If your ministry or nonprofit regularly participates in trade shows or similar exhibits, then you know all about corporate collateral and how it can contribute to an overall marketing strategy. But collateral is so much more than brochures, pamphlets and business cards.
So what is marketing collateral exactly? The better question is, what isn’t? Branding is the core of a strong marketing strategy and collateral acts to support the strategy. It’s useful for external purposes, like acquiring new donors, and for internal ones, like promoting employee engagement and recruitment.
While historically “collateral” referred to physical documents that helped sales people, nowadays anything you use to communicate a brand message counts as collateral—in any industry. This definition also extends to digital materials. It may be difficult to picture how exactly these marketing pieces reach your ideal audience when you’re not handing the flyer to them in person or walking them through the details over the phone, but the Internet is an amazing tool and when used strategically, it can make a strong initial connection for you.
Types of corporate collateral
Here are a few examples of types of marketing collateral. They can be printed or digital, evergreen or time-sensitive, but must be on brand to be considered part of the overall strategy. And remember, just because you aren’t physically leaving it behind at a trade show, networking event or in-person visit doesn’t mean it’s not making a lasting impression!
- Blog posts
- Landing pages
- Case studies
- Product catalogues
- Product packaging
The biggest benefit to developing collateral for your nonprofit is to equip your team with tools so they can communicate about your brand in a consistent way. A powerful and close secondary benefit is it reinforces your digital strategy and ensures your in-person and online presences are aligned.
How to decide what to create
If you’re new to marketing, then creating corporate collateral may feel like a daunting task. With so many options (and if ANYTHING can be counted as collateral) then how do you decide what to produce?
An important rule of thumb is to only create what makes sense for your organization. If an ebook works the best in the context then that’s the right decision. If a printed broadsheet newsletter is going to be the most effective medium, then that’s the direction you should go. Keep your objectives in focus and the decisions will become easier.
When thinking about how you want to share a message make sure you’re clear on both the message and the audience before you determine how to present it. This will help keep overwhelm at bay and allow you to make the best decision for your nonprofit. No matter what has worked in the past, you should consider your message and your audience each time you create a new piece. Ask if it needs to be created, how it will support your marketing strategy and what the goal of it is. Will it resonate with your constituency? Does it meet your quality standards? Will this delivery method make sense to people? Creating only what serves you and your audience will keep you focused and on message.
Marketing collateral can help enhance your charity’s brand and when aligned with your larger strategy can be an excellent investment.
With all of our projects atIf you’re interested in learning more about ways creating corporate collateral can better support your not-for-profit’s marketing efforts let us know. We’re experts at combining strategy and tactics with execution so your plans become reality.