At Twist Image we strategize, conceptualize, write, design and manage the printing process of countless print brochures from all sorts of companies for many different industries. It got me thinking. Is there really any point in doing a printed brochure in this day and age? Do you keep brochures that were sent to you? Have you ever acted - called - someone only after you read through their brochure?
I think prior to the web a brochure was a nice little influencer, but now I have my doubts. OK, before you go typing away as to why your industry or your company is reliant on a brochure, I know there are countless places and applications where a brochure is still most definitely a key driver in a marketing and communications program.
I guess my main question is: are you producing a print brochure because the people who buy from you demand it, or are you doing it because that's the way everyone else does it?
That whole "me too" mindset is, in my opinion, one of the main reasons we had that Internet hiccup a few years back. If someone asks you for more information about your company, instead of whipping out your print brochure, have you ever tried saying to them, "we stopped printing brochures because we thought they were too limiting. All of our information and much more are available on our website. In fact, if you don't like to read online, you can simply print the pages that interest you, or I can email you all of the content in a PDF document."
Could you still close the deal? Does a statement like that make you stand out in a crowd of people who spend more time yelping at a FedEx agent when their ten ton box of print brochures never made it to the Jacob Javits, instead of using that time to create more sales relationships?
I'm not here to judge. We still enjoy the whole process of creating a print brochure and a lot of people do like to hold and review something tactile. I'm simply looking for alternative ways to make an experience memorable. I'm also trying to think of anytime I've been with a potential client and, had I not asked if they need to see anything in print, they initiated that print request. Come to think of it, I did get asked once. But, when I used the line above about our website, they called me later in the day and thanked me for emailing the link and for all of the information they were able to read - at their discretion - about us on the website.
This post is not about web versus print. This post is about the power of using different marketing and communications channels to get the deal done. It's also about being efficient. If you're efficient for your own company's information... can you just imagine what they will know you can do for them?