Seth Godin has an interesting point about some of the clichés that are commonly used in advertising and marketing. Infuriating stuff, I'll add some to start with:
We have a great consumer insight: ranging from product characteristic to simplistic statements like 'people need to eat', everything counts as an insight these days. And it probably can, but the interesting part of a good consumer insight remains the fact that it's an insight: surprising, unexpected, fresh,... Not just a benefit repackaged as a consumer need.
We need to bring more emotion into the campaign: we'll tell the same crap people have been forced to listen to for years, but we'll change the language and call it emotional branding. Emotion is not just words people, it's relevancy and things people care about, and advertising seldom is a part of that. Unless you're prepared to let go of what you think is interesting.
Add your own if you feel like it and check the ones Seth already wrote about: 4 out of 5 for me...
The early adapters will use it. Actually, they're adopters, not adapters. The mistake in wording represents a fundamental misunderstanding of how most markets work. People don't adapt to what you make, they adopt it. They can't be forced to adapt, so they won't.
Half my advertising works, I just don't know which half. Actually, it's closer to 1% of your advertising that works, at the most. Your billboard reaches 100,000 people and if you're lucky, it gets you a hundred customers...
Let's do a focus group, they'll decide. A focus group is supposed to focus you, not them. It's supposed to lay out ideas and issues that mean little to the group and plenty to you. If you're not prepared to focus, better to not go.
That's a wacky idea. Actually, doing what you're doing now is wacky. Because what you're doing now is certain to become obsolete, possibly sooner rather than later. Just ask my old boss!
We need a bigger marketing department. Probably, you need everyone in the organization to do the marketing... from scratch. More brochures aren't the answer.