Why You Should Stop Writing Like a Marketer

Marketers should be the first to know that a hard sell rarely works in writing.



Admittedly, marketing is not my favorite subject. But I have nothing against marketers. I ignore the obnoxious ones. The rest — more or less — seem like decent people.

Too often, however, I find myself fiddling with marketing and PR pros’ writing to eliminate, or at the very least, soften, the hard sell tone and verbiage. More often, I can’t be bothered and move on to something else.

While there may be little to do about quotes, in the case of marketers, it might be acceptable to eliminate, for example, “…and drive results” when prudence calls for it.

It should be acceptable.

Peppering language with transitive verbs like “leverage” and “fuel” or overdoing cringeworthy industry anocronyms like CP-anything does little to advance the author’s credibility. What’s a PANK? What’s a tent pole? A Pinfluencer?

If you are a guest blogger or interviewee for a marketing or social media blog, your audience already knows that your information — tips, product, idea, “innovation” or service — will advance at least some of the audience’s marketing objectives.

If your product “increases engagement,” you needn’t add “…and drives results.” We know that increased engagement will produce results (or at least we should).

While the audience of a particular blog may not mind the industry-speak, your chances of recognition (as a writer, marketer or business) beyond that blog are minimized. You will not monetize your audience.

Marketing jargon takes away from interesting “content” — form trumps function. Take heart, by its very nature, buzz-speak sells to the nth degree. So strip out tired words and the hard-sell tone of your messages (or be sure your PR account executive does).

Marketers should be the first ones to know that a hard sell rarely works.