This article is written from the view point of generating sales; however the principle is the same for all communication which is designed to prompt an action.
What is integrated marketing collateral?
Most worthwhile sale cycles I know are quite lengthy, so prospects need to be ‘nurtured’ and a consistent and timely flow of marketing messages is the best way to do that. This not only means that you must have integrated communication lines e.g. TV ads, emails, online advertising, Social Media etc. but also integrated marketing collateral.
The term integrated marketing collateral simply means that each piece of material complements the next and helps progress your prospects through to a sale.
If you were selling an ‘online software solution’, you may need to take someone from little to no awareness of your solution through understanding its value, to making a purchase. So this is specifically from a collateral point of view and not a look at communication lines i.e. how you distribute the collateral to reach your audience – that’s a different matter.
1. It may all start with the download of a whitepaper which helps someone understand the subject matter. At this point you may have highlighted ‘the problem’ – to give them a positive action you might suggest that they look for an ‘online software solution’ (not necessarily yours at this stage).
2. At the end of the whitepaper, to reinforce the issue, you point the reader to a short video which summarises ‘the problem’ and encourages them to consider ‘your solution’ and points them to your website.
3. This leads to them wanting to know a little more about your solution, so they visit your site and download a product brochure – this brochure has a QR Code on it which takes them to another video which specifically highlights the benefits of your solution.
4. The video encourages them to register for one of your ‘weekly live demos’ which takes them through your solution in more detail and allows them to experience ‘the problem’ being solved in real time.
5. The webinar is insightful and as part of the closing slide you drop in some of the clients you’ve worked with and a couple of short testimonials. This is enough for them to arrange a meeting to discuss their individual requirements…
Communicating these pieces of collateral through multiple channels is ‘integrated communication’ – but the pieces of collateral themselves must also dove tail into each other to ensure a smooth and consistent message is delivered, and you cover people’s preferred communication style as best you can through a blend of written copy, e-media and presentations.