Marketing Lies & What They Really Mean
Over the years, I've been exposed to thousands of marketing messages--on websites, in press releases, during conferences, and over the phone. Because such messages tend to be full of BS, I've compiled a list of the most common marketing lies and what companies really mean when they tell them. Here are my ten favorites:
- Lie: "Our products are [cutting-edge, leading-edge, bleeding-edge]."
- Truth: "This is a beta release that we're hoping you'll debug for us."
- Lie: "Our products are [state-of-the-art, third generation, web-capable]."
- Truth: "We have products but no idea why you'd want to buy them."
- Lie: "We will exceed your expectations."
- Truth: "We can't because we just raised them with this stupid remark."
- Lie: "We want to be your partner not just your provider."
- Truth: "We want to lock in your account to keep competitors out."
- Lie: "We developed our product with your business objectives in mind."
- Truth: "We're praying that we have something you think you need."
- Lie: "We are the industry leader."
- Truth: "We know this is a meaningless claim, but it sounds cool."
- Lie: "Our products are [extraordinary, excellent, unique]."
- Truth: "We have no idea how to quantify the benefits of buying."
- Lie: "We provide 360 degree service."
- Truth: "When you call, you end up running around in circles."
- Lie: "We provide world-class customer service."
- Truth: "When you call, the service tech will barely speak English."
- Lie: "We have the lowest cost of ownership."
- Truth: "Our product is massively overpriced."
Readers: Do you have any favorites that you'd like to share with me?
GEOFFREY JAMES | Columnist
Geoffrey James was recently named a "Top 40 Social Selling Marketing Master" by Forbes, and his blog has won awards from the Society of American Business Editors and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. His writing has appeared in publications as diverse as Wired, Brandweek, and Men's Health, and he is the author of numerous books, including The Tao of Programming, Business Wisdom of the Electronic Elite, and, most recently, Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know.