The Most Annoying Term In Marketing Is…

According to the latest survey by The Creative Group the most overused and annoying term in marketing is “social media”.

Their list of 25 words and phrases includes other gems like

  • Viral
  • Proactive
  • 24/7
  • Social Media Expert
  • Interactive
  • Value Added

and the always popular “free”, which every marketing guru (another word I find annoying) will tell you grabs the most attention.

So how do you work around annoying and passé terms?

The Creative Group offers four tips for eliminating jargon in your communications:

  1. Translate your thoughts. It’s typical to think in the lingo you use every day. But when putting your ideas to paper or in an e-mail, take the time to explain the concepts in terms that your audience will easily understand.
  2. Edit, edit, edit. Many buzzwords are unnecessary. Think carefully: Does a phrase like “at the end of the day” really add to what you’re trying to say? Probably not.
  3. Break bad habits. We all rely on certain phrases when we speak. If the ones you gravitate toward are on the list of annoying buzzwords, think of alternatives that convey the same meaning.
  4. Show instead of tell. Rather than relying on buzzwords, use concrete examples to convey your thoughts. For instance, instead of discussing your fully “integrated” marketing strategy for a product rollout, describe the various elements and how they work together.

My solution is to test, test, test. If your ROI (oops, another term on their list) is decreasing. test a different ad with a similar phrase. I’ve found that Roget’s Thesaurus is a marketer’s best friend…