If you aren’t a sales and marketing professional, you may have only recently started hearing the term marketing collateral being tossed out at meetings. There is no reason to be intimidated–the term simply refers to the materials used for sales and publicity, generally tracked by value expended and added throughout a specific sales cycle. B2B companies in Boston are increasingly dedicating attention and resources to digital marketing collateral initiatives, and this is expected to increase during 2022 and beyond.
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What Is Marketing Collateral?
Simply put, marketing collateral is a collection of media that is utilized specifically as sales aids to make sales efforts easier. In the current B2B market, digital marketing collateral is at the forefront of most businesses’ marketing communication plans. Marketing collateral ideas for B2B include:
- Brochures and other product information (printed or digital)
- Visual aids used in sales presentations
- Web content
- Sales and demonstration scripts
- Product white papers and data sheets
Marketing collateral is not the same thing as advertising, even though it can serve that purpose as well. In the sales cycle, this type of material is presented to prospective purchasers that have already been identified by a sales team and are in the process of active communication to finalize a contract or purchase.
Why is Marketing Collateral Important?
The primary benefit of marketing collateral is the ability to quickly deliver a snapshot of the advantages associated with your B2B products and services. The collection of content, media, and information is important to advance communication of brand identity (or reinforce what has already been established) and build credibility while providing a lasting impression.
Marketing collateral design is important regardless of where a B2B concern focuses the majority of its resources. For example, the online presence of your brand and B2B products and services is vital, but it is equally critical that top-notch marketing collateral be developed regardless of medium. Even though your brand’s digital identity may be driving the majority of customer engagement and leadership development, creating physical media that exists in the real world to reinforce your business’s offline identity cannot be neglected. After all, your business exists in the physical world just as much as it exists in the virtual world. The continuity of brand representation depends on the production of such material, and marketing collateral design can vary based upon specific company goals.
Types of Marketing Collateral
There are several dozen types of marketing collateral, and to determine which will be most effective for your company, it helps to divide the cycle of customer acquisition into several distinct stages. In this way, anything under the umbrella of marketing collateral ideas for B2B can be assigned to a certain stage to ensure resources are being allocated evenly across the path to purchase or contract.
At the Awareness Stage, your potential B2B client is only aware of a problem that requires solving. Marketing collateral that targets desirable clients at this stage will ideally focus on educating the buyer about your B2B product or service, and why your brand is a go-to in offering a solution to their problem. Ideas for digital marketing collateral at this stage include long-form blog content, e-books, infographics, and press releases. Physical marketing collateral to increase brand awareness includes materials like flyers, brochures, and business cards.
At the Consideration Stage, your B2B products and services are already known to the potential buyer and said buyer is likely comparing options available from your company and your competitors. Digital marketing collateral designed for this phase of the process should be ramped up to make your B2B products and services stand out. Case studies and testimonials are important types of digital marketing collateral that should be available to potential buyers on-demand. Recent trends have also demonstrated that utilizing augmented reality or videos that allow a buyer to experience the product improves conversions by aiding in the decision-making process with a “try-before-buy” mentality. Physical marketing collateral designs for this stage are also useful, especially with hard copies of white papers, or dedicated portfolio and brochure materials that will help guide a potential buyer towards choosing your company as a solution.
Finally, the Decision Stage occurs once a buyer has narrowed down their options to a select few, so marketing collateral should target buyers by reinforcing the value proposition being offered. A popular digital decision stage piece of marketing collateral is the ever-increasing occurrence of “cart abandonment” emails, which ensure that your brand is not forgotten or dismissed easily. Brand messaging for decision-making can also be communicated with proposals (both physical and digital), detailed product pages, and eye-catching point of sale displays.
Marketing Collateral Ideas for B2B Companies
Your B2B company is unique in its offerings, solutions, and brand identity, but the process to create digital and physical marketing collateral can be crystallized into a few steps. First, identifying a concept for the messaging idea behind the collateral can be done by asking your marketing team to answer questions similar to those of a journalist:
- Who are we trying to reach with this marketing collateral and what do we want to say?
- What are the goals of the marketing collateral?
- When in the sales cycle should this collateral be presented?
- Why would a potential client choose our solution after seeing this marketing collateral?
- How can we structure the content to achieve our goals?
- How will the marketing collateral design look and feel to a potential buyer?
Most of the time, prospects who are viewing a piece of marketing collateral at any point during the sales cycle already know basic things about your B2B company. Marketing collateral is an opportunity to create familiarization with your brand identity, solutions offered, and shared goals. Quality marketing collateral helps to build trust and maintain relationships in a way that separates you from competitors offering similar services.
Get B2B Marketing Collateral Ideas In Boston
If your B2B company is seeking a way to bring its marketing efforts to the next level, contact the experienced team of auditors at GoingClear to analyze your current collateral and suggest changes, or to partner with you to create entirely new materials. Let’s get started today!