Join Sean Adams for an in-depth discussion in this video The rollout of materials, part of Foundations of Layout and Composition: Marketing Collateral.
Imagine yourself visiting your car mechanic. He presents you with a long list of items that are needed. Car transmission, brake pads, air conditioning unit and window tinting. Unless you're fabulously rich, your first question is going to be, how much will this cost? Clients are no different. When presented with a long list of items, it's my job to work with them and determine which items to produce when. In the instance of your car, you may decide the window tinting can wait.
This may also be the best approach with your client. There's some items that he or she cannot do without, like a business card. And others that may be less critical, like a mug with a client's logo. Some items are basic needs of business. The stationary system for example. Other items can be spaced out over time. This lessens the sticker shock of producing a vast suite of materials. And helps create a longer relationship between you and the client. How can you determine which items to produce, when? First you need to know what the target audience is doing, when they do it, and why.
In this example, for a marketing plan we created for a major university, we looked at what a potential student was doing, and when they would make decisions. We then paired this information with specific items. Early on, when college was still a general idea, a less expensive overview was sent to them. At the time when the student was going to decide where to apply, a more in-depth booklet was sent out. Without a clear plan for rollout, everything would be given to the potential student at once, too early in the process.
This would leave no budget to communicate in an on-going way. With a rollout schedule, I can create a budget. I ask printers for estimates and timelines. These may change if the piece changes size, or has more pages, or less. But it's a good start. I now can assign a number and production time for each element. I know that the stationary system will cost $2,000 and take ten working days to print once I turn the files over to the printer. A brochure may be $3,000 and take two weeks to print, and so on.
I lay this out in an easy to understand matrix and sit down with the client to decide where they should spend the budget and when we should release each item. An easy to digest approach for a client is what I call the Chinese menu approach. It's when we provide a long list of items that can be produced in a timeframe and budget that goes along with that. This gives a client the flexibility to make choices and that makes for a far happier client.
- Deciding on the media for your message
- Defining your target audience
- Setting the budget
- Writing and placing copy
- Choosing paper and printing
- Formatting a brochure
- Designing letterhead, business cards, and envelopes
- Creating posters and media kits
- Designing specialty items like holiday cards