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Thursday, 28 February 2008

Well, I brought the weather with me

It's absolutely throwing it down here in Sydney. I was wondering if it was my fault, because it's just like home - but no, it's been like this all summer.

Do you ever realise you've said something stupid, but it's too late to call it back? I do, all the time. And one surefire vehicle for that kind of stupidity is a blog. This format positively encourages sloppy thinking and writing. You just bang out the first thing that pops into your head, whereas I normally revise everything seven or eight times.

So the other day, I said, apropos of Rick the Builder turned List Broker, that "the worst possible preparation for a career in marketing is an education in marketing". Like a lot of slick remarks that please the writer this is misleading.

What I should have said is, "An education in marketing is not the best preparation for a career in marketing. You need experience in other things, the more varied the better."

However, even a marketing education is better than nothing, a fact of which many in marketing seem sublimely unaware.

It helps if you can write decent English, also a vanishing skill. I read this piece of clotted drivel the other day from someone trying to sell me something by e-mail:

"Rules-based triggered email messaging is an inexpensive, automated way to deliver highly relevant content to your audience at specific time intervals. The concept takes a best marketing practice-personal communications based on known customer or prospect preferences, needs or other triggers-and replicates it in your email communications process, providing a timely digital version of the labor-intensive direct personal contact. When used properly, it can yield high customer satisfaction dividends with a minimal investment in both time and money."

Idiots. If that's how they write, imagine the sheer horror of having to meet them. Why do people imagine such pompous tripe makes them seem intelligent. As Churchill said, "Use simple words everyone knows, then everyone will understand."

Mind you, like calls unto like in this world. People who are impressed by such garbage will buy it - and get their just desserts.

Tomorrow I have the pleasure of speaking to 352 marketers at breakfast here in Sydney. Why that number? No idea. We just can't fit any more in the room.

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