Gook – marketing mistakes to avoid !

I called a company to get details about their products and got put onto an IVR system, which proceeded to tell me how the company that I was calling was an “innovation company that makes progress possible”. I listened to that a few times, and I still don’t understand what it means. Or what the company actually does. They kept talking gobbledy-gook.

The Marketing Mistake

It’s a classic marketing mistake that we see everywhere. Simple communication opportunities that have been designed-by-committee to the point of incomprehension. If I have no idea what you do after listening to a minute of your spiel, I’ll begin to wonder if I’ve even called the right place.


It’s hard to change existing ideas and phrases. You’ll likely hear people saying “my customers understand…”. Ofcourse your customers understand, that’s why they work with you. It’s your new prospects that I’m more worried about though. You could be losing out on new opportunities, simply because they don’t really know what you do.


Advertising gimmicks and specific campaigns aside, check your communications materials and make sure they’re really easy to understand. Avoid asking anyone in your company (or industry) about the language you’re using – most often they’re too familiar with acronyms and industry specific terms (unless you’re a very specialised company with specialist clients of course).


Keep editing & cutting away at your text, till it’s concise and effective in communicating your ideas. Good copy takes time, and usually numerous revision. Don’t fret if it takes a while (start in advance). Well formed language with limited distribution is far more effective than incomprehensible text with massive distribution.

Just don’t end up like that advertising campaign in Bangalore that said “The English are coming on the 19th”, dozens of hoardings and months later, I still have no idea what they’re talking about…