Marketers resort to buzzwords when they don’t understand why people buy their products or services. This is why you encounter marketing buzzwords most often when clients take a hands-off approach with their agencies, and when in-house marketing personnel are far removed from the customer. Unfortunately, even when companies are hands-on and know their customers inside-out, they sometimes pepper their marketing content with buzzwords because they see so many other companies doing it.
Avoid the temptation to use buzzwords. They devalue your business.
“Innovative” is a case in point. How many times have you asked a friend to recommend a restaurant or a physical therapist or an auto dealership and hear, “Oh, you should use XYZ — they’re so innovative!” Nobody talks like that in the real world.
Even when creative thinking may be an important buying consideration — such as in selecting an attorney — innovative isn’t as descriptive or persuasive as the terms creative thinking or resourceful. For the most part, being innovative may make people within the organization feel good, but outside the box, innovative is not a big deal. People don’t want an innovative plumber; they want somebody who can fix the damn leak.
Buzzwords are vague, generic replacements for other words and phrases that, though more commonplace, describe aspects of your business customers actually value.
- World-class is a fancy way of saying reliable. The difference is, customers may have 100 rather fuzzy ideas of what world-class means, whereas everybody knows what reliable means.
- Thought leader is a rather conceited way of saying your staff is accomplished in its field.
- Solutions is a term that dilutes the message. You don’t provide plumbing solutions, you’re a plumber. You don’t provide industrial design solutions, you’re an industrial design firm.
Here’s our list of 150 business jargon fixes to help you get your message across with more power. Eliminating buzzwords from your website and sales collateral will boost conversions and speed up the selling cycle.
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