Marketing Fluff… Stop The Insanity!

fluffWe recently advertised a RFP for a web realignment project. We received 15 proposals from vendors all over Canada and a few outside of Canada.  The proposals ranged in size from small to large and elaborate.

To be honest, reading through 15 proposals, started making my eyes go crossed. After a few proposals that were filled with ‘marketing fluff’, I just wanted to see what the vendors were going to do for us and how they were going to help us accomplish our goals.

I compared this experience of reading through proposals, to an experience that a prospective student might have when researching colleges/universities.   Don’t get me wrong, I think that traditional marketing is still critical to drive people to your website [check out my Marketing Convergence post].  But people are becoming more aware of marketing efforts and have higher expectations.  They expect:

  • to access information that will help them make a decision
  • us to be straight-shooters
  • to have authentic messaging

Marketing is still critical to peak interest, drive traffic to you website, spread brand awareness, etc.  But once their interest is peaked and they want more – give it to them.  Cut the Marketing Fluff.

What do you think?  Do you agree or disagree?  Please share your thoughts.

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  • Michel Theriault

    Mike, I can’t agree with you more.

    I fought against fluff when I was writing proposals form my past employers, but found even I had to revert to it when we didn’t have details, evidence or anything credible to say in response to an answer.

    Then, I started reviewing other proposals for consulting clients and the folly in fluff really hit home. I also recently interviewed an evaluator for my upcoming book “Win More Business … Write Better Proposals” and what I though was confirmed. She told me that she glossed over the fluff, and if there was something important buried in the fluff, it was missed and too bad for them.

    There is a big difference between effective sales language in a proposal and filler. The filler is fluff. I will be posting a podcast at on getting the fluff out of your proposal in October, 2009.


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