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Marketing Collateral and the Marketing Funnel

Marketing collateral is essential for any business looking to gain new customers and retain existing ones. The materials you use to communicate the essence of your business will impact how your customers perceive your brand. But marketing collateral includes a plethora of options, from direct mail and POS displays to product pages to business cards. How can you know which type is right for which audience? And when is the right time to use all the various kinds of marketing collateral at your disposal?

Understanding the goal of the marketing collateral as well as the different types of collateral you can use is an important step in reaching your target market effectively. Aggressive marketing can end up turning potential buyers away if you send it out too early or send too much. However, nurturing a lead with quality marketing materials can help convert prospects who are on the edge of buying. The key is to send out the right messages, at the right time (based on where the buyer is at in the marketing funnel) using various mediums that will speak to potential target customers in a way they’ll appreciate.

The Marketing Funnel

We’ve mentioned the marketing funnel a few times, but what is it? The marketing funnel (also called the purchase funnel) is the theoretical journey that a prospective buyer takes towards purchasing a service or product. This funnel approach to marketing consists of designing specific messages for buyers in the various decision-making stages throughout the customer journey. Let’s look at how the different types of marketing collateral can best impact each stage of this journey.

Top of the Funnel – The Awareness Stage

At the top of the funnel, the first stage is Awareness. Potential clients have begun to realize they have a problem that needs solving. It’s timely at this stage to send out informational marketing that shows buyers how your product or service is the solution.

Types of marketing collateral to use in this stage might include promotional materials, signage, blog posts, infographics, brochures, press releases, business cards, and flyers.

Promotional Materials

Promotional campaigns are a great way to build awareness for a new or existing product or service offering among potential customers. Branded promotional items—that include everything from branded water bottles to travel mugs, notebooks and beyond—are a fun way to engage with your audience and create a memorable brand experience.

Not only are they fun though, but they are a great marketing piece to use when targeting buyers at the top of the funnel. Promotional products are a perfect way to build awareness for your brand. But more so than that, these buyers will see your logo and become familiar with what you do, making you their top choice when they need someone who does what you do.


Infographics can be used throughout each stage of the marketing funnel, but they are especially effective when used during the Awareness phase. Infographics provide the buyer with relevant data such as creatively presented statistics. This can be done through charts, graphs, or illustrations.

Infographics can be placed in blog posts, as separate articles, or even printed on brochures and flyers. This offers useful information that helps prospects choose your product to solve their problems.

Business Cards

Business cards continue to be a great way to pass on your information to potential customers. They portray the essence of your business in a clear, concise format. With your information at their fingertips, potential buyers can easily get in touch with you to find out more.

Business cards come in handy when you network and meet new people at seminars, conventions, or conferences. Your business card can be creative with elegant finishes or it can be minimal and simple, but either way, your contact information should be clear.

Brochures and Flyers

Brochures and flyers are an excellent way to boost awareness of your business and your products or services. They can entice people to visit your store or website by providing more information on what you do and how you can solve a problem they have.

Middle of the Funnel – The Consideration Stage

Once a buyer has found a few options to solve their problem, they enter the Consideration stage. During this stage, prospective buyers weigh the pros and cons of each option.

Rather than waiting for them to make their decision, be proactive. Sending the right information to your leads can help them make a well-informed decision.

Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM), case studies, white papers, videos on how to use your product/service, and testimonials are all effective tools for reaching customers in the Consideration stage.

Direct Mail

Direct mail has proven to be a consistently effective marketing tool despite the rise of online marketing. When incorporated as part of a multi-touch strategy, it allows you to reach your customers at the right time of consideration, with the right message, and through the right channel, enhancing your overall responses and results. Not only that, reaching people as their physical inbox allows recipients to uniquely connect with your direct mail through touch and personalization, which has been proven to increase brand recall among consumers. The benefits of direct mail don’t stop there though.

By creating custom direct mail pieces, you can link directly with buyers in the consideration stage and make a more personal connection that will help sway them in your favor.

White Papers

White papers portray technical and complex information to show buyers that your company knows what they are doing. They should contain well-researched information with professional formatting.

White papers allow you to position your company as a knowledgeable source and expert in the field. The content should be both factual and persuasive by outlining a problem while providing a solution.

You can also use white papers to highlight new products and services or to summarize findings from industry research.

White papers don’t need to be boring! Don’t be afraid to make them creative and colorful. They should reflect your brand’s personality to help foster a connection with your target audience.


Testimonials provide an authoritative review of your products and services from existing customers. Nine out of 10 customers trust testimonials more than they trust what the business says about itself.

Genuine reviews or feedback given by customers who have purchased goods or services from your business build your credibility and are sure to boost sales. Usually found on websites, in case studies, or in presentations, testimonials can also be printed in brochures or on flyers.

Bottom of the Funnel – The Decision Stage

At the Decision stage, prospects are likely to have a few top options in mind to choose from. At this stage, they are on the verge of making a purchase and may need motivation to make the purchase. Slightly more vigorous, targeted, and personalized marketing works well to help a customer make a decision. Promotional materials, POS displays, buyer guides, and catalogs are all decision-making tools for your potential buyers.

Signage and POS Displays

Point-of-sale (POS) displays are placed at high-visibility locations, such as the checkout counter in a store. They can offer discounts, highlight various products, or remind customers why they should buy a certain product.

Designing and printing eye-catching POS displays can increase sales at this last stage in the buying process.

Product Catalogs

Printed product catalogs and booklets offer more information about specific products. You can choose to feature several products, offering as much detail as possible. The detailed information shows buyers the benefits of buying your product or service and helps them compare different products that they might be considering.

Make sure your product catalog looks good! It’s a way of showcasing not only your product offerings, but also your entire brand. Digital catalogs can work well, but don’t forget that product catalogs can also be printed on high-quality paper to hand out to potential customers. Either way, catalogs provide a visual representation of your products along with all the necessary details.

Final Thoughts on Marketing Collateral

Creating relevant marketing collateral is important to drive sales during each stage of the buying process. Sending out the right marketing collateral at the right time to the right people will produce results for your business.

Find the solutions to all your printed marketing collateral needs at O’Neil Printing.

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