August 29, 2023

Gibberish

Your marketing world is filled with non-stop gibberish ... empty words designed to capture your attention and separate the money in your marketing budget from your company.

"You need to surprise and delight your customer."

  • Seriously, what would it actually take for you to surprise and delight your customer? What specifically could the Vermont Bean Seed Company actually do to surprise and delight you? Be honest.
  • Want an example of surprising and delighting a customer? I was playing at a pickleball tournament on Saturday and the guy at the food stand saw one of the players gulping air while holding an empty soda cup and said to the woman ... "I'll fill that for you for free." That surprised and delighted the player. Your CFO isn't going to let you give away anything of meaning that costs virtually nothing.
"You need a 360 degree view of today's savvy consumer to be effective."
  • I'm sorry, I just threw up a little bit in my mouth. Wait a moment. Ok. What specifically would you do differently if you had a "360 degree view" of your customer? The answer is important, because if you know the answer, you'd have already implemented the idea via better data because it would be important to you and your customer, right?
"Omnichannel customers are the best customers."
  • If this is true, why did Amazon thrive while mall-based retailers died? These omnichannel sentences exemplify robust word salads of nothingness. Empty digital calories.
  • If this is true, wouldn't catalog brands have had an enormous head start over e-commerce?
"Millennials and Gen-Z increasingly crave deep, meaningful relationships with print."
  • Try a test next time you are confronted with a Gen-Z shopper. On one end of the table, lay down a Scheels catalog in front of the shopper. On the other end of the table, offer the individual her mobile phone. Let's just see how deep and meaningful the print relationship is.
"It's a full funnel experience that is seamless and frictionless."
  • It's gibberish.
  • There's no way that shopping via Google or Pinterest or Facebook or Instagram and then visiting your website and then going back out to TikTok before using your mobile site to buy online and then drive 22 miles to your store to pick up the item is seamless or frictionless. It is a full funnel experience, of course.
"Those who do 'x' will reap the rewards ..."
  • Please stop right there.
  • Nobody is reaping any rewards.
  • If there were rewards to be "reaped", the sentence would say something like "your profit will increase by 33% if you do 'x'".  Notice how none of these articles ever say that.
"Agile companies ..."
  • The very same company demanding that you make quick and nimble and effective decisions couldn't get a sales and product team on the phone with you until next week and then they present their standard/unaltered "deck" to you. Why are these folks allowed to "pitch a deck" to you demanding that you be "agile"?
Gibberish, folks. It's all around you. Put all those words in your digital fireplace and light 'em on fire.

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