How your printed materials expose your weaknesses

All aspects of your business are tested when you create a printed marketing piece.

It�s going to cost you some money – so you need to review the marketing budget, for which you need to review the business planning, the revenue projections and the cash flow. So all that has to be in place and understood so you can be sure it will be money well spent.

Of course it has to represent your brand – so that has to be clearly defined. The brochure or whatever has to be the exemplar of your look and has to communicate your positioning. Which means you have to know who your audience is and what you want them to think or do.

Now you need to get together the portfolio and case histories – you have to deal with other people in your company to get these organized. And perhaps to get testimonials from clients – you need your sales guy to get these for you. This exposes them to the project and they will surely give you their opinion. How well are they versed in the positioning and the desires of your audience? How efficiently can you make the requests and get a response?

Let’s be honest this stuff can take a lot of time and be very frustrating. Let’s say you get that together. Next you are dealing with the writer and the graphic designer: artistes and marketers all of them. And then there’s the printing and the paper stock and how many do we need and on and on. Do you have the time? It takes a lot longer than it should.

So the simple decision to make a printed marketing piece has exposed your business planning and your cash flow, your marketing strategy, your ability to define what your company does, your internal communications and responsiveness, your own role and responsibilities in the company, your company�s internal communications and your staff’s understanding of what the company does.

This is quite a test! Preparing a brochure might be a good exercise (even if you never print it) because all these aspects of your business are critical and if you haven’t been paying attention to them this will be a way to force it.