Marketing Materials, A Guide to Marketing in the Physical World

Old-fashioned marketing materials have this advantage over digital content: they exist in the real world.


Is print marketing still a thing? (Spoiler alert: it is!)

We’re in the 2020s now. Marketing is mostly done online. No doubt about it. Yet, printed marketing materials are far from dead. In 2021 alone, Industry statistics show an estimated market size of 2 billion dollars for promotional materials in Canada.

So why is that?

Well, you would be surprised at the number of situations where using marketing materials would make as much, if not more, sense than going with a 100%-digital strategy. They offer certain perks on which digital content, visuals and videos could never deliver, all thanks to their tangibility.


Marketing materials include any physical object that communicates your brand or products to your customers and customers. Business cards, brochures and other printed informational items are some classic examples of marketing materials, but technically it includes all promotional objects you may wish to brand with your logo. Cups, pens, hats, and the like.

Marketing materials are a nice addition to any digital marketing campaign. By existing in the physical world, they do several things digital assets simply can’t.

  1. You’ll be sure to make an Impression
    Avoid cheap materials, prioritize quality over quantity, and people will be impressed. You’re your brand in mind when choosing your marketing assets. For instance, if your business has a strong environmental mission, opt for sustainable and recycled materials. Stay consistent with your logos, fonts and color schemes. Nothing screams brand image like a physical object sporting your official brand colors, and nothing screams amateurism like a set of unmatching promo items.

  2. It’s Always Nice to Get a Present
    Now that everything is done online and that most people have stopped carrying their marketing materials, rarity has made it something of a special gesture. When every gratuity is always intangible, people only ever receive physical objects on holidays and their birthdays. Prospects who get a promotional product handed out to them will surely remember it. They see it as an actual present, which is psychologically more powerful than any virtual commodity. It can feel like a special treatment, and that will affect their opinion on your brand favorably.
  1. Humans Like to Hold and Touch Objects
    We spend an awful lot of our time absorbing information through our eyes and ears, but on an evolutionary level we’re still tactile creatures. Our brains seem to register the things that we can feel with our hands on a whole different level. Holding a brochure or catalog will trigger something in your prospect and they are more likely to remember it than any digital visual they scrolled past that day.

  2. Useful Things Get Used
    Let’s say your prospect takes a look at a nice infographic your marketing team made on how things are done in your line of business. They find it fascinating. Alright, so what happens afterwards? Here’s what happens: they inevitably go on to the next thing and forget about your brand altogether. That’s the transience of the internet for you.Now say you give them a quality poster of that infographic instead. Now that’s something they can hold onto and reference again later. They might even hang it somewhere in the office! Then whenever they need something that pertains to your industry, they’ll think of that poster and reach out to you.


Here are the most popular types of marketing materials:

Business Cards

Small, easy to carry, business cards are ideal for handing out at networking events and trade shows. If you’re constantly meeting with potential clients, some of them are bound to ask for it, and will take it as a sign of incompetence if you can’t deliver the goods.

Having your own letterhead design on the letters you send is important if you want your paper communication to look professional.

Brochures & Handouts
As with all informational documents, brochures and handouts serve a dual purpose: they explain a product while communicating your brand’s essence. The front side usually has inspiring visuals and a catchy tagline, whereas the inside is where you give all the details.

Catalogs generally come as booklets with extensive lists of all that your business offers. They can be useful if your company has a wide variety of products. Their purpose isn’t to woo new prospects as much as to guide current clients through your product offer.

Banners & Posters
Because they’re so big, banners and posters grab the attention. That’s why they’re among those marketing materials you can’t be too stingy with. A high-resolution, colorful banner will resonate with customers while a low-quality one will be the death of your brand.

Then there are sturdier marketing materials, made to be left outside and withstand the elements. Like with banners, you want to make sure they’re good-looking, attention-grabbing and high-quality. An outdoor sign in front of your place of business confers legitimacy and helps grow awareness in the real world.


Marketing in the physical world is the perfect complement to every digital strategy.

Here’s what EMPOWER experts can do to help with your marketing material needs:

  • Build a portfolio of potential promotional items that are aligned with your brand
  • Create logos, symbols, graphic designs and infographics
  • Design business cards, stationery, banners, posters and signs with your brand’s graphic identity
  • Design brochures and catalogs that convey both brand identity and information
  • Coordinate printing and delivery of all marketing assets

Get the EMPOWER treatment now. Sit back and watch as your brand visuals enter the physical world!


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