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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Role of Marketing Collateral Is to Drive Sales

Written by  Duane Bailey

When was the last time you conducted a marketing collateral audit? If I asked you to share samples of your marketing collateral with me, what stories would they tell? What is their purpose? Is it a singular, goal-oriented purpose? Or, are there a variety of purposes – awareness, informational, sales or entertainment?

A sales and marketing best practice is to ensure all of your marketing collateral serves a singular purpose – to advance your prospect’s buying decision process. Collateral designed for any other purpose often ends up distracting your prospect and delaying the buyer's decision-making process. The cost to produce, optimize, store and distribute extraneous marketing collateral can also erode your profitability.

If you are looking to create marketing collateral that drives sales, consider these five tips:
  • Start by understanding your Ideal Client Profile (ICP). Know the characteristics of your target audience and what drivers are motivating them to buy.
  • Keep it simple. Write at the 10th grade level or below. Avoid jargon that may be meaningless to your prospect. Make it easy to read.
  • Engage your audience with a short story. Inspiring stories bring your brand to life and help to build an emotional connection with your prospect.
  • Write with quality. Your written materials are a reflection of your brand and the quality of its products and services.
  • Experience your collateral from their perspective, not yours. Ask your customer-facing salespeople, and a sampling of prospects and customers, to review your marketing collateral. What feelings and actions is it evoking in them?

For more on marketing collateral that advances your prospect’s buying decision process, please see:
• Use Customer Testimonials to Build Trust and Increase Sales
• Every Single Communication Item Tells Your Business Story and Your Brand Story
• Online Marketing: Good Landing Pages Are Easy to Follow

Duane Bailey

Duane Bailey

Duane Bailey is a regular contributor to The Chief Storyteller® online conversation. He has helped organizations of all sizes drive growth in revenues and market share through the development and delivery of key business messages that resonate with target audiences. He holds an MBA in International Business and a BS in Marketing. He brings 28 years of experience in marketing communications and high technology sales.

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