As businesses list the most effective marketing tools, brochures come close to the top. Brochures have been around for a long time because they work. When businesses want to promote themselves, brochures will reach more potential customers than all of your sales people.
Why in today's digital world should a sales person carry around print advertisements at all? For one, brochures are an excellent format for fitting just the right amount of information that gets readers hooked and then the call to action can be to call you or visit your website to find out more.
Secondly, a brochure gives customers a tangible image of your business. Potential customers can hold your promises, benefits, and services in their hands. All of the information they need should be in the brochure: products/services, quality, guarantees, answers to common questions, and several avenues to contact your business.
Customers will also get a feel for your business because brochures are image bearers. People connect and relate to a visual advertisement more than a verbal one. The image of your business will also promote the idea that you are an established business—you have something to sell and have been selling it successfully for a trusted amount of time.
In general, people enjoy getting brochures. Brochures are one of the least invasive ways to spread information to customers. Recipients have a choice whether to read it or throw it away. Customers will be more willing to look at a brochure than talk to a salesperson initially because it is less threatening.
Finally, sales people can view brochures as extended business cards. They can leave customers with more crucial information about their business than a business card but still hand them a manageable piece of paper.
Just as with any other marketing media, a brochure is only as effective as your distribution methods. Therefore, make sure to hand out your brochures to the right people, at the right place, and at the right time. The right people mean a specific audience you are targeting. The right place are locations that your target audience frequents. The right time means that you do not just shove brochures into prospects' faces when they are not ready to hear your message. Make sure your audience is ready to receive the information you are handing out. Here are several ways to boost your brochure’s effectiveness:
- Leave them as many places as you can: kiosks, malls, grocery stores, or wherever high concentrations of your target customers live.
- Use a blanket mail-drop in a specific area focused on your target customer. Bulk mailings are cheaper than first class mail and a good way to seek out new customers.
- Design brochures to be useful to both sales people and customers. Sales people should be able to use them as a way to introduce the service quickly and clearly, and then leave potential customers with the right amount of information. Make it simple but eye-catching on one piece of paper.
- Send current, happy customers more than one brochure to hand out. If your business includes discounts or other incentives, customers will be willing to promote your business to their friends.
- Give it away to interested potential customers at trade shows and leave it when you are bidding for your job. The results may not be immediate, but it could be a great way to attract new customers by introducing your business.
- Create your brochure to fulfill a purpose, not just to be a representation of your company. Your brochure should fit your marketing needs, or it will be another piece of paper.
The thought your business puts behind its brochure will substantially affect its usefulness to your sales team. A carefully designed, creatively used, and well-written brochure could add a new and powerful tool to your advertising strategy.