Understanding The Importance of Collateral Materials For Marketing

In an increasingly digital age, the importance of collateral materials has never been greater. As people’s eyes glass over with yet another digital ad or social media post, among the dozens they already see each day, printed marketing materials are making an effective comeback. What was once viewed as an outdated method is again becoming a pathway to marketing success.

The Importance of Collateral Materials When It Comes to Printing

To better understand the importance of collateral materials in the print world, it is necessary to first define it. Printed marketing collateral is a form of promotion designed to advertise for a company while also communicating their mission, services, and messaging. Some popular forms of printed collateral materials include:

  • Apparel. Although it is often overlooked as collateral material, apparel does fit into this category. From tee shirts to corporate polos, to windbreakers to ballcaps, when people wear a company’s logo, brand, or messaging, it becomes a walking advertisement. There are multiple options of collateral materials for a variety of budgets, ranging from modestly priced tee shirts all the way up to high end jackets. Choosing between screen printing and embroidery can affect the look and feel of an item and will also impact the final cost.
  • Banners. As one of the larger items in printed collateral materials, banners are used primarily for special events such as speaking engagements, community fairs and parades. Banners can feature a company’s logo, a tagline, or even pictures. If the banner is going to be used outside, it is vital to ensure it is printed on weatherproof material. Another popular type is a pop-up banner that is both portable and can stand alone. Pop-up banners are often used as a background for photo opportunities.
  • Brochures. These one-page, multi-fold pieces are usually designed to provide a general overview of a company. This can include their mission, vision, services and products, as well as contact information. For a consumer who is not familiar with your company or business, this is often a great introductory tool for them to learn about who you are, what you do, and the story behind it.
  • Business Cards. Especially for large-scale events and career or community fairs, business cards can be handed out to the public. The cards should include the company’s name, the name of a point person, their contact information, and possibly a company mission statement on the back.
  • Decals. Made to adhere to various non-porous and flat surfaces, decals are featured mostly on vehicles, hard hats, and windows. When used on a vehicle, decals are equipped to take a company’s logo or messaging anywhere the driver travels. When used on something like a hard hat, decals can be used to reinforce messaging on the job for things such as heat safety.
  • Direct Mail. The junk mail that once crowded mailboxes has now largely switched to digital delivery. This can leave mailboxes emptier, giving direct mail a more noticeable foothold with business and homeowners. Examples of direct mail pieces can include postcards, letters, or even flyers. To garner more attention, direct mail can include special promotions, coupons, or invitations.
  • Door Hangers. While door hangers are most often used by political campaigns and home repair companies, they can be utilized by almost any company as a means of marketing. This tool usually features a company’s logo and contact information and is sometimes accompanied with a brief description.
  • Flyers. When it comes to event details and information, flyers are generally the go-to as they are also a relatively inexpensive means of marketing. To be effective, flyers must strike a balance between the use of white space and messaging.
  • Letterhead. For any business correspondence to appear official and credible, it is critical to use specially designed company letterhead. This signals to recipients that the company is credible, established, and serious about the work they are doing.
  • Signage. One of the broader categories of marketing collateral is signage as it can include posters, informational signs, indoor signs, yard signs, and even sidewalk signs. Signage can vary in size and use but tends to include important pieces of information such as the company name, logo, and key messaging.

It is important for businesses to understand that the quality (not necessarily the size) of the printed materials introduced to potential clients and the general public matters. It can signify to the recipient how much a company is willing to invest in their first impression. At the end of the day, the quality of printed collateral materials may also impact the company’s competitiveness within the market.

It is particularly important for high end companies pushing high end services and products to elevate their printed marketing materials accordingly. Some design choices that can impact the elevation of a product include color, sheen (glossy vs matte), type of paper, etc.

Benefits of Using Printed Collateral Materials

When it comes to the importance of collateral materials, one of the biggest benefits is controlling the message. Speeches given via guest speakers and elevator pitches are not normally consistent and may vary from person to person, all of which can result in slightly skewed messaging. It does not make it bad messaging, but it can make it inconsistent. Printed materials allow for maximum control of a company’s messaging.

Another benefit of printed collateral materials is having a thorough explanation of a company, its services, and its products at the fingertips of sales personnel. Brochures and flyers can play a valuable supporting role when a salesperson is making a marketing pitch, and it lets the reader follow visuals in tandem with a verbal explanation.


One last consideration on the importance of collateral materials is the quality of the printing company itself, which is equally important. Without quality printing and materials, it can be counterproductive to the tone your company is trying to set.

Work with a professional printing company that has proven experience with printed collateral materials of all types and that also designs with the Pantone Matching System colors for continuity in brand and logo appearance.

Do not underestimate the importance of marketing collateral that is thoughtful, clean, and polished. It is one of the most accessible and effective marketing tools for any business.

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