Monday, October 24, 2016

Marketing 101: Cohesion - Why Does It Matter?

Welcome to the sixth, and almost last post in this marketing series!

1. The Questions I Consider About Marketing                                    
6. Cohesion - Why Does It Matter?
7. In Conclusion

  1. the action or fact of forming a united whole.

Okay, lay out your marketing materials in front of you. What have you got? Do you have a business card? What about a brochure? Maybe some handouts with information about services you offer? Possibly you have a press packet, or maybe some clever gimmicks? (I know a juggler who gives out frisbees) 

Got them all laid out? Great! Now, look at them. Do they look like they've been produced by the same artist? Is there anything about them that ties them together? Could you pick up any piece of your marketing and hand it to someone and they could identify it as yours in a few seconds? 

If someone had more than one piece of your marketing, would they realize the two pieces belonged to the same artist? Would they associate the material with you and with each other?

Why you might wonder, does any of this matter? 

When you are trying to encourage people to invite you into their space, you need to keep your name, image, and offerings in the running. People don't tend to hire artists upon first viewing. You most probably will get sent to the back of the line, especially if there are budgets to consider. It often requires multiple encounters and good reviews before some venues will take a chance. 

Clients need to remember your name, image, and what you do. Every piece of your marketing should constantly be reinforcing those things.

Your marketing is the foundation on which you will build your outreach to customers. The more cohesive it is, the better your ability to reinforce the image you want to project. If your marketing pieces do not work together, then they are not providing reinforcement. They are like well meaning soldiers running in all directions with no plan of action.

Some basic thoughts:

1. I know that early on in this series I said you didn't need a logo. If you have one, it makes creating cohesive marketing much, much easier. So, while you don't need one. It is not a bad idea.

2. Color schemes aren't a bad idea either. Picking a color scheme for your marketing helps it jump out at people. They can identify you with the patterns or the color.

3. Your pieces are easily identifiable as being from the same place, and your client can see the thoughtfulness and professionalism of the work. People do think about you differently if your marketing is well put together and thoughtful. It makes them believe you will carry this over into your business.

4. How you present yourself is important. As I've said several times in this series, there will be a number of people who might not encounter you personally before they see your marketing materials. Consider the difference between getting some random items and getting some cohesive material. 

One of the things we face when we are dealing with our marketing materials is that they are not all created at the same time. We get our business card, and then four or five years later we get something else. We are constantly making sheets for clients because our offerings change, or we need to put something together for a client, and it works out so we keep it.

This is where your stationary can play a role.

Putting stationary together is pretty easy...especially if you have a logo. When you send out sheets, just use your stationary and it will automatically fit into all of your other marketing themes.

As for me, when we got our marketing redesigned, one of the things I told the group was that one of my signature stories was called The Exploding Frog. They thought that was pretty funny.

When I got the first drafts of the material, I noticed that they'd worked a frog into all of the marketing. Every single piece of marketing features that funny little guy. You can see him peeking onto the stationary.

He makes an appearance on the back of my brochure.

Here he is on the back and front of my press packet

On the front of my business card

If you head over to my website, you'll see that my website has the same graphics and images as the rest of my marketing, and my logo is front and center. That little frog is there as well.

Recently, we realized that my website is not compatible with cell phones...when we got this thing designed you couldn't surf the net with a phone! So, that is on our list of things to fix. I am pretty sure if you get a website designed these days that is automatic. If your site was designed quite some time ago, you might want to check on that.

My little saying about stories also makes an appearance on my business materials. 

This is from my website

So, let's ask the question:  Does your marketing need to be cohesive? No, absolutely not. There is nothing that suggests that your marketing must all have the same look or anything like that. 

You are not required to rethink every piece of marketing, and if you are having great success with your current hard marketing, then keep doing what you are doing.

However, if you are in the process of designing new marketing, revising your marketing pieces, or just making new things, it isn't a bad idea to have them working together. It comes down to a professional look that reinforces who you are. 

Cohesion allows you to build on the foundation you've created, and reinforce the images you want your clients to have. Each individual piece should add another element to that image, and reinforce your professionalism, thoughtfulness, artistic merit, and desirability.
Cohesion, every element in the universe is doing it!

Happy Marketing!

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