Over the weekend I wrote a very intelligent and thought-provoking piece on communications and the whole Steve Jobs had a heart attack thing but then today at work we got talking about building a brochure for one of the products I am working on which lead to a couple of hallway conversations about brochures.  This got me thinking that brochures are almost as goofy and out-dated as trade shows and I should write a post about that instead while I am thinking about it.

Therefore, instead of intelligent and thought-provoking, I give you:

10 Reasons You Don’t Need a Product Brochure

1.  Your customers use the Internet. Newsflash! There’s this newfangled thing you paid your marketing folks to set up called a web site that does a super job of talking about your products.  You don’t have a web site?  You my friend, need more than a brochure.
2.  Your site works better than your brochure.  Your brochure doesn’t have sound and video and an ROI calculator.  Your brochure contains exciting words like “paradigm”.
3.  Things change.  Your product, your address, your phone number, your email address for general inquiries, your best graphics and screen shots, your customer quotes, your partnerships.  You get the idea. Pay to get your brochure printed and I guarantee you it will be out of date the moment the box shows up.  Faster if you paid someone to do the layout and graphics.
4.  Where are those brochures going to get used anyway? Let’s do some math.  Let’s say you paid $4K to get the creative done and brochures printed.  You do 2 big shows a year and you hand out, say, 200 brochures.  That’s $20 a brochure.  I guarantee you, you would get way better leads if you had written your website address on $20 bills and handed those out at the show.  Your sales folks need a brochure?  See #5.
5.  Even your sales folks think your brochure is useless.  A study done by the CMO council this year showed that sales viewed 90 percent of sales materials created
by marketing as valueless
.  Maybe it’s time to try something new?
6.  Save a tree why don’t you? You print it or the customer prints it, it ends up in a landfill somewhere.
7.  Your brochure is too heavy.  But wait, you say, everyone else has a brochure so we have to have one!  Exactly my point.  Your brochure is going straight to the garbage pail in room 602 along with the 50 other brochures your prospect picked up at the show faster than you can say “overweight carry-on”.
8.  Your brochure can’t do what you want it to. It can’t collect lead information.  It can’t show a demo.  It doesn’t speak or sing or show you things in 3D.  It doesn’t interact with the customer in any way.  What exactly does it do?
9.  Brochures are the same for everyone.  A smartly designed website will have content tailored to different types of buyers.  If the IT manager hands the brochure to his line of business head, the content doesn’t change.
10.  Brochures aren’t free. Even if you don’t print and do the graphics in house, the brochure is one more thing that you have to manage and keep up to date.  If you do pay for it, you are spending too much.  There are a thousand more creative things you could do with $4K that could drive some real business.

    Now that I have that off my chest, I will go back to writing something intelligent about communication and Steve Jobs and whatever.

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