Bad date marketing image

Bad Date Marketing: Why you might be putting off your prospects straight away

Imagine you’re out on a first date. The restaurant is elegant, the menu looks incredible, and your date is quite easy on the eye as well. It looks like you’re in for a wonderful evening. Unfortunately, your date spends two hours talking nonstop about how great they are, then proposes marriage.

Now, ask yourself something, and be honest. Is that how you market your business?

A lot of businesses produce slick brochures, articles, social media, and videos that all look and feel great but generate nothing useful. No qualified leads, no good conversations, and no reputation.

Well-produced as your marketing might be, if it goes on and on about you, then tries to close a new customer, it’ll get you nowhere.

You wouldn’t buy from a business like that, so don’t sell like that.

It’s not about you

Who is better company? Someone who witters on about themselves, or someone curious, who asks about you, and seems to understand and empathise with you?

People know the answer, but when many people market their business, it goes out of their heads. They try to win people over with boasts about who they’ve worked with, their years in the industry, or how wonderful their product or service is.

You don’t prove you’re an expert by saying you’re an expert. You prove it by showing how well you understand your targets, their industry, and their problems. Again, people already know that.

A good rule of thumb: if sentences in your marketing are about ‘I’ or ‘we’, then the focus is wrong. Stop talking about yourself. Talk about your prospects.

‘Be yourself’: marketing speak is white noise

Back to the date. If you’re desperate to impress, you might try to come across as the sort of person you think they want. You might wear clothes you think that person would wear, put on the accent you think your date will like, and say the words you think will make you sound clever. Then, you’re neither the person you’re trying to be, nor the person you really are, but a rubbish version of both.

There is no reason at all to use jargon or marketing speak in your content. Language like that isn’t meant to be clear, it’s meant to be showy. It actually makes you look insincere, insecure, and like you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Speak authentically. B2B communication makes people think they need to be stiff and formal, but it’s simply not true. Nobody is less human just because they’re at work. It might be on behalf of a business, but it’s not a business that’s reading, watching, or listing to your content — it’s a person.

Which date are you on? Marketing for the whole buying cycle

Some people kiss on the first date. Nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is expecting every date to do it.

If it happens, it’s probably because you were fortunate enough to tick all the boxes. They knew what they wanted, you were exactly what they were looking for, and you came along at the right time.

Some buyers will be much the same. They know they want a solution like the one you sell, so if the price is right and you’re offering what they want, they might buy very quickly. Other buyers need to spend a lot more time getting to know you. They don’t know what solution they want, and they might not even know they need one. That describes 95% of the market.

Just as there’s a long time between ‘let’s have dinner’ and ‘let’s get married’, there’s a long way to go from ‘read this report’ to ‘buy my product’. A B2B buying journey is a long process. Serve something for every stage of the buying cycle, and you’ll keep your audience engaged, you’ll maintain your position as an expert, and you’ll keep the momentum that carries them through to a purchase.

We should do this again some time

It’s only our first date, so we won’t get carried away, but if you’re not getting results from your marketing, why don’t we have a coffee? We might be a match.

Reach our CEO at, or call 0203 941 0305.

Charles Scherer | Copywriter
Charles Scherer

Senior Copywriter