While many small business owners come to Zen Marketing for a new website, one of the marketing areas where we have recently seen increased interest is marketing collateral. Senior management has a heightened sense of the importance of coming out of COVID-19 stronger and better positioned for growth. These managers have approached Zen Marketing to ensure the sales team collateral reflects the organization’s value propositions appropriately.

Many companies are beginning to feel more comfortable sending their sales team into the world to meet with prospects and clients. But even those relying on teleconferencing understand the impact the right follow-up materials can have on a potential sale, whether printed, mailed, or digital. We recently did a thorough review of an engineering firm’s marketing materials and guided them by updating their logo, color scheme, and overall corporate identity. It had been in use for over forty years, and providing them with an on-trend look and feel was terrifically received.

Marketing Collateral in a Pandemic

1. Back to Basics

Take a minute to examine your business card. Make sure to look at the front and back of the card. You’ve paid for both sides and should be utilizing both sides. A New England-based retail, wholesale club has a thoughtful approach to their business cards: the back offers a free one-day trial membership. The more people their managers and corporate staff meet, the more visitors their stores get, and the potential for more members grows as a result.

There are many creative ways to take advantage of the back of a business card:

  • How about a QR code that links to a helpful how-to video?
  • Why not inspire product users to enter a contest featuring the use of that product?
  • What about sharing a couple of satisfied customer testimonials?
  • Do you think readers might like to know the customer service “hotline” number?

2. Brochures

A company recently retained us to design and build a PowerPoint® deck for use in meetings with prospective clients. Imagine our surprise when we delivered the file and discovered that neither the sales manager nor anyone in the project management team had the software application on their computer! The sales manager had never used PowerPoint® before and printed it out to pass around at the meeting. He liked the templated look and couldn’t achieve that using a word processing program.

Often we have an opportunity to discuss projects such as this in detail and have the time to remedy it properly. In this instance, the sales manager was quite adamant about the process and the content, and unfortunately, such a meeting did not occur. However, a great corporate brochure would have been more appropriate and offer a much more complete story. We recommend a large-format brochure, 11×7″ folded and saddle stitched to 8.5×11″, which can provide information almost as comprehensive as a website. With the right paper to offer a great hand-feel and pop the photography, the prospects can be very impressed. The sales manager’s printout using his best office copy machine paper, not so much.

3. Digital Publishing

If your training or sales activities continue to exist in the WFH realm, consider converting or designing merchandise or training catalogs from a printed piece to a digital one. While a digital catalog doesn’t provide the hand-feel of a printed piece, existing printed stock won’t be antiquated when you have an update. We have worked with several excellent digital publishing platforms, but the key to success is quality design and rich content.


In a universe without face to face sales meetings, reconsider your approach to promotional products. Your sales team may have handed out SWAG items to prospects at conferences or trade shows (remember those?). Now those items must be shippable and fit into shippable cartons. Smaller or lighter SWAG will replace heavier, bulkier products because it will be more cost-effective from a shipping point of view. But the new direction to SWAG must not sacrifice impact, memorability, or usability. And just like all other aspects of marketing, keep your target audience in mind when selecting it.

5. Email Marketing

Don’t forget the easiest, most cost-effective, and result-producing aspects of email marketing. Be sure to diversify your content with increased frequency to support top-of-mind awareness in your clients. Here are a few statistics to get you motivated:

  1. The average B2B email open rate is almost 25%, well above the national average.
  2. The click-through rate of B2B email marketing is 47% higher than B2C. We believe this is because someone at work is more likely to want to learn about a product or service that can help them.
  3. Mobile devices account for 1 out of 3 clicks in email campaigns, so be sure to mobile-optimize.
  4. Personalized email campaigns can improve your click-through rates by about 14% and conversions by up to 10%.

Visit Digital GYD to read all of their latest statistics.

6. Social Networks

Don’t forget to utilize your social networks. You should be aware if you are more a LinkedIn business versus a TikTok business and everything in between. Gather your current data on engagements, conversions, etc. on social media to utilize what is working and fix what isn’t. And remember to leverage your social media presence as leverage to more significant website traffic and the enhanced organic search results that additional traffic may provide.

7. Blog

A blog is more important than ever! It has many benefits, including awareness, attraction, organic search results, and much more. For example, an authoritative blog post on a leading and prevalent issue in your industry can increase both your visibility and expertise on the matter. A blog can also increase your attraction. Up to 80% of B2B companies have a blog. Have you considered that many of your prospective and existing clients expect to find useful and informative content via your blog?

Properly maintaining a blog is the foundation for a popular and highly effective marketing process known as Inbound Marketing. A well-designed inbound marketing campaign uses human behavior and the law of attraction and relies less on selling and advertising. We’ve been utilizing inbound marketing since 2012. Although it is better suited for specific business types, longer sales cycles, less transactionally-driven businesses, or a product or service that is complex in understanding, it is a sustainable and cost-effective marketing approach.

While not often viewed as marketing collateral, blogs are also a great way to drive traffic to your website in two ways: 1. The traditional way of content motivating readers to visit the site. 2. The “Robo” way by showing search engines that your website is serious in your industry and routinely publishes quality content. Blogs can also be shared among colleagues or a known audience via email, which generates even more interest. The bottom of a blog is a great place to restate your value proposition and add your call to action.

“We’ve been using the same business cards for ten years! Zen Marketing realized the possibilities a four-sided design could provide our business and provided a effective solution that also looks terrific.” – D. S.

Zen Marketing Business Card

Not hard and fast rules

Of course, these are not hard and fast rules for marketing collateral. Your particular business may have unique needs. However, each useful marketing piece can drive visitors to your site and hopefully lead to a conversion and, ultimately, a long-lasting relationship.

Now is the ideal time to revisit your marketing collateral and consider how an update or addition may help your top-line revenue growth. And if you would like an outside opinion, feel free to contact the Zen Marketing team for help generating these and other marketing strategies.

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