Where marketing buzzwords should go to die

Is it just me who’s totally exhausted by the words passionate, people-person or driven? Not to mention the sight of new normal, authentic or dynamic. Working in marketing, I see and hear these words every single day.

These same words also make me run for the hills, repeatedly calling out for Beetlejuice, with the hope of disappearing in a Tim Burton-esque parallel reality where being dead is simply more fun.

If I may put in an honest word, marketing is hard as it is. Sales don’t care about the weather, as they say (well, at least I say that, you can quote me). Running marketing activities of any kind requires careful research, execution and evaluation because you deal with other people’s businesses after all. No joke about that.

Then the industry is purposely stuffed with jargon like Core Competence, Key Performance Indicator (KPI), sales funnel, and Application Programming Interface (API), and you need to be passionate and cutting edge to shift the paradigm, whatever that means.  

No wonder the average business owner gets confused at a marketing meeting when they only want to know if their stuff is selling or not. Not happy, Jan! No one should be required to eat a dictionary before any meeting or feel intimidated because their impact is not robust enough to take it to the next level. Yawn.

Newsflash. Your customers and audiences are also not interested in too complicated or overused language. If you’re trying to describe yourself with words that have been chewed down to the bone, you have another thing coming, and that’s not an increase in sales.

So, what can you do instead?

Firstly, retire your jargon. No fancy words or phrases, please. Dig a hole in your backyard and put those marketing buzzwords where the sun don’t shine.

Keep your eyes on the prize, right? The real goal here is to create content that attracts, educates and delights your audience. You can achieve this by remembering these tips:

Be specific

Don’t overthink it. You can explain what you do with straight to the point language.

  • We sell chairs. They’re comfortable and are made from 100% recycled material. Easy to clean and store when not used.
  • Our chairs are uniquely designed with cutting edge, innovative technology, moulded to your body for comfort. We’re passionate about the environment, so our chairs are strictly made from 100% recycled material. (Now let’s chuck another 300 bucks on the price, and let’s hope no one notices that… it’s a chair).
Show, don’t tell

Instead of telling your customers how authentic you are, just show it, by creating product and service features that are honest and great value. For example, you can demonstrate in the purchase process that you don’t have any hidden charges, the price ‘as is’, or you can offer free shipping (always a winner). These features will sing better than any copywriting canary.

Solve a problem

On that note, displaying how your product and service functions through videos, images, infographics, and blogs will beat any next level humbug. Your customers appreciate nothing more than truthful representation of value, and problem-solving. You should pair that with everyday language. If your customers don’t understand you and your instructions they won’t buy your products. Then all your KPIs are out the proverbial window.

Finally 

Let’s just all agree, we don’t need jargon to champion brands. Common sense tied with transparency, and above all, GOOD products and services will do the work just fine. So, I’m ready to throw a funeral for all the buzz. With a passion. 

Do you have your set of words that irk you beyond belief? Share them with me below.

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