Marketing bull

There’s nothing like a bit of marketing bullshit to invigorate your day.

You know the kind of stuff I’m on about: “I need a cradle to grave solution pronto – I want you to shoot for the moon but let’s not boil the ocean on this one amigos, we simply don’t have the bandwidth”…

I’m delighted to report that in my relatively short experience with my current employer I don’t see much of this (other than when agencies pop in to pitch for some business and the occasional chai latte).

So imagine my surprise when I received a draft communication recently from one of our own Marketing boys about a new product he wanted to let everyone know about, which contained the following line:

“…as part of our overall drive to dial up the volume button on our value pillar and to make value core to our brand this year across all channels…”

On the whole, the draft was actually a beautifully written piece and got the message across perfectly until this sliding tackle from behind left me with no choice but to reach for the yellow card.

My modest contribution to improving this line was to simplify the text by removing the offending words, leaving:

“…as part of our overall drive to make value core to our brand this year across all channels…”

Hands up anyone who thinks the volume button and value pillar will be missed?

9 thoughts on “Marketing bull

  1. My hand is firmly DOWN!

    Must be in the air, I’ve sent out a few ranty tweets about poor marketing this week.

    People buy from people they like, trust is a big element of that “likability” factor, I’m sick of the bull that is being used for marketing, and I often think, does that actually work? I guess it depends on what kind of customers you want.

    Me I prefer the stable ones, the ones with good judgement, the ones I want to keep beyond my first sale, the ones I want to build relationships with. Spammy, bull****y, and at times downright misleading marketing is not the way I choose to go, nor is it what I advise my clients.

    It might not produce as many/high results short term, long term though, marketing that is straight forward & honest = priceless.

  2. Wow – hit a nerve or two there Claire! I guess everyone has different reactions to different stimulii and you cannot assume everyone thinks like you – but obviously I do 🙂

    I think the external audience is slightly more forgiving than the internal one – you sort of expect to be on the recieving end of a bit of marketing bullshit now and again as a customer. Internally the audience will take no prisoners, which makes it even more critical we use plain, straight forward and honest language.

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. And my hand is firmly down too. Ug! And, yep, I’ve come across many similar examples. But, do you know, in my experience, the worst offenders are HR peeps.

    I’ll get my coat 😉

    • It was probably unfair to label this Marketing bull, in truth it is an affliction that affects every part of a business. Some of my favourite HR ones would include ‘centres of excellence’, ‘the people agenda’ and ‘rightsizing’. Let’s not go there!

    • Ha ha – I know what you mean Mike, I guess ‘good to great’ is a much used and sometimes abused phrase, but I challenge you to come up with an alternative which conveys the same meaning with the same clarity and brevity without sounding poncey 😉

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