Electro Image LLC

Today’s business owners and marketers face the challenge of coming up with a marketing plan that effectively reaches their audience, helps them stand out from their competitors and stays within their budget. One simple, but effective tool that accomplishes all of those goals is the presentation folder.

The Washington Post recently featured the findings of a new book that examined the reading preferences of college students. Surprising, the majority still preferred to read in print. Why? “I read it more carefully,” “I like the way it feels,” and “It’s easier to follow” were some of the reasons given. Researchers think that simply reading the hard-copy version increases comprehension.

Whatever the reasons, the bottom line is that human response is greater when more of the senses are engaged. Combining sight and touch leaves a lasting impression. That’s a strong case for designing an eye-catching presentation folder. Here are a few reasons St. Louis businesses should seriously consider this printing option when designing their marketing plan.

A Distinctive Tool

The most successful companies got to that position by standing out from the competition. Here are three areas an effective presentation folder can help a company rise above its competition.

Events and Trade Shows: According to the CMO Council, 14 percent of marketing budgets were devoted to in-person trade shows, conferences and events in 2015. However, that is wasted money if they are not able to make a lasting impression and stand out from their competitors.

Give attendees a marketing piece that they can easily reference later. An effectively designed folder is functional too, allowing company representatives to include promotional items like magnets, coupons or door hangers. Folders also provide a practical tool for attendees since they can use it to collect a variety of items; reinforcing the vendor’s brand each time they retrieve their folder.

Marketing Kits and Promotions: Using a presentation folder for marketing kits and special product promotion gives sales staff the unique tools they need to close the deal. Instead of a static piece, presentation folders allow sales staff to create dynamic, customized packets for each client. They can pick what products, promotions, research or other specialized materials apply to that client. New pieces can quickly be created and added in the office when the folder coordinates with the company’s letterhead.

Advertising: Think of a presentation folder as mobile advertising. Everywhere staff or clients carry them or put them down, the company brand is being promoted. When attendees at a trade show take a company’s folder out to browse through it, that company’s brand is being reinforced to those around.

canstockphoto2291501Research from the Association for Consumer Research found that “if brand familiarity can motivate purchase behavior, then is must be considered to be a viable marketing communications strategy in and of itself.” Presentation folders build that brand familiarity at trade shows, within their clients’ offices and in the general public. The more in circulation, the greater boost to the company’s brand.

Presentation Folder Design Tips

We have established the benefits of a professional presentation folder. But, how do companies ensure they are designing and using them effectively? Follow these three tips.

  1. Be bold

The high-quality stock and available four-color process used for presentation folders allow for graphic-heavy designs and detailed photographs. Take advantage of this by making a bold statement with the design.

Integrate with other marketing materials by keeping a similar color scheme, logo and visual appeal, but consider the folder to be the “red carpet” of your materials. Two-color printing is a viable option for companies on a more limited budget. An experienced graphic designer can still make a professional, bold impact with a two-color process.

  1. Keep it simple

Having a bold design does not mean that the company should include every graphic or photo that represents the company’s products and services on each printed piece. Make a big impact with a bold, but simple design. Don’t use too many visual elements, colors or fonts. Keep information brief, concise and to the point.

Remember, detailed information will be contained in what goes in the folder. However, “keep it simple” also applies to what you put inside. View the inside as prime real estate. More is not always better.

Take advantage of the versatility of a presentation folder by carefully considering the needs of each recipient instead of just throwing in every piece that might peak their interest.

  1. Customize it

Customization goes beyond just adding a logo. Think about what specific features would impact your sales process. Add a slot for a business card, cd or promotional item to secure them in place. A company that needs additional space can opt for a tri-fold folder or an extended pocket that can hold larger catalogs.

Customize paper stock and finish. Create a unique finish with an aqueous or high gloss UV coating. Remember that size is not limited to a standard 9” X 12”. Select a smaller, unique size if it fits the company’s content.

Consider embossing the company’s logo to give it even more of a polished look and feel. Embossing or using a linen stock adds appealing texture, especially for folders that have been designed with more conservative color schemes. Design stacked inserts so that clients can easily grab the information they are searching for.

Presentation folders offer a unique, but versatile tool. Whether you are meeting with clients or shareholders, providing materials in a presentation folder conveys professionalism, organization and importance. Make a great impression and give recipients a piece that will standout and be easy-to-find when they want to reference your company’s services again.

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