Different Types of Marketing Collateral

Marketing collateral types vary between various companies across industries.

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The marketing collateral created by different companies varies in types, i.e., in form, structure, distribution methods, target audience etc. Why? Because each type has its own purpose, utility, merit and demerit. For example, collateral designed for a sales call varies from the one designed for YouTube. A sales call might have a competitor battlecard created to empower salespeople make more effective sales calls, while collateral designed for YouTube will be videos that convey a message to the target audience.

Generally, any form of content that a company’s marketing team puts out can be called as a marketing collateral piece or a marketing asset. These could be websites, blogs, case studies, videos, podcasts, brochures, eBooks, or whatever suits the customer profile better.

In this section, we will take a look at some of the most popular types of marketing collateral that we have observed from our analysis of marketing collateral produced by different companies in different industries:

  1. Brochures  Brochures are small documents that contain the basic information about a product/service, the features that it has, the benefits that a user can experience if he/she were to use it. The purpose of a brochure is to educate the customer ahead of buying the product/service. For example, Daikin’s 5-page brochure for air conditioners lists the features of their products, the product range available, specifications etc. A customer looking to buy an air conditioner knows what exactly to expect from them. Some brochures also carry a short-form case study of how customers have used them and benefited from it.

  2. Case Studies Case studies are another form of high-impact marketing collateral that resonates well with the target audience. When you have helped your customer experience benefits by using your product/service, it is time to bloat about it a bit! Especially if the client is a marquee brand. Amazon Web Services’ US Department of State case study explains the challenge, the solution and the benefits. This is a good example of creating a case study where a prospect learns about how the company’s solution has helped a client and relate to it better.

  3. Videos Unarguably, videos are the best marketing collateral that hold a lot of promise. They rank as the third most preferred form of content with 72% content marketers preferring it after social media and case studies. If you can depict stuff in a visual manner, why spend effort on written content. Maersk’s video titled ‘Day of the Seafarer,’ that shows their impressive liners and how the company’s employees value working for them, is a powerful type of marketing collateral that is meant to attract the best talent to Maersk. Any aspirant looking to build a career with Maersk will surely want to look up the company’s careers section after watching the video.

  4. eBooks/White Papers These are long-form content that shows authority of a subject. White papers are extremely large piece of marketing collateral that may also be backed with secondary/primary research, lay out the challenge, the recommended solutions, best practices being adopted etc. eBooks are topic-based and cover a much smaller portion of the subject. For example, American Antitrust Institute's white paper on the proposed Sprint-T-Mobile merger explains why the US government should block the deal for a healthy business environment. It is a detailed document that has been well-researched and presents the author’s perspective on a business development that could have deep ramifications in the industry. On the other hand, O’Reilly’s eBook aptly titled as ‘The Future of Product Design,’ describes how emerging technologies are impacting the product lifecycle, and explores the various options available for companies while approaching product design and development. It is much shorter in its coverage and speaks about specific areas of design.

  5. Blogs This is a must-have marketing collateral for any company, influencers, entrepreneurs etc. Blogs are content produced on the website and are published for numerous reasons that vary from new product launch updates, mergers & acquisitions, newer executives onboarded, special achievements and a lot more. They are extremely useful form of media content aimed at the target audience that keeps them informed, educated and their interest in the brand active. To pick the best example of a blog is difficult, but, we have been a fan of HubSpot’s blog for many years now. Their blog design is simple, replete with actionable content and is published on a regular basis, which is what keeps visitors coming back to it. Not just that, they have separate sections for marketing, sales and service - this really helps guide visitors to the right content that they want to read.

  6. Infographics This is another form of marketing collateral that is powerful in its impact. They are visual pieces of content that is condensed in the form of pictures and minimal text that convey a message. It is easily consumable and has better recall value than text. If you’ve invested in primary research for a white paper that you’re developing, then get a creative designer to publish the results of your survey can in the form of infographics. If you’re looking for ideas to create infographics, then look no further than Pinterest that houses infographic for every industry.

  7. Websites This is an asset that every business must have. A website is like a storefront that attracts a customer to step and make a purchase. It should have the ideal keywords that a customer is likely to have in his mind. For example, process automation, real-time analytics, reduce costs, hassle-free travel, healthy eating etc. Your website should have these keywords embedded in it for a customer to evaluate your product/service. There is no ideal design for a website as it varies according to every company’s market positioning, requirement, appeal etc.

The above list of marketing collaterals is by no means  exhaustive. There are a lot more than the ones that we have identified above. Even within these marketing collaterals, not all of them may be applicable for every company in every industry (but, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, a website is a must-have for every business). In the next section, we will explain about coming up with the best ideas of creating marketing collaterals.

 

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