Industrial and Manufacturing Marketing Blog

Top 10 Clichés to Avoid in B2B Marketing Content

You can find plenty of clichés used (overused?) in B2B marketing content. Do they really communicate better with our audience or are we as copywriters/content creators just being lazy? I know I have been guilty on more than one occasion of using popular clichés in my business marketing communications.

I found a Squidoo lens by Seth Godin where he talks about why we tend to use clichés or buzzwords. According to him, “…the vast majority of buzzwords exist for one reason: to hide.” He goes on to list his top ten and invites his readers to add their own to the list.

Here are the top ten business clichés from Seth’s list:

  1. Win-win situation
  2. Thinking outside of the box
  3. Giving 110%
  4. Best Practices
  5. Synergy
  6. Paradigm Shift
  7. At the end of the day,…
  8. Low-hanging fruit
  9. Going forward
  10. Push the envelope

I couldn’t tell how old this lens was but the original ten has grown to 384 as of the date of this post. I have added two of my own:

  • cutting edge technology
  • holistic approach

You can read the complete list at The Encyclopedia of Business Clichés.

The use of buzzwords or clichés in B2B marketing content is not a new trend. Back in 2006, David Meerman Scott had a done comprehensive analysis over a nine-month period of the large number of meaningless phrases used in corporate marketing and PR materials. He called it “The Gobbledygook Manifesto.”

He has updated the original analysis with new data from November 1, 2006, to July 31, 2007. Here’s a chart from the revised data, which shows the top three gobbledygook business adjectives as 1) next generation, 2) robust and 3) flexible.

Gobbledygook - click for larger view

If you haven’t read the original report, download the revised version from ChangeThis The Gobbledygook Manifesto by David Meerman Scott.

Let me end this post with a humorous video that I found on YouTube. It is by IAS – a B2B marketing agency from England. Goes to show that the use of clichés in B2b marketing content is not restricted to the U.S. only.

The campaign against B2B marketing clichés

Achinta Mitra

Achinta Mitra calls himself a “marketing engineer” because he combines his engineering education and an MBA with 36 years of practical industrial marketing experience. You want an expert with an insider’s knowledge and an outsider’s objectivity who can point you in the right direction immediately. That's Achinta. He is the Founder of Tiecas, Inc., an industrial marketing consultancy in Houston, Texas. Read Achinta's story here.
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