Creating marketing materials is essential to the success of any small business. No matter how good you are at what you do, if no one knows you exist your business will fail.
Many small businesses believe digital marketing is like the movie Field of Dreams. “If you build it, they will come” worked great for Kevin Costner, but unfortunately outside of Hollywood, bringing people to your business involves more than putting up a website.
The most successful small business owners make marketing a priority. If you’re working at your business full-time and don’t have any customers yet, most of your time should be devoted to marketing anyway. Marketing kits make it easy to explain yourself to potential clients.
What Is a Marketing Kit?
A marketing kit is a collection of printed or digital marketing materials companies provide to prospective clients. Effective marketing kits show potential customers what differentiates your company from the competition and why you are the better choice.
While a printing company traditionally creates marketing kits, some companies prefer to create digital marketing kits to email to potential customers or post online. Your company website is an example of a piece of your digital marketing kit.
Digital vs. Print Marketing Kits
E-commerce companies and other online-only companies often start with digital marketing kits. These marketing kits are ideal for companies that are in a constant state of change, just starting out or low on working capital.
Digital marketing packets have some advantages over print, including:
- Can be created for free. All you need to start is a word processor and graphic design software. Even if you don’t have a website yet, you can attach digital marketing materials to email.
- You can create them without a graphic designer. Online graphic design software like Canva can be used to create and download digital marketing materials for free without hiring a graphic designer. Because of the strict file formats for many types of commercial printing, you will probably need to get help creating files.
- No inventory. Not only can printed materials take up a lot of space, but paper is also fragile. Images can fade, and some printed materials may crack or peel. If your company changes addresses, you’ll have to dispose of or correct your marketing material.
- Easy and quick to make changes. When your business is new, you may experiment with your positioning, ideal customer or change physical locations. Digital materials can be edited much easier than printed ones.
On the other hand, print marketing kits have their advantages too.
Though print marketing is more expensive to produce than its digital counterparts, costs are not as high as they once were. Advances in technology make it easier for companies to provide high-quality printed materials at a low cost, and in lower quantities than before.
A joint study between the USPS and Temple University showed that respondents were more emotionally connected to print marketing than digital. Contrary to popular belief, emotional selling is just as valid for B2B companies.
In the age of email and websites, print marketing is a unique way to market yourself. Not as many people do it anymore, so giving someone a printed marketing packet leaves a lasting impression.
A Marketing Kit Example for Any Business
What do you put in your print marketing kit? The short answer is anything that gives you a competitive advantage. Your small business budget and what phase of business you’re in will determine exactly how much to include.
If professional printing is out of your budget, you can create and print materials yourself, but this is often more expensive in the long run. Another option is to purchase printed “shells.” These pre-printed stationery items allow you to get bulk discounts without including information that will eventually become outdated. The printer creates the shell, and then you can use it in your own printer to add the information you need when you need it.
For digital marketing, you can create one large PDF and email it to potential clients.
Here’s a detailed description of what to add to your marketing packet:
For Print Marketing Kits
Presentation Folder (or Something to Keep Everything Together)
If you can afford it, custom-printed presentation folders are the best option to hold your marketing materials. Depending on your budget, you can experiment with paper types, shapes and special effects like foil stamping to create a conversation starter.
Folders can get quite pricey, so if you do invest in them, don’t include information on them that is likely to change such as your physical address.
A budget-friendly option to custom-printed folders is labels with your company name and logo. You can buy blank folders or clear envelopes in bulk and add labels to them as needed. It’s also a good way to correct outdated print materials.
Always include a couple of business cards in your marketing kit so potential customers can keep one in their wallet or give extras away for referrals.
To stand out from the competition, try a thicker stock, special effects like embossing or rounding corners.
Give your potential client something useful like a pen, phone charger or magnet so they’ll always have your contact information handy. This is a huge advantage because your prospect will always be exposed to your company and will be quick to think of you when a need arises.
For Print and Digital Marketing Packets
Sell Sheets (for companies selling physical products)
Good sell sheets focus on the benefits customers will receive from using your products. While all company marketing materials should provide information about what they’re selling, including specifications for physical products, customers have more choices today.
Showing them how they will benefit from using your company will be a more effective use of your sell sheets.
Customers want to work with experienced companies. A client list is a form of social proof that compels them to trust you, especially if you can include some well-recognized companies. If you don’t have a lot of clients yet, it’s perfectly fine to skip this.
Customers want to know they’re in good hands. Testimonials make your business more human by using the actual words of people who are happy with your company.
You can combine testimonials with your client list to save space. To make them stand out, include your client’s headshot (their LinkedIn or social media profile pic will usually suffice) and company logo (if applicable).
Be sure to get your client’s permission before using a testimonial.
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to close a deal with a customer that can’t afford your product or services. Be upfront about what you offer and how much it costs.
If your business provides custom products or services, give potential customers a price range for each product or service you provide.
Case studies are in-depth stories about a customer and how your company met their needs. To create an effective case study, you’ll need to interview your customer and gather hard data on how your product or service solved a specific problem.
Wrapping It Up
You wear lots of hats in your business. Don’t waste time creating marketing messages for every person you meet. By zeroing in on your company’s strengths and getting them down on paper, you’ll have a way to easily sell without having to neglect your other responsibilities.