What are you going to promote?
What is your objective? Are you going to promote your whole company or a specific product or service? Think of your brochure as an extended business card, a price list, a promotion for a special offer or a company announcement of new products or staff.Who is your target market? Who are you aiming the brochure at? Is it for a general audience or a particular segment? This will dictate to a certain extent the concept of the brochure and the way you write the copy. Be mindful as to when you can and can’t use industry jargon. Remember, a brochure should be as informative as having you or your sales representative being there. Always put yourself in the readers’ shoes and think about why they would want to buy or use your services. What’s in it for them? Promote the benefits and of course the features.How long is the brochure going to be valid for? Is this a one-time special offer or seasonal promotion? If there are time limits, make them very clear and highlight them.What sort of design do you want? Does your company or product/service lend itself to an elaborate design or do you only need a simple one? Creativity in marketing has to straddle both the freedom and creativity of art plus cool-headed business acumen. Therefore, you don’t always have to try for the world’s glossiest and most creative in order to sell your product or service.Do you want to use color? If so, it may involve film work which could add to the cost but it can also effectively convey certain ideas. Typefaces are also important as they give your words a voice. Once again, be careful not to use a typeface that is difficult to read or doesn’t fit the image of your company. When it comes to paper stock, be sure to choose one that fits the budget and conveys the image you want. Believe it or not, paper look and feel can convey certain impressions about your company or product/service.What are the legal constraints? How well do you know the Trade practices Act? Ignorance of the law is no excuse. It may not necessarily be your customers who complain. It may very well be your competitors who may take action if they don’t like what you say or imply in your brochure.What kind of response are you looking for? Do you want customers to phone, write, fax, call into a shop or have a sales representative visit? If so, don’t forget to clearly outline what you want them to do and provide a facility for them to do so easily. Make your coupon easy to fill out, bold up your telephone numbers, etc. Or is your brochure an image piece, designed to create an impression of who you are?Your budget? Obviously, this will dictate the level of design, color choice and paper stock used. Remember, you don’t always have to spend a great deal. Investigate your options- a black and white brochure may appear classier than a full-color brochure in some instances.The final checklist Take some time to check and re-check your brochure. It’s not a bad idea to have someone from outside your company to read the draft. It’s better to find problems or errors at draft stage than to find them after the brochure has been printed.
If you are using photos, make sure they are in the right place and are around the right way.Re-check that your telephone and address details are correct.Don’t forget to code the coupon if you wish to track responses.
Cost and time estimates. There are a multitude of factors that affect the timing and costs of producing a brochure. These can range from whether you are producing the brochure yourself or whether you are using an agency down to the number of brochures you are printing, the design and paper stock. A brochure could take anything from a few days to a few months to produce. The costs can range from under 100 to thousands of dollars.Need help? If you need someone to help with writing your brochure, there are many direct marketing agencies and copywriters who can help. If you like, they can even arrange to have your brochures printed.If you need help designing or preparing your copy for printing, talk to a graphic designer or typesetter ? They may also have a link with a printer. In terms of software, there are a number of desk top publishing packages available ? Some word processors now even offer a brochure compilation facility. The most flexible and powerful of these are Quark, Photoshop, and Illustrator.Printers are relatively easy to find. Shop around for both price and service. Also consider using a commercial printer with a four color press for four color jobs. Using a 2 color press can cause registration and color accuracy problems.