That old marketing piece sitting on your shelf is just like your old living room wallpaper…

You know the feeling. You’re sitting around watching DIY shows late at night thinking to yourself, “I could totally do that to my couch/table/wall, etc.” Then you go right back to channel surfing and never really think about it again. You don’t actually have a plan to do it. You know you want to, even need to, but it’s not pressing, so you let it slide.

Your marketing pieces are just like the old furniture and rooms in your home. Sure, they are doing their job, but they aren’t doing anything spectacular. No one is walking into your home saying, “Oh my gosh, I love the calming, tranquil feel of your bathroom or what an amazing vanity you created from that vintage night stand.” And no one is getting wowed when they look at your marketing pieces either. They are doing their job of promoting your venue, your business, yourself – but are they making a true impact?

When was the last time you took a good look at all of your current marketing pieces? That could mean anything from a postcard or rack card to a brochure or guide to a business card or stationery.

Designer Tip: Review your pieces at least once a year. Note all the changes, from little things like an updated email to major things like new hours or rates.

I recently worked with Mercer County on their Visit Mercer County PA Outdoor Adventure Guide for a redesign and I wanted to share some key takeaways from my client, Carmen, who was kind enough to let me pick his brain.

I noticed this was the last piece we redesigned since we began working together in 2013, so I asked Carmen what took so long?

He realized that prior to that, they were really only tweaking the guide by basically changing the dates on the front cover and making minor text changes. The only time major updates were made were when supplies got low.

Designer Tip: Try not to be tempted by printers’ price breaks for higher quantities. Yes, you get a better price per piece if you print more at one time. But what if you need or want to make changes? Then you are forced to decide if you should continue using the outdated piece until you use up your supply, or if you should toss them and eat the cost of not using the extras you had printed. Try printing in smaller batches more frequently, at least annually. (I can help you find quotes that won’t break the bank).

When I looked at the old outdoor guide, one of my reactions was that the back cover could be utilized in a better fashion. Sometimes the way pieces fold and how they appeal visually is something only a designer eye can see. Marketing opportunities aren’t just for the cover and the insides, every area is important. Use that space!

The old piece was also folded in an accordion-style, and then in half, so the only way for a person to read it was to have it open the entire way.

Two previous versions of the Visit Mercer County PA Outdoor Guide
Two previous versions of the Visit Mercer County PA Outdoor Guide.

We changed that layout so it gets folded in half first, then into the accordion. This allowed us to plan smaller spreads and present the information in reduced batches, revealing more about the parks and outdoor recreation in the area.

You can also flip it over and read about unique attractions and get details on campgrounds in the area to complete your outdoor stay in Mercer County. The only time the piece needs to be fully open is if someone wants to use the map, making it much easier to hold and read.

Designer Tip: Plan for folds. It helps portray your information in a logical progression. Even though it might seem unimportant, it’s vital.

Carmen and I realized that the Hotels / Motels, Inns / B&Bs / Unique Lodging and Golf Courses in the area already had their own brochures, so we eliminated them. The remaining content was completely reorganized and the design was overhauled to use current campaign branding elements.

The fully revised 2017 Visit Mercer County PA Outdoor Guide
The fully revised 2017 Visit Mercer County PA Outdoor Guide.

If you want a copy of the outdoor guide, which includes info on all of the great outdoor activities you can participate in throughout Mercer County, including a map illustrating the location of key places, you can pick them up at I-80 Welcome Centers, brochure racks throughout the county, fulfillment packets through requests and consumer shows.

If you’re ready to overhaul some of your marketing pieces, let’s chat. You can go ahead and DIY on those home projects, but let’s work together on your marketing pieces and start getting results and reactions that affect your bottom line!