Why? Just “Why?” Target Marketing blogger Stephen H. Yu says don’t hire data professionals who use too many buzzwords, because they probably don’t know what they’re doing. Knowledge Marketing nominates “10 Industry Buzzwords That Should Die.” And yet marketers persist.
What is it about these buzzwords that speak to the marketer’s soul?
Marketers use emotion to get consumers to buy products and services, so it may stand to reason that marketers use the language among themselves. Buzzwords, after all, tap into emotional centers in the right brain, says Harvard Business School professor Nancy Koehn in a 2014 article in the Atlantic.
In male-dominated offices especially, Koehn says, the emphasis of buzzwords is on sports analogies of teamwork and winning.
Words like “vision,” “values,” “passion” and “purpose” that used to be the realm of nonprofits and religious organizations can, in the hands of corporations, get worker bees to hand over their lives to their careers, she says.
In the spirit of this dispiriting reasoning, Jenn Dellwo writes on Dec. 7 for Knowledge Marketing that marketers should rid their vocabularies of the following words:
- Knowledge Transfer. Dellwo asks: “Why say, ‘I’m going to teach you something’ or ‘I’ll train you how to … ‘ when you could use the term knowledge transfer? Because it’s fancier and more fun to say, that’s why. All I picture is someone plugging in a USB stick in the back of my head and dragging and dropping the information into my brain.”
- Big Data. [Author’s note: Yu is ambivalent about this word, too.] “It should really be called little data,” Dellwo writes, “because it’s a ton of data points that make up a complete customer profile — It’s the unification of the data points that makes it big. Now that’s deep.”
- Data Monetization. Take customer data and turn it into revenue takes too long to say, apparently.
- Pain Point. “The polite way of saying you’re annoyed with how something works,” she says.
- Programmatic. “Code for buying and selling based on data and rules that a computer automates and enforces, not real humans,” Dellwo states. [Author’s note: This may not have worked out so well for Kellogg’s regarding Breitbart.com, for instance.]
- Native Advertising. “Also known as sneaky paid media that mirror the form and function of the platform,” Dellwo says. [Author’s note: We used to call these advertorials. And, yes, I realize that’s only one form of the current native ad formula. But back in my day … I just felt the need to channel marketing curmudgeon Denny Hatch for a second.]
- Marketing Automation. The dream of robots taking over the world is premature, she says. You need humans to set up and run MA.
- Omnichannel. “Or you could just say multiple,” Dellwo says. “That works, too.”
- Print Is Dead. “We’ve just accepted that everyone is going to continue saying this, despite the fact that it’s completely false,” she says. “We’d ask you to stop, but we know you won’t so … ” [Author’s note: This applies to every “Blank Is Dead, Long Live Blank” headline I’ve ever seen.]
- ACRONYMS — DMP, AMS, CPM, TFS, UAD, ROI … “Every industry has acronyms,” Dellwo says. “But nobody ever explains what they mean.” [Author’s note: OMG, I’m totally guilty of this.]
- Bonus: TL;DR. [Author’s note: “Too long; didn’t read.” Sigh. Just admit that you’re lazy.]
What do you think, marketers? Do you have other marketing jargon to nominate? Why should it die?
Please respond in the comments section below.