Often small business owners get “shiny lure” syndrome when it comes to marketing strategies, losing direction in the midst of ‘shiny,’ attention-grabbing ideas. If this sounds like you, don’t worry! You’re in the company of many other business owners. However, you’re less likely to rack up losses in time, productivity, and budget if you design your sales tools around a long-term marketing plan. Connecting with your target audience requires knowledge and focus, but if you design your sales tools to align with your long-term marketing plan, a one-time investment can continue selling for months and sometimes even years.

As a small business owner, you want potential customers to know about your product or service, but telling the world will do little good if you’re not marketing strategically. Marketing with a diffused strategy and mixed signals simply confuses your customers and creates more work for you. Physical sales and marketing tools like sample kits, binders, and product packaging can be extremely influential in accelerating sales, but it’s important to make sure these products align with your overarching brand and marketing plan to get the best results. Sample kits are a great example of how well designed tools can continue to sell long after their initial presentation. Consider these three reasons why:

    1.  Your customers want to see and feel your story.

They want to know exactly what you offer and why exactly your business services stand out. Sample kits are a creative platform for telling that story in a clever and interactive way. Once you’ve figured out how you want to tell your story through your marketing plan, you can tell it repeatedly through the use of well designed sales tools. A sample kit can represent your brand not only through how the information is presented, but also through the color and design of the kit itself, allowing you to present the personality of your company while also explaining your unique services. Design a kit that leads customers through your business process, allowing them to understand how exactly you can work with them. The tactile element of a sample kits also makes your story more memorable, which is ultimately what you want when connecting with a potential customer.

    2.  You save money by thinking long-term.

Yes, it’s an old adage, “quality over quantity”, but in today’s marketing-saturated world, quality does get noticed. Not to mention, quality outlasts quantity. For example, sending out 100 brochures may attract a small percentage of your audience, while the majority will only be noticed by the trashcans that receive them. Unable to reuse your marketing tools (in this case, brochures), your business loses more money over time due to inefficient marketing. Sample kits can act as a reusable tool for your sales team, and if they represent your long-term business vision, they can be used for many months.

A more disposable option (like fliers or brochures) might reach more people immediately, but an investment like a sample kit can reach many people over a longer period of time, making a sample kit have a greater pay off due to it’s higher quality and greater sales potential.

    3.  Sample kits do more than provide samples.

Sample kits should also be reinforcing your brand and creating brand collateral. Your sample kit should be a packaging your brand for the potential customer. Yes, you’re providing useful, concise, and relevant information, and samples of your offerings, but you are also representing the legitimacy and personality of your brand. Through creative and thoughtful design, the sample kit should represent the direction and stability of your brand over a long period of time.

Marketing doesn’t have to be fragmented and stressful if you invest enough time into long-term planning. Using reusable quality tools, like sample kits, saves you time and keeps your marketing more efficient and focused.