I was recently into a client engagement for over 4 months, during which we created brochures, case studies that the client could use at his website and in their communication with prospective customers. My thoughts, which btw I communicated to the client as well were – Brochure and case studies are important elements of messaging but they are increasingly diminishing in importance. These were important tools during the time of broadcast marketing, but the world is changing rapidly.
The buying process has undergone a sea change and in today’s times, more often, the seller finds the buyer instead of the buyer finding the seller (which was the common case earlier in broadcast marketing days)
If the buying process has changed, then how can the marketing be done in the same old way?
Here are reasons why Brochures have lost their edge in
recent times in generating sales
1) Brochure is an important part of a push marketing strategy and if push marketing has started taking a back-seat, so has the role of the brochure
2) In a sales prospect discussion, customer is more interested in solving his problems rather than look at what you have to offer.
The tone of a brochure is typically what your products/services can do/offer. This diminishes the importance of the brochure in the discussion
3) Brochure as a handout at the end of a sales meeting used to work very effectively earlier, but with information overload the customer site, there is little chance that the customer will go through
the brochure, even if he appreciates you leaving it behind for him
4) Community based marketing initiatives are increasingly gaining importance. Brochure talks to the community as an outsider and does not build a lot of credibility, cross-referencing.
Here’s what you should consider doing
1)By all means,
invest in a brochure/case study, but have it as just another asset. Do not over-emphasize on it
2) Invest in mechanisms to build credibility and referencing with clients. Organizations today invest in blogs, articles, PR, white papers, e-books, videos and other viral and community based mechanisms to gain customer attention.
3) Build automation and marketing infrastructure at the website, so as to capture transactions happening at the website, to support the different campaigns that you run.