Saturday, November 19, 2005

Is Printed Collateral Dead?

As a I charge forward at my new firm in the branding project the answer to one question remains elusive. Do I need to create new printed collateral?

I think it was in the late ’90’s that Anderson Consulting eliminated all printed collateral. But for a run-in with Enron, Anderson was the most successful firm of its breed and a lack of printed collateral did not appear to put a dent in their success. I’ve heard stories of other companies and service providers that have significantly cut back on what they print. And I am wondering if that is a direction I’d like to take.

The discovery process for prospective buyers of professional services has changed significantly in recent years. Before the internet a potential buyer would call a list of firms and invite them to come to meetings to present themselves and their services. The only way to discover information would have been through what a firm brought to the meeting or sent ahead of time.

Now, before a buyer even contacts a firm they go straight to the internet and do their own discovery through firm websites or directory services like law.com, martindale or vault.com. Bringing marketing collateral to a meeting feels pretty redundant.

On my new firm web site every page will have a print version. From bios to practice descriptions, white papers and news; Everything will have a printable version.

By making my internet site buyer friendly is there a need to also produce expensive marketing pieces on paper? Right now I am thinking; No.

I would love to hear from others that have walked a similar path and made this choice.