Marketing buzzwords are doing your business more harm than good

This one’s for all the Social Media Gurus, SEO Samurais and Growth Hackers that disrupt the industry to deliver on agile, innovative data solutions and experiences in a digitally-aware landscape.

I know, right?


If video killed the radio star, just imagine what buzz words did to the marketer.

These words seem to have a way of luring professionals in. They come with the attractive misconception that, by using them, you’ll automatically look more credible.

Sorry to burst your bubble, bro. Nothing could be further from the truth. As George Orwell once said:

“When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Far from making you sound like a knowledgeable industry insider, buzz words and jargon are slowly killing your credibility and alienating your customers.

Allow me to explain…

 The harmful effects of marketing buzz words

Hailing from the deep, dark depths of LinkedIn and trendy London-based agencies comes the buzz word. It typically appears as a nonsensical string of marketing jargon, blended with familiar, out-of-place words to form phrases and sentences designed to dazzle listeners.

Here’s a little peek into the kind of damage that this language is having on your business:

1. They make you look like a know-nothing poser

Ryan Wallman (A.K.A @Dr_Draper) is a no-nonsense medical copywriter and—most importantly—a strong advocate of smothering buzzwords with a pillow while they sleep.  Just for a shot of pure hilarity, here’s what Ryan has to say to various brands on the topic of their jargon…


 2. No one actually understands what you do

I’ve said this a few times (here and here, if you’re curious), but I’ll be damned if I won’t say it again now. In order to get customer or client buy-in, you need to be able to explain what you do and how it benefits them.

By liberally sprinkling buzz words over your marketing pitch, you’re muddying up the waters in an industry already rife with mistrust. Research by Trinity Mirror and Ipsos showed that 42% of consumers distrust brands and a further 69% of them distrusted advertising.


3. They mess with your keywords 

Think about the kinds of keywords your potential clients and customers are using to search for services/products like yours. Are they opening up Google in a new tab and searching for “agile digital marketing gurus” or are they searching for “marketing agency”? Imagine what all those dirty pieces of jargon are doing to your search rankings.


4. They over-promise 

Think that all these over-inflated claims aren’t hurting credibility? That meaty little study by Trinity Mirror and Ipsos also shows that customers aren’t buying your buzzword bullshit:

You broke it, guys! You broke marketing! Over half (58%) of adults say that they refuse to trust a brand until they’ve seen ‘real world proof’ that they can keep their promises. I guess that’s where your testimonials and reviews come into play…

If you can’t deliver on it, don’t bloomin’ say it.


When all else fails…

If you need a real, back-to-basics lesson in precision, George Orwell’s got your back with his paper on Politics and the English Language.

And that’s my piece. Cue sassy mic drop.

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