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Thread: Question on designing a tri-fold brochure...

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrysha View Post
    ... Going for a "professional" look to improve response rates is a generality, not a given. There are some products and brands that do better with a homespun image in their marketing and package than with a smoother, more polished image. Adding polish to their marketing might actually reduce response rates. ...
    Thank you, Patrysha - my thoughts entirely.

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    It's true that there are businesses where kistchy or hokey or a little less professional will work, but I don't think you can ever go wrong in trying to create the best presentation you can. You could probably build up a business by hand printing signs and putting them in people's mailboxes, and it would probably work in some cases, but is that the most professional way to present your business?

    It's also possible that there may be other things that can be done that would be less expensive and still be able to move the business forward. It doesn't necessarily have to be an either or proposition. Maybe it isn't in the budget to do the brochures so they present the right message and professional look, but it's possible there are other options that could be explored that would bring in business and increase revenue so the brochures could be done.

    What about press releases to the local papers and business magazines? What about checking with the local tv stations and seeing if they're looking for an expert on gun safety? Most local stations do, particularly around hunting season. What about checking with the local Friends of the NRA chapter or the NRA itself? What about checking and making sure the company is listed in all directors of gun instructors and companies offering gun safety instruction? What about hooking up with local hunter safety instructors in case someone wants shooting instruction as well? There are a lot of things that can be done that can help build up the business in a professional manner without putting out material that isn't ready for prime time. Sometimes you just have to think outside the box.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by KristineS View Post
    I I don't think you can ever go wrong in trying to create the best presentation you can.
    Very true, it's just the word best that may be up for interpretation in any given project...again it's picking the right message and look for the market...

    It takes a lot of work to get a homegrown look just right...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrysha View Post
    ...The key is not in how something is presented but that the presentation is a market & message match. It's not about the expense, but the expectations. You can make as many mistakes going too luxe as going too low key.
    Patrysha does hit the nail on the head here.

    For the most part - a "professional" look is required to improve response rates.

    In this particular businesses case I think the "unprofessional" and "cheap" or "low-end" printed marketing materials would probably drop the response rate for Ted. His website, while it could be improved, is polished. His businesses is geared towards those who would generally be more responsive to high-quality marketing materials.

    Similarly - for the gentleman with the handyman business who was considering a booth at a tradeshow that you (Spider) recommended a cheap brochure to hand-out with a nicer brochure saved in reserve - I think that would have a negative effect on his business. Maybe not on his response rate - but definitely on the quality of his customers.

    Are there businesses that the unprofessional & hokey direct mail pieces help? Yes, the local farmers market, the corner quilt shop, and I'm sure there are more - but I contend that those who benefit from that type of marketing are becoming fewer.

    Your market is determined by your approach to them. I've seen a local resale/consignment/boutique shop evolve from barely making it - only selling the consignment items and a few of her boutique things to selling her consignment items to a higher class market who also can afford to buy those boutique and specialty items she stocks - part of the evolution has been a change in her marketing materials - she's gone from colored cardstock with black ink to high-gloss postcards, well designed eblasts and more.

    ideally "professional" marketing materials draw a higher class of clientele.
    ~Jenn
    Crazy Dog Creative: Graphic Design and Marketing

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    "I don't think you can ever go wrong in trying to create the best presentation you can."

    I know of at least one instance where this is not true. A friend of mine has a poop scooping business. He has found he gets better results with a less professional piece that he prints on his home printer in one color versus a professionally done piece. I guess people might think he's charging too much if it looks like he can afford slick full-color marketing material (which he can). I would also think the same is true of people that do basic lawn cutting or small handyman jobs also.
    Steve B

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    Exactly Steve B - sometimes, for some businesses that type of presentation is simply better than glossy, full-color brochures. But outside of those instances - you really can't go wrong in trying to create the best presentation you can. For example the original poster's business will benefit more from glossy, full-color marketing materials than from the one color do-it-at-home materials your friend benefits from.
    ~Jenn
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    Well, if no-one else will answer the question, I'll have a go.

    The decision, therefore, is --
    A. Do nothing and stay at level 5
    B. Advertise professionally and move to level 10
    C. Advertise unprofessionally and move to 5 + ? or 5 - ? = level ?
    What level of business would choice C produce, in your opinion?
    Patrysha said, "Going for a "professional" look to improve response rates is a generality, not a given." - I agree with that.

    Jen said, "In this particular businesses case I think the "unprofessional" and "cheap" or "low-end" printed marketing materials would probably drop the response rate for Ted." - I agree with that.

    I think it is has been stated or hinted at by everyone who posted that a professional job of tri-fold brochures would improve Ted's response rate. I don't think anyone has actually stated that they think the response rate Ted is currently getting from his other marketing endeavors would be lowered by using an unprofessional brochure.

    Therefore, if Ted is currently achieving a 5 and the professional brochure could produce a 10, an unprofessional brochure would not reduce the current 5 to something lower. That is to say, the worst an unprofessional brochure could achieve is nothing. And it could possibly improve Ted's business to a 6 or 7.

    I think it is a shame that the "help" that was offered has resulted in Ted abandoning the project and so has not opened his business to *some* improvement because he chose not to meet the expense of a totally professional job.

    I say, to succeed in business you do what you can with what you have. If you cannot pay $2,000 for a topnotch brochure, then go with a $300 or a $500 plan if that's all you can afford.

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    But Tom had indicated earlier this was more than his budget. I think an excellent brochure that delivers could be produced for $500...but for less than that is pushing it.

    And I do think that unprofessional brochures can handle a previously established market image...but worse than that it is harder to overcome no image than it is a poor image. You can completely erase first impressions. It's unlikely to improve business at all if it's not done well.

  9. #29
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    To be honest, most "on the surface" unprofessional marketing you see is usually professional marketing purposely trying to be unprofessional. McDonald's "I'm lovin' it" springs to mind.

    Truly unprofessional marketing is usually garbage. It's not "raising it to a 7" or whatnot. It's simply garbage.
    Dan Furman - Copywriter, Business Author, Entrepreneurial/Business Consultant
    Business Writing Services | Website Copywriting Services | Blog here

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    You do what you can with what you have - and if Ted only has $200, as stated, I think he should do what he can with that, not do nothing. Even if he gets a $190 design job and runs them off on his own computer 5 at a time. I understand your point, Patrysha, but carry your point further - if 10 brochures can win one new client, then profit from that one client pays for 20 more brochures whcih gets another new client that pays for another 20 brochures and that gets a couple more new clients, so he can pay for 50 brochures.... carry this as long as is necessary to scrap the crappy brochure and get a half-decent one for $400 next time and then print more, distribute harder, win more customers, make more profit, get an upscale redsign and more distribution and more custoers and more profit....

    But not abandon trifolds just because one cannot afford the best right now. You gotta do what you can with what you have.

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