How to decide on whether to provide a marketing collateral as an online digital resource or as a printed piece. There is a need for both in a balanced marketing stack but knowing which materials to include in each category can be complicated. Here are a few questions you may ask yourself as you decide on the best medium for each.
Who is the target audience for the communication?
You can reach existing or potential customers, sales reps, dealers or agents, team members or potential partners or investors, etc. At what stage of their relationship with your company are they? Are they strangers or loyal fans? Considering who you want to connect with will impact which medium is most appropriate.
Where will your target audience see your material?
Your message needs to reach your audience, so thinking about the location is relevant to the decision. A brochure sitting on a coffee table at a doctor's office can be picked up and read by a very specific audience. A catalog of new products can be posted on a featured page on your site and seen by your site visitors. Think about who you want to communicate with and where they will be when receiving your message.
How durable is the information you are communicating?
A printed rack card could spend weeks in a lobby and then months on someone's desk or bulletin board. Will this message still be relevant in 6 months or does it need to be updated constantly? Thinking about the life-cycle of the piece can help you better understand your options.
What are you trying to accomplish with the piece?
Marketing collateral can help you achieve many different goals, such as providing information about your product, building customer confidence, establishing your branding, prompting a purchase, keeping in touch, etc. Consider the reason you are including this particular item into your marketing mix and why you need it.
What distribution channels are available for the message?
Print collateral can be shipped, mailed and handed out, and digital resources can be uploaded, posted, and emailed. What is the natural distribution available for this piece? Can you take advantage of an existing channel to extend the reach of your message?
Answering these questions can greatly improve the response to any marketing message, and help you spend your marketing dollars more wisely.