Ask Mr. Marketing: Six? Eight? Should We Really Care?

How does this business card strike you?

–Molly Webber

You get one chance to make a first impression, right?

The card you submitted is actually quite attractive, with two colors, bold striping, nice design, attractive fonts, and quality paper. With your branch offices and tag line published on the reverse side, this is a nice presentation of your firm’s branding.

My only concern: a discrepancy in your area codes (office – 619, fax – 819). Suspecting a typo, I found your fax number actually calls a car repair shop in Quebec, Ontario.


Your business card is arguably the one marketing item all your serious sales prospects will see. Failure to adequately proofread it before printing potentially imparts the impression that your organization is disorganized and weak on details.

Definitely not the feeling you want to leave someone with when you’re asking them to trust you with their future.

Regular readers know typographical errors are my pet peeve. I want to buy strawberries, not strawberry’s. Mistakes like this suggest to me that you’re lazy, ignorant, or both. And if you can’t spell, everything else you do will be suspect.

This probably explains why my bride gifted me with “The Great Typo Hunt,” a book about two guys traveling the country correcting typographical errors. I’m not finished yet, and unsure if they survive the exercise unscathed.

In my experience most people take umbrage when you point out their signage, websites, brochures, menus, etc. have misspellings. But their (to me) obvious mistakes hurt my brain.

It makes me question which is worse – marketers overlooking their errors, or so few of their customers even noticing the problems.

Regardless of the business you’re in, your image is critical and you’re only getting one shot to make that initial impression. Consistent use of the same font families and colors are going to combine with logos, taglines, and (hopefully) accurate contact information to create that image in the public mind before a word about you has been spoken.

Knowing this, I’d vote for taking an extra day and asking a third party to review your marketing materials before producing them.

Because as my father will tell you, printing without catching that mistake means you’re manufacturing instant garbage.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

Mr. Marketing hasn’t gotten beaten for correcting typos — yet. Send him your questions at

Related posts:

  1. Ask Mr. Marketing: Sorry – I’m in a “meeting” right now…
  2. Ask Mr. Marketing: Is your marketing run down?
  3. Mr. Marketing: Don’t blink – you’ll miss the link
  4. Ask Mr. Marketing: Making video marketing work for you
  5. Ask Mr. Marketing: Kiss me. Buy from me.

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Posted by Karen Brainard on Jul 6 2012. Filed under Archive, Ask Mr. Marketing, Business, Columnists, Columns. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

3 Comments for “Ask Mr. Marketing: Six? Eight? Should We Really Care?”

  1. alan nevin

    another pet peeve is too many words on a business card and a megillah on the back of the card. simplicity is golden.

  2. RV Wineburg

    Hey, thanks for the rekognishun. Boy you're tuff.

  3. John T Capps III

    Thanks for the kard enformation! You're the best! Hope our paths cross again soon in Rotary Vocational Service.

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