How to make to make your marketing copy suck less

As CES was underway this past week, I monitored news releases, blog posts and product announcements from companies with cool new things to share with the world. While the things they had to talk about did seem cool, the ways in which many companies shared the news was, in my sometimes-not-so-humble opinion, so ridiculously bad I wasn’t always sure whether to laugh or cry.

Brand new companies—without a shipping product—put out news releases starting with “XYZ Corp, the leading provider of…” Seriously? I’m the leading provider of partially chewed gum with bite marks made by the bridge in the top right of my mouth.

And that’s not all.

I ran into a new product announcement page that rambled on and on, until about half way down the page there was a phrase that gave me some hope…

It read, “…simply put…”

Oh yay! After four paragraphs of crap, they’re going to tell me what the heck their product even does!

It continued with, “…product name…buzzword…synergy…win-win…”

Please stick a fork in me. I am soooooo done.

Without naming names, here’s a product description I’m reading right now.

“…integrated services that are process based with a focus on satisfying business requirements.”

That’s what came after the words “simply put.”

Enough with the hype already. It doesn’t matter if you’re a B2C, or B2B business—or maybe you don’t know or care what those terms mean and you simply have something cool which will be of great value to the right people—you’re talking to humans.

So speak like one.

If your copy reads like anything up above, don’t despair. It’s better to suck than to sit around with nothing but a blank screen. Such “perfectionists” don’t even have bad copy to show for all their nail biting analysis and deep thought.

Here’s a simple formula for speaking to human beings when you have something cool to share.

  1. Here’s what I got.
  2. Here’s what it will do for you.
  3. Here’s what I’d like you to do next.

That’s really not all that hard is it? Try it and you might be amazed at the results.


  1. courane01 on January 10, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Curious – what do you feel of the timing of all these releases? I heard quite a few companies weren’t releasing anything because they didn’t want to get lost in a sea of news releases. 15 minutes after the release breaks, everyone was distracted by some shiny new 3d tv or tablet. What would be a better avenue for standing out from so many others at #CES2011?

    • Dave Saunders on January 10, 2011 at 11:18 pm

      Poorly written marcom isn’t going to stand out, regardless of the timing. 😉

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