Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Ol' Reliable

I’m in the middle of preparing a brochure for a client for what seems like about the 400th time. Not for the same client. But in my decades – yes, I now count my career in decades – of producing marketing materials, I’ve easily worked on hundreds of brochures. Let’s face it, aside from one’s website, the venerable, good-old-fashioned brochure still does yeoman duty representing the “face” of a company.

Welcome to another edition of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips from JDK Marketing Communications Management.

The role of the brochure has changed with the advent of the website. Prior to that shape-shifting, electric and electronic vehicle, brochures were the be-all and end-all, with most of what one wanted to describe about one’s company packed into its narrow (generally) tri-folded panels.

Now brochures of all sizes are generally seen as the “sizzle” (some brief, broad, brush strokes on a business) to the “steak”(the website which, given its virtually unlimited size, can pack within it all of a company’s nuts and bolts).

Still, there are some key elements to be considered in the making of a successful brochure. About.com offers this Checklist of materials that they suggest should go into “building” a brochure. And I concur. These points may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many of them are neglected (you included?):

  • Name of Location, Business or Organization

  • Address

  • Phone Number

  • Fax Number

  • Email Address

  • Web Page Address

  • Headline that creates curiosity, states a major benefit, or otherwise entices the reader to open and read your brochure

  • Headline that states the name of the Product, Project, or Described Process
  • Subheads

  • Short, easy to read blocks of text

  • Lists, charts

  • Key Benefits (2-3)

  • Features

  • Instructions, steps, parts (for a procedure, to assemble a product, etc.)

  • Biography (of business owner, key members of organization, officers, etc.)

  • Mission Statement

  • History

  • Logo

  • Graphic Image(s) (including purely decorative elements)

  • Photographs of product, place, people

  • Diagram, flow chart

  • Map

  • Call to Action (What you want the reader to do: call, visit, fill out a form, etc.)

And now that you know what to put into your new, or even revamped, brochure, you also know whom to call to help you put it all together… ;)

Look for another, more-than-just-a-tri-fold, Not Your Usual Marketing Tips the first Tuesday of next month.

Joel Kweskin

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