Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Put Your Tools to Work
Maximize the effectiveness of your brochures, web site and other marketing communications tactics.

By Jim Walton
CEO, Brand Acceleration, Inc.
Indianapolis and Charlotte

When I was a child, I had a friend whose Dad was a tool fanatic. He loved to take people to his garage where he could show off his collection of tools. He had a tool for every imaginable project. In fact, it wasn’t uncommon to see him and a buddy hangin’ out in his garage, cold beer in hand, talking about – tools. He had hundreds of them and knew how to use every one. Like Tim, the Tool Man, Taylor of the 90’s sitcom, Home Improvement, he was a tinkerer. He loved to build, fix, replace, improve or overhaul just about anything.

In my business, marketing communications, we use tools, too. Such tactics as brochures, web sites, logos, videos, and presentations are just a few tools that we regularly produce for our clients. However, beautifully produced tools have limited effectiveness if not put to use in powerful ways.

Let’s explore just a few ways to maximize your investment in marketing communications tools:

Ramp up your web site
From the outset, it’s important to understand that web sites are passive. They don’t reach out to an audience, they don’t make calls, and they are only viewed if someone either has the web address or a search leads them to it.

At Brand Acceleration, we consider a web site to be a destination. Our goal, as marketing communications experts, is to counsel our clients about ways to drive visitors to their web site. There are countless ways to do that. Once a well-produced web site is in place, a series of tactics should be considered to grow brand awareness and encourage audiences to visit your web site. Advertising, direct mail, e-mail marketing and other tools, strategically planned, are very effective.

Brochures – Make them work!
Each year, we develop numerous brochures. Beautifully designed and well written, they effectively communicate key messages to highly-targeted audiences. The question we always ask clients is, “How are you going to use them?” Most often, they are to be used as a leave-behind, handed to a prospect at a meeting, or distributed at a trade show.

Consider other options, though. A schedule of direct mailings can successfully grow brand awareness, clarify your position, and drive recipients to your web site.

There’s more!
E-mail marketing is a powerful and very effective tool. In addition to being reasonably inexpensive, it is portable, meaning the recipient can read it on his or her i-Phone or BlackBerry. It can also include links that connect recipients to your web site.

When stocking your tool box with such items as those listed here, you should give serious consideration to your overall communications strategy. How they work together, how they encourage web visits, and how they position your brand are all very serious considerations.

So, go to your garage (supply closet), inventory your tools and ask yourself this very serious question:

“How can I put these to work today?”

Brand Acceleration is a full-service advertising, brand management and public relations firm operating from Indianapolis, Indiana and Charlotte, North Carolina. The agency’s focus is on economic development, architecture/engineering/construction, real estate and motorsports.

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