Marketing Templates: Good or Bad?

A marketing template is the mandatory design, layout and copy applied to your collateral, whether it’s postcards, brochures, posters, promotional products or websites. Inherent in every template is the ability to customize some, but not all, portions of the collateral. Every industry uses some version of templates. For example, when you buy a car, you choose the color but not the chassis.

The opposite of a template is fixed design. Growing companies often start by using fixed designs for their collateral. Every customer receives the same message. When your customer base grows, fixed designs lose their effectiveness, because not every customer responds to the same marketing messages.

Relying on a one-size-fits-all marketing approach can become counterproductiveto reaching new customers. In other words, if you only offer one color car, the customers who want another color will never buy from you.

Marketing templates help companies personalize collateral for target customer groups without starting every campaign from scratch. The technology is such that any number of elements on collateral—from graphics to copy—can be personalized for individual members.

For instance, colleges and universities send fundraising postcards to alumni with photos featuring programs from which they graduated. If you were on the basketball team, your postcard would have your name and photos of the basketball team. If you were a biology major, your postcard would have your name and photos of students in labs. Meanwhile, all the postcards would still have boilerplate contact information and calls-to-action.

Marketing templates are a good idea for any company that wants better control over its branding, but they’re essential to organizations with many branches nationwide. Often, local markets respond differently to different marketing campaigns. The right marketing templates allow companies to fix brand identity elements to their collateral but achieve flexibility in local campaigns.

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