As people we are inundated daily with worthless marketing material. We may even have some worthless marketing ourselves. Yes… pages of mindless jargon thrown on a page because we feel the need… the desire to fill something or say something.

We feel we MUST give away something in order to get attention and devotion in return.

Previously… I would have said that worthless marketing material is the following:

  1. If you used Microsoft Publisher or Word to design your brochure or sales piece
  2. You use 8 point font and fill the entire page with YOUR opinion of YOUR product
  3. You have added an entire panel to your brochure about yourself
  4. You create multiple identities online because you have ONLINE ADD
  5. You still brag that your business or organization has been around for 40 years.

I know that it is a little harsh. I know that most small business owners or entrepreneurs are living on the edge… and spending money just isn’t an option. I am not speaking to you. I am speaking to the people who have the money to spend. I am yelling at the people who are still spending huge marketing dollars on a strategy that hasn’t been changed since 1982. They aren’t using new technology (whether email, mobile, or social) because they don’t have the money. They aren’t spending because of fear…. fear of change and fear of the unknown.

Seth Godin has a old post that talks about the other things that make marketing material worthless. The post is a couple of years old but still reigns true in the world of marketing communication. From the blog post – Silence is a Virtue.

If the best thing you can think of is a bad pun, random capitalization and a weak photo (salt and pepper included!) it’s probably better to do nothing at all.

Is it true that sometimes silence is better than creating something that looks cheap and amateur?

I think the better question is… should you REALLY be spending the marketing dollars where you are spending them. Does that direct mail run and brochure print actually cost THAT much?

Could you move around and reallocate budget to spend on marketing that is measurable and results that matter? Probably…

What are you afraid of? Are you afraid of creating real advocacy around your brand?