The good news is that your product is top quality and your customers love what you do. The bad news? If you’ve been using the same perfectly serviceable collateral year after year, you’re probably attracting only a fraction of the new business you could. Here’s why it’s smart to review your marketing collateral every few years:
1. Your design is dated.
If you’ve had the same marketing collateral for more than about three years, it’s likely that the look of your brochures, business cards, and other items is starting to feel a little tired. Even people who aren’t design professionals pick up on a “dusty” feeling in old design. Old materials give the subliminal message that you’re not keeping up with the times in other ways, either.
2. It’s old news.
Once your material has been around for a few years, most of your existing prospects have seen it. They’ve either passed or opted in to whatever you’re selling. Creating new materials gives you the chance to approach old prospects (and new ones, too, obviously) with something more likely to get a second look.
3. Technology has changed.
Moore’s Law of Integrated Circuits states that technology grows exponentially—specifically, that computer processing speed doubles every 18 months. The iPhone in your pocket has 240,000 times more computing memory than the Voyager spacecrafts launched in 1977. So, odds are there’s a better way to get your message across—whether by incorporating social media info into your print material, responding to a cultural shift (e.g., ditching those stock photos of someone using a landline), or higher-quality printing available at a lower price, to name just a few possibilities.
4. Employees have come and gone.
In even the most stable company, turnover is inevitable. If your marketing material features employees, you would be wise to revamp it if and when they leave the company. After all, their presence on your brochure/postcard/website/whatever can be seen as a tacit endorsement, and you don’t need someone who left under negative circumstances—or under any circumstances at all, really—to be your unwilling representative.
5. Your business has changed. (And if it hasn’t, you’re in trouble.)
If you haven’t put some effort into seriously examining your mission and key benefits over the past few years, now is the time. Has something significant changed in your focus or business processes over the past few years? How have you responded to the current challenges in your industry? How have you become better? The answers to these questions should be found in your marketing collateral.
Don’t worry: In most cases, you won’t have to completely overhaul everything. Maybe your message is still on point, but the design is dated. Or the design still looks clean and modern, but significant changes have happened in your business. Or everything is good, but you’re now more active on social media and want to be sure potential customers can find you there. Or you created your marketing material piecemeal and are ready to give everything a cohesive look and feel.
The point is, it pays to take a critical look at the ways you introduce yourself to potential customers. And bringing in outsiders—in particular, outsiders with extensive expertise in marketing businesses like yours (cough*us*cough)—is the best way to get a clear-eyed look at what you could be doing to more effectively attract new business.