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When it comes to your marketing materials, words matter. A lot. Words can motivate someone to do business with your company. Or, as the examples in this month’s article illustrate, they can inspire prospects to go elsewhere.

If you haven’t done so in a while, now’s a good time to take a fresh look at your company’s website, brochures and other marketing materials. What message are you presenting? Do you give readers a compelling reason to purchase your products or services? If you’re not happy with what you see, it might be time for a re-do!


Sometimes when I look at the marketing messages that companies put out, I have to wonder what they were thinking. Recently one of these “you’ve got to be kidding” messages – a postcard from my local mortuary – arrived in my mailbox. 

Underneath a picture of a slice of pizza was the following headline:

What’s on the Menu? Pre-Plan & Pizza!

The next paragraph was an invitation to “learn all about the many benefits of funeral and cremation pre-planning, all while enjoying free pizza, salad and drinks!” This was followed by a large call to action line that proclaimed:

How could you miss this?! All are welcome, free of charge!

I suppose nothing says “funeral planning” quite like free pizza! While I realize that funeral pre-planning is a topic that no one wants to think about, I really have to question if this “pizza and pre-planning” message makes sense.

Nonsensical Marketing Messages are Everywhere

The day after this postcard arrived I happened to be shopping at my local mall. I noticed that a new store, which appeared to sell a wide variety of cheap imported home décor items, was having a grand opening. The large, permanent sign above their door features their store name and a fairly strange tagline:

Quality is Possible

Quality “is possible”?? Looking in the shop’s window, all I could think was “sure, quality is possible, but you won’t find it here” or “quality is possible – if you go to the jeweler’s next door!”

Once again, what were they thinking? This tagline not only does not make sense, it actually conveys a message that’s the opposite of what the shop owners undoubtedly intended.


Whether you’re developing an entire marketing campaign or just a single marketing piece, run it by a few people to be sure your marketing message makes sense!

What Others Are Saying

"Each time I work with Linda, I am reminded just how well she understands marketing. Linda understands the principles of marketing on a psychological level. She sees the bigger picture. She is pragmatic, insightful and incredibly fast."

Kristine Putt,
Owner and Brand Identity Designer, Paragon Moon