Words to Ban from your Marketing Copy

Have you ever read marketing copy like this before?

"Combining the latest state-of-the-art technology with a robust, intuitive and agile consumer interface, our company’s newest widget is truly transformative. And it’s no wonder since it comes from our company, the world’s leading manufacturer of world-class widgets."

We have, and we’re on a mission to make it stop. To save you from the perils of bad copywriting (and the lack of results that follow), we’ve compiled this list of words to ban -- immediately -- from all your marketing copy. (Your customers will thank us later.)

State-of-the-art {and} World-class

Before writing either of these words, ask yourself, “Is it really?” (Be honest!) If the answer is no, then don’t use them. Far too many companies have claimed their products and services are state-of-the-art and world-class, when they are really anything but. With repeated misuse, these words have all but lost any meaning they once held for consumers.

Robust, Intuitive {and} Agile

At first glance, these seem like harmless descriptions that help your audience understand just how awesome your latest and greatest product is. But remember, your copy will always be more effective when it describes what your product or service actually does and why your customer needs it. (Remember good old features and benefits? We do!) These fluffy adjectives just tease your audience, leaving them confused and frustrated.


We hate to break it to you, but your product or service is not transformative. It’s not going to transform the way we interact with the world. Hopefully, it will make our lives better, but it’s not going to transform them. Let’s not kid ourselves, here.

Leader {and} Leading

Every time we read these words, we’re tempted to shout, “Show me the MONEY!” Likewise, you need to show your audience how and why you’re a leader in your market, not just tell them. The proof is in the pudding, our friends. Use compelling customer testimonies, stories or even statistics before you resort to using leader or leading. This is also great advice when you’re tempted to use any of the above-mentioned words as well.

Cutting Edge {and} Hands On {and} Results Driven

Every product since 1992 has been cutting edge. “Here at Widget World, we are on the cutting edge of technology. Our hands-on, results-driven processes will guarantee customer satisfaction.” Ahhh…where do we start? There is so much wrong with this. It doesn’t connect at all, there is no evidence that any actual work will be done, and it’s very sterile. Don’t you want to jump on board with Widget World? We don’t either.

Totally Awesome, Cool, Amazing, {and} Great

So how about words like cool, awesome, amazing or great? We use these words so casually now to describe everything from a morning cup of coffee to the evening sunset. We’re not saying don’t use them at all, but people are so used to seeing these buzz words that they don’t bring out any emotion anymore. We’re numbed! Think out-of-the-box (yet another overused phrase), and challenge your content writers to use terms that sincerely evoke emotion about your products, your people, and your results.

We think these are some of the worst offenders when it comes to marketing buzz words, but we know you’ve seen others. Comment below with the words you think should be added to our list!