Here is the problem with that thought: Because web surfing is reactive Directional Media… A Google search only directs the seeker to the specific item that they are looking for. So, they have to know it exists to look for it. While on a live webpage, the potential buyer only sees what is displayed. What about other related products?  How do you get exposure for the rest of your product line and new products?  Marketers need to get comprehensive product line features and benefits in the hands of on-line shoppers of all their products. This is downloadable advertising collateral, that they can read, refer to and retain it. We are talking about Digital Catalogs, Brochures and Product Sheets.

If a shopper does not buy while they are on-line, then that customer can be lost… it’s out of sight out of mind. So, sales collateral is influential by making a lasting impression, sustaining interest and increasing the odds of a sale. Shoppers want descriptive collateral to compare features, competitive models, accessories, options and prices before they buy.  Most important, is this product information is in-the-hand tangible and has retention value. Shoppers do keep printed product information. They also share it with friends and associates and refer to it later, when they are ready to purchase. Digital advertising collateral can be posted on websites, Social Media and used in email promotion campaigns.

While websites do offer online information and need digital print-outs, there is also enormous promotional value to commercially printed sales literature as well. Print collateral is proactive and is controlled by the marketer not the shopper. It reaches a select market at a specific time with a targeted message. Printed sales literature is used in Direct Mail promotional campaigns, as  handouts at events, Trade Shows, for new product promotions along with, as inserts, in product packaging. One client selling automotive aftermarket products told me, when sales start to dip he mails out an updated catalog to his customer list and it has always boosted sales. Marketers that maintain a customer database and periodically send out targeted materials dramatically increase sales.

Two-for-one cost efficiency… The combination of Print and Digital (On-Line) sales support collateral is one of the most cost-efficient promotional investments a business can make.  Both Digital or Print utilize the same elements; quality photos, creative graphics, informative text and layout. So, the same artwork that is designed for Print is converted to a PDF file for digital posting. One major advantage of a digital version are the interactive links. Online, the viewer can click on reference links that will take them to other sources. It may be a YouTube video, a magazine article or other enhanced information. While these links can appear in the printed hard copy, they would have to be key-striked in to access them online.

Advertising is more than artwork. Collateral must be professionally designed and implementation coordinated as part of an over-all marketing strategy. Quality design, production and implementation of dynamic collateral are critical in the effectiveness and brand image of the marketer. For more information contact: Tom Smisek Marketing Consultants, Orange County California.