Avoid “Marketing Speak” like the Plague

marketingspeak

Unique, one-of-a-kind, best-of-breed and on it goes. We see this type of marketing speak over and over in marketing materials. And let’s be honest, we’ve all used it at one time or another.  When you’re writing about your own program product or service, it’s easy to fall into the habit of hype and hyperbole. It’s understandable. After all, ultimately you’re hoping your ad, pitch, brochure, email or website marketing copy will capture attention and get readers to do something. So, you have to impress with your words.

However, you are probably well aware that your audiences are more skeptical today, than ever before. Everyone has become more attuned to marketing and promotion efforts. Many marketing adjectives are so used that the words no longer have any real meaning. In fact, they do nothing except maybe hurt your reputation and that of the products and services you are selling.

Mike Williams of Ring Partners suggests that you think twice before using these “fluff” words in your marketing

Advanced: This word is applied to nearly everything from advanced technology to advanced ingredients. This word is a prime example of being overused to the point that all value has been eroded.

Best: Using this word really makes marketers look dumb. You’re much better off letting your audience figure this one out. Instead of saying that you’re the best, get a quote from someone else who compares you to your competitors and labels you as the best.

Cutting Edge: This phrase is absolutely done. Anytime this is used it just sounds like drivel. Your audience will look over this and their eyes will literally glaze over.

Bleeding edge: This is a favorite in the technology industry. Apparently when “cutting edge” wasn’t enough, marketers started using “bleeding edge.”

Exclusive: Really? How do you plan to make any money if your product is that exclusive? Unless you are marketing your services as being available to only one person, whatever you’re selling isn’t really exclusive.

Groundbreaking: (or its cousins, breakthrough and late-breaking): Unless your product is up to par with the iPhone, sliced bread, or the Model T Ford this label isn’t really applicable. Very few products are actually groundbreaking. Don’t claim to be this when you know that’s really not the case.

Pioneering: This term always elicits lots of eye rolls. Unless you’ve got groundbreaking research to back up your product, or your product has never been available in any form or fashion, steer clear of using this unimpressive word.

Revolutionary: This term isn’t only overused, it’s inappropriate. Unless your product or service has resulted in starting a revolution, you shouldn’t be adding this to your list of marketing adjectives.

Unique: Yes, all marketers think their product or service is special. But like the term best, it’s better if you let your audience come to this conclusion. Try describing features and benefits instead of claiming uniqueness. Claiming originality rarely convinces anyone.

It’s true that most marketing professionals have been guilty of using these phrases and terms at one point or another, and sometimes even after being warned, these words often sneak through.

However, being aware of these marketing faux pas will help you avoid using these terms when you make a pitch or publish content. Frankly using these type of words amounts to “lazy marketing”. Your audience will always see right through this.

I’ll be the first to admit that as a marketer I’ve used these words a number of times in my writing throughout the years, and sometimes they still sneak through. But as long as you’re aware, you can hopefully catch yourself before you publish a piece of content about your groundbreaking, revolutionary program, product or service.

About jimmintz

Managing Partner, CEPSM Jim Mintz is a veteran marketing professional with many years of experience as a practioner and academic. He is presently Managing Partner at CEPSM and Program Director of the “Professional Certificate in Public Sector and Non-Profit Marketing” at Sprott School ... Specialty Areas: Social Marketing, Integrated Marketing Communications, Public Sector and Non Profit Marketing
Share/Bookmark

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

7 + two =