Why Your Marketing Words Suck


I get to look at a lot of writing during my work. I’ve seen marketing materials from many firms. While the visuals are often nice, most of the words just plain suck. The other day, we were on a phone call talking to a firm Principal about a proposal effort. We were politely trying to explain why the writing that he gave for his firm was so bad.

One of the issues is that larger firms often have many different groups. Those groups try to differentiate themselves from the competition but, also in some sense, from their own firm. This causes a problem because you end up seeing language like this:

“The (enter service line here) Group is one of the most highly respected groups within our firm.”

Read that again. That’s a crazy thing to write to a potential client. Who cares that your internal people think highly of this group of other people within your firm?

What if I was to start using that language in my personal resume?

“Matt is the most amazing marketer that Matt has ever met.”

Makes me sound like an idiot, right?

Here is another marketing cliché that always cracks me up:

“(firm name) is the 23rd largest (type of firm) firm in the country.”

Here is why you are a fool to write that. You are alluding that size matters. If bigger is better, I’m going to hire the 22nd largest firm. Better yet, I’ll hire the largest or second largest firm. If size matters, why would anyone hire the 23rd largest firm?

This is why your marketing words suck. You are measuring your firm’s worth with your personal measuring stick. But the fact is that nobody cares about these things but you. Certainly, your clients don’t.


  1. Have purpose behind your words – that’s the message I got. Great read!

  2. Matt – thank you for being one of the most value-added, comprehensive bloggers on the planet with a unique and creative way of presenting all information in a clear and succinct way that allows your readers to carefully evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of what they do every single day while meeting their goals and business objectives. 😉 AMS

  3. Agree. Write statements that better demonstrate, measure, and quantify your company’s value/benefit to the client.

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