Devil’s Marketing Dictionary Part 2

  • Focus group. Feedback disguised as strategy.  For example, a Volvo is an Aston Martin designed by focus group. Here’s what they said: “I like the looks but it’s really expensive,” “It would be better if had a bigger boot and four seats.” “Wouldn’t it be dangerous to drive that fast?”
  • Survey. A series of carefully crafted questions that generate the answers the PR company had in mind when they pitched the idea to their client.
  • Best of breed. A mongrel, one part Dachshund, one part Alsatian.
  • Managing Expectations. It’s going to be delayed. (Andrew Terry)
  • Synergy. Alternative meaning: After the merger, we can get rid of some people. The whole is *less* than the some of its parts. (Pitarou)
  • Your call is important to us. But not enough to employ sufficient call handlers and anyway you might just go away and leave us alone, especially if you really want something. (Heather Yaxley)
  • Consultation. “What I want is for people to do what I tell them after reasonable discussion” (Winston Churchill)
  • Stakeholder. “What I want is more money and power and less shit from you people.” (Badge from 1997 Computer Game Developers’ Conference)
  • Tipping point. The moment when a concept goes from being a conceit to a catchphrase.
  • Paradigm shift. When everybody agrees with an idea that is about to be disproved.
  • One word equity. Why estate agents in the UK produce magazines with stupid names like “The Square” or “The Green” or “Prestige.”  I was recently pitched a magazine idea with the name “Fuss.” 
  • Visual oxygen. We don’t have enough copy or photos to fill the pages.
  • Long tail. Pinocchio’s other guilty little secret.
  • Social media.  Websites where people interact without ever meeting. See also anti-social media, such as pubs, coffee shops,clubs and restaurants.
  • Key Performance Indicators. Targets that can only be achieved in an ideal world where everything works perfectly, customers pay on time (and never complain), and everyone knows what they’re doing. (Garry)
  • People-ready business.  De-boned, gutted and plucked.  See also Vista Ready and Oven Ready. (Please don’t fire me, I’m only joking. We only tease the people we love.)
  • Passion. Used by PRs and copywriters when they have their sincerity simulator dialed all the way up to 11. “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” (The Second Coming by WB Yeats)

Kudos to Bruce Pilgrim for the following:

  • Suitable for framing. You have to get your own frame.
  • Some assembly required. You’ll need a degree in mechanical engineering to put it together.
  • Quantities are limited, so act now. We’ve only got a couple of million still in stock.
  • Operators are standing by. No one has called so far.
  • Unforgettable. Um, what was the question?
  • …and more. That’s all.
  • 3 out of 4 doctors agree. We surveyed four doctors.
  • Not available in stores. They didn’t want it.
  • Your mileage my vary. We just made up these figures because they sounded good.
  • No purchase necessary. Although we wouldn’t mind.
  • All other trademarks or registered trademarks belong to their respective holders. We don’t have the time or the energy to keep track of all that crap.
  • Our people are our most important assets. But, [if our stock price falls] we’ll lay them off so fast it will make your head spin.
  • Don’t try this at home. Go ahead. You know you want to.

And then the commies came and took away their Cadillacs.

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5 Responses to Devil’s Marketing Dictionary Part 2

  1. You forgot:

    Net 30. Don’t hold your breath.

    Not that I’m bitter or anything.

  2. Matthew, I just found your blog and wanted to tell you that I love your Devil’s Marketing Dictionary! I just posted about it on MarketingBlurb. Thanks for giving me a good laugh!


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