Your agency is at a tradeshow and it dawns on you: You need to update the old phone extension on your business cards. Where is that template again?
Later, you are about to sit down with a large account for an important meeting. The PowerPoint template isn’t branded with your agency’s colors and logo. That could have made a better impression!
As businesses grow, their marketing needs grow too. Logos change. Phone numbers change. Lines of business expand or get removed.
Meanwhile, design files can become outdated or even lost. This not only wastes time, it can waste money.
Whether your agency is just starting out or planning for the next big project, it’s important to have a range of marketing collateral.
This blog post will give you an idea of what items you should have on hand, and ideas on how to best organize those items.
The most common marketing materials an agency has is its printed collateral. For example, business cards for you and your employees. Make sure the contact information and logo stays up to date.
Customer literature like pamphlets or flyers are also good to have on hand. Do you write a lot of policies for a certain line of business? Make a fact sheet for those customers. New clients will appreciate your attention to detail and anticipation of their needs.
Some agencies give new clients welcome packets or branded folders. These hold important printed policy information, so clients can find it all in one place.
S.W.A.G. stands for Stuff We All Get. These are items like pens, magnets, notepads, and stress balls with your logo. These items come in handy when your agency attends or hosts events. These items can also be used in giveaways, or given to new customers.
The appeal of promotional items is their benefit. First, people like free stuff, especially the useful items. Second, your logo printed on an item that may be used every day reinforces your branding.
There are hundreds of different types of promotional items available to your agency. It’s a good idea to cover the basics, like pens, and add in a fun item or two. Or, select an item that is relevant to your agency. If you write health and life coverage, try travel-sized hand sanitizers with your logo.
Before your printed marketing materials entered the world, they were files on a computer.
At the bare minimum, your agency should have design files of your logo, preferably in multiple formats. For example, it’s a good idea to have a light version and a dark version. You can use either one depending on the background the logo appears on.
It is also useful to have your logo in multiple file types, such as .png, .jpg, .ai, or .eps.
You’ll also want your official letterhead template on hand. Save it as a Word document. Then you can type your letter and print it when done.
Don’t forget your email signature, too. This is your online business card and letterhead all in one. Save it with your other marketing materials. You may also want to include instructions on how to update it in your email system.
Speaking of email, do you use an email marketing system to automatically follow up with prospects and clients? Keep those templates and drip campaigns up to date too. These are usually saved within the system itself. But don’t let them get stale.
Advertising can be expensive, so it is vital to keep your current and past advertisements on hand. The following items are all valuable even after they’ve run:
- Mockups for digital or print publications
- Contracts with pricing and publication dates
- Video files for TV or internet advertisements
- Audio files and scripts for radio advertisements
Keep these items in a digital format and save them to cloud storage. They are easier to preserve, share and edit.
Hopefully all your photos are taken with a digital camera or cell phone these days. Photos can be useful to your agency in many ways. They can be used on your website or blog posts, or in email newsletters. Even add some to your Google My Business profile to let online consumers get to know your agency.
Types of photos you should have on hand are…
- Headshots of the management team, or all employees
- Group photos of each team
- Photos of agency events or office culture
- Photos of your agency’s philanthropy
- Stock photos you’ve purchased
For print items, dedicate an area of your supply closet to keep them in. Label the outside of boxes so any employee will know what’s inside and where to find those items.
Remember: keeping the printed materials organized is important, but don’t lose track of the original design files too. If a third party or advertising agency created them for you, make a note of their contact information and the account manager you worked with.
Keep digital files organized in a Marketing folder with descriptive sub-folders (such as Marketing > Advertising > 2019). Always save items where they belong so you don’t lose track of them.
Whether there is an emergency or a change in staff, you’ll want to know where things are stored. It’s worthwhile to have a framework in place. If you work in a larger agency, try not to be the only person who knows where these items are in case you are out of pocket. Include a document with log in information, your website provider’s contact info, and other important information. You don’t want to be left high and dry.
One last tip: If you’re planning on starting a new initiative or project in the next several months, start designing the marketing materials early. Often, they are an afterthought. But they don’t have to be! Let your marketing agency or employee know as early as possible so they can prepare the documents in time. Then you’ll be ready for that next big presentation or industry event.