The Death of Marko-babble

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I was recently working with a client and we were discussing text content on their site. I asked a question about the content in a specific section and they replied; “Oh. That’s just marko-babble.”

I (like many) have suffered from meaningless content over the years and with the evolution of the Internet, have come to realize marko-babble is dead. The autopsy reveals the following:

  • People don’t read when using the Internet – This is why usability is so essential to marketing. Users don’t want some long-winded product description. They need to be able to determine what is important at a glance. (The average user will give you 3 – 5 seconds to hook them.)
  • The main purpose of text is now SEO. As the Internet embodies richer forms of content such as video, people will continue to read less; unless they came to the site specifically to read.
  • When people search for items online they are not searching for a cool term that some marketer made up. They are searching for that item as it is known. A blender is a blender.
  • Marko-babble is a waste of real estate, which is becoming even more valuable with the growth of the mobile Internet. Why waste space with text when you can put an image or video there?
  • If you’re going to use text, use it at the bottom of the “progressive disclosure funnel” (a.k.a. your site), where the user knows they want the details. The text at the bottom of the funnel the text should be informative/descriptive and not ‘flashy”. If the user has gotten this far down the funnel they have been sold on the product/service and are now collecting meaningful information.

As the Internet becomes the medium, it will be interesting to see how text as a whole will be used. For now, let’s all share a moment of silence for marko-babble.

By Michael Myers

I'm an Associate Teaching Professor of Digital Marketing at the Daniels College of Business, University of Denver. I also consult with startups and established brands. I'm currently focused on artificial intelligence, cognitive neuroscience and culture. I am married to an amazing woman and have two incredible children. I was raised in Colorado and spend my free time with family, biking, snowboarding and going to the Pacific Ocean to SCUBA dive and/or surf. I'm passionate about architecture, design, street art, photography and the art that tattooing has evolved into.

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