Most readers reading this post will have both collaterals to engage with their customers. While both are very effective consumer touchpoints, there are certain intrinsic differences in the use of these tools.
Ever wondered why brands which use these tools for communicating with their customers make a brochure slim while the website fat? Let’s figure out.
Push Vs. Pull
While the world is going digital, the basic marketing principles won’t change, although the tools might. Consider the example of a mutual fund company like #HDFC Mutual Fund or #Reliance Mutual Fund that are heavily dependent on advisors to further their business. A brochure is a perfect give away. Sitting on the customer’s desk, the possibility that he/she might call back increases manifold. The same works for a salesperson going on client visits. In case of a website, the traffic is pulled from various sources with the help of search engines. There is no direct one-on-one.
Unlike a website, a brochure offers the opportunity to prolong the interaction time. The lesser (but pertinent and relevant) information carried in the brochure, the higher the opportunity for the salesperson to engage. However, in case of a website, there is rarely any one-to-one interaction and hence the website can carry unlimited information related to a brand, product or a company. A web user is flirtatious, he will flit from site to site. But the brochure because of its physicality offers bonus engagement time to the brand.
A smartly-designed brochure is a silent speaker for the brand even when it is just lying on the customer’s desk. But obviously, because of the print cost involved, it cannot be as big as an encyclopedia. However, a website can be like an encyclopedia as the customer is at liberty to dig deeper into the site to know the brand better. A website, in that sense is the ultimate repository of all information on the brand.
Trailer vs Film
Think of a brochure as a film’s trailer. It will be showing stuff that will entice the viewer to watch the entire movie. Hence a brochure has to carry just the stuff that will appeal to the customer and intrigue him enough to want to check out the website, eventually.
The cost factor
While this may not be your primary concern, so long as the RoI is promising, the cost of a brochure is much higher than a website. Hence, the brochure cannot exceed a particular size and hence it has to be very slim. Its shelf life is also longer, while website content can be overhauled anytime and is relatively an inexpensive process if you have CMS.
Ask any big company like #L&T or #GE. Even today they rely on their sales teams for lead generation. They will always rank a brochure higher than a website when it comes to pitching a new product to any customer. While they will definitely want a detailed website, they will still prefer being armed with a slim brochure first!