In today's digital world where most brochures go in the trash, collateral formats within physical environments desperately seek a much-needed overhaul.
Nearly all of our clients face the same daunting challenges when it comes to collateral creation, deployment and management: printing costs, paper clutter, being quickly out-of-date and out-of-compliance, having little-to-no personalization options and general lack of use. Yet having product collateral seems to be a necessity—even “paperless” branches have found themselves needing some form of client takeaways.
The truth is that brochures (in their traditional form) are rarely used anymore. From the consumer perspective: why read a limited piece of literature in branch when I could more easily and instantly find it online, with a host of other accompanying information (live rates, comparison charts) and actionable options (apply now)? From the bank perspective: how can I find the right piece of literature at the right time, and if I do, what unique value is it offering the customer?
These questions have led us to create a methodology around collateral recommendations that offer our clients the most flexibility, affordability and increase the potential for usage thus driving sales. We begin by defining the purpose of in-branch collateral:
- GENERATE AWARENESS
To let customers know that products and services exist through through static and digital displays, highlighting options and benefits.
- DRIVE CONSIDERATION & STAFF SELLING
Move customers down the purchase funnel, either through self-led exploration or as a staff sales-aid to create engagement and deepen conversations.
Lead to an account opening, product sale or obtain customer information for follow-up.
Next, we designate three collateral types and evaluate their pros & cons.
This is the traditional collateral format, including any type of brochure, sales sheet, buckslip, or take one printed off-site and distributed to a branch. The pro of pre-printed is that it is an immediate customer hand-back. Cons include printing cost, being out-of date or non-compliant, having front and back-of-house clutter, difficulty of finding specific information and the lack of personalization and customization
This is an electronic library of templated collateral content that can be printed as needed at the local branch level, as well as emailed. The pros include a far less cost of printing (only printed as needed), being always up-to-date and compliant, and the ability to be electronically personalized for a customer. Cons are the cost and maintenance of local printers and a less polished appearance than professionally pre-printed pieces.
This refers to web or native digital applications (aka “apps”) featuring products and services. Pros include all of the above from #2, but add on far more customization, personalization, engagement via an intuitive electronic form, actionable links to immediately open or sign up, and the trackable “stickiness” of acquired customer information. Besides cost of development, the only con is lack of customer hand-held giveaway.
Within these three collateral types, we have identified a series of traditional and non-traditional formats to be holistically considered. When deployed as a family, these approaches can give customers the right information in the right way, and optimize the spend and effort for the institution.
> Give-One Promos
We believe in giving customers a handout (“give-one”) vs. assuming they will take one on their own (“take-one”). This format is useful for limited time promotions or new product announcements. It can range from a traditional statement-stuffer size (3.5″ x 9″) to a die-cut custom piece, and could even feature a promotional giveaway item.
> Product Grid Brochures & Placemats
After numerous surveys and in-branch intercepts with staff, we confirmed that customers are not interested in reading brochure narratives. Comparison charts however, are desired by both customers and employees. This format shows an at-a-glance look at suites of product sets, providing a holistic but digestible view of the options. These can be produced as a simple bi or tri-fold brochure, or as a laminated placemat.
> Large Format Brochure
Depending on an organization’s business model, there are times (although increasingly less frequent) where a full collection of products & services is needed. Often segmented by broader categories like “Personal” and “Business,” these pieces get produced in limited numbers and content is brief and high-level. These brochures can be useful in cross-selling Personal Services to a Business customer, for instance, and for general line-of-business awareness. However we do not recommend them as an institution’s primary collateral form.
> Sales Sheets
As more forms of communication go digital, so too should collateral. Print-on-demand sales sheets are PDFs stored in an online database, printable at a local printer or local branch level. They can be as simple as 8.5 x 11, even printed on company letterhead, or be a more creatively-sized format. Their design is best done in families of products, each suite having similar graphic or message characteristics.
PRE-PRINTED & PRINT-ON-DEMAND CONTAINMENT
While the more traditionally sized containment folder may still have its place (see next item), smaller-sized folders can be more useful and less expensive. A banker could, for example, have a discussion with a customer about Checking, give them a Checking bi-fold Product Grid, print a Sales Sheet recommending the right account for them, and even insert a promotional give-one. This all folds up into a handy form that could fit in a pocket or purse, and still allows for sales personalization via a business card.
> Large Folder
Containment folders that can hold letterhead, large format brochures, sales sheets and other various collateral are helpful for anything from business calls to new customer welcome kits. They can be traditionally sized at 9×12 or a more unique format. Print quantities should be limited as these are less frequently used.
> Tablet App
In the new digital normal, the optimal form of collateral is (not surprisingly) in the form of a digital application. It’s not only always up-to-date, compliant, and devoid of print cost, but provides drastically more engagement, interactivity, product selection tools and custom fit options in a way that’s intuitively inviting and familiar to most consumers. What’s more: it can lead to direct account or product opening, follow-up, and is completely trackable. Content can be developed in modules, each being dedicated to a product suite or cluster. Tools like calculators, customer profile product selectors, needs assessments, quizzes and more offer a range of engagement options from showing to teaching to opening a product.
As a new part of the AMP platform, Adrenaline has just released a Collateral Management Module to deploy, track, manage and update the entire array of collateral formats. As the only form of communication that leaves the branch with the customer (physically or digitally), collateral is arguably the most critical form to management effectively. Schedule a demo to learn more.
Adrenaline creates in-branch tablet apps for our financial clients, from strategy and planning through UI/UX design and development. We provide in-branch retail design and infrastructure planning to support the tablets, and even offer tablet training on how to effectively leverage the tool to sell. Learn more about Adrenaline at adrenalineshot.com. More specifically, check out our article and white paper on how tablets can be leveraged as sales aids for the Universal Banker.