Product handouts are useful tools to leave behind with clients or distribute at events or to be sent as a pdf to prospective customers. Typically, in most companies, the marketing team will have a designer to create the design elements and the Product Marketing Manager will be expected to provide content for the handout. Assuming this is the case, the below blog covers some of the tips to creating a handout, while I have not focused on the design elements of the handout.
1. Collecting Content
Before you begin creating the handout, you first need to collect or create content for it. Some of they key pieces of information you will need are:
- Audience: Who is the target audience for your handout. Do not mix audiences and keep each handout targeted towards one segment only.
- Pain Points: What are the existing pain points of your target audience. If not pain points, what are their current requirements.
- Product Offering: How does your product address the above pain points or requirements
- Elevator Pitch: What are the salient features of your product that you would want the client to remember
- Case Studies: Customer testimonials and case studies of the product
- Data: Additional data you have about the product such as market opportunity, potential uplift for the customer, market research data etc.
Once you have the above information, you can get start putting together the content for your handout depending on what information you have. Remember to keep the handout simple, clean and elegant. Trying to stuff in too much information will make the handout lose it’s impact.
2. Putting It Together
It is a great idea to begin with the customer’s pain points. This helps make an immediate connect with your audience and makes the customer want to read on. Keep it brief and simple, but hit the nail on the head when it comes to identifying the pain points.
The body or the meat of your handout can have two sections.
First is the product details which address the above pain points of the customer. Explain at a high level how your product can provide solutions for the pain points in a simple and easy way. If you have data here from either the market or from a customer who has already tried this, add it to make your case stronger.
The second part of the body is the details about the product itself. Keep this to a few bullets and the text should be short and crisp. A common mistake is to make this the largest section of the handout, which will make the client lose interest pretty quickly. Remember, a handout is a teaser to make the client want to talk more rather than a detailed pitch that provides all information.
Finally, leave the customer with food for thought. The best finale is to end it with case studies from other clients and testimonials. You can also dwell into the details of one case study and then put just logos of other customers currently using the product.
3. Designing The Handout
The design part, in most companies, is left to the marketing team or the graphics design team. They might have templates and guides to follow for your handout. A format that I really like is a folder structure that has the company branding on the cover of the folder and has 2 page handout inside.
For demonstration purposes, I have just used a built-in template from word and created a handout with dummy content. The parts to note here are:
- A challenges section where the customer pain points are called out
- The main product section that should talk about how the product addresses the pain points
- The Product Highlight section mentions the top salient features of the product or benefits of the product
- On page 2, a customer testimonial and the case study with a picture of the spokesperson
- An attractive graphic either about the market/industry, or data about how the product can provide an uplift to the customer with a brief explanation below it
- Finally a contact us section with the details of the sales person
Remember, each product handout can be created differently based on the information you have. For example, instead of the market data, you can swap that with details of a case study. The important part is to begin by grasping the customer’s attention and then leave them with something to think about so that they will have a need to contact you.