Why Your Marketing Brochure Sucks

Photo of an opened brochure closeup on a brown desk; the text is obscured and blurred. Overlaid over this photo is the word "Sucks." in big bold red letters.
Many brochures are awful—and yours might be one of them.

As far as marketing materials go, brochures pack a lot of bang for their buck.

Marketing brochures are cheap to produce and easy to hand out to potential customers, and you can fill them with whatever information you wish.

However, just because they seem easy to produce doesn’t mean that all brochures are equally effective.

In fact, many brochures are awful—and yours might be one of them. If you’re not getting the results you’re looking for or your ROI on marketing is low, it may be time to admit that your brochure sucks.

Fortunately, the common problems with most marketing brochures boil down to a few simple causes. When you recognize these problems, you can fix them and massively improve the success of your marketing efforts.

Why Your Brochure Sucks

If your marketing materials aren’t doing their job, there are likely two underlying issues:

  1. You are focusing too strongly on the brand over the customer.
  2. You haven’t put enough time into the design and quality of the brochure itself.

Putting the Customer First

A brochure is at its heart an informational pamphlet designed to give an overview of the solutions a business might offer.

The goal of a brochure is to show potential customers that you understand their needs or problems and can fix those issues.

In other words, a brochure is not a place to brag, show off your company’s achievements, or push for a hard sell. If the message is too salesy or lacks substance, the brochure will get tossed into the nearest trash bin before you even have a chance to make a good impression.

Your top priority in writing the content for your brochure is understanding the needs of your customers and exactly how you can cater to them. You need to catch your potential customers’ eyes, and the easiest way to do that is to bring up a problem they have and offer a solution.

Here are a few warning signs to look out for:

  • You talk about a product’s features and specs before talking about its benefits—or never mention benefits. The customer doesn’t care about the technical details if the product won’t do what he or she needs it to do. Focus on the benefits and solutions of a product or service rather than the technical details.
  • You talk about the competition. It might be appealing to show your company’s superiority in the marketplace, but bringing up competition in a brochure will only make your customers keen to enter “comparison shopping” mode. Don’t mention the competition unless you’re prepared to do the work of laying out a benefits comparison between your product and others on the market, and then only if your product is the clear winner in that competition.
  • You spend too much time focusing on awards, accolades, the company’s history, and other similar information. These are all important to your business, but they will be meaningless to potential customers if those prospects have not already decided that your product is something they need.

By now, the trend should be obvious: Focus on what problems your product or service can solve, and show exactly how you can solve those issues.

Once you do that, you’ll convince potential buyers that your product is exactly what they’ve been looking for.

Don’t Miss: How to Make Your Writing More Persuasive

Paying Attention to Appearances

The content of your brochure is important, but even a beautifully written pamphlet won’t do you any good if nobody picks it up to read it.

There are a few things you can do to make your materials look more professional and entice customers to take a second look:

  • Use high-quality paper. Glossy paper will feel more professional and polished, especially if you use color photographs. If you go for a matte finish, choose a paper heavy enough that the end product doesn’t feel flimsy.
  • Use headings wisely. Most people skim brochures. So make sure that you convey important information through headlines that entice people to pause and read more.
  • Don’t make it too long. You need a brochure long enough to convey your key features, but too much reading will be an intimidating turnoff. Keep it brief. Embrace white space.

Always be sure to include relevant contact information for your business and a call to action to encourage customers to reach out to you for more information. This will warm them up for the next step of the process, bringing you that much closer to a sale.

When you’re ready for a final polish, contact Super Copy Editors for a free quote for professionally proofreading your marketing brochure. We’ll make sure you don’t have any typos, of course—but we’ll also go beyond that. We’ll make sure your text is logical, concise, and compelling to your readers. Here’s our contact form. We’re looking forward to hearing from you soon!

Dave Baker

View posts by Dave Baker
Hi, I'm Dave Baker, founder and copy chief of Super Copy Editors. I have more than two decades of professional proofreading and copy editing experience, including work for The Nation magazine, The New York Times, and The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, where I shared two staff Pulitzer Prizes after Hurricane Katrina. Today, I have put together a hand-picked team of copy editors, and we especially love working with ad agencies, marketing departments, and education companies to make their text as polished as possible. Learn more here.

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