Meaningless Marketing Messages


Web Ink Now has a great article and analysis of the gobbledegook that passes for marketing messages. They’ve done an analysis of over 50,000 articles during the first nine months of 2006. Not only have they identified many of the most ridiculous terms, they’ve ranked them (or stack-ranked them, as a former employer would say) based on frequency.

The Goal of a Marketing Message

A nebulous goal that leads to inaction is “find customers” or “sell product.” That may be the high level goal of marketing, but it is no more useful than using the goal “Make more profit” would be in defining a software product.

Shotgun Approach

Using platitudes like cutting edge and user-friendly is like shooting at a distance with a shotgun. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll hit someone – but you’re kidding yourself if you think it was anything but luck. The gobbledegook that David Meerman Scott at Web Ink Now identifies is the worst kind of trite meaningless jargon. Finding customers is about persuasion, and requires us to target individuals with a sniper rifle (prolonging the firearm metaphore).

Sniper Rifle

A marketing message should be a targeted communication, with a specific persona or audience in mind. Learn from David and Seth and the host of other people who know this stuff a lot better than we do!

Enjoyable Read

In addition to the great article, there is some serious data eye candy in the graph of the top twenty trite terms. The top three:

  1. Next generation
  2. Flexible
  3. robust

Go to David’s article to see the rest of them.

3 thoughts on “Meaningless Marketing Messages

  1. Hi Tyner, thank you for your post. Since I did the anlaysis about a week ago, many people have offered their favorite gobbledygook phrases such as “thinking outside the box,” “best practice,” and “proactive.” Like my teenage daughter would say: “Like, there are, well, so many over used phrases, you know?” Blog on. David

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