Alarm bells go off in my head whenever I encounter businesses selling their services with what I call “horoscope relevance”. Their pitch is so generic, so empty of any real information, that it's easy to assume you need their product.

Horoscopes tend to tell you things like:

  • Your sense of belonging is guiding your actions today – which might lead to big changes ahead.
  • It's a good time to try some new things you've been pondering. Someone might be upset with your ambition, but they can't stay mad for very long!
  • Although you're looking for some alone-time these days, a family member or friend will come to you for help. Don't be afraid to offer a rain-check, they'll understand.

No real information. Yes, it's relevant to you. No, it doesn't really help.

Businesses tend to have other pitches, like:

  • Our data intelligence product lets you interactively maximize accurate models for your business.
  • If you do business on the web, our suite of solutions will help you proactively enable revolutionary content for your customers.
  • Ever feel like you aren't getting the most out of your business? It's time to deploy next-generation corporate web services to regain the edge your business needs to compete.

I'm not actually kidding. I get phone calls like these multiple times per week, and see dozens of websites that read like that.

I'm starting to wonder if writing horoscopes is just an off-hours job for mediocre corporate marketers.