10 Marketing Words I Hate
As a marketing manager, you hear these hideous words every day, but I feel compelled to make a stand. So here’s my rant – the countdown of the Top 10 Marketing Words I Hate…
I’ve never heard anyone agree upon the definition of what a ‘brand‘ really is. I’ve heard all of the following:
- Your name is your brand- eg. ‘brand name’ products vs generic.
- Your logo is your brand.
- Your brand is your product or service.
- Your brand is what people say about you.
- Your brand is people’s perception of you based on your marketing.
- Your people are your brand.
I’ve also heard it as an excuse when there are no results to speak of… “hey at least we got your brand out there!”
So what exactly is branding? Other than what cattle go through…
9. Account Manager.
In a marketing, PR or advertising company, I have often wondered what value Account Managers actually add.
Typically they are described as the ‘translator’ between the client & the technical person doing the work. My issue is that we all know what happens in a game of Chinese Whispers — every time a message gets passed from one person to another, it loses its original meaning.
And since we’re all speaking English, why can’t the technical people talk directly to the client? Why do we need Account Managers? Or more importantly if your technical people can’t communicate with fellow humans (your clients) what value are they adding?
8. Full service.
I often wonder why marketing and advertising types insist on being everything to everyone. If you’ve got two people in your organisation, there’s no possible way you can do TV production, digital, press ads, radio ads, outdoor, direct mail, logos, pr, branding, stationery, brochures, annual reports & copywriting — surely you’re outsourcing some of it. Call a spade a spade.
There’s no shame in specialising in one area. Why not do one thing and do it well?
It is strange how so many marketers pride themselves on being creative. Yet check out how 5 of Brisbane’s top ‘creative’ agencies describe themselves? Can you tell the difference between any of these?
- award-winning brand strategy and communications agency.
- strategy based award-winning creative advertising and communications agency.
- award-winning Brisbane based advertising agency creating strategy-based campaigns
- independent advertising agency offering genuine integrated communications
- full service creative, brand, advertising, marketing and communications agency
6. Fully integrated.
I have to confess I’ve never known what this jargon means… but that is probably more a reflection of me!
Does fully integrated mean every different marketing medium is used and they all echo the same message? Do the different marketing activities complement one another? …it is a fancy way to say consistent? Or do all the company departments agree to work together?
For companies that are communications specialists, I’m sure there’s a simpler way to say it.
5. Award winning.
My problem with ‘award-winning‘ isn’t the fact that you’ve won an award, it’s the fact that you strive to win awards — usually at the clients’ expense. I believe if marketers weren’t so focused on winning awards to show off and stroke their own ego, I suspect the clients may get way better results.
Given the choice of an original, clever ad that may win an award or a tried and tested technique to get better results… the typical marketer in my experience will usually choice the first.
When you ask the layman on the street what ‘digital’ is, they usually say “Digital watch, Digital radio or Digital TV.”
I much prefer using the words ‘web’ or ‘online’ – so at least normal people know what you mean.
In marketing speak, ‘engaging’ often ends up translating into complicated website flash animations, in your face banner ads or an advert so mysterious you have no idea who its for.
In the new web world, I believe ‘engaging’ should refer to remarkable content –– blog posts, ebooks & useful videos. Stuff that actually helps people rather than distract or confuse them.
My biggest frustration with a ‘campaign’ is that it generally has a start & a finish date. It is flurry of activity designed to get short term action – which is fundamentally good. But it’s the stop part that worries me.
Sure I know great campaigns can last years, even decades, but often they are 3-6 months efforts that then get yanked & a new one put in its place, making it very hard to build momentum over the long term.
1. Big Idea.
‘Ideas are free. Execution is priceless’ says Scott Ginsberg. Or to paraphrase Thomas Edison, “Ideas are 1%, Execution is 99%. Marketers’ relentless focus on ‘big ideas’ drives me insane.
Every good idea has been done (in some capacity) before, so I reckon a better way forward is focusing on using the most effective idea and then executing like crazy. Strangely ‘originality’ is more sacred than ‘results’ among marketers. But I believe emulating proven techniques is a much better option. Just put your own twist on it, if you have to be ‘original’.
If I had a dollar for every billboard’s text I couldn’t read, every bus shelter with no contact info, every so clever it hurts TV ad, every website that takes 60 seconds to load… Well I reckon I’d have a lot of dollars!