F-bombs and marketing

List member Ant shared this content marketing company’s blog with me. It’s full of f-bombs and other swearing:


Ant’s specific question was this:

 I wonder what %age of people would be turned off by the use of bad language? Their positioning means that they might put off 90% of readers, but the 10% (including me) are super engaged.  What do you think? Too much? 

It’s the right idea but I think it can be implemented better.

It’s the right idea in that it segments your audience and is polarizing, but I’d rather be polarizing around an idea that relates to my positioning rather than around something cultural like use of profanity (of which I use a fair bit in my personal life and almost none in my public marketing content).

You could certainly combine a certain rowdy communication style with a polarizing viewpoint (and that may in fact be what is happening in the example you linked me to–I didn’t dig deep into it), and that could actually be quite good, but I would not count on the communication style alone to properly segment your audience. You need a polarizing viewpoint to pull it off.

One of the questions I’ve baked into my intake survey for new mentoring students is the following:

Do you have a somewhat “contrarian” outlook on the problem domain you work in? For example, if pair programming is trendy and you think it’s a waste of money, or if using overseas developers seems like a false economy to you, then your contrarian view may play into your positioning, so please tell me about any contrarian views you have.

A polarizing viewpoint can be extremely powerful for your marketing.

And if you have one, I’d really love to hear about it. Hit REPLY and let me know!

Talk to you soon,

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