The Death of The Brochure

The Death of The Brochure

From the early days of advertising brochures have offered the greatest opportunity to demonstrate the details a product or service. As the technology and accessibility of websites, video, text messages, and emails increase the trusted printed paper brochure is dying. No longer an effective marketing tool the brochure has become just another piece of paper to throw away.


While that printed piece of paper with the company logo on it may be a comfort to the employees, owners and investors, has lost it’s effectiveness as a marketing tool?


As a consultant working with start up companies there are a few items that are on the top of the to do list, and a brochure is always one of them. The brochure tops this list not because it is an effective sales tool, but because that has been a business staple for the last fifty years, and has been the key components to making a company look professional. So without questioning the effectiveness of the brochure it has remained a default marketing tool.


When was the last time you actually read a brochure or purchased a product because they had a great brochure? Most of us just keep them around to get the website or phone number off the back. Consider your audience if a brochure is just a way to get people interested in your website, then scale it down and get potential customers to your website quicker.


The Innovation Clog


In today’s rapidly changing market brochures are slowing the innovation process. To stay on top companies are continuously refining themselves, changing products, services, prices, and working to stay competitive. This fluid need for change is not conducive to large, expensive printed brochure.


Creating a full brochure for the sake of having a brochure is not only a waste of money, but if it is not in your budget to redesign and reprint your brochure every year then you are locking you company into pricing and services for years to come.


No Brochure, Now What?


If you have given up on brochures altogether than consider all the other tools that are available to you.


There are plenty of marketing tools that can replace your brochure, and work in a more effective or cost effective manner. Consider the following items as a replacement: postcards, rack cards, 2-sided business cards, business card sized brochures, door hangers, HTML emails, or PDF brochures.


Brochures Have a Purpose


Before you throw out your brochure, or cancel your print order ask yourself:


  • How often will you need to reprint your brochure? While on the surface it may seem like a great tool, if your pricing in changing, if you’re starting a company, or if your strategy may change do you have the budget to design and reprint as often as necessary? If you don’t then scale your tool back to a smaller marketing piece or move your campaign to the web.
  • What is a successful brochure going to accomplish? Make sure your goals are realistic for the piece. Campaigns work, brochures alone do not. Brochures alone rarely sell anything, so make sure your piece is part of a campaign for greater success. If your goals for your brochure can be accomplished better with another marketing tool then reconsider your need for a brochure, and redirect your valuable marketing dollars towards a more successful campaign.

  • If you currently have a brochure, what is it accomplishing? Find out what your brochure is really doing for your business. Is your brochure directing people to your website, bringing customers into your storefront, doubling as a menu, or lining the cat box? If your customers are just using your brochure as a business card then create a better business card. If your brochure is bringing customers into your store then redesign it as a postcard and add a map. If your brochure is being used as a menu, create a menu, and if it is lining the cat box then cancel your next reprint and rethink your strategy.


Before you make this year’s marketing checklist examine your marketing tools. What purpose are they serving, are you checking off the last year’s marketing checklist or are you strategically planning this year’s marketing campaign. If a brochure is the best approach to this year’s campaign then by all means start designing, but be creative, be strategic and don’t invest in a marketing piece with little to no return.

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