Don’t Do This At Work

Does your company have a marketing department? Good, then listen up. If you’re collaborating with marketing, do not use certain marketing terms if you don’t know what they mean, if you’re not sure what they mean, or if you’re using it ’cause all the cool kids are. Seriously. I’m not joking. Don’t do it. Marketing people are crazy. They will punch you until you cry.

punch, black nailpolish, knuckles

A word of caution: if people in your marketing department have words on their knuckles, stay away from them. Or even if they don't.

First off, when discussing creatives for marketing materials, do NOT use the word “stylized”. Telling your marketing people you would like a “stylized” typography in an ad, poster, flyer or whatever, is like telling a bartender you’d like a glass of alcohol, please.  Somehow, over the last few years, stylized has become a really popular description, especially when talking about typography. “And we’d really like a stylized font for our Wankers Ltd. logo”.

Just so you know, stylized means “to design in or cause to conform to a particular style, as of representation or treatment in art”.  Did you notice the lack of specificity as to which particular style we’re designing in? Uh huh, me too.

yellow, black typography, toilet sign

If you ask marketing for a stylized sign, chances are good that this is what you'll get.

Next up is return on investment. Do not talk about return on investment to marketing people. Really.You’re taking your life into your own hands. You see, return on investment does NOT mean sales revenues. No, it doesn’t. Not ever. According to Wikipedia, return on investment, in marketing, means ” the optimization of marketing spend for the short and long term in support of the brand strategy by building a market model using valid, objective marketing metrics”. If you don’t immediately understand that sentence, you are not allowed to EVER say “return on investment”. Ever.

If you sort of understand it, you’re allowed to say “return on investment” once, and then you’re cut off.

sharp, blades

I'm not being metaphoric. Marketing people have very sharp scissors. Say "return on investment" twice and see what happens.

Lastly, and my personal favourite, is “wow factor”. We live in an age of information, 24/7. We live in a technological age. We live in an age of “Rule 34” (if it exists, there is porn of it – no exceptions). Do you know how many things make me say “WOW!” and mean it? 2. That’s right. 2.

josh holloway, lost, james ford, beach

This is one of the 2 things. The "wow" is usually followed by "who's your mama?"

So yeah, word to the wise: do NOT ask your marketing department for the “wow factor” unless you want all your marketing materials to feature shirtless Sawyer.

Actually, somebody please ask me for the wow factor. Please.

Related Posts

  • MikeWJ

    Wow! What a great post. Super stylized. I hope you get a great return on the investment of time you made in it.

    One personal question: What’s the second thing that makes you say “Wow!”? Raoul?

  • Way to go. You just used up your one single “return on investment”. Now you can never say it again.

    As for your sarcasm, I could just let Mike keep posting pictures of cats, you know.

  • How cute. As if you “letting” me has anything to do with it.

  • When I was a graphic designer, I told them what they were going to get!  Well, I told them what they needed and convinced them it was all good for their ‘image’.   Never let them tell you what they want!  It usually ends up looking gross!

  • Lindamedrano

    That shirtless man is cute.  But I was really hoping to see a stylized cat photo for a “WOW” factor.  That ROI thing was over my little pointy head.

  • Lindamedrano

     Mike, Darling, isn’t Nicky being a little passive aggressive?  How is Dobson?  I hope he’s doing well.  And Honey, when will we see another post about him.  My favorite things are cats (well, actually, dogs too), and I never get tired of posts about them.  Marketing just isn’t as fascinating to me as cats.  Know what I mean?

  • Gorgeous Nicky, I promise to never ever use the-terms-that-shall-not-be-named. Now will you please tell me what the second thing that makes you say wow is?

  •  Do NOT push me.

  • Babs, I knew you would understand! I think all marketing departments should just have signs throughout the department that say “We’re marketing. Let us tell you what you want.” Life would be so much simpler that way.

  • The shirtless man is delicious. I’d like to have him for breakfast.

    No. More. Cats.

    Nothing is over your pretty little head. 🙂

  • Thank you Lemmikki. Now as for the second thing, well, let’s just say Ziva prancing around in underwear and leave it at that.

  • So you’d rather more posts from Mike and less from me? *sniff* Now I’m sad.

  • I guess, I can’t use any of those phrases as I didn’t  understand most of what you said.  Well…I understand a portion of your explaination of the “WOW factor”. 

    I happen to be in the industry that does occassionally use the phrase “return on investment” but clearly it means something else.  My clients believe that when they sell their home they DESERVE the amount they paid for it (their home being their investment) + the Realtor’s commission + $50,000.00 plus or minus a bit, for the leaky faucet they fixed, plus $25,000.00 for mowing the lawn, + the increased value due to time and their excellent decor (sorry but they WILL call it the WOW factor) + a gazillion dollars because they live in [fil in the blank]…. So in the Real Estate industry the definition of “ROI” is:

    The overly inflated and unrealistic amount a seller believes he is entitled for standing and/or breathing within a home over any period of time,  no matter how short or long in duration.

    … that I am thinking about it….can I borrow those scissors. 

    Just so you don’t feel alone…I will be using those scissors on the next person that says “pop of color” in referring to some god awful color that  they smeared on a wall to make it “stand out”. 

    Mike, if you are still hanging around…and Linda brought it up, so it’s already out there…;How is Dobson?

  •  * poke *

  •  I’m glad you asked, Linda. Dobson’s doing great. He’s actually been changing a lot lately and you can tell that he’s going to grow up into a very respectful and mature cat.Cats are fascinating to me too 🙂

  •  Dobson of course, is doing great 🙂 It really seems that he’s slowly capturing everybody’s hearts and minds. Dobson for President!

  • Cheryl, you kill me! I started my spring cleaning today which of course led to thinking about painting my kitchen. I thought of doing an accent wall, but now I won’t. 🙂

  • He’s not capturing EVERYBODY’s hearts and minds.

  • Oh, go for it! When you go to sell someday, you can tell yor Realtor that your kitchen has a real WOW factor because of the pop of color and therefore worth an extra 50K. Try to use a little discretion on the color though…..colors that glow in the dark don’t appeal to everyone.

  • Probably more qualified than some of the contenders. Certainly, cuter than all of them.

  •  Ahahahahha! @ MWJ!

  • Sage advice, Nicky! 

  • A poke is NOT the same as a push.  A good push might get you a good punch, whereas a good poke might get you a hot breakfast in the morning.
    Now Nicky, I think you know better than to follow through on the cat picture threat.  Really, it’s not politic to even play like that.  (This isn’t WeWorkFor IcanhasCHEESEburger, right?  RIGHT??!)

  • I thought so too, now if only people would heed my words..! 🙂

  • It must be Monday because I have no idea what you are talking about. But I agree with you just the same. A poke is a poke, a push is a push and never the two shall meet.

    Threat? I issued a threat regarding cat pictures? Now, would I do something like that?

  • You’ve got to stop using that picture of What’s-His-Abs.  (He has a face?)  It’s giving me serious WOW factor!

  • You’re scaring me.

  • 🙂

  • KZ

    I’m no graphic designer, so I’ll just have to enjoy this list of pet peeves as an outsider.  Speaking as an accountant, I absolutely hate it when people from other units jokingly ask me to help them embezzle money.  I mean, what the crap?

  • KZ

    Hah, Babs’ comment beneath mine subconsciously placed the phrase “graphic designer” in my head.  Color me embarrassed.  

  • What’s-his-abs is the only time you’re allowed to say wow factor. And no, I won’t stop using that picture. It makes me happy 🙂

  •  My bark is much worse than my punch, I promise 🙂

  •  I had no idea you were an accountant. You don’t write like an accountant. I’m really not sure what an accountant writes like, though. But I stick by my statement, just the same. I won’t ask you to help me embezzle money, but if you like, you can just send me some directly. That way, everybody’s happy. 🙂

  • LOL! No worries, I’ll only make fun of you incessantly as a result. 🙂

  • That makes two of us!


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