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What Do Your Marketing Tools Say About You?

By Nancy Ansteth


Reading a question and answer article about proper distribution of business cards made me pause to think about my own. Are my business cards good representatives of me and what I do? This led me to examine other marketing tools — asking is it enough just to get our names out there or is more required?

What do your marketing tools say about you? Take a hard look at the cards, brochures, flyers, stationery, and all the promotional items that represent you and your business. Are you satisfied with the message they deliver? What is there about your materials that sets you apart from others in your field? Do your marketing materials say, “Come do business with us,” or do they create a too-formal or snobbish image?

Chances are your materials contain all the right information: name, address, location, contact numbers, email, and Web addresses. That’s critical. But, are they beckoning? Do your prospects have a clear idea of what atmosphere will surround them when they embark on this relationship?

To assess your marketing materials, put them in front of you and your colleagues and ask the following questions:

  • If I had no prior knowledge of this person’s business, would I accurately determine it through this information? If no, what is lacking?
  • Do these materials convey to the reader, “what’s in it for them”?
  • Is the logo significant to the business mission? Does it provide “brand recognition?” Are we consistent with it?
  • How do we disseminate our materials? Do we just leave them anywhere, hoping the right people will pick them up? Or, are we judicious about giving them to people with whom we have made personal contact?

When was the last time we updated all of our representative marketing tools? And, have we cleared the storeroom of all the old literature? (If that would be too costly, use all the old first so you do not distribute different materials). Set up a calendar for regular assessment meetings (at least once a year) with all staff.

Take as much pride in your marketing tools as you do in your professional attire.

Nancy Ansteth is a New York State certified business advisor with the Small Business Development Center at Onondaga Community College. Contact her at or (315) 498-6072.

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