4 Reasons Why the Corporate Brochure does not work anymore and What you should do

I was recently into a client engagement for over 4 months, during which we created corporate brochure, case studies that the client could use at his website and in their communication with prospective customers. My thoughts, which by the way I communicated to the client as well were – Corporate Brochure and case studies are important elements of messaging but they are increasingly diminishing in importance. These were important tools during the time of broadcast marketing, but the world is changing rapidly.

The Buying process has changed

The buying process has undergone a sea change and in today’s times, more often, the seller finds the buyer instead of the buyer finding the seller (which was the common case earlier in broadcast marketing days). If the buying process has changed, then how can the marketing be done in the same old way? Here are reasons why Corporate Brochure has lost their edge in recent times in generating sales

  1. Corporate Brochure is an important part of a push marketing strategy and if push marketing has started taking a back-seat, so has the role of the corporate brochure. In a sales prospect discussion, customer is more interested in solving his problems rather than look at what you have to offer.
  2. The tone of a corporate brochure is typically what your products/services can do/offer. This diminishes the importance of the corporate brochure in the discussion. Today the customer always demands what you can do to solve his problems.
  3. Corporate Brochure as a handout at the end of a sales meeting used to work very effectively earlier, but with information overload at the customer site, there is little chance that the customer will go through the brochure, even if he appreciates you leaving it behind for him
  4. Community based marketing initiatives are increasingly gaining importance. Brochure talks to the community as an outsider and does not build a lot of credibility, cross-referencing.

Here’s what you should consider doing

  • By all means, invest in a brochure/case study, but have it as just another asset. Do not over-emphasize on it
  • Invest in mechanisms to build credibility and referencing with clients. Organizations today invest in blogs, articles, PR, white papers, e-books, videos and other viral and community based mechanisms to gain customer attention.
  • Build automation and marketing infrastructure at the website, so as to capture transactions happening at the website, to support the different campaigns that you run.

Regards,
Atul Dhakappa

Comments

  1. Sandip Yadav

    Nice Article!!

    Reply
    • atul

      Thanks Sandip

      Reply
  2. Vishal Mehta

    Very well put, Atul. Especially, #2 resonates so well – about the “inanimate” brochure really not doing the needful to have a meaningful connect with the buyer in listening to his problems. I’ve so often started seeing “case studies” taking shape of blog posts – to try and build 2-way communication, and hence close the aforementioned gap every so slightly, still.

    Good takeaway…

    Reply
    • atul

      Thanks Vishal.. Also brochure gets into the discussion, only when you are already in consideration.. Before that, there is a lot of work to be done anyway

      Reply
  3. John Schuldt

    Amen. I have MAEs and Outside Sales clamoring for brochures and “leave behinds” all the time. Apparently they can’t or don’t want to articulate the message effectively face-to-face. 99% of brochures go in garbage never to be seen again. One expense I now our company needs to save on is the outlay for brochures.

    Reply
    • atul

      Absolutely spot on, John. Sales guys many times want to replace the sales meeting with the brochure, but that is never possible. The objective of the brochure in most cases is to get a face to face meeting.

      Reply
  4. Amirm

    Good thought guys.

    Also what you think about community conferences,user groups,etc as the complementary to community marketing tools/channels, specially when your customers are from hi-tech users from B2B space? How and which of the viral marketing techniques can keep them engaged?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • atul

      Thanks Amir. Whatever channels you use, plan to track and improve on the metrics.

      Reply

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