The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Collateral in 2023 and Beyond

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Dear reader, are you looking to enhance your marketing strategy with compelling collateral? As a fellow marketing geek, I‘m excited to provide this comprehensive guide to help you master collateral and propel your brand to new heights!

In this lengthy but friendly deep dive, we‘ll explore:

  • What is marketing collateral, exactly?
  • 12 common types of collateral with examples
  • Statistical data on collateral effectiveness
  • The science behind why collateral works
  • Creative tips to captivate your audience
  • Pitfalls to avoid when designing collateral
  • Getting the most value from your collateral spend
  • The future: innovative collateral trends to watch

By the end, you’ll be armed with extensive knowledge to create brilliant, high-converting collateral that wows your audience! Let‘s get started.

What Exactly is Marketing Collateral?

The term "marketing collateral" refers to materials that promote your business‘s products, services, or brand. Collateral spans both digital and print mediums. If it communicates your brand identity or sells your offerings, it falls under the collateral umbrella.

Specific examples include infographics, brochures, flyers, eBooks, emails, presentations, ads, signage, videos, and websites. Whether online or offline, the goal is engaging your audience to raise awareness, educate, build trust and ultimately drive conversions.

But here’s a secret many miss: collateral isn’t about you or your product specs. To connect with customers, make it about them.

Shift the focus to how you solve real problems and improve lives. Address their deepest needs and desires. Engage them with empathy. This customer-centric approach makes collateral compelling.

Now let’s explore some statistics revealing the tangible value of high-performing collateral…

Marketing Collateral Drives Real Business Results

While collateral may seem "nice to have", data confirms it delivers measurable impact:

  • 67% of B2B businesses say collateral is "very effective" for educating buyers. (Demand Metric)
  • 58% of B2B marketers report that branded collateral strongly influences purchase decisions. (Demand Metric)
  • 52% of B2C shoppers say print catalogs make them more likely to buy online. (Target Marketing)
  • 48% of shoppers made a purchase after receiving a brand’s catalog. Among millennials, that figure jumps to 80%. (Printing Impressions)
  • 30% of prospects read a company’s blog before contacting sales. (Hubspot)
  • Brands producing 20+ videos per month get over 40% more traffic. (Adobe)
  • Emails with personalized subject lines have 26% higher open rates. (Campaign Monitor)

This data spotlights collateral as a proven tactic, not just a nice-to-have. Now let’s explore the psychological science explaining why it works…

Why Marketing Collateral is So Effective: The Psychology

Modern neuromarketing reveals the inner workings of our brains and how collateral triggers positive responses. Here are key psychological principles at play:


Repeated exposure to branded collateral – whether a logo, color scheme, or messaging – imprints your brand in memory. The more familiar your brand feels, the more trustworthy it becomes. This makes prospects more likely to buy.

Social Proof

When collateral showcases partners, testimonials, case studies or media mentions, it activates social proof. We look to others to guide our behavior, so flaunting your proof sources taps into this tendency.


Free collateral gifts like samples, eBooks or infographics impose a sense of debt – your audience feels obliged to reciprocate. This propels them to convert to "pay you back."


Great stories spark emotion. Video testimonials, brand stories and narrative collateral tap into our natural love of stories. We get transported into experiences through descriptive storytelling.


Pique interest with mysteries, puzzles and surprises in your collateral. Open-ended questions also spark curiosity, leading to higher engagement. We can‘t resist seeking answers.


Contrasting visuals grab attention through sharp distinctions. Contrasting colors, sizes, fonts and negative space activates our visual cortex, commanding notice.

These psychology tips help optimize collateral for maximizing conversion potential. Now let‘s explore specific collateral types and creative strategies to shine…

12 Types of Marketing Collateral to Elevate Your Brand

Effective collateral comes in countless shapes and sizes. To inspire your own designs, here are 12 major forms of collateral you can leverage:

1. Printed Brochures

Despite the digital world‘s growth, 91% of B2B organizations still use printed brochures. And for good reason: they offer an easily digestible "micro-magazine" showcasing your brand. Creative tips for engaging brochures include:

  • Focus on storytelling through vivid copy, photography, illustrations and infographics conveying your brand narrative.

  • Make it interactive. Include QR codes for videos or virtual tours for a multimedia experience.

  • Personalize with variable print including the reader‘s name, company, location or role-specific info. Segmented messaging resonates more.

  • Mail it in an interesting package to incentivize recipients to open and explore it.

2. Catalogs

Product catalogs provide buyers with an easily scannable reference guide for making purchases. Best practices include:

  • Highlight in-demand, high-margin products prominently with descriptions conveying their value.

  • Organize products logically so customers can easily find related products as they browse.

  • Make it visually engaging with quality product photography, illustrated segments and ample white space. Avoid clutter.

  • Integrate QR codes linking to videos and mobile conversions paths to turn static pages dynamic.

3. Flyers

Flyers help spread the word as handouts or mailed pieces. For maximum memorability:

  • Craft a bold eye-catching headline promising value. Readers will skim, so make it count.

  • Focus on one clear benefit, offer or message. Avoid overload – convey one idea clearly and powerfully.

  • Make it skimmable with short sections, bullet points and ample whitespace so readers digest quickly.

  • Use contrast – play with clashing colored type, shapes and textures to capture attention.

4. Posters

Large-format posters placed in high traffic areas make a big brand impact. Showcase your best assets:

  • Striking visuals – an engaging photo, illustration or graphic makes a poster pop from a distance.

  • Minimal text – a few words of large, bold type with sufficient negative space has more impact than dense text.

  • Creative concept – Bazaar months or holidays offer opportunities for timely, themed posters that align to cultural moments.

5. Door Hangers

Door hangers enable hyper-targeted local promotion. Maximize results with:

  • Personalization like the resident‘s name and location specifics to boost open rates. Segment areas.

  • Local partnerships – co-brand with neighborhood businesses to show community integration.

  • Promote location-based offers like discounts redeemable at your storefront to drive local foot traffic.

6. Digital Ads

Digital ads, from static banners to video, add collateral reach:

  • Test various formats like carousels, stories and collections to determine what best delivers KPIs.

  • Retarget past site visitors who previously showed interest. They convert at higher rates when re-engaged.

  • Measure meticulously and optimize for key metrics like cost-per-click and conversion rate. Monitor closely.

7. Whitepapers / eBooks

In-depth whitepapers and eBooks build thought leadership. Readers trade their contact info for valuable insights. Make your content the hero:

  • Tackle topics strategically aligned to buyer interests and pain points. Avoid overly promotional content.

  • Promote your content assets heavily across channels. Run ads to maximize readership.

  • Gate access with opt-in forms. Offer content snippets and ask for contact info in exchange for the full download.

  • Publish consistently – at least one long-form piece monthly is ideal for lead gen.

8. Infographics

Infographics simplify complex data into visual stories that viewers emotionally engage with. Create compelling infographics by:

  • Using vibrant colors, illustrations and icons to explain stats and concepts. Avoid text-heavy designs.

  • Telling a story – structure visuals and copy to have a distinct narrative arc.

  • Designing modularly so that the infographic can be chopped into social posts to maximize reuse.

  • Embedding a call to action prompting viewers to convert.

9. Social Media Graphics

Custom branded imagery builds social engagement and reshare potential. Optimize graphics for each platform:

  • Square 1:1 images suit Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. Portrait and landscape images work for Twitter.

  • Overlay key messages as text on graphics. Twitter limits text so keep it brief.

  • Maintain consistent branding across networks for recognizability.

  • Promote social posts through paid ads for greater visibility.

10. Videos

Storytelling videos forge emotional connections. From explainers to testimonials, creative videos convert:

  • Keep videos concise – 60-90 seconds is optimal. Avoid bloated runtimes.

  • Show instead of tell through visuals and demonstration over talking heads.

  • Spotlight customers – case studies and testimonials build trust.

  • Promote videos heavily through ads, email, blog embeds and social promotion. Amplify distribution.

11. Slide Presentations

Slide decks summarize your capabilities and solutions. Make them visually remarkable and audience-focused:

  • Use slide software like PowerPoint to build professional, branded templates. Maintain your visual identity.

  • Focus slides on customer needs and outcomes over product specs and corporate fluff.

  • Make complex data easily digestible through charts, graphs and icons. Limit wordiness.

  • Create modular, reusable slide libraries on capabilities, solutions and products/services.

12. Websites / Landing Pages

Your website and targeted landing pages anchor your digital presence. Drive conversions with:

  • A clean, uncluttered design emphasizing value propositions through concise, benefit-driven copy and striking visuals.

  • Prominent calls-to-action above the fold drive higher response rates. Prioritize key pages in site architecture.

  • Progressive profiling – use forms to gather more data from visitors over time to nurture them into conversions.

This roundup of major collateral types provides ideas to explore for your specific business goals and audiences. But even the most creative concepts fail without proper execution…

Avoid These 6 Pitfalls When Designing Collateral

Even experienced marketers miss the mark sometimes. Steer clear of these common collateral blunders:

Too Sales-Focused – Resist the temptation to overly promote. Instead, craft valuable content solving problems. Earn trust first.

Complexity Over Clarity – Convoluted designs and dense copy lose attention fast. Simplify your messaging and make it skimmable.

Design Inconsistency – Mixing visual styles dilutes brand recognition. Maintain cohesive branding across pieces.

Zero Conversion Focus – Lacking calls-to-action wastes opportunities. Always guide viewers to take action.

Low-Quality Production – Pixelated images and cheap materials scream unprofessionalism. Invest in assets that look polished.

Lack of Promotion – You must actively promote collateral to maximize impact. Awareness and distribution are crucial.

Dodging these missteps takes us closer to extracting full value from our collateral. So how much should we budget? What’s the ideal mix? Let’s crunch the numbers…

Budgeting for Maximum Marketing Collateral Impact

Determining budget and production volume entails both art and science. Here are research-backed guidelines:

  • Shoot for a minimum of 30 unique pieces annually – companies producing more collateral see greater website traffic, lead generation and revenue growth.

  • Budget at least 15% of total marketing spend toward collateral creation and promotion. This generates sufficient volume with amplification.

  • When prioritizing collateral types, focus budget on your best-performing assets for maximum ROI. Continually refine this mix.

  • Assign dollar values to your audience – for example, value a newsletter subscriber at $5 and budget 5 collateral pieces per subscriber as a spend benchmark.

  • Track engagement metrics like open rates, click rates, and conversions by collateral type. Double down on what performs.

  • Allocate budget across the funnel – ensure collateral nurtures prospects across awareness, consideration and decision stages.

You now have research-supported guidance to invest smartly. But the future of collateral holds even more game-changing potential…

Thanks to emerging tech, collateral continues evolving dramatically. Expect these immersive experiences in the future:

Virtual Reality – Simulate product demos, virtual events and showroom tours using VR goggles for an immersive brand world.

Augmented Reality – Layer interactive AR effects, contests and games onto print collateral viewed through mobile cameras.

Advanced Personalization – Leverage AI and data to tailor collateral to individual behaviors and preferences for unique 1:1 messaging.

Integrated Video – Include embedded video screens and QR code links in print collateral for multimedia, on-demand experiences.

Digital Communities – Build connected collateral pieces allowing customers to network, chat, and engage across touchpoints.

Forward-looking brands are already testing these techniques to take engagement to new dimensions. Will you lead, or lag?

Let‘s Recap

We‘ve covered a ton of ground exploring the psychology, data, strategies and innovations shaping modern marketing collateral. Let‘s recap the key takeaways:

  • Collateral educates, engages and converts audiences across channels when done well. Don‘t underestimate its impact.

  • Match collateral types to campaign goals and buyer journey stages. Use a diverse mix for multi-touch attribution.

  • Study psychology and neuromarketing principles like social proof and curiosity to optimize response.

  • Invest 15%+ into a sufficient volume and variety, with budget allocation tied to performance.

  • Promote collateral aggressively through both paid and organic tactics to maximize reach.

  • Embrace emerging tech like VR, AR and personalization to create immersive collateral.

The world of marketing collateral is vast but navigable. With these insights and strategies, you‘re equipped to develop captivating, high-converting collateral that drives tremendous business growth.

Thanks for joining me on this in-depth collateral journey! Please don‘t hesitate to reach out if you have any other questions. I‘m excited to see the success you achieve in connecting with customers in new ways.

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