I've been working for several months to form a relationship that would lead to a formal partnership with a global brand that could quickly elevate our start-up's marketing power. We had a very good conference call this week and interest is high on both ends. After our last interaction, they asked to see our marketing and sales collateral and slide decks. The problem is: We don't have any (other than the website). I stopped using those things years ago as they often ended up being ignored or turning into distractions. Each contract we do is custom, so the only media I use in early meetings is a portable white board where we brainstorm and sketch our partnership. Later, I'll send a draft proposal that we revise until both parties agree. This proposal is just paper. It's not pretty.
So, the question is: Do I just tell the national brand that this is how we do business? What would you do?
Just be frank and flexible.
1. We don't have that stuff. As a startup with customers that love customized solutions, we've tried to be nimble.
2. But I can see that your organization needs a streamlined process. We can deliver.
3. This stuff isn't for us internally. But show us some examples of what you'd like to receive, let us know how it's used, and we'll produce whatever is needed.
In other words, treat your big marketing partner as a client. Bring a white board, listen, and produce!
There is a basic level of documentation you should have about your start-up (walking around deck) that being said I have sat on the side of the large company brand not in marketing but within a role that had many companies pitching us with information. You don't want to make something for a big company that you yourself don't use or believe in; I would be honest vs. just making up a bunch of slides that in the end will not truly represent who you are or how you work.
I believe the organization should be looking for business collateral (s) than marketing and sales collaterals. The collateral could be your business flyer, business capability statement, corporate profile, services flyer, et al.
Above collaterals has nothing to do with "Customized" approach to solutioning. Every business follows the same path of customization, but customization happens in your approach to delivery than "what is to be delivered". You don't customize your capability per given client and project.
I hope I am able to help you somewhere. Feel free to reach out to me for any further information that you may need. With more than a decade of experience working with entrepreneurs, I have helped a lot of businesses establish brand credibility. Thank You!!
I would caution against this based on the size of the company.
I've worked in companies from startups to the Fortune 500 and one of the biggest differences is that the former relies on people while the latter relies on process (as a matter of necessity).
My fear for you is that this is a process check and that saying you don't have it will limit their ability to integrate you within their portfolio of services.
Example: if they have 50 sales reps across the country potentially positioning your services - it will be impossible to clone you and put you on a plane with your whiteboard to every presentation. BUT if they have a slide deck (or a process to approximate what you do when you customize) they can get the next best thing.
I was in sales in both of the F500 companies and can tell you from that perspective that clarity of collateral played a big part of what I was comfortable with positioning to the clients I spent time to develop relationships with.
Unfortunately I can't say I'm a great designer but if you need a hand putting your process into something concrete I'd be more than happy to help out! Let me know