First discover an affordable way of reaching your audience, then come up with the reason for them to engage with you …and only then worry about the content of the brochure or web page which will be the next step.
When companies start a blog, or a Twitter account, or something they haven't tried before, it's difficult to get motivated for a readership which barely stretches beyond the office door. That's perfectly understandable. But when it comes to many marketing campaigns, this clear thinking goes out of the window. The eventual audience? It's often the last thing companies consider. They'll spend days tweaking images and words, not because it will have any impact on conversion rate, but because… well, because they can. And perhaps because they know that when the page is presented to the management, the response is not going to be: "how are you going to get prospects to see this page?", but more likely "why have you made that headline blue?"
The truth is, the fine detail of design isn't going to make any measurable difference to the success of a marketing campaign, compared to the elements which really get the leads coming in: the offer, and the prospects it's presented to. These are the things which really demand your attention and investment, and which should be in place before you even begin thinking about the design of the fulfilment piece.
Imagine every marketing campaign is like a telemarketing exercise: first ensure you've got a good list of people to ring, then work out what you're going to offer them, and finally sort out the sales pitch. Sounds obvious, but it's not the way many companies seem to design their marketing. For most, they'll get the literature or the landing page just perfect, without even considering how they'll be trying to persuade people to look at it. And the prospect list? That's often the most neglected element of all.
If you're selling widgets to engineers, first discover an affordable way of reaching them, then come up with the reason for them to get in touch with you …and only when that's done, should you worry about the content of the brochure or web page which will be the next step. It's the audience which matters.