I can send you one of our brochures

If you’ve visited smays.com more than once, it was because of something you read here. Some idea that I expressed or someone else expressed and to which I linked. Frankly, there’s nothing else to do on this blog but read what I have written or pointed to.

Our company just spent a few sheckels (I have no idea how many) on some new brochures for one of our new business units. They look terrific. And the copy is pretty well written. But —if we believe Seth Godin— nobody is going to read them:

The thing you must remember about just about every corporate or organizational brochure is this: People won’t read it. I didn’t say it wasn’t important. I just said it wasn’t going to get read. People will consider its heft. They might glance at the photos. They will certainly notice the layout. And, if you’re lucky, they’ll read a few captions or testimonials.

He’s right of course. And we all know this because we don’t read the brochures that others hand or send to us. We put them in drawer or file until the next “clean up” day and then we haul them down to the dumpster. So why do we spend the time and money? Because we need something that tells people about our company/product/service and a nice brochure can be farmed out and done once and everyone stays “on message” by reading or handing out The Brochure.

The best brochure is stillborn. Dead at birth. A good business (or personal) blog, on the other hand, is a living thing. It grows and changes and reacts and responds to the world around you. I happen to believe this is equally true of “brochure websites.” That’s why good blogs get so much more traffic than static, change-once-a-month websites.

Anybody with a copy of PageMaker and a color printer can make a brochure. Some nice photos…a cool font…a clever logo…we’re done. Blogs are never done.

But I’m betting your customers –current and prospective– are more interested in the idea you have today than the ones you had six months ago that made it into The Brochure.

Update: It took just a few hours for Andrew to demonstrate that there are times when a nice brochure or flyer is the way to go. In this instance, he’s developing a piece of property and he needs a way to show people where it’s located and what the site will look like once it’s complete. Today’s Lesson: Not everything is a blog (and I must not be so quick to generalize).

3 thoughts on “I can send you one of our brochures

  1. steve said: “Can you remember the last time you got a call or email from someone in response to a brochure?”
    No. But the point of a good brochure is to let people know that the company does a great job at what ever it is. And a brochure should NEVER be used by itself. It should be a tool to get a meeting with that person you sent it to. Then you can open the dialog and start talking. Do I think people overuse brochures? Sure. I also don’t think people know how to use them correctly. Same as you say about people who let blogs, or web pages, set unchanged for months. Not getting the “fire power” that you need with it.

  2. “That would be harder because you are asking a prospect to do something. You are asking them to open up the internet, type in you address and then read.”
    Exactly. You are ALWAYS asking the prospect to DO something. To ‘listen’ to you. To ‘act’ on what you have to say. Before that can even BEGIN to happen, you must engage the other person. I simply question whether or not a slick brochure is capable of doing that.
    “The brochure gets sent to them … ready to read or just look at the pictures.”
    Maybe. When you read something interesting on a blog, you might forward a link to a friend because you thought the idea interesting or valuable. Has anybody, in history, ever forwarded a brochure? I don’t think so.
    On the other hand, look at what’s happening here. I posted and you commented. Now I’ve replied to your comment. We’re having a conversation. Can you remember the last time you got a call or email from someone in response to a brochure?

  3. I agree with what you say on people don’t read brochures. But I don’t think it would be any different if you sent them a letter telling them to go to a website or a blog. That, in my opinion, would be harder because you are asking a prospect to do something. You are asking them to open up the internet, type in you address and then read. The brochure gets sent to them to their mailbox or desk and ready to read or just look at the pictures. I think you could do a combination of both, include the blog site in the brochure and say check here for updated information. That way they will see your logo or pictures and could check the site for new ideas and or pictures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *