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Example communication plan: brochure

In this step the learner will learn about the marketing processes involved in planning and creating a brochure.

Producing a brochure can be a major undertaking, which will involve lots of elements, and a significant amount of budget.

For this reason, you would be wise to seek support in the early stages of your career from your manager or a senior colleague in the marketing team to check you have all you need.

Information gathering
Here’s the core information you’d need to start planning this project:

  • The date you need the brochure completed for
  • The information which needs to go in the brochure, for example, product information, pricing, introductory copy
  • What the budget is
  • What all the different stages and elements that need to be considered are
  • Quotes for costs and timings from potential suppliers

Dependencies and timelines
This will look something like this:

  • The briefs must come first to ensure you have all the information you need, and people know what they need to do
  • Then any assets that need to go into the brochure need to be created or gathered together, for example, cover design, photography, copy etc
  • The brochure can now be designed
  • You would usually have three rounds of sign off for any creative artwork, these can take place once the brochure’s design is complete
  • The printing process can now take place, and will usually start with you signing off a copy of the printed brochure before going to mass print
  • Once the brochure is printed, it can be delivered to your warehouse, retail outlets, or office in preparation for a trade show for example
  • If it is being mailed out, you will need to pull together your customer segment to send to the mailing house so they can prepare it in advance of the brochures arriving with them.

An example of a Gantt chart, related to the production of a brochure.

This Gantt chart visualises the order things need to happen in and the deadlines for each, week by week.

Briefing
You will need to write a brief for the agency or graphic designer who will be designing the brochure, this should contain information such as: what will go in the brochure, page sizes, your brand guidelines, your logo, product shots, product descriptions and prices, who the audience is, and the message you want to convey.

There may be some assets, for example, product photographs, that don’t already exist. You will need to write a brief to have those produced too. Your printer will also need a brief with the volume of brochures, deadlines, paper type, paper weight, where the brochures should be delivered to.

Let’s continue with the assumption you are mailing your brochure, the mailing house will need instructions on what to do in the form of a brief and a list of contacts and addresses to mail to.

Some suppliers will have work booked in for weeks or even months ahead, so getting your brief written and with them as soon as you can helps reduce the risks of any elements being late.

Production
Now all of your plans are in place, and everyone knows what they are doing, make sure you are following up with suppliers to check they have understood the brief; are there any pieces of information missing? Are they still confident that they will meet the deadlines?

Sign off
Each element will need your full attention to ensure it is all correct. For something as significant as a brochure, there should be multiple people responsible for signing off the design, print, and audience data.

Launch & monitor
Monitor the customer activity around your campaign, you should have SMART objectives for the campaign so you can monitor whether you are achieving the desired outcomes. For a brochure, this may be increased activity on your website, an uplift in sales, or more phone calls from potential leads.

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Introduction to Marketing: Fundamentals of Marketing

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