Your marketing collateral is a fundamental resource in your Sales Enablement arsenal. It forms the center of your sales story, and it’s the foundation for your pitch. But do you print it and risk having to store boxes of brochures that quickly go out of date, or opt for digital and take your chances on the open rate? In order to decide whether to go print or digital, first consider this question: What do you hope your customers will do with your marketing content?
Studies have shown that people are better able to recall information they have seen on a printed page, compared to digital. However, in order for them to absorb the information, it needs to be in front of them at the right time – that is, when they have the time to read it and when they’re actively interested in what it has to offer.
The advantages of digital are numerous. Your customer can return to the information wherever and whenever it suits them. It’s searchable, so they can quickly find exactly what they’re looking for. There's no need to fill hand luggage with bulky and heavy printed material for those away from home meetings. You can present digital content to a room full of people as easily as you can one-to-one. And with a good Sales Enablement tool on your mobile device, your sales team will always have everything to hand – up-to-date, on brand and sans coffee stains. Instead of waving a flyer in someone’s face, you can focus on the conversation and, at the end, email over the relevant content. Your chances of that email being opened are much stronger because you’ve already established that your prospect is interested in the product.
There is no easy (or cheap!) way to share print media among large groups of people. You could direct mail all your customers a copy of your latest white paper (and try not to think of the environmental impact), but the cost of such a venture is high. What is more, the potential for them to then pass it on is very limited, if they even get to the point of opening it. If you have a field-based sales team the logistics of getting the latest material out to everyone can be a nightmare and then you have no way of ensuring they use it and throw the old stuff out.
With digital, however, there’s no limit to the sharing potential. Your sales team can email it out and your clients can easily forward it on to colleagues, or even share it online and on social media, thus attracting new prospects and expanding your audience. Just make sure your sales team are all working from the same store of marketing collateral, otherwise they could end up sending out different versions of the same article. A Sales Enablement platform will ensure all your collateral is stored in one place and marketing is firmly in control of the updates.
Act on it
So they’ve really enjoyed your brochure and they’d like to know more. What do they do? The main advantage of digital marketing content over print is how easily you can interact with it. Hyperlinks take you to more information online, or open a new email window. Digital forms make it easy to send enquiries or even place orders. The immediacy of digital removes the potential for your customer to get waylaid – or distracted by a competitor – on their way to getting in touch with you.
With digital it is possible to track your client’s engagement level, and a good sales enablement app also allows your sales team to leave feedback to show how well a piece is or isn’t working to help you plan future campaigns.
Optimized marketing material
There’s a time and a place for everything. Research suggests that buyers of high-end or high-value products such as cars and cruises still like to peruse a printed brochure while they weigh up their options, although this usually comes after a great deal of online research.
However, when your main priorities are having all the information the customer needs – up-to-date, on brand, on budget, shareable, interactive and easily accessible – nothing beats digital for enabling you to make the most of your marketing and sales teams, and optimizing your content.