Six marketing items every SME needs

The success of your business depends largely on how well you communicate what you have to offer. To remain competitive, you need to provide information about your company to employees, investors, existing and potential clients, media, and the general public on an ongoing basis.

This, in turn, may depend on how well you prepare collateral items (brochures, newsletters, fact sheets, press releases, and other electronic and printed promotional materials), ranging from company and product fact sheets to biographies of key team members.

Every business should always have the following six items on hand, ready to distribute.

  • Company fact sheet
  • Product or service fact sheets
  • MIssion statement
  • Client list
  • Press kit
  • Clip file

Company fact sheet

Potential investors, employees, analysts, and members of the media should be able to learn important facts about your business with a quick look at your fact sheet. A company fact sheet should include the following information:

  • The date the company was founded 
  • Location of headquarters and any affiliate offices. This can include images
  • Names and brief backgrounds of founders and upper-level management. This can also include photographs.
  • Contact information

A good idea is to append your company background to this document as well - unlike a company fact sheet, this is written in paragraph form and includes more detail. In a sense, it is the history of the company and can be told chronologically or not, as long as you convey a real sense of the company and its worth.

Product or service fact sheets

Keep a fact sheet on file for each of your products or services. A product or service fact sheet should include the following:

  • The product or service's function or value
  • Distinctive features that set your product or service apart from the competition
  • Comparison to similar products or services on the market
  • A statement about quality and reliability
  • Cost comparisons
  • Mission statement

A mission statement serves multiple purposes: It can motivate you and your employees, provide direction and focus as you make decisions, and give new hires a sense of the purpose of the company. It can also provide a confident and clear statement to potential investors, lenders, and members of the media.

Client list

Display a current list of your clients, partners, and (if appropriate) vendors. This information will be of interest to employees, investors, existing and potential clients, and media, as well as the general public. Your willingness to display this information builds trust, shows confidence, and establishes you as a serious player in your field.

Press Kit

When you open your business or launch a new product, send out a press kit. Press kits are easily released online as well as by mail and are a handy way to pitch your business at a trade show. Your kit should include the following elements:

  • Your company's logo featured prominently
  • A personalised letter pitching your company, product, or service
  • A press release
  • Company fact sheet
  • Product fact sheet
  • Articles written about your company
  • Your business card
  • Company background

Update each element of the press kit as needed at least once a year, preferably before a big selling season, product launch, or trade show.

Clip file

Assign someone in your office the important job of collecting and maintaining any articles written about your company, employees, events, and so on. Whether these clips are physically or digitally stored and counted, they should be well-organised by year or type of coverage so you can determine how much press your business is getting. This can be a good indicator of what types of products or services are popular with the general public and boost your company's reputation. Negative coverage can be good here too, in the sense that it allows you to address any issues or problems within your product range, customer service or operations.

There are companies that provide clipping services but for a cost-effective method you can set up Google Alerts to make you aware whenever a certain name or term is mentioned online.
It is also a good idea to read newspapers and relevant trade journals or publications for industry events, issues and trends that your business can capitalise on.

By All Business.com, a D&B website

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