Developing your brand’s printed collateral – its flyers, brochures, mailers, and more – doesn’t happen overnight. Only through careful revision can you craft a message and design that’s guaranteed to convert. Like a sculptor chiseling away to achieve their final vision, each new iteration ensures brand consistency and message clarity.
But you can’t achieve the best results alone! Feedback from other professionals, experts, or entire departments can help shape a message that ticks all the right boxes. Collaboration doesn’t happen by accident, however. Little wonder that 80% of businesses use social collaboration tools to bolster their business process, according to McKinsey. That doesn’t just mean a chat messenger – it requires a complete collaboration platform.
Below, we explore printed collateral – what it is, why it matters, and how seamless collaboration is key to achieving its purpose. And we’ll also look at some of the tools you can use to achieve the best collaborative results.
What is Printed Collateral?
Printed collateral refers to any printed communication materials created and distributed by a company to promote its products or services. Sounds a little old-fashioned, right? Isn’t everything digital these days? Printed communications still hold special importance and value – potential clients want to flick through a printer brochure, salespeople hand out tangible business cards, and mailers drive conversions.
Consider: 67% of shoppers say mail is more personal than digital communications.
Common examples of printed collateral include:
- Business Cards
- Letterhead & Envelopes
Why Printed Collateral Matters
Don’t neglect classic ink and paper marketing methods – especially if you’re targeting older generations. Baby Boomers, for example, overwhelmingly prefer (71%) physical mail to digital communications. Meanwhile, even Gen Z responds better to receiving both digital and direct mail than just digital alone – an 18-24% uptick.
Printed collateral matters. It’s not hard to see why. Digital communications are ephemeral – but readers remember the printed material they held in their hands. That’s particularly true of professionally designed, persuasive, informative content on high-quality paper. It’s a novelty that impresses prospects and demonstrates a company’s exceptional service.
But only if it’s undergone the right design process – with intricate collaboration between all the relevant departments.
How Proofing and Collaboration Tools Help Create Collateral
In art, there’s a myth of the lone artist crafting masterpieces with nothing but raw materials and unbridled talent. Such a singular mind makes a good story – but there are other considerations in marketing. Only through creative collaboration can the resultant brochure or flyer achieve the desired results.
Think about it – the product team must provide subject matter expertise, the marketers bring the message to life, the graphic designers visualize the concept, and the copywriters articulate the value proposition. Proofing tools streamline this collaborative process, ensuring every stakeholder’s input is integrated, and the final collateral resonates with its intended audience.
Here’s how they do it.
Often, creative teams involving graphic designers, copywriters, marketing execs, and more aren’t working for themselves. A company has outsourced their printed collateral creation to them. Managing feedback from multiple stakeholders, therefore, is among the greatest challenges faced during the design process.
With disparate communication channels – like emails, chat apps, or even physical notes – valuable insights and critical recommendations are easily overlooked. It’s like trying to find a snowflake in a communication blizzard.
Centralizing feedback with an online proofing system guarantees that all comments, edits, and suggestions are housed in one location. No hunting for a comment from two months ago. No confusion about what changes with each iteration. Just a simple, streamlined revision process that ensures every voice is heard.
Ensuring Version Control
Ever worked on a project where multiple people must edit one document? Version control becomes a nightmare. “Final_v2_edited_finalFINAL” might sound all too familiar.
Without correct version control, teams risk working on outdated files, overwriting recent changes, or losing track of the most current version. Edits and optimizations get forgotten in the blur of versions.
Collaboration tools often come with built-in version control features. That means every saved change creates a new, clearly labeled version of the document, with previous iterations archived a click away.
The writer Douglas Adams once said, “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” In marketing, however, deadlines are sacred. Keeping creatives on track isn’t easy. There’s a tendency to want to tinker, refine, and continually edit. Thankfully, collaboration and proofing tools often feature timeline and project management capabilities.
Teams can set clear milestones, assign tasks, and monitor progress in real time. If you’re working with a client, it gives them peace of mind to see the work move along. And it gives creatives a little pressure to complete their work on time.
That goes both ways – automated reminders also nudge stakeholders when their input is required, ensuring that feedback is received on schedule.
Miscommunication costs time and money you can ill afford. That’s doubly true for printed collateral—a single typo or design error results in wasted prints and lost opportunities.
Proofing tools facilitate clear communication by providing features like threaded comments, real-time chat, and annotation capabilities. Such platforms create a space where team members can discuss, clarify, and confirm changes directly on the document or design. With more sets of eyes, mistakes and errors are less likely to slip through the net.
Collaborate and Create with Ashore
Refine, edit, and revise your printed collateral with Ashore – a trusted online proofing software by creatives for creatives. With its intuitive online proofing system, you can efficiently manage feedback from various stakeholders, ensuring that all suggestions and edits are consolidated and easily accessible. Its robust version control capabilities eliminate the confusion of navigating through multiple document versions, giving you the confidence that you’re always working on the most updated file. Whether you’re evaluating a new brochure across departments or sending it to a third party, Ashore ensures the proofing process is streamline, reducing costly mistakes and ensuring everyone is on the same page!
Get started for FREE, and start annotating your brochures, business cards, and flyers today!