Knock Your Socks Off Marketing Materials

Learn how to tell your company’s story and tell it well

By Christine K. Clifford

Ever wondered how your industry's "big hitters" generate millions in profits? It isn't by selling alone. Even if you've mastered the perfect service, created a one-of-a-kind product, or are dedicated to your cause, how have they motivated the world to sit up and pay attention? They market themselves like crazy! Only you can create awareness of yourself and your services with clever marketing materials, unique ways to distribute them and techniques to open doors to customers that will have them saying, "We just have to have them!"

Why a Marketing Kit?

Webster defines marketing as "the act or process of selling or purchasing in the market." Attracting attention is important here because most people are visual. Time and time again in sales and marketing, we realize a powerful influence: The visual overwhelms the verbal. Visual clues work. We can listen to stories of your success or remarks from happy clients, but if we can see what you have to offer, we're more likely to purchase.

Your first step towards creating the visual is to create a "knock your socks off " marketing kit. Why? Because long after you've left the building, your prospect can feel, touch, smell, shake and share a well put-together marketing kit. Simply put, marketing kits have legs.

What's in a Marketing Kit?

Most salespeople sell the wrong thing: features, benefits and God forbid, price. What should they be selling? Their story, and their company's story. Why are stories valuable? They touch our emotions, capture our hearts and spur us to action. The first thing in your marketing kit should be your company's story. Why did you start the company? What amazing things happened to past clients as a result of your product or service? Who will we meet or interact with if we join your organization or start doing business with you? Learn to tell your story and tell it well.

How Can I Tell My Story?

Create a brochure that covers a range of your company's products and services. Who are you? Why did you go into business? How long have you been in business? What makes you unique? What are existing clients and customers saying about you? Who should we contact? Your brochure should be brilliant in color and photography. It should capture action, results and strong testimonials. It can be as simple as a "one sheet"-a glossy 8 1/2 by 11 front/back marketing piece-or as fancy as a tri-fold.

Include a biography of yourself, your executives and your founder. Biographies are more than just facts: they're an opportunity to spin tales about how you or your employees have come to be where you are. The final piece is from happy customers. Choose testimonials wisely and if you don't have any, get them. Contact past clients and if necessary, craft the testimonial yourself and submit it to them for approval, editing and correction. You'll be surprised how many customers will take what you've drafted and change it completely, providing you with an even better and stronger endorsement than the one you came up with yourself.

What else?

Custom design the folder in which you will include your marketing pieces (brochure, biographies, testimonials, business card, etc.) to let your customers and prospects know: we spend money to make money. You compete with hundreds of other companies and individuals who do exactly what you do 

or something similar. When your marketing kit lands on the CEO's desk, you want him/her to stop what they're doing, open the package and say, "Wow. This is amazing."

Finally, in addition to having a coordinated marketing kit with a "knock your socks off " folder and attention-grabbing envelope in which to deliver it, include any media pieces your company has generated. Set a goal to obtain at least one interview or write your own article and submit it to industry-related publications and newsletters.

Am I Done Yet?

You want your image to say, "I've invested in you. Now come invest with me." Create a unique marketing piece that can grab someone's attention. Even your business cards can be a promotional piece for your company.

So the next time you and your staff are hosting a marketing meeting or sales conference, take a good hard look at what you've been sending your customers. If it doesn't "knock their socks off," it's time to dial it up and change your image. I'll see you at the bank