News & Insights

Marketing Lies to Avoid

Marketing can be done wrong. In the industry, marketers tend to rely on clichés to get a point across, and it tends to detract from their mission. Clichés occur as a result of recycling the same practices until they become stale and predictable – the opposite of what marketing should be.

Many of the old guard believe that if blanket methods have worked for them in the past, they should continue to work for various audiences. However, it’s important to tailor your approach to your target market and what is current, not just what is conventional.

So, when you get told “We’ve done it this way forever,” be sure to do your own research. In marketing, our world is filled with common practices that just don’t have the same impact they used to. But be especially aware of the tropes below.

Cliché #1: Content Is King.

If someone tells you this, they have it only half right. Granted, content is extremely important. Content encompasses everything from your ad creative to the blog you’re reading right now, but that’s all it is. Your content doesn’t spread the message itself. It’ll sit there until the end of time, no matter how great it is, unless you get it out there. That’s why saying “content is king” isn’t true and, honestly, can be misleading. You need a marketing strategy plan that ensures your content will reach the right audiences. A marketing plan lays out how you’ll deliver your message and to whom. Together, your content and your plan are “king.”

Cliché #2: Be Positive and Be Professional.

Whether you think it’s good or bad, business just isn’t like this anymore. Humans are, in fact, not always positive. Shocking, isn’t it? People nowadays are looking for authentic brands to make a personal connection with. They want to interact with brands that value the same things they value, support the same things they support and are genuine. How can you be authentic when you’re forcing positivity all the time? We’re not saying you should only focus on the negative, but it’s OK to acknowledge negative things when they happen. Addressing negativity, and even making light of it when appropriate, can show personality and authenticity.

Keeping your marketing campaigns completely professional isn’t always the right call either. Obviously, depending on what it is that you’re marketing, you’ll have varying flexibility as to what you can and can’t get away with. That being said, it’s OK, even good, to add a bit of personality into your marketing. Use causal language that you’d use when talking to a friend. Conversational speech helps your audience connect with the brand on a personal level and, once again, defines the persona you want your business to have. 

Cliché #3: Stay on Brand.

This cliché has good intentions. You don’t want to destroy your brand persona or brand voice by flip-flopping what you do all the time. However, a brand guideline should be just that, a guide. When you create your brand’s guidelines your Bible, you heavily restrict your creativity. And if there’s one thing great marketing is, it’s creative. The “staying on brand” rule, if too rigid, can restrict your ability to innovate, so try to be as flexible as possible. There is no shortage of opportunity for collaboration, trends to hop on and new technology to help you generate fresh ideas. The only limits you have are you and those pesky guidelines.

There are plenty more clichés that exist in marketing. One way to avoid them is to take advice from your colleagues with a grain of salt and conduct the research yourself. People want to pass down what they’ve learned, but you should always verify the information yourself. Advice from seasoned professionals can be helpful, but effective strategies evolve with time. Always do your own research so that you can avoid the trap of these marketing clichés.