“You have to walk before you can run.”

That timeless piece of advice reminds us to master the basics before we move on to more complex processes. It’s a highly relevant idea in the world of digital marketing. As a B2B creative agency, we are constantly meeting with clients who want to develop sophisticated sales funnels before they have even covered the essentials. As a result, they struggle to gain traction or generate results.

But what are the essentials of B2B marketing? And why do they matter in the first place?

Read on, and I’ll provide you with the straightforward answers you need…

Why Marketing Collateral Still Matters

It’s easy to say that we’ve moved into a digital inbound world, one where content and thought leadership matter while old-school tools and techniques don’t. The reality, though, is that growing or established businesses do have a need for certain marketing fundamentals.

There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is philosophical. Creating core marketing pieces forces you to make focused decisions about market positioning, messaging, and so on. In other words, the process of developing something like a company overview will give you a better idea of who you are and what you stand for (more on that in a moment).

The second reason to develop marketing collateral is more tactical. B2B sales tend to be valuable and complex. Your sales and marketing themes need to be closely aligned. It’s also important that the pieces you show to potential buyers build your credibility. In other words, you need your marketing pieces to reinforce what your salespeople are saying to potential customers – and vice versa – while making you seem like a vendor that can be relied upon.

What You Need to Keep Your Company Moving

Now that we’ve covered why marketing collateral matters, let’s look at the five items you absolutely can’t skip if you want to compete in the B2B space.

#1 A Focused Company Overview

This seemingly simple document tells you (and your customers or clients) all about your company, its values, and its positioning. Are you the market leader or a value provider? Do you have a long track record of excellence, or are you a startup with a growth and innovation mindset?

In the same way that every good salesperson has a strong elevator pitch, successful B2B marketers will have a focused company overview that can be used in a variety of print and web materials.

#2 A Services and Capabilities List

Just as you would expect a restaurant to have a menu to order from, your business should have a list of products or services that can be provided to those who want to understand what you have to sell. As with writing the company overview, developing this list can bring a number of intangible benefits. However, it’s also useful in a very tactical sense.

That’s because it’s very easy for businesses, just like people, to become pigeonholed. We see it all the time. As a B2B creative agency, there are lots of things we can do. And yet, clients continually think of us as a team of web developers, sales funnel experts, or even graphic designers to draw logos. We do all these things, of course, but we have the skills and capacity to do a lot more.

One way to let your current satisfied customers know that they can get more from you is by listing out the different things you can do or provide. Don’t overlook the power of this simple document.

#3 Product or Service-Specific Brochures

In most cases, it makes sense to create separate, specialized pieces of sales collateral for each of your major products or services. That’s particularly true in the B2B space where you might want to break down the benefits of a certain process, solution, or approach. You want buyers to see what makes you different from the competition.

These types of materials can be great for cross-selling, for introducing new concepts to the market, and even for your sales professionals to share before, during, or after live presentations.

#4 A Sharp Presentation Deck

Speaking of presentations, a strong and focused presentation deck can be incredibly useful to your sales team. It doesn’t need to list every feature or detail; in fact, it’s probably better if it doesn’t. However, a quick visual guide can help your salespeople to stay on topic while introducing your solutions. It can also help the potential buyer to follow along and retain key points.

This is a good time to point out that quality is important when creating each of these collateral materials. Simply having them isn’t enough. You want something as well-designed and professionally copywritten so your message comes through clearly and effectively.

#5 The Right Business Cards

There isn’t a lot to say about business cards in 2024, except to reiterate that you need to have them. Yes, we live in a world of LinkedIn connections and referrals by phone tapping and contact sharing. Still, people will ask for the business card and use it to follow up with you.

Also, the design you use for your business card could help you to enhance social profiles and online bios that can help you to grow your business going forward.

Other Materials You Might Rely on for B2B Marketing

The five marketing collateral pieces I’ve already laid out in this post should be considered essentials for any B2B marketer. However, it’s worth mentioning that you might also need tradeshow displays (including booths and graphics), printed or digital flyers, QR codes, and/or product packages. You could also add postcards and other pieces like printed ads, depending on your industry and location.

Obviously, the best way to determine your exact needs is to speak with an experienced B2B creative agency. However, what matters most is that you have the materials you need and use them to attract sales opportunities going forward. Otherwise, what’s the point of having anything in your marketing mix?

Need a B2B Creative Agency That Can do it All?

Getting the five B2B marketing collateral pieces I’ve outlined in this article isn’t difficult. Working them into your larger sales and lead generation campaign can be trickier. That’s why it pays to have the right creative and business growth experts on your side.

If you want to know more about our work, you can see more about our marketing collateral development services here. Or, you can always contact us to schedule a free consultation and see what our team can do to help your business grow.