Anybody who notices unpleasant facts in the have-a-nice-day world we live in is going to be designated a curmudgeon. (Paul Fussell, 1924-2012)

I live in fear of becoming a curmudgeon. I think it’s because I prefer facts to fabrications. In that regard, I consider myself to be a fatalist wearing rose-colored glasses: I expect the worst. But I always hope logic, reason, and common sense prevail. Case in point:

I recently received an email from a colleague that said this, in part:

I’m getting more and more e-mail blasts with obnoxious, offensive headlines/messages and I’m perplexed. I know these guys are trying to be cute, but nowhere else in life is it generally acceptable to greet someone (much less a potential customer) with an unwarranted insult.

It would be decidedly uncool to reveal the name of the company whence came the spam. It would be equally uncool to repeat the offending headline/message. But I will reveal this, which I found on the company’s website after a little digging:

The goal of successfully executed marketing campaigns is to create marketing qualified leads (MQLs). The problem is that most MQLs are not ready to move onto the buying stage yet, so a traditional call from a sales rep may not move the opportunity along. But the fact that they are not Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) does not mean they are cold leads … 80 percent of leads from marketing that sales reps toss out as unqualified go on to buy from someone within 24 months. An effective sales strategy recognizes the difference between MQLs and SQLs and adjusts the engagement strategy accordingly.

The purveyors of this pernicious palaver are employing the second-most popular tactic in hogwash: inventing abbreviations. (The most popular is inventing acronyms.) In this particular instance, the inference is that if you’re not converting your MQLs into SQLs, your GOOSE (goal-oriented opportunistic sales employment) will be DOA PDQ.

Here’s the deal: Marketing is hard work. It takes diligence, determination, persistence, and — most important — patience. The likelihood that you’ll be one of the lucky few to whose door the world will beat a path is slim to negligible. Does that mean you can’t or won’t succeed? Absolutely not. But it does mean you have to separate fact from fabrication.

It also means, while it’s a good idea to keep your fingers in as many pies as possible, none of those pies should be in the sky. Does saying so make me a curmudgeon?

Fine. I was ready for new glasses anyway.

Image by hibbard, courtesy of