Zero Penny Marketing

Why you need to be grammatically correct in marketing and business?

Vishnu Goyal
Vishnu Goyal
Founder & CMO

What’s there in the Grammar? 

Well, good content, saved business reputation, and millions of dollars!

What’s there in a Grammar mistake?

It depends! 

Sometimes, a lot of shame, embarrassment, loss of millions of dollars, or maybe even bankruptcy!

Yes, just a grammar mistake can bring all of that. 

I am not talking fiction. 

It’s all real. It’s happened to real people. To small businesses. To big businesses. No exception! 

“Still! Grammar! Really?”

“It’s 2024 and fixing Grammar is your tip to make content work for my business, Vishnu?”

Yes, it is. 

Firm & clear. 

And before you get mad at me for dedicating one complete edition of Zero Penny Marketing to the “Grammar” thing, let me tell slash remind you something  👇

Grammarly, a company which primary deals in the business of ‘fixing Grammar’ in your content was valued at USD 13 Billion.

That’s a proof in itself that Grammar is A BIG ISSUE.

“What’s in the valuation? Even most shitty companies can also rake great valuations at times.”

Yes, right. 

But Grammarly is not one of them. In fact it’s one of my fav tools and has saved me and 30 million other people endless hours of work!

Anyway, having technically proved the business concept of Grammar, moving on to help you realize the extent of shame and disgust that grammatical mistakes can bring to your reputation.

Let’s see some epic instances 👇

Heavy Erection Under Progress - A grammatically incorrect signpost. [Source - Cartoq]

❌ HEAVY ERECTION UNDER PROGRESS

✅ HEAVY CONSTRUCTION UNDER PROGRESS

What surprised me is that this one goof is from L&T, the largest infrastructure company in India.

(CORRECTION: 'HEAVY ERECTION UNDER PROGRESS' is not a goof, it is the industry language and is correct. Thanks to Anupam Kaushik for sharing this knowledge. However, I'd still recommend to always aim for less vague and more simplified language in your content because most people might not be aware of industry terms especially when you are creating content for mass public.)

Accident Porn Area Go Slow - A grammatically incorrect signpost. [Source - Cartoq]
Go Slow ACCIDENT PORN AREA - Another grammatically incorrect signpost. [Source - ‘A shy & introvert guy’ on Reddit]

❌ Accident Porn Area Go Slow

✅ Accident Prone Area Go Slow

Are you sure you want to exist? - A grammatically incorrect window on a software. [Source - Danilo Fragali on X]

❌ Are you sure you want to exist?

✅ Are you sure you want to exit?

ILLEGALLY PARKED CARS WILL BE FINE - A grammatically incorrect signboard. [Source - Pets Reporter]

❌ ILLEGALLY PARKED CARS WILL BE FINE

✅ ILLEGALLY PARKED CARS WILL BE FINED

Shoplifters will be prostituted - A grammatically incorrect notice board in a shop. [Source - Ben Brown on LinkedIn]

❌ Shoplifters will be prostituted

✅ Shoplifters will be prosecuted

Some of these 👆I rather found funny!

You see, even the smallest grammatical error can change the entire point you're trying to convey and put you and your brand into a shameful situation!

Frequent grammar errors can also make your readers and customers question how much attention and care you take to create content that you feed them!

Worst, grammatically incorrect content can lead to erroneous conclusions misleading your audience and financially damaging your business.

You don’t want to be in a situation where people starts wondering: “Do you even care?”

That's why you must make an extra effort to check your content grammatically before sharing it with anyone.

Now, for CEOs, Founders, and CMOs and everyone who is always worried about ‘ROI’ aspect, let’s talk ‘bottom line’ impact of Grammar goofs! 

Follow me 👇

While listing an Ad for California-based Banner Travel Services company, an advertising agency advertised “erotic” travel destinations insead of “exotic” travel destinations. This one grammar mistake brought down the ad agency by USD 10 million. And of course, complimentary brand damage!

In a public liquidation notice, UK Companies House put the name ‘Taylor and Sons’ instead of ‘Taylor and Son’ name. Because of just an extra “S” letter, the company in the notice got changed. Seeing that notice, stakeholders of ‘Taylor and Sons’ started calling its MD who was shocked to hear about the (false) news! Companies House compensated USD 17.2 Million to ‘Taylor and Sons’ company. However, for ‘Taylor and Sons’ company, it brought so much distrust from their credit suppliers and other stakeholders that the company went bankrupt for real after losing its biggest client Tata Steel and many more big contracts. 

While, impact of Grammar mistakes is not as huge and dramatic always, better to take care. Mistakes are unavoidable, no matter how hard you try, but you can always be proactive. Besides, only those who work in the first place, make mistakes! Those who don’t work at all, have zero scope of making mistakes!

Alright, enough of philosophy.

Now you know that taking care of Grammar makes complete business sense, marketing sense, and well, common sense.

Whether you are writing a copy for your next campaign, creating content for SEO, or drafting an agreement for your next business deal, grammar just can’t be blindsided. Else consequences can be drastic. 

Now, next point is how to do it quick?

Say it with me 👇

“Grammarly, thank you!” 

You no longer need to be an English-pro to grammar-proof your content. You can take care of all grammar checks with a tool like Grammarly. Or you can also look for a tool of your choice! There are plenty of options like QuillBot etc.

Within a couple of minutes, you can review thousands of words with Grammarly or other similar tool.

(Just a disclaimer that I don’t need to give! - Grammarly didn’t sponsor this post, I am using their app for about a decade now and always love to recommend great tools to my connections. That’s all.)

After checking it with tools, just give your content a second read or take help from your helpful colleagues for a cross-check. And you will be fine.

While no tool and no amount of checks can ensure that there will be no mistakes, but these tools and checks will help you avoid many disastrous ones!

BTW, how much importance do you give to grammar? Do you use any tool to fix grammatical errors in your content? I’d love to know your perspective on this.

Vishnu Goyal
Founder & CMO
Just one of the 8 billion here; spending most of my time playing with words, numbers, and web in pursuit of an imperfect life, raising humanity, and building one carefree world.