Ray worked with B-2-B and Consumer clients throughout the world ... including USA, Canada, Mexico, Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the Middle-East, Central & South America, Africa.

This website is a compilation of Ray's 10 years on the Web.

Baker's Dozen INDEX

13 Platinum Ideas about Booklets & Brochures

Booklets and brochures - although they are distinctly different - are each "support" pieces. They support a campaign. As part of a direct mail effort. An offer in print or broadcast or on the web. To aid a sales rep. As a handout at a trade show.

Without words, copy ... nothing sells. Still, just as television is radio, enriched, and thus more "entertaining", copy becomes more "interesting" with graphics. Which brochures and booklets bring to the sales, advertising, marketing field.

Here are 13 ideas about how you can use booklets and brochures to enhance your marketing, advertising and sales programs.

#1). Use brochures to "prove" your market position

A brochure presents your "image", as well as your message. Frequently with pictures, charts and graphs, art or illustrations and other graphics.

Which means layout, design, format, colors, how the piece folds ... the "look" and "feel" are each very important. These features help position you in your market place.

Still, not at the expense of copy. Text. Words. Your product description. Specifications you know are important to your buyer. A list of benefits. And most certainly your offer.

The copy of your brochure brings your message to your audience. All other elements make it better. And help you "prove" your position.

#2). Use brochures to clarify your marketing message

People make buying decisions based on need.

Your presentation is to clarify what your product does. How it fulfills a need. It tells what your offer is. It is to make your product/offer message more understandable. And more interesting. Your brochure can help do all of that.

It's not that the message is "different". In fact, it must be the same in your letter, your space add, on your web site and in every other piece or place. Or you confuse. Still, know we live in a graphic world. And you can use graphics in your brochure to support your message. To make it more believable. And more understandable.

#3). Use brochures when you need to illustrate a point

If you offer a financial service show people enjoying the rewards of a sound investment. Make your point!

If your product is technical, a picture of a smiling user demonstrates how easy it is to use. When you talk to engineers, architects and builders a "blue print" style graphic will tell them you know what you're talking about. Make your point.

A good use of a brochure is to give an example. Or explain how to do something. With a list ... 1, 2, 3. We've learned lists work -- people will follow the numbers. Make your point!

#4). Use brochures to justify

When you need to look and "sound" like what you are, when something more than words is necessary to prove your claim, a brochure can help.

Of course, if you present "cotton candy" which blows away at the first wind, you'll be doing yourself a disservice. If you're Ferrari you had better look very rich. If you're the Mission on Spring Street you had better look very poor. i.e., be what you are. Fakes don't last.

A brochure gives you accreditation. Yes, some of it is in the mind of the beholder ... the emotion of the brochure becomes justified and rational in the decision process. Soooo, use that knowledge in creating your brochure.

#5). Use brochures for technical information

There is an audience out there who thrives on technical data. With it they get a "high". Without it they're missing something. Something important. A brochure is a great way to feed these folks all the jargon they can use.

The automotive industry mixes technical basics with beautiful new car pictures. A list of the standard most often asked questions with the "number" answers. Tire size. Length, width and weight of the vehicle. Number of passengers it seats. Ground clearance. Size of gas tank. Miles per gallon. Such as that.

Semi-conductor manufactures must supply books - literally! - of technical specifics about a particular chip. So the designers know exactly what it will do, what it will not, how fast, and all the variations.

Brochures work for many things - including technical specs.

#6). Make an illustrated letter - combine a brochure with a letter

One of the more creative ways to use a brochure is to combine it with a letter. Making what is called an "illustrated letter". A letter that combines the copy of a letter format and look, with art and graphics of a brochure - all into a single piece.

There are at least 2 advantages to this approach;

... it is less costly than writing, designing & producing separate pieces,

... an illustrated letter "keeps the reader" - they don't need to go to another element to get the complete message.

This is an example where the "piece" can frequently stand on its' own. Meaning one piece of paper has your entire story. And your prospect can become your customer based on this content alone. Another good thing.

#7). Use an ad reprint as a brochure

Once week or so I receive an envelope mailing with a single piece inside. An ad reprint. The idea is good - the execution is horrid!

If your full page or two-page-spread space ad is good enough to get leads or make sales in a magazine or a newspaper, it can certainly be packaged and included in a direct mail drop. Or as a handout at a trade show. Or as a presentation tool by a sales rep.

Okay, with all the good points, what do I mean when I say the execution is horrid? In direct mail a "letter" is needed. Please note I put the word "letter" in quotes ... as it can come in just about any format. Small. Large. Short. Long. Big piece of paper or small. Stapled or paper-clipped to the ad. Or loose. Doesn't matter. What does matter is there is some explanation about the ad. And why you are sending it.

A line ... "Just in case you missed it, this ad ran in the WSJ ... and I thought you might find the message interesting." ... could work. Or a full blown explanation could accompany it. Whatever works.

When you use space advertising, think about ways you can use your creative efforts further by converting the ad into another use. As a brochure.

#8). Use booklets or brochures as a Q & A piece

Bless the World Wide Web. It has brought back the Question and Answer concept. There called FAQ ... Frequently Asked Questions.

Long ago in the history of marketing and direct marketing a Q&A brochure was almost "automatically" a part of every sales presentation. Every direct mail package.

Today we need Q&A more than ever. Why? Because our products and services have become so complex, there are bound to be questions that require answers before a sale will happen. Thus, Q&A is back.

A Q&A brochure fits nicely into the "take-one" rack of a retailer. Can be slipped into a face-to-face sales presentation package. Can be used in a direct mail shot. At a trade show. Many places. And if your high-end product/service requires it, you can go the extra step and produce a more permanent booklet that covers the Q&A arena.

No matter, for your next campaign, think Q&A.

#9). Use booklets when you have a looooong story to tell

You don't need much more information than you already have to buy a new alarm clock. Paper for your copy machine. Or a starter set of home tools.

That's not so when you shop for a new laptop / notebook computer. Or software to run it. An upper end sports model road racing car. Or a digital printing press. In each of these instances you need to know more.

A "booklet" can become very helpful at this point. Something that gathers all the knowledge available about at specific topic or subject into a "collection", and presents.

When you have a lot to say - say it with a booklet.

#10). Use booklets for testimonials and case history stories

Stories are in. They prove points. They are believable. And a "real life" true story, told from your experiences, i.e., a "case', well, they are really in.

A good place to share your stories and include a list of testimonials, is in a booklet.

Production will depend on your audience and your method of distribution. How "fancy" your booklet will be, what size and shape, how many colors, with or without art or photography ... all these are variables.

How you do it is not important to your marketplace. That you offer them testimonial proof and stories to back it up, is. And a booklet fits perfectly.

#11). Use a booklet when you expect response to be slow

Some things take time. Lots of time. Booklets "slow a reader". They "slow" response. Your sales process may be weeks or months. You know it. And that may be just fine with you. So, a booklet can work.

If your product is new. Or you are new. Or your service is "different". Maybe expensive. Could be you're moving into new geography. If "change" is required by your prospects ... all these are reasons to use a booklet.

Why? Because it gives your marketplace something to hold on to. To refer to. To think about. To study. To review. To chat with their friends or neighbors about. Or their buddies downstairs or upstairs.

Where a "standard" piece may get tossed, the booklet will be saved. And read. And re-read. Shared. Passed along. And read again.

#12). Use a booklet when you need to control the entire message

You may have a very structured message. You know, usually from experience, you must cover certain points. And frequently that coverage must be "in order".

When this is the case, and your sales pitch must follow A, B and then C in order, every time, a booklet can help. It helps your sales reps, because they have a reference tool. It helps your customers, because they have the same tool. And it goes A, B, C.

A booklet written in this style may also work as a take-away tool. A prospect picks it up, and they then sell themselves on doing business with you. Because they follow you're A, B, C method, too.

#13). Use a booklet when you need the prospect to "keep" something

This is absolutely true about your message in a 12+ page saddle-stitched booklet; it gets kept.

Booklets do not see the trash. All else may be tossed ... booklets hang around. For years. Literally, for years.

So, when you have something you truly want kept, something for your customers and prospects to hang on to, a booklet can be it.

"Yes", it is psychological ... the booklet looks so valuable. It has body. It is "thick". It has content. It tells a story. It gives the full message. And ... it works in both business and consumer marketing to turn a prospect into a customer.

That's it ... 13 Platinum Ideas about Booklets & Brochures. Use each idea as if it were your own. Because now it is!

Baker's Dozen INDEX

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