Earlier this morning, I encountered a post on LinkedIn that made me a little cross. It was a post about the benefits of moss walls.
I like moss walls. They are a great way to add greenery to a space where live plants can’t thrive and they can be made into the most fabulous designs. Indeed the moss wall illustrated in the post was fantastic. The poster then started to make some claims. They started out OK, and if the author had stopped at a certain point, then everything would have been fine: a great moss wall, well illustrated, and a fantastic addition to any space.
Unfortunately, the poster then managed to conflate some research that he might have read about the impact that live moss has on improving air quality. I’ve read some of that research and it seems pretty sound to me, and I have been watching the development of live moss walls with interest – this product, for example, looks amazing.
However, it wasn’t a live moss wall that was being shown, it was a preserved moss wall. This is actually made with preserved lichens – a different type of organism altogether – and something that, when preserved and stuck to a wooden board, would stretch the definition of ‘alive’ to breaking point.
A little bit of sense checking with a technical person would have prevented this mistake and could have allowed the post author to create an article that wasn’t spoiled by a claim that is easily challenged.
It frustrates me when the marketing of good products and services is spoiled by over-exaggerated claims. It annoys me when marketing people put down people with technical knowledge because they have the temerity to point out that a claim might not be terribly robust or might be open to criticism. It really struck home once when a marketing team I was working with were desperately trying to put together a set of questions for a survey. In my naivety, I assumed that they were seeking objective data upon which to build a campaign and a message based on those data. This wasn’t the case. The exercise was to collect survey responses that would appear to validate the claims that they had already decided to make, and they were trying work out how to frame the questions to generate the answers they wanted to back up the claim. I was told that I needed to think like a marketer – was that an admission that marketing isn’t necessarily about truth?
Over the last several years, I have written articles and blog posts to support the marketing efforts of employers and clients. I think that I’m reasonably good at it. The reason that I think I’m quite good at it is because I write about what I know, have researched and am confident is true. Objectivity and reliance on evidence are crucial. I champion evidence-based design, solutions and propositions.
If you are an interior landscaper or in a related industry, and would like me to help you write marketing copy that is backed by evidence, science, research and over a quarter century of technical expertise in the industry, then please get in touch.
E-mail email@example.com or telephone +44 (0) 7543 500729