8 marketing messages we all know are lies
Ian Lurie Oct 29 2009
After a few years in marketing, it’s hard to say any of these without blushing. The louder we say it, the more you can depend on the fact that we’re lying:
- We care about your business. Typically said as the customer service department shoves something splintery into whatever orifice you forgot to seal shut.
- Made with you in mind. Only if ‘you’ means ’30 people locked in a room behind one-way glass, fed caffeine and sugar and then egged on by a facilitator until they were all ready to kill each other’.
- We will beat any price. Except prices in catalogs, prices from the store down the street, and any prices located while Mercury is in retrograde.
- We know you have other choices, and we appreciate your business. I heard this from airlines that feed me nuts and charge me for water, knowing full well the other airlines are preparing to charge extra for ‘in-flight conscious-level air supply’.
- We are certified experts! By the Elbonian University of Internet Marketing!
- Wholesome goodness. Written on foods comprised of mile-long molecules and unpronounceable ingredients.
- Helps your child’s development. Oh, really? To be fair, did anyone really believe leaving their kid to watch dancing puppets on the boob tube for 30 minutes would make their little bundle of joy smarter? I just thought they kept my overly precocious children entertained so I could curl up in a ball for 30 seconds.
- Retains value. Usually used in reference to cars. Means it only loses 75% of its value the moment you drive off the lot.
I was aiming for 10 but my kids are rebelling against bed time and my wife sounds like she may put them up for sale on eBay.
Is all marketing bad? No. But good marketing doesn’t lie, or even bend the truth. Got that?
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More