4 Ways to Keep Your Marketing Materials Current

marketing materials

If you hand out marketing materials at trade shows, networking events or conferences, you know what a pain it is when they’re outdated. And with technology changing at the speed of light, your product or service offerings may be changing pretty quickly too.

How do you keep your marketing materials up to date without going over budget?

Affordable Ways to Keep Your Marketing Materials Current

Print On Demand

Whether you physically print your marketing materials yourself or outsource the design and printing to a company like Vistaprint, don’t print more than you can use for a given event or time period.

Sure, it’s tempting to print thousands to save a bit of money per sheet, but if you end up with 9,000 outdated fliers sitting in your garage, you’re not really saving money.

Marketing materials ideal for smaller print runs include:

  • Business cards
  • Brochures
  • Fliers
  • Media kits

Ask yourself what the maximum number of any item you will need for an event is. Printing fewer now means you can make changes next time, then print a new batch.

Create Easily Modified Documents

If you hand out the same flier at every event, you can leave it as-is so you can use it for multiple events. For a more custom piece, it’s easy to change out the event name on the document without modifying your marketing copy.

Don’t reinvent the wheel every time you need marketing materials. Reuse what you’ve got and update your files for each event.

Consider storing your files in Dropbox or other cloud-based storage so that anyone who needs to access the files can get to them easily.

Get Access to Your Native Art Files

Even if you’re not a graphic designer, you need easy access to your art files – in every format possible. Even if your designer moves to Tahiti, if you have the files, a new designer can make modifications without redesigning and charging you for it.

Ask for files in these formats:

  • PDF
  • PNG
  • AI
  • JPG
  • EPS
  • TIFF
  • BMP
  • RAW (if you have photos)

Making sure you get a copy of your files at the completion of each project means you’ll be able to use them in future projects without having to track down a graphic artist you may have worked with just once.

Whether you work with an independent graphic designer or a site like 99designs, you’re entitled to all versions of your design.

Review Your Materials Regularly

You may not even realize your marketing materials are out of date. Make a point of reviewing them every quarter or at regular intervals that give you plenty of time to keep them updated and printed in the proper quantities to ensure they accurately reflect the products or services you offer, as well as your company contact information.

Review the materials for grammatical errors. Have co-workers read through the documents, too. The more eyes reviewing your materials, the less chance you’ll miss an error that might be printed on hundreds or even thousands of fliers and brochures.

Marketing materials are often the first impression people have of your brand. Take the time to make sure they’re always up to date, professional and error free.

Printing Brochure Photo via Shutterstock


Susan Payton Susan Payton is the Communications Manager for the Small Business Trends Awards programs. She is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an Internet marketing firm specializing in content marketing, social media management and press releases. She is also the Founder of How to Create a Press Release, a free resource for business owners who want to generate their own PR.

11 Reactions
  1. These are great tips! It’s a good idea to create templates for print marketing materials instead of trying to redesign from scratch every time.

    I also wanted to clarify one thing because some small business owners might find the comment about VistaPrint confusing. They do not offer custom design services, at least not in the traditional way. They have an online design tool, but the user is the one who creates the graphics, not their company. So it’s not really possible to “outsource” design to them.

  2. Do your documents agree with each other? Is technical data reliable? We find that manufacturer technical data contain 15 to 20 percent errors: incorrect test references, improper use of units, wrong English to metric conversions, and an accretion of clerical errors. Before publishing documents that contain significant technical information, the documents should be reviewed by technically-capable staff or consultants.

  3. I did not see that there is any new or affordable way of keeping your marketing material current.

    In my location, we are already practicing JIT ( Just in time ) delivery for most of our customer. Any Marketing people that manage to stack up 9000 pcs unused/out-dated material should be fired immediately.

    It also shows that he is just a novice and the printer or design house that print or design for them ought check their business ethic .

    I also disagree that using digital will solve the problem because of the cost per pcs. I will estimate digital at min 0.35 (digital) vs 0.18 (offset per 1000) .

    Small business owner in some case should understand that Black text should be adopted instead of fanciful design . But throughout my experience in dealing with all kind of business, my advice is ” you pay peanuts and you will get monkeys. ”

    Just speak to some small or medium size printers or designer, you will eventually find one that is willing to grow with you and always remember to compare quotation from at least 2 other vendors. All should be able to advice you how to keep your material current.

    Just my 2 cents.

  4. Marketing materials should be kept up to date as it’s the first impression that people have of your brand. I appreciate the ways Susan has mentioned in this article but I would be happy if I can hire a person to look into these stuffs regularly and keep them up to date.

  5. You make a great point about how important it is to review your materials regularly to make sure your marketing material isn’t out of date. Finding a good quality printing professional seems like a great way of making sure your brand is out there. Establishing trust through high quality printed brochures and things seem like a great way of growing your company.

  6. Thanks for an amazing blog post.

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