I’ve waited as long as I possibly can to say the ‘C’ word here on the blog – but I’ve been chatting with my clients about their marketing material (festive or not) for months now.

The power of inaccurate marketing material is often underestimated. For example, quick (and revealingly interesting) market research conducted whilst I chat with business owners at networking meetings, in a social capacity or even on the train indicates this: spelling mistakes and grammatical errors are off-putting. For someone who is clearly eagle-eyed when it comes to grammar, it never occurred to me that in actual fact this is something which has a negative impact on company profile for more than just copywriters and proofreaders. I thought I was alone in judging a business poorly based on a misplaced apostrophe or the omission of a vital letter, but in fact I speak to a variety of consumers – many business owners themselves – who tell of the disappointment and mortification of finding their favourite company has slipped up, or a word-of-mouth recommendation’s grammar isn’t up to scratch. Bottom line: it reflects poorly on your business – fairly or unfairly.

Christmas is a time which sees lots of businesses generating more marketing material than usual. Haste and panic can lead to mistakes – especially if nobody is looking over what is going out to the graphic designer or checking the finished product before it goes to print. Clients often tell me of the crushing disappointment (and embarrassment) of eagerly ripping open the box from the printers to find their shiny new posters and leaflets promoting a luxury service contain simple (but important) errors. No capitalisation on the first letter of a sentence, vital words misspelt, even a mistake on the name of the company or location (inadvertently substituting ‘Cheshire’ for ‘Cheshite’ is one of my favourites). Nobody wants ‘spouts’ with their Christmas dinner or ‘HD brow’s and gel nail’s’ for their New Year party – so it really is worth making sure that you’ve got this right in order to claim your share of a growing market at a busy time of year.

Don’t let this be you – give me a call and ask me to take a look over your marketing material for you. Proofreading starts at £50 for a menu, flyer, poster or A5 leaflet – so it really is worth it to avoid the heartache and humiliation (not to mention loss of sales) which can come with crackers of the less entertaining kind.