This guest post by Andy Wallner is in response to my post last March: A missing hyphen can unravel your reputation. Embedded links are his, likely are for SEO purposes, and I am not getting paid. Andy was bold enough to contact me with a personalized pitch that proved he could actually write, not just spam my blog.
If Missing Hyphens Unravel Reputations, Bad Grammar Destroys Them
Hi this is going to be a good articles on bad grammer and stuff with marketing so have fun reading with it thankz.
Now, I’d be willing to bet that when you read that first sentence, you were ready to assume I had no literary skill and that the rest of the article had no credibility. Sadly, this kind of bad grammar happens every day, around the world, at marketing firms. As the business world continues to grow, many marketing professionals are in such a hurry to get copy out the door that they fail to proofread their material. It doesn’t help that few marketing degree programs require courses on basic English and grammar.
Why Does Grammar in Marketing Matter?
Failing to proof your marketing material could cost you dearly. When presenting material to a potential customer, it is imperative that you have everything perfect. There was a slogan used by a popular shampoo manufacturer some years ago that went, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Nowhere is this more true than in marketing. If you leave potential customers with a bad taste in their mouths, you have likely lost their business for good.
On top of that, poor grammar and misspelled words send out a signal to customers that you don’t care about your business. Bad grammar essentially tells the client, “I was too lazy to even proofread this before I sent it off, and I will likely be too lazy when it comes to providing you with service in the future.” Customers want to deal with professionals, not amateurs who didn’t take the time to read and reread their own promotional materials.
Web Footprints Marketers Leave With Poor Grammar
Just as the Internet has led to marketing professionals being able to quickly and easily get their message out, it has also led to marketing professionals being burned. When you put something out on the Web, it is almost impossible to erase, not just because the information is stored on a server somewhere, and not just because temporary cached files are saved to computers around the world.
If you put out material with mistakes, and a potential customer sees it, they can’t un-see it. Even if you catch the mistake and correct it, it’s too late, as the customer’s confidence in your business has already begun to crumble. This is another reason why making sure things are done right before putting them out for the public is so important.
For Every Rule, There is an Exception
This isn’t to say you can’t play fast and loose with the rules in some situations. In marketing, knowing your demographic is the name of the game. You are going to want to speak to your audience in their own language. You’re trying to appeal to a specific type of customer, and just as society has its own cultures and subcultures, it’s important to know the ways in which your audience and its subsets communicate.
For instance, if you are marketing to teenagers it may be acceptable, in some cases, to use improper grammar to reach them, as teenagers often intentionally use improper grammar themselves. Of course this can’t be standard practice, but for certain novelty marketing, you can get away with it. However, you certainly would not want to use the same improper grammar when marketing to a medical office or a legal firm.
Again, it’s about knowing your audience, and using the grammar and spelling that they use. If you take a look at the popular Lolmart.com, you can see how the site has used deliberately broken grammar to market and sell humorous products. Another example would be the underground and edgy message board 4chan, where a set of lingo built on horribly mangled grammar is known and understood, and actually encouraged by the regular readership. Once again, it comes down to knowing your customer base.
Misspelling Keywords Doesn’t Work Anymore
And this brings us to another important point: keywords. If you’re using the Internet to market your site, or you are using search engine optimization tactics, you know that keywords are a very important part of making your site more visible than your competition’s. If you don’t take the time to ensure that your keywords and phrases are spelled correctly and laid out properly, you may be missing out on traffic to your site. Knowing how people speak, as well as how they write, is essential to any marketing campaign.
Keep in mind that there are many simple tools you can use to combat grammatical errors in your copy. Most word processing programs have built-in functionality to check for spelling and grammar errors, and there are online tools to do the same. However, never rely solely on an automatic spelling and grammar check, as they are prone to faults as well. If you truly want to remain free of grammatical errors, proofread everything, then proof it again, then have someone else proof it for you. Remember, small grammatical errors can lead to lost customers, as well as a ruined reputation.