The great challenge of marketing is to cut through the noise and get your message both heard and acted upon. This is difficult or impossible if your marketing materials use the same vague clichés that everyone else uses.

To make your marketing message clear and memorable, replace your "heard it all before" verbiage with statements that are precise and vivid. Here are seven examples:

1. Innovative

Since everybody claims their products and services are innovative, the word has now been rendered meaningless. Rather than make this claim, show how the newness of your product or service provides value to the customer.

Wrong: "Our product is innovative."

Right: "You can use this newly-added feature to reduce manufacturing time by 10 percent."

2. Exciting

If you have to say that something is exciting, it's not. (It's like when somebody says "this is a funny joke"--you know it's not going to be funny.) Rather than claiming to be exciting, show customers why they should be excited.

Wrong: "This is a exciting new service."

Right: "This service can double your customer base within six months."

3. Cheap

Things that are cheap are flimsy. People who are cheap are irritating misers. Rather than raise the specter of "you get what you pay for," compare your product to higher-priced alternatives.

Wrong: "Our service is a cheap way to win more business."

Right: "Our service will increase revenue by 10 percent while also reducing cost of sales by 10 percent."

4. Quick

Quickness is a relative concept, and therefore has no real meaning. (To a snail, for example, a turtle is quick.) Customers are more likely to believe your marketing message if you provide an actual and understandable period of time.

Wrong: "The project will generate a quick ROI."

Right: "The project will pay for itself in six months."

5. Easy

Customers have been endlessly promised things that are easy. By now, most have discovered the truth, which is that nothing is easy. You'll get more customer attention if you show how your product is easy.

Wrong: "This application is easy-to-learn."

Right: "It took my 5-year-old two minutes to figure out how to use this."

6. Substantial

This is just a pompous way of saying "big." Plus, wouldn't even something small be substantial compared to something even smaller? Rather than make this claim, provide a measurement that will mean something to the customers.

Wrong: "Buying now means substantial savings."

Right: "If you buy before the end of the month, you'll save 10 percent off the regular purchase price."

7. Scientific

When companies claim that something is scientific, all they usually mean is that they've got some quantitative data. Reserve "scientific" for situations where the scientific method has actually been applied.

Wrong: "We ran scientific tests to prove our product's effectiveness."

Right: "We ran some tests and here's what we discovered..." or (if actual science is involved), "We ran a double-blind, peer-reviewed test of our hypothesis."

How do you create messages that cut through the clutter?

Published on: Sep 8, 2014
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