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8 Reason Why Marketing Brochures Fail

“Can a marketing brochure bring in business?” That’s one of the first questions I’m asked when I talk to corporations and business owners about their promotional efforts. The answer, of course, is: “Yes and no.” No, because a brochure cannot represent your firm the way you or your sales force can. And yes, because an effective brochure can help you build the relationships that lead to new business.

Unfortunately, most marketing brochures fail. Here are 8 reasons why.

1. They don’t describe the benefits. An effective brochure shows prospective clients why they should work with you or your organization instead of simply describing what the business does. Ask yourself: Does my brochure tell prospects what they will get out of a relationship with me or my organization?

2. They fail to paint a picture of what it’s like to work with you or your organization. If a brochure’s message is limited to a canned description of your business process or a laundry list of services, it will make you look like everyone else. Ask yourself: Does my brochure tell a story that would be recognizable to satisfied clients?

3. They take the easy route. Many brochures recycle existing corporate material and don’t say anything to make the business stand out. Ask yourself: Does my brochure tell potential clients something they don’t know about me, my business or my industry?

4. They speak in jargon. Some brochures try to impress their readers. But if you want to convince prospective clients that you’re smart, tell them what they want to know in terms they can understand. Ask yourself: Is my brochure written in plain English?

5. They try to “wow” prospective clients. Adjectives are no substitute for substance. Maybe your brochure has a jazzy style, but superlatives do not tell prospective clients why they should do business with you or your organization. Ask yourself: Does my brochure get to the point?

6. They have no unifying theme. A good brochure defines your business and tells potential clients what makes you unique. Ask yourself: Does my brochure have a clear message to deliver and does it do the job?

7. They go on and on – and on. Some marketing brochures try to tell readers everything. But brochures do not close sales; they position you to make the sale. Ask yourself: Does my brochure make the case for hiring me or buying from my organization?

8. They look home-made. Some smaller businesses don’t invest in professional design or printing. Instead, they create something on a PC, then put it in an off-the-shelf folder or between fancy covers using a comb-tooth binding. Ask yourself: Does my brochure present the image I want?

Copyright © 2007 Rose Communications, Inc.

Submitted by:

Eve B. Rose

Eve B. Rose, ABC, CIMA® is president of Rose Communications, Inc. She is a writer and editor who works with financial services companies, both large and small, as well as financial advisory practices. In addition to promotional materials, she writes white papers, newsletter articles, market commentaries, and letters – among other things. For more information, visit http://www.everose.com or contact Eve at info@everose.com.




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