Marketing and print collateral plays a crucial role in securing customers for your business. Unfortunately, all too many businesses create collateral once and never look at it again. While some pieces can be used long-term without trouble, others might quickly become outdated. It’s smart for businesses to get in the habit of reviewing your printed materials and refreshing them regularly.
Why should you audit your collateral?
Using fresh, up-to-date marketing and sales collateral ensure that you accurately represent your brand to customers. These materials should speak to your brand, demonstrate what your business does, and showcase your current offerings.
If your collateral is out of date or irrelevant, it can cause confusion or frustration among buyers. Depending on how much your branding or your business has changed, the materials might not even be effective for your target market at all! If your goal is to persuade customers to make a purchase, you want to ensure your messaging is both accurate and fresh.
When should you do a collateral audit?
You’ll want to conduct a routine audit of your sales and marketing collateral. A good rule of thumb is to revisit these materials every three months, or once a season. Not only will this help your team catch necessary updates, but it also allows you to capitalize on seasonal promotions and align with seasonal trends in your industry.
There are a few other critical times to audit and update your print collateral:
- Any time you launch a new product or change your product line
- Any time you rebrand or update your logo
- Before every industry event or trade show where you’ll hand out printed materials
- Any time your contact information or physical location (such as your address, phone number, and website) changes
Right now is also a great time to audit and refresh your marketing materials! Consider how your printed collateral can best support your sales team as they begin scheduling in-person meetings.
How to tell when your print collateral needs a refresh
As you conduct your audit, there are a few important things you should look for to determine whether your marketing and sales materials require any updates. (Pro Tip: Keep a spreadsheet or other list of all of your materials, where the art is located and the last edit date handy.)
Is there consistency with your brand?
All marketing and sales materials should be consistent with your current branding and align with the style of your other marketing efforts. Ensure that each piece fits in seamlessly with your visuals on other channels, including your website, emails, and social media. Customers should easily be able to identify the materials as belonging to your business. If you find discrepancies or outdated imagery, refresh and modernize the design.
Do you speak to your target audience?
Every piece of print collateral should use messaging that is directed to the customer to make a strong point. Align your message with what your audience cares about—their needs and desires, challenges they face, and questions they ask. Don’t use industry jargon or marketing fluff. Use keywords that resonate with your customers. Even if that means using less technical terminology. Also double-check your imagery to ensure that any photos of people reflect who your customers are. Consider things like age, race and ethnicity, gender, marital and family status, and lifestyle to ensure your customers feel represented.
Does your piece have a clear call to action?
Marketing materials are not effective if they don’t tell your client what you want them to do. Whether it’s “Visit our website,” “Call today,” or “Redeem this coupon,” make sure you have a prominent and clear call to action on every piece. Build-in ways to understand how your marketing pieces are working. Use trackable coupon codes, custom landing pages, or other tools to gain insight on whether your CTAs work to drive customers to take your desired action.
Is your content up to date?
Businesses are constantly evolving, and your company’s offerings might not be the same as they were six months or a year ago. Ensure that every piece of sales and marketing collateral reflects what your business offers right now. Make changes to feature your newest or most popular products, and remove any products or services you no longer offer. It’s also smart to switch out seasonal products or services to keep your collateral as fresh as possible.
If you showcase certifications, awards, or other mentionable events, be sure to keep those up to date as well. Listing the most accurate details helps those customers that need your certification numbers or dates keep their database up to date.
Don’t forget to include your contact information?
Your marketing isn’t useful if interested consumers can visit, call or connect with you. Remember to provide customers with a way to reach you by including your website, social media handles, phone number, email, and/or physical address on every piece. If your pieces are event-based be sure to include the date, time and location on every piece you use.
Don’t let your collateral fall behind
As you go through the process of updating your print collateral, don’t forget to involve your key stakeholders! A material audit and refresh is the perfect opportunity to consult with your sales team and ask what collateral they need to do their jobs better. Find out what messages and calls to action they’ve found successful and integrate them.
It’s also a good idea to survey your customers. This helps you learn more about their needs, so you can speak to those needs in your messaging. In doing so, you’ll help answer their questions and demonstrate how your business can solve their problems.
Keeping your sales and marketing collateral up to date is essential for effectively communicating with customers and putting your best foot forward as a business. If you haven’t revisited your collateral in a while, take the opportunity to do so now and make a plan to do a regular audit and refresh going forward.
About AlphaGraphics Kansas City
Located in the creative Crossroads Arts District, AlphaGraphics Kansas City is a certified Women-Owned business that specializes in helping Kansas City businesses solve marketing problems. The printing company’s production specialties include G7 Certified digital color and large format printing.
For further information about AlphaGraphics Kansas City and our capabilities, contact the AGKC team at
816-842-4200 or visit their website, AlphaGraphics KC.