"I need a one-pager for Dreamforce!"
"Can we produce a postcard mailer for our Texas customers?"

Any organization that's been around the block a few times will have a demand for marketing collateral — anything from one sheets used for conferences and leave behinds at client calls, to mailers sent via snail mail and even downloadable PDFs on your website. And while our march into digital materials proceeds, there still is a very real need for physical, printed collateral. Which means there must be a streamlined process for producing them.

So how does one manage the process from start to finish and meet deadlines?

State the Goal of Your Marketing Collateral

Before you start worrying about how to get it done, you first need to ask: "Do we really need this? What will it solve?" If the answer makes sense, and the requestor can give you a solid case for it, then begin.

The first step is to have the requestor complete a creative brief. Remember that the creative brief is an essential tool that lays out job requirements and all the specifications of your collateral. Using it as the starting point helps speed up production and answers any possible questions down the road. Make sure your creative brief includes the points below:

Audience: Who are you targeting? Customize it to specific buyer personas. Make sure it addresses the pain points of the target audience.

Goal: What is the main purpose of this collateral? Decide on one specific goal. Are you increasing awareness of your company? Announcing a new feature? Promoting an event? Don't make the mistake of combining all these goals together — or else no one will want to read your finished piece.

Distribution: How will it be distributed? Will targets receive it via mail? Will it be inserted into a gift bag? Laying these details out early will inform the specs of the size and materials used for the collateral.

Produce the Marketing Collateral

The next step is to execute! Below is a rough guide to an ideal production process for your printed collateral:

  • Assign a task to your copy writing/content team to come up with a concept that brings it all together. Then have them produce content for the collateral.
  • Have stakeholders (requestor & managing editor) review and approve the concept and written copy.
  • Assign a task to your design team to create the collateral.
  • Have stakeholders (requestor & creative director) review and approve the design.
  • Send design to printer for mockups.
  • Review and approve the mockups before final printing.

At the end of this collaborative process and the inevitable production line, you should be getting brand-new collateral that will help you achieve your stated goals in the first step. Hopefully it wasn't too complex to produce.

Pain-free Proofing and Approvals

Something worth noting: every step in the production of a printed piece involves proofing and approval, which is a good way to ensure the right message is communicated and the quality of the final product is pristine. However, when you're dealing with multiple projects at the same time, and trying to figure out which elements were approved and by whom, it makes sense to look into a work solution that was created with this problem in mind.

Wrike for Marketers is an end-to-end solution for creative and marketing teams that allows you to manage multiple projects simultaneously. Its Proofing and Approval feature was designed to take the pain out of figuring out who signed off on what and when. And its Adobe® Creative Cloud® Extension keeps your designers connected to their to-do items without leaving the Adobe tools they love.

Sign up for a free trial today.

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