Why create collateral?
With collateral in hand, you can reach audiences online and offline; you’re not limited to one realm or the other. Whether in hard copy form or electronic format, collateral can be printed and shared as opposed to a webpage, which may be printed or not. Printing and sharing means your stand alone piece of collateral needs to have enough information to provide context for the user regardless of how they received it.
Collateral can be created for an organization’s internal or external audiences and be used for a variety of sales and marketing objectives. Whether you’re goal is to increase sales, educate prospects about your goods or services, or share company specific information, you’ll want an electronic version for prospects to be able to download from the web (small file size) and another version that can be printed in large quantity using a 4 color press for those times when you need to hand out a copy of something they can read on the spot.
Having an ability to customize collateral for events or specific audiences will help you get the best return on your collateral investment. Once printed, collateral has a shelf life. Over time, key benefits change, product features are updated, and important information is missing. If you can tweak the collateral’s messaging for the audience you’re targeting and print on-demand, you’ll be able to maximize your marketing efforts.
Define your audience and message
- Collateral can target internal or external audiences to your organization. For example, an external audience would include customers and government personnel. An internal audience would be your company employees and may include third party suppliers, or partners, if working closely on a process, operation, or joint offering.
- The collateral you create should also resonate with the receiver. You’ll want to be cognizant of where the prospect is in the buying cycle if the piece is designed for external audiences. If the collateral is intended for internal audience, consider the objective for the piece – whether it’s for educational purposes or to encourage action – and include messaging that reflects your objective.
Different types of collateral to consider