Leveraging your blue sky thinking by reaching out to your low-hanging fruit

You’ve probably realised by now that I don’t tolerate marketing bollocks and jargon.

A while ago now, I was asked to contribute my thoughts about what 2014 held in store for the world of marketing.  

1950s woman wearing dark coloured shirt, face screwed up and fingers in ears. Black and white

Ignore the waffle and the jargon, to succeed in business you need to solve your customers’ problems.

IMQ and their Inbound Marketing Blog asked me (and 29 other marketing professionals) for a paragraph about what I thought would be the top marketing skills for 2014.

There was quite a lot of sensible stuff in there actually, about measuring results, and making sure what you’re doing is working, and all the rest of it.

But there was a lot of jargon, too. This type of jargon is a big factor in why a lot of business owners don’t trust marketers.

Here are four pieces of dreadful waffle:

  1. Create a 360-degree marketing experience.

Umm… what? The marketing industry comes out with a lot of meaningless jargon like this. It’s why we can’t have nice things.

Actually the guy’s explanation was perfectly reasonable, so why not just be clear?

He talks about putting together data analysis, writing, storytelling, relationship management, paid media knowledge (which I assume means advertising) and integration. Perfectly reasonable.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, I think he means.

  1. Understand schema markups.

I had to Google that. It’s something to do with putting metadata behind web content. It’s all to do with organic search – and is probably going to become an expensive add-on for marketing clients.

It might turn out to be an important thing, but I suspect that providing great quality, useful, relevant content for your precise target market will continue to be what’s really important.

  1. Harness and leverage an omni-channel approach.

This contributor also used the phrase “strong digital proclivity”.

  1. A marketer who lacks [social media] skills has no future.

To me, this is too similar to those charlatans who tell their prospects that if you’re not doing social media marketing, your business will fail. My business is doing pretty bloody well without social media marketing, thank you very much.

I’m not saying don’t do it; I’m just saying you can’t measure it so you don’t know if it’s working. So beware of how much time you put into it.

There’s other stuff that really grates my carrot, too.

The phrase “reaching out”. It. Does. My. Head. In. Just say “contacted” or “emailed” or “phoned”, FFS.

Leverage. Best in class (ick). Innovative. Solution. Going forward. Deliverable.

And in writing this email to you, I’ve just discovered this little gem for your reading delight: “Open the kimono”. It’s apparently used in business speak to mean sharing information with an outside party.

Anyway, you’re probably wondering what I said to the blog dudes, right?

I said, “Solve your customers’ problems.

“The marketing skills that matter most in 2014 are the same skills that mattered most in 2000, or 1995, or 1914. Marketing fads come and go, but human nature doesn’t change. The most important thing is to find out what keeps your customer awake at night, and help them solve that problem.”

This is true, and without it nothing else you do in your business will matter. If you want to really get to grips with this stuff, and all the stuff that follows on from it, you’ll want to read my bookBusiness For Superheroes.

Just click here, and give it a whirl.



Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.

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