We've covered the world of direct mail marketing and given some pointers on how to market via business cards and promotional products but we have yet to touch upon a key marketing powerhouse in the print industry: brochures. While some may relegate the traditional brochure style to take-out menus and boring bank pamphlets, they can actually be used effectively for just about any business – there is even room for some creative twists!

Advantages of marketing with brochures
In a guest article for the small business section of the Houston Chronicle, writer Neil Kokemuller cited brochures as one of the most versatile marketing tools for informing customers about your business. Brochures can work as stand-alone pieces of print marketing to hand out at expos or community events but they can also function as a part of an overall promotional package or media kit. Kokemuller believes that brochures are effective because they provide more space for companies to really showcase their product information.

Blogger Malcolm Walsall, in a post for B2B Marketing, echoed this notion. Walsall sees brochures as an opportunity to have all eyes on your company and its strengths, where other ad spaces in magazines of newspapers are often cluttered with other businesses. Brochures are a distraction-free informational tool for your company.

Both Walsall and Kokemuller cited the cost-effectiveness of brochures as a major element of appeal for this type of print promotion. Kokemuller noted that the cost of manufacturing a brochure is as low as $1 to $3, a price that goes down when ordering in bulk.

Overall, brochures can act as a cheap and efficient way to market to your consumers.

How to create an effective brochure
Walsall does praise brochures as an effective tool for marketing but is careful to warn that they are only truly impactful when they are done correctly. Brochures should be visually appealing with interesting content and images to support the overall theme.

Dan Richards, who specializes in conducting programs to help businesses gain and retain customers, wrote a guest article for Advisor Perspectives regarding how to create an effective and purposeful brochure.

When advising clients on brochure marketing his first tip to the client is to sit down and determine what the end goal of this marketing technique is while also mapping out the intended audience. Are you distributing these brochures at a business expo or a county fair? Are you looking to entice new customers or attract investors? The answers to these questions will determine the tone and feel of your individual brochure.

Richards advises companies to pay close attention to the material on the front and back pages of these brochures as those are the first two places an interested reader tends to look. Try to create clever titles and stray away from generic images. The more unique your company can be the better.

Overall, businesses should focus on what outcomes or solutions they can offer to potential clients. Generally, people are less concerned about the process than the outcomes that processes provide, according to Richard. Instead of filling five pages with information about how your company does its job, include successful customer testimonials with supporting images. Do not jam pages full of lengthy paragraphs as it makes it less likely that a customer will read through it.

Once you have your content mapped out the fun begins. Brochures do not have to be boring. Playing with the cut-out shape of your brochure can be plenty of fun in itself and has the added bonus of making your materials stand out. For example, if you are a pen supply company you could shape your brochure to look like an oversized pen – whatever you can do to make your brochure stand out from the pack.

Walsall warned readers to make sure that even while having fun with design to ensure the overall look remains professional. This professional tone can be supplemented by choosing quality ink and paper for your brochure to be printed on.

Brochures are another great way to implement print products into your company's overall strategy for marketing. By Including coupons on promotional material within your brochure can have great ROI and further prompt business your way.