The audit word always strikes fear into the hearts of business people; well it does to me.
But an audit really just means the review of a process or system to ensure that it complies with documented guidelines or rules. It is not always about a Tax or IRS review.
In the case of advertising and marketing material, an audit is designed to review your current campaigns, to look at the printed material that you may be distributing, to look at your online presences to make sure that your message is consistent and aligned to your goals.
It is also about the quality of what you present to the wide world, it is about your inventory lines, it’s about how you are fulfilling your own and your customer expectations. It is also about your touchpoints and particularly how you manage complaints or consumer suggestions.
Your image is as important as your goods and services. You don’t necessarily need a public relations company to do this. A simple thing like making sure business cards, letterheads, brochures and packaging materials are first class, have the same theme, and deliver the same message can bring the sort of results that you might expect from a PR company. This is not the area that you should be skimping, spend the extra coin on heavier bond paper, etc.
Whilst you are looking at your organisational products, have a look at what types of materials is your competition using? Is there an emerging industry trend? Should you be ahead of the curve or do you run the risk of looking a little bit like yesterday.
When looking at you non-digital promotional material like brochures etc, full colour printing is the best. If you can't afford a 4 colour brochure use 2 or 3 colour. The use of colour generally increases recipient response by 26%. If colour is beyond your budget, then look at greyscale or colour shades. Avoid black and white unless your businesses is the Black and White Taxi Company.
Colour shades allow you to introduce colour while still remaining on a single colour budget. Various shades of Red or Blue can create the same impact as 2 colour printing, but at the single colour price. If you have a good printer relationship, this will be things that they will (should) automatically suggest.
Whilst we are on the subject of promotional material, revisit your business card. The business card is one of those must have items that are unfortunately frequently overlooked. Your business card should not only be you name, address, and contact details; although all of this needs be included in some form.
A few business card points include:
Business cards have 2 sides – use both of them.
Business cards should look professional – DIY printed at home cards are rubbish and should be avoided at all costs. 1000 colour cards cost less than $100 – this is a great investment.
If you can, use spot gloss or full gloss. Costs a little bit more but the impact is significantly higher than matt or linen finished cards.
Give a business card to everyone you meet. A card in your wallet is doing nothing for you.
Give multiple business cards to your associates. Your card now becomes a referral card and automatically attains greater influence and impact.
What sort of business cards are your competitors using?
Remember your business card remains long after you have left. Your business card needs to convey your message.
Whilst on Business Cards, who should get one? In most cases this is obvious; anytime and anywhere an employee has a customer touch point that may result in subsequent contacts will need a business card. If you have trusted yur employee to manage a customer touch point, then ensure that they have a business card with their name printed on it. Generic cards where an employee writes their name on it just shout out that the business does not care too much about this employee, and by association, the customers that they are interacting with.