When you promote your products/services, you use a judicious mix of different channels. It is important that across all your channels, you are propagating along unified messaging themes. You cannot risk diluting your value by talking about different things at different times. After all a brand can only be built by consistent, repetitive and unified messaging.
This brings into perspective the value of having integrated marketing collateral. Irrespective of whether you are using web content, brochures, case studies, white papers, webinars or direct sales presentations to engage with your prospects, all of these need to be talking along the lines of your finalized messaging theme.
How do you go about planning the integrated collateral strategy then? Here are a few suggestions of how you can get your collateral strategy rolling?
1) Decide on messaging : Based on your unique offerings, a competitive study, understand the position that you want to occupy with your target market. Do this through a thorough messaging workshop and arrive at the primary and secondary messaging themes relevant for your product/services
2) Review marketing strategy – Have a detailed look at your planned marketing strategy to understand how you plan to engage with your prospects and customers. This will many times also provide you with a fair idea of how you need to provide support in different kinds of engagement
3) Identify different forms, that your collateral will take – Based on 2) above, identify different kinds of collateral and the forms in which you will need them. For e.g. if the means of engagement is primarily through the web, then digital copies might be a good idea, else you may also need to plan for physical copies. Even within digital copies, you can find out what form is most presentable. Is it a PDF document, flash files, video,presentations ?
4) Plan structures for these different forms – Define structures for different kinds of collateral keeping in mind the primary and secondary messaging levers. Even if you need some form of collateral at a later date, make sure that you have planned for the same. This will make sure that you have unified messaging across different forms of collateral
5) Roll-out and do independent audits – Roll out collateral and do independent audits with customers as well as your sales teams. You may have designed it to communicate in a certain way, but is it helping achieve that objective for you? It is always good to do a dip-stick on the efficacy of your collateral, so that you can make the adjustments, before you plan for mass distribution.
I hope this is useful for you in planning better. Let me know your thoughts and suggestions. will appreciate feedback.
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