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    Public relations & communications consultants based in Stroud, Gloucestershire

    Clear, concise, affordable PR: saying the right things to the right people at the right time

    Marketing materials

    Ten questions to help you

    With many years' experience working closely with expert designers and printers, we offer you the support you need to produce any publication - from researching and writing the text, commissioning powerful photographs, through design to final print and distribution.

    We will work with you to decide which sort of publication will best meet your needs in order to communicate in the most effective way with your target audiences.

    From annual reports to interactive e-newsletters, from banners and stands for conferences to promotional postcards and other 'giveaways' let us help you get the best deals for the most effective resources.

    Before you consider producing marketing materials, ask yourself the following ten questions:


    What do you want your marketing to achieve? What is the 'call to action'? People need to see what they need to do if they're interested in your product or service.

    Will the call to action be to email or phone to find out more, or to visit your website for more details? If you have a website, is it up to date? If potential customers visit your website, have you considered how to 'capture' their information for future contact?

    Note: your existing business branding (logo, font, colours) should be reflected throughout all your marketing materials including your website and any printed or virtual documents. Ensure your messages are consistent across all your marketing (website, brochures etc).


    What is your offer? What is your Unique Selling Proposition; what makes your service or business different from your competitors, how do you stand out from the crowd? Experience, cost, added value, locality.? Could your leaflet include a discount/special offer or signpost to a discount on your website? People need motivation to take action.


    Who are your target customers? Try not to be too vague 'anyone over 20 with a pulse.'; your business plan should already identify your potential customer base.

    Once you are clear about who your potential customers are, you can be more precise about how your business or service is going to fulfil the needs of your customers. Potential customers want to know: "What's in it for me?" Your marketing needs to tell them, quickly and powerfully, how your product or service will make their life better/easier/more profitable


    If you are already established as a business, what words do your existing customers use to describe your service or business?

    Do you have, or can you supply, brief testimonials from (named) existing customers which you can use in your marketing? If you have well-known existing clients whose company logos might be recognised, would they be prepared to let you use their logo to illustrate their testimonial?


    If relevant, do you have powerful print-quality copyright-free photographs (not stock photos) of you, your team, or of your products or services which can be used and would enhance your marketing materials? If not, would you be prepared to commission professional photography?


    Where and how do you think your potential customers will see or pick up your marketing materials? What are your distribution plans? Will you need leaflet dispensers? If you are planning a postal mail-out, do you have a reliable database? If you are planning to hand out marketing materials at events/conferences, do you also need a pull-up banner to enhance your visibility?


    In addition to traditional printed marketing materials, have you considered creating a 'virtual' (pdf) version or e-newsletter which can be emailed and can include hyperlinks to your website (resulting in a better opportunity to capture information and convert interest into sales)?


    How are you going to maintain stocks of printed materials? Have you considered how many you will need? While there are economies of scale in bulk print buying, you don't want thousands of unused leaflets still in boxes two years hence.

    Keep the information on the leaflet as timeless as possible: set up email addresses from your website, use a telephone number which will not change, decide on a url for your business website that will not change.


    Will you be embarking on a wider promotional campaign? Have you considered targeted advertising and PR?


    How will you evaluate the success of your marketing materials? Do you have a system whereby you ask clients how they heard about you/where they picked up your leaflet etc? Your website should provide this information in analytics software for website visitors.