Beware of these mistakes on your marketing materials. You might think nothing is wrong until you get feedback from a “fresh set of eyes.” Here are a few examples of poor-quality marketing materials that we saw at a small local trade show.
#1) Vendor A handed us her business card. The type was miniscule, and the colors were light gray and light gold. This card was unreadable! Her mistake was using poor choice of colors with thin, small typefaces. Since first impressions are critical, business cards are the most important marketing tool you have. You want someone to say, “I love your card,” NOT “I can’t read this!” Are your business cards readable?
#2) Vendor B gave us a fifteen-page, stapled price list. First mistake: There was no logo on this document. Second mistake: There was no contact information (phone, email, or web address) on any of the pages. Third mistake: There were no page numbers, either. Fourth mistake (optional): There was no business card stapled to this list. Does your price list make it easy for a potential buyer to contact you? Or remember you later?
#3) Vendor C had product sell sheets at his table. Typically, a sell sheet is a one-page hand-out with a product’s features and benefits, as well as an offer. This sell sheet had no offer or promotion. There was no “value added” to entice the buyer to try this product. An offer is an age-old marketing strategy that works! It shows the customer why he should use your company versus the competition. Does your sell sheet have a discount or incentive?
#4) Vendors A, B, and C were happy to give us their elevator speeches, hand-outs, and candy. But, did they ask for our name or email? No. None of these vendors had a way to keep in touch with potential buyers, not even a fishbowl for business cards. Are you building an email list?
#5) Vendor D was not at the trade show, but we saw his ad in the event program book. The ad looked interesting, had a good headline, and nice photo. What was missing? Contact info. You should make it easy for your audience to get in touch.
#6) I was Vendor E. While my own marketing materials avoided all the above mistakes, believe me, I have made my own. I designed logo and a business card for a friend who just started her own consulting company. Her background was in communications. After her approval, the business cards were printed and delivered. But she called and said, “Peggy, guess what. We forgot my name!” LOL, we both missed a key element! I fixed it ASAP and reprinted the cards. Ask a “fresh eyes” to look it over (e.g., a proofreader) before you print.
Lessons learned: Have an objective third party review anything you use for marketing before you meet the public. Is there an obvious or not-so-obvious mistake? If you’re not sure, contact N-K, 314-548-6001. We’ll give you our honest opinion and help you fix or improve the image you present to the world.