Marketing collateral is used to support a company’s primary advertising message to consumers. Marketing collateral is also used to communicate important information to channel partners about a company’s products or services. Digital media has enabled marketing collateral to assume formats beyond printed material to include Web content and point-of-sale electronic devices. Dubbed “collateral material,” marketing collateral frequently runs parallel to other media that is used to communicate the primary message.
Consumer or end-user marketing collateral is commonly used after a company has made initial customer contact through advertising or other means. It can take the form of a follow-up a mailer, white papers, newsletters, PowerPoint presentations, Web blogs, brochures and even electronic displays in retail stores. Business-to-business collateral, often called sales collateral, is commonly used to acquire new channel partners, to explain details of sales and merchandising programs companies want their partners to execute and to presell consumer advertising and promotional activity to channel partners. For example, you would be remiss as a business operator not to inform your distributors of your planned $1 million sweepstakes giveaway.
Effective consumer-oriented collateral has an emotional appeal that communicates a unique and richly-rewarding user experience gained from buying the product or service. It usually supports or echoes the user benefit found in your company’s main advertising message, including a compelling call-to-action. B2B collateral typically has a rational appeal. It provides persuasive nut-and-bolts information about how your company’s products or services, advertising, promotions and support will generate more sales and revenue for the channel partner. Beyond the promise of more sales and more money, effective B2B collateral material usually includes action steps the channel partner must take to realize the promise of more sales and more money.