Do you like things simple?
Most customers do.
Are you a stickler for simple language in marketing communications? Do you try to avoid, jargon, gobbledygook and most of all long passive sentences?
Unfortunately not everyone shares that view. Some still put out bloated business copy. I’m still astonished by some of the mumbo-jumbo that some companies send me.
I recently received an email from a marketing agency wanting to set up a meeting. I was so shocked by the depth of clichéd management style jargon, I almost feel like naming and shaming them. Instead I will simple share with you the beauty of their bull.
Here’s one of the many incredible sentences:
“Our unique, proven and collaborative approach of combining doctorate level theoretical analytics, strategy and world-class creative execution delivers ground-breaking, game-changing initiatives for ambitious brands.”
What on earth does it mean? Is this supposed to impress me? Do they really think I want to do business with people who produce such claptrap?
“Our commitment to actionable strategies, ingenious ideas and sustainable impact has already led to successful outcomes.”
Okay hands up. We’ve all used such language. But we really must stop it.
If something is “unique” you know that it is just the same as everything else.
If it is “very unique” you know the copy writer doesn’t realise that you can’t have degrees of uniqueness.
“Innovative” is equally meaningless, “game-changing” even more so.
Please don’t tell me about “value added” or how something has been “optimised” or “finessed” so that it attains the “scalability” to become “world-class”.
People want you to talk to them in plain English. That’s how they communicate. Verbally and in writing.
And please don’t use passive sentences?
Bad: “A letter full of marketing gobbledygook was sent to me by the Marketing Agency”.
Good: “The Marketing Agency sent me a letter full of marketing gobbledygook”.
When you work in an industry of complex products and processes we owe it to our clients and each other to make communications simple. Resist the people who comment on your copy and want to reintroduce complex language unless there is a legal reason for doing so. The fact that they “wouldn’t have written it that way” is not good enough.
Oh and I can’t wait for the follow-up call from those guys at that marketing agency.
Now it’s your turn:
Do you get annoyed by marketing gobbledygook, management speak and jargon? Whilst it is annoying it can also be funny at the same time. Please share your own examples of meaningless marketing gobbledygook. I’d love to read them and perhaps create a list of the most magnificent and meaningless.