What's new in Marketing


Marketing doesn't stand still. Everything I ever learnt formally studying marketing is pretty much obsolete now, so I'm continually keeping up to date with new developments. This blog is a mix of what I'm doing with clients and a digest of new directions and tactics in Marketing - with the occasional rant thrown in for good measure. I hope you find this useful. Di. 


11 Words you should never use in Sales and Marketing

January 24, 2013
This is a post from Jeff Haden. I won't call him a guru because he hates the word! Keep reading and you'll see what I mean

 Want to stand out from the pack? Stop sounding like the pack.

Samples are helpful. Demos are often effective. But what is the primary tool used to convince potential customers to buy?


Whether spoken or written, words make sales happen.

Or not.

Too many salespeople (and marketers and advertisers) use the same words to describe their products and services. Pretend I'm a potential customer or client.

Here's how I react when you use the following words:

"Customer focused."

Talk about redundant; should you be anything but customer focused?

If your goal is to imply that other providers are not customer focused, tell me how: Faster response time, greater availability, customized processes or systems... tell me in concrete terms how you will meet my specific needs. (If you don't know my needs and therefore can't address them, shame on you.)

"Best in class."

There are two problems with that phrase: Who defined your "class," and who determined you were the "best" in it?

My guess is you did.

Still, maybe you really are that awesome. So prove it. Describe your accomplishments, awards, results, etc.

As a customer I don't need best in class, I need best for me--so tell me, in objective terms, how you can provide the best value for my needs.

"Low-hanging fruit."

You say, "We'll start with the low-hanging fruit." I hear, "We'll start with really easy stuff you are too stupid to recognize or too lazy to do yourself."

No one wants to hear they have low-hanging fruit. Just describe, in cost/benefit terms, how you prioritized your list of projects or activities.

"Exceed expectations."

That's admirable goal, and one every business should aspire to, but exceeding expectations is an internal goal. Tell me you will exceed expectations and exceeded expectations instantly becomes my expectation. (I know that's kinda Zen.)

Tell me what you will do, every time. If you consistently pull that off, I'll be delighted.

Always let the customer judge whether you go above and beyond.


The ever-increasing pace of commoditization means few products or services have no like or equal for long. If I'm considering hiring your firm or buying your products, "unique" (like "exclusive") sounds good but describes nothing.

Instead tell me, in concrete terms, how you are better.

"Value added."

This term is often used to imply I'll get something for no or very little incremental cost. That means what I will receive isn't value added--it's part of the overall deal.

So tell me the deal, explain all the options and add-ons, and help me figure out how I can take full advantage of what you provide.


Margaret Thatcher once said, "Power is like being a lady; if you have to say you are, you aren't." Show your expertise instead.

"Social media expert" often reads as "We have Twitter and Facebook accounts and even know how to use them!

"Implemented social media campaigns for ACME that generated..." lets potential customers evaluate your level of expertise and your suitability for their needs.


Experience is only a partial indicator of expertise. If you're a contractor you may have built 100 homes... but that doesn't mean you did a good job.

Any reference to experience should immediately quantify that experience.

"Exceptional ROI."

We all seek a return on investments and we all love a great ROI. But without access to my numbers you can't accurately calculate my ROI. Therefore your estimates are either theoretical or based on another customer's results. Either way, I know your estimates are incredibly optimistic and that my results will definitely vary.

"Provides an exceptional ROI" reads as "...you're a terrible businessperson if you don't do this."

Show the costs, don't hide anything, and trust me to calculate my own ROI. If I'm not smart enough to do so, I probably don't have purchase authority anyway.


Long-term business relationships are great, but we will never be partners because while your hand will reach into my pocket, my hand will never reach into yours.

Still, maybe one day I will see you as a quasi-partner... but that's something I will decide on my own based on your performance, not on your marketing.


I love a turn-key solution as much as the next guy, but few solutions truly are.

No matter how comprehensive the offering I always wind up participating more than I was led to expect, so when I hear "turn key" I'm naturally skeptical... that is, unless you thoroughly break down what you will provide and what my participation will be, both during implementation and after.

Turn-key is in the eye of the beholder.

The customer is always the beholder. 

Do you agree with Jeff? Read more of his wisdom here


Free Email Newsletter Service from MailChimp

January 5, 2011

That's right! MailChimp are so confident you'll love their Email Marketing service they offer a completely free service - you don't even have to give credit card details. You will be limited to 1,000 names on your mailing list and a maximum of 6,000 emails per month.  More details here

To be honest, when you're first setting up a list, this will be more than adequate while you get to grips with creating effective newsletters. I love the way they have loads of brilliant "how to" guides too. I...

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Carradice launch City Classics range to great acclaim

October 27, 2010

Carradice growth continues unabated. The original British bike bag company is now the brand of choice for all retro-loving cycle commuters.

The key trend identified at Cycle Show 2009 was the need for smart cyclist commuter bags. Their current range included several bags aimed at that sector, with the emphasis on functionality. So the last year was spent designing and road-testing prototypes. The finished result was launched at Cycle Show 2010 in October to fantastic acclaim. David and the tea...

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Design your website the way people will use it

December 14, 2009
People don't read websites - well, not when they first land on them.

They scan the page to see if it feels like it contains the information they're looking for.

And they scan the page in an "F"-shaped pattern - generally, two horizontal stripes and a left-hand vertical. Take a look at these examples from web-usability guru Jakob Neilsen's eyetracker studies:

Note: the hotter the colour, the more the viewers looked at that area.

So, what does this mean for your web page design?
  1. Hit the reader ...

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Google Adwords: Improve your campaign without losing what's working

December 7, 2009
The godfather of Google everything, Perry Marshall, sent me this vital information in his latest newsletter.

It tells you everything you need to know about improving your Adwords Campaign without taking a serious dip in performance during change-over:

After hundreds of Adwords account consultations, I've often seen that a guy can have an account that's a real mess, but it's still working, still profitable. Great improvements can and must be made, BUT must be done without screwing up what was...

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A short rant about "Solutions"

November 26, 2009
I offer Business Solutions

What does that tell you? Not much!

You're either: 
screaming at your screen - "just tell me what you actually do!!"
you've switched off and moved on...

and if you use the word "solutions" that's exactly how your reader is reacting


Scan all your copywriting - website, brochure, leaflets, everything

Be precise in your wording to make it easy for your reader understand how you can help them.

End of rant.

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Pay less per click

November 26, 2009
How much are you spending on Google Adwords?

Probably far too much for the business it brings in. There are 2 key steps to maximise your Return on Investment:

1 Improve your PPC Quality Score
2 Improve your "Clicks to Customer" Conversion Rate

The common factor in both these steps is the Landing Page your adword leads to.

Did you know your competitors could be paying less per click than you but still get a higher position on search pages?

That's down to Quality Score.

Google rates you on how releva...
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Why are press releases good for getting search traffic to your website?

October 29, 2009

To get a good search engine ranking you need to build links to your website. How can press releases help? 

 Press Releases are great for Search Engine optimisation. If you want to rank highly on the search engines for your industry you need to get good quality on topic web pages linking to your website. It used to be that any link pointing to your website would do, but now search engines look more at the quality. The press release is basically an article about your industry that you can make l...

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Survey Monkey is the business

October 29, 2009
Have you heard about Survey Monkey? It's a *free* survey build and manage website. Take a look.

As you'd expect, only very basic surveys are free, but it's a good way to get some initial feedback for a new product/service you're planning to offer or get customer satisfaction ratings for your business.

I put a mini survey together for this website - please take a look:

Click Here to take survey

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Should I pay to get to the top of Google?

October 29, 2009

Many web marketing specialists claim they can get you to the top of Google - how do they do that? 
The best web marketers have been established for several years and have networks of directory sites which all link into a sizeable web that the spiders find very attractive. Hence they can guarantee that your website will get found. But you will have to pay to get a slice of their intellectual property.

One of my favourite web marketing specialists is livetech.co.uk - check out the natural ra...

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