Another example of a classic marketing mistake

  1. I fight a constant battle with my inbox. It’s hard enough to make time to read the interesting stuff let alone some of the claptrap that lands in there. However before this one makes the trash folder I had to share it with you, together with some of my thoughts that you might find useful. I’ll make my comments in aqua italics so you can tell them apart from the email:

“1 day Agile and Scrum Workshop Am i Being invited to learn about rugby?

Dear Glenda,

In our pursuit to awareness on Agile, Global Impeccable is delighted to introduce one day training program on Agile and Scrum in United Kingdom. Why would I be interested in their pursuit of awareness? A classic marketing mistake of talking about ‘we, us, our and I’ rather than ‘you and your’.The grammar is pretty appalling too so why would I want to read on?

London: 21st Mar-2014


This one day training will introduce you to the fundamental principles of Agile concepts & practices of Scrum. Attendees will participate and be a part of hands-on activities that will help them practice the theory they learn. Do I need to bring my shorts and head protector? What in on earth are Agile and Scrum?

This 1-day course teaches the principles and practices that make Scrum effective in managing projects. The course uses the principles of Scrum and Agile, where the learning outcome is driven by the needs of the participants through a combination of expert instruction and self-directed learning. Scopes to reflect and adapt the direction of the course are offered at regular intervals. So it’s not about rugby then but what kind of projects is this for? What is the learning outcome? I still have no idea what I have to gain from coming on this workshop.

Elements which will be covered during the one day course.

  • Scrum in Practice: the course is designed to illustrate Scrum in action
  • Understanding of the Agile Manifesto and what it means to them Who is ‘them’?
  • Essence of Scrum: values, foundations and a new way of thinking
  • Understanding how Scrum values and foundations are related to the practices
  • Get a sense of what self-organization is (and is not)
  • Can draw a diagram of mechanics of Scrum: framework, roles, artifacts & flow Is it art, archaeology, acting or what?

At the end of this course, delegates would take away:

  • PMPs: You can earn CCR 8 PDUs for this course What the hell…? (Sorry I haven’t turned into Gordon Ramsay but really…!)
  • Online Training on basic Scrum Concepts So is it a workshop or online training?
  • A glossary of terms that were covered during the class I need a glossary of terms for the marketing material let alone the training. Keep it Simple, Stupid! 
  • A Soft copy of the slide deck will be emailed at all registrants I’ve already lost the will to live!
  • A reading list for further learning
  • Attendees will get 5% discount for our upcoming scrum certification programs conducted by Global Impeccable

At the end of the training the participants will have the confidence and understanding to begin to socialize Scrum at their own organization and departmental units in improving their processes and output. How much worse can it get? So am I now going to a party?

You will learn the concepts & practices that you can take to your projects, teams, and organization and make a difference right away. You will learn how to lead teams in Agile or Scrum mode. Wait a minute might there be something in it for me? Am I supposed to recognise a benefit here?

For more details please log on to: AgileCredential

Registration Details:

Standard Price: GBP 499

Early bird price: GBP 399

Early Bird Date: 20th Feb – 2014

It would be great if you could let me know your interest in joining this program so that we can take it further. Hardly the most powerful call to action!

Looking forward to hearing from you.

To know further details, information on group discounts, In-house training, corporate nominations for the training, please contact us. (and pay for the long distance phone call to the USA.  I think not.)

Thanks & Best Regards”

Did you understand a word of that?

I’m none the wiser despite reading this several times. What do some of these sentences mean? A principle of communication that we would all do to bear in mind is ‘KISS’ i.e. Keep it short and simple. Here I’m really talking about the vocabulary. Shorter words might have made the meaning more obvious. Sometimes documents need to be longer to be fully understood.

Why do so many people fall in to the trap of using unexplained acronyms and abbreviations? These only work if they are familiar to your target audience and you both understand them to mean the same thing.

This communication fails from the marketing perspective too

  • The headline is hardly captivating!
  • My needs and wants are not addressed. I don’t recognise that I have the problem that the writer wants to solve so why would I be interested?
  • The copy is all about the seller not the prospect.
  • Give me some clear aims and objectives for the course so that I have a chance of understanding what I might learn.
  • If you must describe features turn them into benefits so I can see what’s in it for me.
  • There are no mechanisms for establishing the organisation’s credibility so how do I know that it is a genuine offer? Give me testimonials, pass rates etc.
  • I need a clear, strong call to action before I hit the delete button.

Writing copy is not easy. We often get too close to our own material to see what is wrong with it. If you would like an outsider’s view of one piece of your marketing email it and I’ll give you my views, in private, not in a blog! However if your copy is brilliant I might ask your permission to share it here. There’s no charge for this service which is available until February 28th 2014.


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