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Marketing Materials: Definition And Why Your Brand Needs Them

28 March 2020 • Filed under Branding

Living in an era when the internet allows us all to create and launch brands, connect with our target audience online and reduce the real life encounters, marketing materials can be wrongly overlooked by business owners ever more often. Who still uses business cards, anyway? Well, you’d be surprised to know marketing materials not only are still rather essential in their printed form, but can adapt to the context and come in the form of digital elements too. Let me talk you more about the marketing materials definition and why your brand REALLY needs them. I promise you’ll be surprised to find out you too need more branded marketing materials in your business’ day-to-day!

A complete guide to marketing Materials: definition and why they are still valuable for your small business brand
Marketing Materials: Definition

Marketing materials are intended as any kind of branded element and material used to promote a brand, product or service.

The most common form of marketing materials is “literature”, basically any type of printed pieces with the job of promoting and presenting a product, used within a marketing strategy. They could be, for example: business cards, letterhead, flyers, brochures, presentation folders, thank you cards, postcards…

Even product packaging can be somehow condisered a marketing material, since it’s thought to preserve the brand’s experience and therefore to promote the brand’s values and principles.

But marketing materials can easily adapt to digital forms too. With the advent and growth of the internet world, it’s everyday more important to affirm your brand online. Promotions can be run on social media or newsletters, and marketing materials, in this occasions, can come in the form of branded promotional graphics and images.

But also think of any spaces you and your clients use to connect with each other (social media, newsletter, project management tool, contracts, documents, invoices…) and the impact branding can make in these areas of your business: marketing materials can help you keep your brand experience consistent and alive even on more formal devices, making you look professional and curated in the smallest details.

Now I’m sure it’s a little clearer what marketing materials can help you with, but let’s get a little more into details…

A complete guide to marketing Materials: definition and how to use them for your small business brand. Branded stationery: floral wedding brochure, flyer and business card
Branded stationery: floral wedding brochure, flyer and business card
Branded literature

Branded literature is essentially the most common and traditional way of promoting a brand. From business cards, to brochures, anything you can leave into your potential clients’ hands is an opportunity to be remembered by them the next time they need a professional just like you.

Usually branded literature is more efficient in the case of local businesses, as they can help spread the word about your brand in a limited area. However branded literature can actually be useful to any product-based business too, to be included in your packaging or shipping, as a physical object that gives more information about the product or the brand. For example, if you sell products online and ship them to your customers, think of including a business card (customers might keep it to remember of you or suggest you to friends) and/or a card or brochure covering more about your ethic and philosophy (to enhance the brand experience and create a positive memory of your brand and products).

Product packaging tea labels
Product Packaging

Product packaging can be considered a marketing material too, because of its power to preserve the brand’s experience and create an impactful impression on your customers, helping you promote your brand’s image in the meanwhile.

Product packaging can often be overlooked, but it’s literally one of the most fundamental aspects of any product-based businesses. Even if your customers don’t consciously realise, they’re picking your products instead of another also because of its packaging.

A study of International Association of Societies of Design Research demostrates that when a customer purchases a product, he not only cares about the usability and utility of the product itself, but also hopes to get a positive experience out of the buying action. According to the same study then, the design choosen for the packaging can generate different types of buying experiences, with high contrast illustrations generating the most positive like joy, pleasure, satisfaction, calm and expecation.

Just think of when you are shopping at your local grocery store, you need some yogurt and find yourself in front of different options: the boring packaged yogurt on offer at €0.79 or a beautifully packaged organic yogurt at €1.50, where the packaging is promoting the ethical choices of the brand, something you too strongly believe in. I’m sure you won’t hesitate to choose the most expensive option, for such a small difference of price. The reason? It’s in the packaging.

If you sell products whether it’s locally in a physical boutique, or online through an ecommerce, don’t ever underestimate the power of product packaging. It can really make a difference for your brand!

A complete guide to marketing Materials: definition and why they are still valuable for your small business brand
Digital marketing materials

As mentioned, marketing materials have quickly entered and affirmed themselves in the digital world. They are perfect for any kind of business, but especially service-based online businesses that need a way to promote themselves on the internet.

Digital marketing materials can help you promote your brand online, making it look always cohesive and coherent with your vision, while giving your clients and users the best brand experience possible.

They could come in the form of editable templates to build your own social ads, digital downloads, contracts and documents. But digital marketing pieces can also help you brand your social media profiles and making you look coherent througout all the platforms you decide to appear in.

Branded stationery: Wedding brochure
Branded marketing pieces – how to

With the advent of several graphic platforms and softwares, you might be tempted to meet the need of branded marketing pieces internally. But exactly as you shouldn’t create your own logo, it’s not wise to improvise your marketing materials. Your clients will easily spot any inconsistency with your professionally designed brand, and this can influence the impression your brand’s makes on them.

Your branding and marketing pieces should always feel coordinated and consistent. Also all marketing materials within your brand should have a familiar look, which means not looking the exact same but having some sort of aesthetic consistency.

These are the reasons why you should hire a designer to create marketing materials, and strictly avoid to get tempted to DIY. There’s no space for improvising with such fundamental aspects of running a brand! Ideally, the designer taking care of marketing materials should always be the same, and possibly also the person who took care of your branding to ensure the most cohesive look.

Something I really like to provide my clients with is editable marketing materials (usually for digital pieces), so that they can use any graphic software or platforms (like Adobe Photoshop or Canva) to create several graphics from the same template. This can be very useful to keep all your online ads or posts consistent with each other, everytime you have something new to promote.


And there you have it, a complete guide to marketing materials! I hope you’re now convinced that marketing pieces are truly essential for your brand and are now excited to explore them and find out how their power can help you sell, promote and communicate.

A complete guide to marketing Materials: definition and why they are still valuable for your small business brand
A complete guide to Marketing Materials: definition and why your brand still needs them
A complete guide to Marketing Materials: definition and why your brand needs them

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