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I’m really sorry but 98% of you are talking the same old crap – a desktop review.

I’m really sorry but 98% of you are talking the same old crap – a desktop review.

By Fred Thompson

I’ve conducted another desktop review of 100 random professional service firm websites.

Not so much from a creative perspective as I covered off that off in my previous review.

This time I really wanted to find out what you are actually telling me about your firm.


They say a prospect only needs 0.05 seconds on your website to form an opinion of you based on what your site looks like. I actually found this hard to believe although apparently proven. So I gave myself a lot longer, in fact 10 seconds on each site to try and form an opinion of you based on the message you are conveying.

I’m not going to mention any names or directly quote any positioning statements or slogans but I’m sure you’ll get the message.


In no particular order (although the first three were prominent on 33% of sites) here are the messages and verbal diarrhea you are giving to prospects.

Prepare to be underwhelmed.





All about the client



Customer service


Making it happen



Strength in numbers


Best outcomes

Great people


More profit

One stop shop

Client experience

Creative solutions

Best value

Cost effective

Listen and understand

Improve wealth

Personal service

Friendly, accessible and successful

Hands on

Advice and guidance

Modern and progressive


Best results

Ethical and trustworthy

Client focused



Exceeding expectations

Personal touch

Down to earth

Results driven


Making a difference

Yes they may all be true but not one of them is a differentiator. They are lame statements that cover the basic expectations of any professional firm.

So if you are all saying pretty much the same thing and it’s what the client just expects anyway what decision making criteria does the prospect have left at their disposal, aesthetics?

Do you really want to rely on someone’s personal taste?

Where does this stuff come from?

For me it’s primarily a symptom of not having a clearly defined market position for your marketing team to work with and / or borderline negligence from a branding agency that should know this stuff.


Sadly only 2% had a clear and well defined position.


And worse 6% had NO message that I could capture in 10 seconds.

Yes maybe this is brutal and blunt stuff but the alternative is to say nothing like most agencies would while they happily take your money to make you a different color.

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