Words that should not be used in marketing communications

Some words and phrases should never be used in marketing because they are completely ineffective. Surprisingly, many of these are used persistently though. ‘No obligation’ is one of them. Why would anyone think there was an obligation?

Others include:

  • ‘Guarantee’ (If you are using this to emphasise your promises, such as delivery times, this should not be needed. If it is in the context of an actual guarantee on a product, then this is always secondary, since the customer has to actually want the product before this matters).
  • ‘Are you interested?’ / If you are interested’ (Nobody wants to be pushed into giving a commitment. We generally have an instinct to say ‘no’ in response to this).
  • ‘Exciting’. Who for and why? It’s generally used by people who have done something which matters enormously to them (for reasons I usually don’t understand) but matters not to their audience).
  • ‘New’. ‘Innovative’. ‘Novel’. ‘Amazing’. (Just get to the actual point).
  • There are some others that are fine as long as the context is right. ‘Bespoke’ is OK if this is different from how others do it AND if you tell people why this matters.

If I had an ‘exciting, new, innovative, novel, amazing, revolutionary product’, would you be interested? I wonder why people keep saying this then …

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