Yes Ladies and Gents, that was the Valentines card I got from my husband. Charming! At least he did it with humour and 20 years of marriage under his belt.
It did get me thinking though, I see this ‘that’ll do’ attitude a lot in how brochures, leaflets, flyers (in fact most marketing materials) are designed. I suppose it is because marketing can often take a while to bring any tangible results, and often needs a campaign of repeated contact with a consumer to get new business. It can be quite easy to just react to your business situation, rather than plan your marketing. This is especially the case in B2B marketing. Does this really justify rushing marketing material just to ‘get it out’, not really caring what it looks like?
The answer is no.
Of course this doesn’t apply to you, because you have taken the time within your business to establish a brand identity with guidelines on how your marketing material should look (if not, we need to talk), so you can put together a quick marketing piece that looks onbrand and at a glance visually supports your company’s brand.
An easy way to ensure this happens, is to get a graphic designer to spend some time setting up templates for every day marketing items like memos, flyers, e-shots. Done well, these should ensure that future activity is actually cheaper without compromising on the final result. Larger items like brochures and exhibition stands, can then have a bit more time spent on them, making sure they are right.
This approach can also be taken for the written content of these items. Start working with a copywriter who writes with the right tone for your business. Sit down with them with a plan for the next 6-12 months activity. They can then go away and come up with content, which you can then pull bits from to use across social media and blogs, as well as using it in traditional marketing pieces.
With a bit of planning, and by using professional marketing services (graphic designer, copywriter, marketing consultant, photographer), you can actually stretch your marketing budget further. It will feel like you have been given more money to play with, in fact you are just working smarter.
Last week I met a potential client to talk about their rebrand. We met at what I thought would be serviced offices at East Midlands Airport. How wrong was I.
As I walked into the reception of the building, I was blown away. It was light, bright and airy and the graphics were brilliant. I was confused. Was I meeting this client at another design agency? No, this was accountancy firm, PKF Cooper Parry.
I was given a brief tour, themed rooms: one with trees and a swing! One with space hoppers and bean bags. Acoustic pods for more intimate meetings. Hot desking. A lawn, and a pub with a pool table.
The atmosphere was great, relaxed but industrious. I was really jealous what an amazing place to work.
I think I told everyone I spoke to that week about this place.
If you get a chance, go and have a look. And with such an inspirational working space open to their clients, you might even change your accountant!