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I loathe the misuse of the word passion in business

A Passionate Rant

This afternoon I received an email in my inbox, an email that immediately lit the blue touch paper, and I am finding it difficult to imagine a worse piece of marketing. Please buckle-up and assume the brace position; this is about to get passionate.

New Premises And Team Member Announcement!

<rant>With only the sensitive personal and corporate details redacted, what follows is the full, unedited text, lifted from the email that boldly announced its presence in my inbox this afternoon. The HTML email, for me, now represents each and every bit of lousy marketing, that's in print or broadcast or online, for which someone is so uninspired by their own business that the only adjective they can summon forth to express their worth and justify their existence is passion.

The driver behind the writing this ranty blog is that I had absolutely no clue as to which company this email was sent on behalf of. Clearly, my email address was on their mailing list but there was nothing, zilch, nada in the email to remind who this company is/was and what it is they did that once interested me. Take a look for yourself:

We've moved, and we have a new member of the team!

We are delighted to share news about updates at *** *****.

Firstly, we have moved!

Our new business premises are situated in Portsmouth. All manufacturing and administrative activities have been consolidated onto one site, representing a significant milestone in our journey.

This move was made with you in mind, aiming to improve your experience and better accommodate your business needs.

What you can look forward to from our new location:
- Streamlined communications: Get the information you need at pace, from our team who are all operating under one roof.
- Speedier service: Receive your goods as quickly as possible, benefitting from integrated ordering, manufacturing and distribution.
- Lovely spot: Close to the ports of Portsmouth and Southampton, and with great motorway links, we can receive vital supplies and distribute your goods with ease.

Would you like to have a look around? If you're in the area we'd love to give you a tour! And just half a mile from the sea, you could make it a day out!

Secondly, welcome to *******!

We are excited to introduce our newest team member, ******* *******.

He brings a wealth of experience and expertise to our team, further strengthening our commitment to excellence.

A quick introduction to *******:
- Position: Sales Consultant.
- Background: ******* has extensive knowledge of multi-print disciplines, supporting businesses of all sizes with their print media challenges.
- Responsibilities: Discuss your requirements with ******* and he'll use his considerable experience to ensure you have exactly what you need.

******* will play a vital role in ensuring you get the exceptional products and services you expect from ***.

Please join us in extending a warm welcome to *******! He is eager to connect with you and find out how he can help.

Should you have any questions, want to explore our new premises, or discuss anything with *******, feel free to reach out to us by calling ***** ****** or email **************@********.***.

We look forward to continuing to serve you with enthusiasm, now from our new premises and with our expanded team.

Warm regards

*** ******

CEO, *** ***** * *********** ****, **********, *** ***, United Kingdom

Call ***** ******

PS: Don't forget to add us to your Safe Sender List.

Obviously, I Immediately Unsubscribed

This email contains ridiculous copy. The words are bland, generic and wholly unhelpful. I reached the end of the email and still I was no wiser about the identity of the sender, their value to me or to my business, let alone the purpose of company XYZ's existence.

Dumbfounded and Clueless

The 'marketing' email had rendered me so speechless that I simply had to know who/what sent the email. So I copied and pasted the domain associated with the Sales Consultant's email address into my browser and was totally unsurprised to learn, from the banner that proudly stood at the head of their homepage (as seen above), that company XYZ wore their passion close to the heart of everything they do.

Passion In Business

People who simply haven't got a clue of what they do are comfortable using the word passion in their sales and marketing material. Business passion means nothing yet its use says everything - it says that the business can't even think creatively about what it offers and, therefore, is probably going to struggle to express how their business can benefit and/or improve mine.
Businesses which are passionate are often those able to offer solutions.

Tell Me What You Can Do For Me

Great marketing copy, whether it's written for print for broadcast or for online, takes every opportunity to let buyers know what it's like to use/own the seller's product. Washing powder offers you brilliant whites that your whole family will love. Chewing gum gives you confidence. Spirits give you a taste of exotic adventure.

I really could rattle-on about this for many more paragraphs but I only have ten. So why rattle-on when my beef has been so beautifully presented by David Mitchell.

When you write marketing copy that takes the time and effort to explore me and my company's challenges you can then begin to earn my attention. Marketing copy that is me-centric will naturally provide you with opportunities to embed search engine keywords into your text as you experiment using the language, the hopes, the dreams and the challenges of your Customer.

Take A Closer Look

Can you go back and re-read the text of that marketing email and try to explain what it is that XYZ company do? I couldn't. I had absolutely no idea what the business offered - it was only my incredulity about how awfully bland the email was that made me paste their domain into a web browser to figure-out which business it was that really didn't want my business. You know, looking back at it now, the text used in the marketing email feels just like copy that a poorly-weilded AI is capable of generating. Some poor soul spent their time assembling and blasting this email out and, more to the point, some poor fool, one so engorged with passion at the heart of everything they do, encouraged them to do so. Love may be blind but passion, here in business, is dumb.</rant>

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