Dangers of hype

Dangers of hype

Want to lose an intelligent, discerning, afffluent audience? Just indulge in hype. Overblown claims, breathless tone, unsupported superlatives, hyperbolic adjectives. These are approaches you’d never see in Internet marketing materials, ads, Web site content, and the like from well-known and prominent companies. Why not?

All of them are telltale signs of hype, explains copywriter and marketing consultant Marcia Yudkin. “If you use these tactics, many educated shoppers cringe and go elsewhere,” she says. Sure, hype may sell, especially in a one-time-sale situation, she says. But it can cost you big in other areas, like your company’s reputation:

“Use (hype) and you can expect snickering rather than respect from established journalists, academics, Fortune 500 companies, most people with postgraduate degrees and colleagues who use any of those groups as their benchmark of respectability…”

Runaway hype can also scare off potential partners and JV opportunities. “If you’re aiming at joint ventures with banks, universities, community organizations, trade associations and the like, hype counts very heavily against you.”

I agree. Hype makes most people want to take a shower. As Marcia points out, it’s possible to use a hard-hitting, dramatic direct marketing style, but in an entirely truthful and completely respectable way.

“Hype does sell,” she concludes. “But that’s far from settling the issue of whether or not you should use it.”

Read Marcia’s entire article here.

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