Top 20 B2B copywriting cliches

by Tom Albrighton 12 October 2009 Copywriting, Popular

Stuck for the right way to communicate that USP in your marketing collateral? Cut out and keep this handy guide and use it whenever you need to think out of the box going forward.

1.    Solution n. No, I do not just write things for money. I deliver content solutions.

2.    Partnership n. We work with you, not for you. See also co-operation, relationship, working closely/hand in hand with.

3.    Proactive adj. Always trying to upsell the client in the name of ‘helping them achieve strategic objectives’? You’re a truly proactive partner. Always going the extra mile.

4.    Synergy n. What is released when two proactive solution providers work closely in partnership.

5.    Tailored adj. Configured to and shaped around your individual requirements, like that dent you’ve made in the sofa. See also bespoke.

6.    Flexible adj. Remember Access? He was ‘your flexible friend’. And, if you’re a B2B copywriter, that’s what this word is too. See also adaptable, scalable, futureproof, customisable, configurable.

7.    Robust adj.  You’re offering me a technical solution, are you? Well, I hope it’s robust. (Always puts me in mind of a chunky robot.)

8.    Innovative adj. No, it’s not just new. We are blue-sky thinkers, and we’ve been throwing some shapes. That’s how we deliver innovative solutions.

9.    Integration n. And how would you like that, sir? Seamless? Very good sir.

10. Strategic adj. Use it to say ‘big and clever’ without sounding like a six-year-old.

11. One stop shop n. Just like a department store, but with a diverse range of in-house capabilities instead of saucepans and jumpers. See also holistic, cradle-to-grave, comprehensive, under one roof.

12. Expectations n., pl. So, as a proactive, strategic partner, what do I do with these? That’s right – I exceed them. (Probably through continuous improvement.)

13. Key adj. Meaning ‘critical’, ‘central’ or ‘priority’, but shorter and snappier than any of them, and therefore done to death. (By me. I admit it.)

14. Added value n. The more I use it, the less sure I am what it actually means. Something to do with sums maybe, or tax?

15. Agile adj. Like a sure-footed mountain goat grazing on scrubby Alpine grass. Or a robust technology solution. See also responsive, flexible.

16. Modular adj. A modular solution is one that grows with you, supporting your strategic development. (Not one that wears Fred Perry and rides a Vespa.)

17. Dynamic adj. Everyone uses it. No-one knows what it means. Go on, define it. You can’t, can you?

18. RoI, Return on Investment n. Le roi est mort. Vive le roi! And long live this indispensable acronym too – it can make anything sound all financial and serious.

19. Competitive advantage n. Plough through 592 pages of Porter and get clear on what this actually means. Then stop using it. (Hint: it doesn’t mean ‘doing things a little bit better, quicker or cheaper’.)

20. Leverage vt. Yes, it’s a verb now, not a noun. Now leverage your core competencies and make the tea.

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