If you already have done marketing for your small business, you may be having some buyer’s remorse. In several places I’ve visited to help redesign and unify marketing plans, the companies have shown me disjointed pieces they have either done with Publisher or some design template that didn’t really fit their company’s theme, name or type of business.
Studies argue over how many times a person has to see the same logo, color-scheme and tag-line for them to recognize your brand. I’ve heard it as low as 15 times to as many as 50 times. That means a person needs to see similar artwork, color-scheme, logo and tag-lines 15-50 times before they remember your brand!
So how do you untangle a mess of marketing materials to organize and unify it into something that will really be effective?
This may be stupid simple, but first you need to collect samples of all your marketing so far: business cards, brochures, flyers, posters, mailers, hand-outs, coupons, faxes, emails and, yes, even website page print-outs. You want as complete a picture of your marketing so far as you can get.
Next, make two piles of marketing materials: those that worked and drove in business and those that didn’t. This is a Dr. Phil moment: “How is that working for you so far?” Discuss with others (employees, friends, family) why pieces worked or didn’t work. How did they convey your company’s message? How do you want to convey your company’s message in the future?
If you have some strong marketing pieces you like, then you can use these as inspiration and guidance for all your future marketing pieces (at least for a year’s marketing plan, at which point you can consider doing a new theme). If you really don’t have anything that you love, collect marketing pieces from other companies (Not competitors, from different industries) Again bring in friends, family, etc to look over the new pile of marketing materials and discuss how these themes would work with your company’s message.
Now that you’ve got guidance pieces, you can rework your marketing materials to match these things in the future. It will create a more unified, coherent, purposeful message that is more likely to stick, be remembered and get across to people.