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Marketers: Stop telling us to do something “TODAY”

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The overuse of the word “today” in marketing copy has become ridiculous. It’s so pervasive in the marketing world that consumers are either developing a blindness or a hypersensitivity to it. As a marketer myself, unfortunately I’m on the hypersensitivity side.

Think about it. You see it everywhere; TV commercials, emails, radio, you name it. Marketers want you to take action TODAY.

Well, of course they (read: we) do. It’s a marketer’s job to influence your feelings, ideas, and desires about certain things, like a brand or a product. And research has proven that the longer you go without taking action after being exposed to an ad, the lower the likelihood that you ever will. In addition, it’s a well-known marketing tactic to introduce a sense of urgency to motivate a consumer to take action.

That’s how the pervasive use of “today” came to be in the marketer’s lexicon. It was originally used to make consumers feel like something had to be done today, or else they might lose their shot at getting whatever it was (or risk losing a limited-time offer). But that only worked when it was still relatively new. Now, marketers use “today” regardless of whether they are trying to sell you a can of soda (for which there is obviously no deadlines to worry about) or a cruise.

As a result, “today” has somehow established itself as a necessary component of marketing copy—or at least that’s what most marketers think. In reality, they use it without even thinking. To them, copy just doesn’t “look right” without it.

Maybe I just suffer from the red-car syndrome (when someone tells you that there are a disproportionate amount of red cars on the road in relation to other colored cars, you will start to notice many more red cars. The same is true for just about anything when you tune into it. Similarly, now that you’ve read this, you are going to start noticing “today” in marketing copy a whole lot more, if you somehow haven’t already). Or maybe I only notice this because I’m a marketer. Whatever the reason, I have one request, fellow marketers: Go easy on the “today” please.

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Jayson DeMers

Jayson DeMers is the Founder & CEO of AudienceBloom. You can contact him on LinkedIn, Google+, or Twitter.

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