Buzzkill: Death to Buzzwords

August 28, 2014

One of my strengths is making fun of things. Also, I have no friends. Anyway, buzzwords lend themselves to “pointing and laughing.” How can anyone be taken seriously when this is uttered, “We need to accelerate the actionable best practices in order to have end-to-end collaboration within our brand.”

Chuck will punch your buzzwords in the face.

Chuck will punch your buzzwords in the face.

I frequent some industry Twitter chats and the buzzword discussion will come up from time to time. Generally people agree that buzzwords are the pits, but that doesn’t stop marketers from using them. There’s a tendency for professionals to use industry terminology in order to show they know what they’re talking about. (This is what we in the “biz” would call “authenticity” but I won’t mention that.) I will mention that my eyes glaze over when “engagement” and “ROI” start getting thrown around. I have the sneaking suspicion that customers have the same reaction.

The question may be raised, “How do I let everyone know I’m the real deal and I actually do know what I’m talking about?” That’s it. Be real. When you’re hanging with your pals or walking your dog I doubt that there’s a whole lot of talk about “transparency” and “social proof.” That’s not to say that you go all “Who’s a good boy! Who’s a good boy!” when talking to clients. Of course, we adjust our discussion based on who we are talking to, but we don’t need to adjust who we are … unless you are Charles Manson then please adjust.

Marketing is about connecting with people as much as anything and people connect with people. So be a people. #GrammarWin

I have something that can benefit another person. How can I effectively communicate that to other people?

By acting like a person. Not by spewing terminology that only your industry peers are down with.

Breaking It Down

Here come the steps. There are always steps. This couldn’t be a real marketing blog post without the helpful tips. These are the steps to buzzkill.

Number 1. Realize you have a problem. That growth on your toenail is not natural. Get it checked out. Also, if you find your self saying “I’ve got a win-win rightsizing I’d like to run up the flagpole” you need to stop immediately.

Numero Dos. Find yourself. Who are you and what are you doing here? No, really. Give me your name and number, I’m trying to make a living here. You are unique. Buzzwords make you like everyone else. Don’t be like everyone else.

Point C. Make friends. So you may not be best friends with everyone in business, but you can always be cordial and make others feel comfortable. Buzzwords make others strain to follow along therefore they are uncomfortable.

problemsolverPièce de résistance: Solve a problem. People have business issues. You have the answers. Now that you speak their language they can stop, collaborate and listen. Dun, dun, dun, dada-dun, da…

Lastly … join #STAAAHPChat on social media. It’s an online movement that stands up to Buzzwords and says enough is ENOUGH! Whenever you see an overused and unnecessary term, slap em with a #STAAAHPChat.

Industry terminology doesn’t have to be left out in the cold completely. Don’t use it as a crutch to prove that you are knowledgeable. Buzzwords are too easy. If you want to really position yourself as an expert, flash them some uniqueness.

Jay Baer told us to Stop Worshiping Originality in a recent Jay Today video. I agree. There’s no need to constantly go where no man has ever gone before. It’s not possible. There is a need for every last person on earth to be themselves. That is unique. Show everybody that you know exactly what you are talking about.

Now let’s be proactive and take this immersive topic offline. ROI and stuff.

If you liked this post and it made you a better person comment, share, print it out and tape it on the bathroom stall.


About the Author


Mark is a marketer and sometimes writer. He's trying to get better at that sometimes thing.

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