10 Marketing Clichés I’d Challenge to a Fight if I Met Them in the Street

There you are, minding your own business, when it rounds the corner and rams into you full speed: the copywriting cliché. (It didn’t see you coming because it was too busy looking up the percentage of Americans who rely on a mobile device to complete daily tasks, without which we’d have no idea that mobile is important.)

There you are, minding your own business, when it rounds the corner and rams into you full speed: The copywriting cliché. (It didn’t see you coming because it was too busy looking up the percentage of Americans who rely on a mobile device to complete daily tasks, without which we’d have no idea that mobile is important.)

You’ve seen them ’round these parts before, and to put it mildly, you’re sick of it. Time to put up your dukes.

We’re all guilty. I’m certainly guilty. Lock me up in cliché jail and throw away the key, Copper. In fact when I was looking for ideas for this entry, I Googled “marketing clichés” and Google spat back “About 435,000 results (0.53 seconds).” Even this article is a cliché. But, as the slew of tired and overused concepts and phrases is certainly not static, let’s give my own list a go anyway.

Here are a few gems that make me clench my fists. They’re not really in order, save for No. 1 frosting my cookies the most. Disclaimer: I use some of them — frequently. And a lot of them, we continue to use because they work. But there’s always a tipping point, and for these guys, we’re definitely getting there. Consider this an exercise in self-awareness as much as anything else.

10. The latest and greatest resource for today’s [insert industry professional here]
9. With technology rapidly evolving…
8. “Look who’s talking!” to promote a speaker lineup
7. Mobile/Social media/Online is everywhere these days…
6. Grandiose list boasting — ie: “Build your audience with the bestest file out there … no really, honest … THE.BEST.LIST! Ever.”
5. I know you’re busy, so I’ll only take a minute!
4. Before you leave for the weekend/vacation
3. If you only register for ONE event this year, this is the ONE/A fresh, totally unique event
2. A one-stop shop for all your ________ needs
1. Any variation of “How to Market to Millennials”

This last one I just need to just expand on a tiny bit further. Look, I know. I totally get it. From roughly 1980-2000, people continued to have babies, and those babies continued to grow up, and it’s all very scary and brand new.

There’s all kinds of studies about how differently our brains work or how we think about spending money in an unsteady economy, so on and so forth. It’s only natural to feel like there’s a code to crack or a secret language to learn.

If you Google “market to millennials” you’ll get About 13,000,000 results (0.22 seconds). I’d say the industry has it pretty much on lock. And a good portion of these results will discuss us with the clinical tone of a scientist journaling the behavior a newly discovered species of fruit fly.

It gets to be a little much for those of us under the microscope. I promise, we’re just people. Hath not the millennial eyes? If you prick us, do we not bleed?

But I digress — this is possibly a whole other topic for a whole other entry. Meanwhile, tell me which clichés you avoid like the plague! (It’s a cliché that I used “avoid clichés like the plague,” since every English teacher in America has that poster in their classroom. This blog has been a wild trip to meta-land.)

See ya!

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