Managers Should Not Be Allowed to Write Marketing Materials

Harsh? Managers can't write marketing materials


Want to know why? Corporate speak.

Something happens when you reach the upper echelons of management; your language morphs into an incomprehensible drivel, creating disturbing sound bites and memos a bit like this one:

“Going forward, all stakeholders in National Memo Day will be tasked to proactively think outside the box and produce a synergistic vision for growing the impact of this day on the national consciousness. This is a ground-breaking chance to get behind this concept 120% and to idea-shower strategies for leveraging our assets and incentivize dynamic solutions in order to evolve a set of win-win deliverables to add value to this high-altitude occasion.”


They become obsessed with metrics, synergy, going forward, pushing the envelope, paradigm shifts, leveraging, siloes, transitioning and covering all bases whilst on a level playing field.


It doesn’t make you sound important, it doesn’t make you sound professional; it’s just annoying and hides the real meaning of what you want to say.

If you have something to say, say it in plain, good old-fashioned English.

Managers can’t help themselves and will try to shoehorn as many of the above terms into their brochures, web copy and emails as possible (not to mention their reports, white papers and case studies). It’s as if they think they have to use them to justify their pay grade.

But, you know what? Your customers (i.e. the people who will be reading this stuff) don’t want to be faced with incomprehensible industry gobbledegook. They want a clear message written in simple language.

It comes down to how much value you place on your customers.

Offer them marketing materials written in-house that are stuffed full of corporate speak and they’ll walk away.

Offer them poorly translated brochures from your parent company (because they insist they’re fine for your market even though you know they aren’t) they’ll walk away.

But, offer them well written materials that speak in plain English, that address them directly and concentrate on the benefits your product or service offers and they’ll be putty in your hands.

A good, experienced copywriter will NEVER litter their copy with corporate jargon.


Because they value your customers and they know what they want.

That’s why you should never allow management anywhere near your marketing materials.

Rant over. Thank you for listening.


Image courtesy of imagerymajestic/FreeDigitalPhotos


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#1 Huw Sayer on 09.25.13 at 7:29 pm

Spot on Sally – and a perfectly excusable rant if it saves some managers from themselves (and spares their clients any further suffering).

Your points also apply to internal communications. Employees will only do what you want if they understand what you want. All to often, the internal memo urging employees to pro-actively engage with their consumers, leaves people wondering whether to marry the next customer or simply speak to them.

Best wishes



#2 admin on 09.26.13 at 7:45 am

Thanks Huw – perhaps it should be made law that managers are not allowed, under any circumstances, to write their own marketing materials (or have editing rights when written by a copywriter).

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