What do your marketing words really mean?

So, you’ve got a great product or service, your sales team are ready, and you’re marketing is about to launch…but wait…how will you make your proposition stand out above all the competition? And above all, how will you seduce your prospects so they become customers?

You’re likely to have words on your website, your direct marketing letters, advertisements and alike, but let’s look at what ‘words’ really mean:

‘A single distinct meaningful element of speech or writing…’

And of course, the most important word in that definition is ‘meaningful’.

How meaningful are your marketing words, not to you, but to your potential customer? Do they really help prospective clients to understand what’s in it for them, and the benefits to them for using your company over your competition?

It’s harsh but true!

Have you heard some of these clichés we’ve plucked off of websites?

We’re passionate about continuing to push the creative, technical and customer care boundaries.

We ensure customers receive the correct advice first time whilst making certain that costs savings are a priority.

We get close to our customers’ needs by talking their language and delivering bespoke solutions…

We care about our customers…

These can be found on 100’s of websites, selling 1000’s of different products or services, but what benefit are these words to a prospect?

And here’s one which particularly tips the scale in not actually saying anything in 24 words…see if you can guess what they do!

Solution Providers′ clients receive a comprehensive service which covers each phase of the project cycle, complemented by systematic analysis of client-relevant conceptual issues.

How many times do you still see that companies provide ‘solutions’ of one sort or another? Guess what – the guy that sold me this flask of orange stuff was… yes, that’s right, he’s a ‘Solutions Provider’ too!

A solution is always best found in a lab, not as a word to describe what you do! The worst culprits tend to be telecoms, IT and software providers.

So how can you package up the essence of what you do – how will you make your words mean something, so your potential clients will be intrigued and want to know more about your products or services?

Well for starters, let’s not do any selling… and secondly, remember it’s never about you and your passion (that’s only of interest to you!).

It’s about how good your business is, how competitive your prices are and how much you care. But, and it’s a big BUT – you have to prove it – not just say it.

You’ll go to a restaurant with ★★★★★ stars on Trip Advisor, but not one with ★★ stars. Whatever their website says, it’s the customer experience that matters.

If the service isn’t up to it, the words mean nothing and will often build resentment against the brand.

And that’s why brands renowned for good customer service do so well. John Lewis, a great example, means quality, service, and “never knowingly undersold”. Customers know, like and trust what they stand for because they’re true to their word.

They don’t tell people this, they let others do the selling for them, instead they show it.

So, the next time you’re writing your marketing message think carefully about what the words actually mean – and whether you’re sharing your knowledge and expertise, or simply saying your amazing!

Because surely, it’s a given that:

  • Marketing people are creative,
  • Consultants will talk your language,
  • Telecoms people will make cost savings a priority,
  • Recruitment companies will find candidates,
  • Accounts will be customer-focused?

Give your words substance, otherwise you may as well just be telling your prospects “your call is important to us”…and you’re fooling no one but yourself.