The Jargon Monster Cometh: What Is Content Marketing, REALLY?
Jay Acunzo

Jay Acunzo,

Content marketing is storytelling by another — and far less elegant — name, which means the practitioners of this discipline are also the creators of this jargon and the chief accomplices of its perpetuation: They attempt to substitute art with science; rather, they graft the worst elements of “scientism” — the opaque and bureaucratic prose, the charts and graphs of dubious province, the statistics and percentages of questionable origin, and the footnotes and sources of dismissible distinction — onto their reports, mistaking form and function because of the number of files and the centrality of some commercial watermark on every page.

The final result is akin to shredding a series of college textbooks about, respectively, calculus, economics and grammar; arbitrarily grabbing each ribbon from this collection of corporate confetti and sifting through (by hand) this indecipherable mess, until — in yet another occasion of refraining from exposing the nakedness of so many business emperors and empresses — the champions of Content Marketing add another invisible scarf, handkerchief or cravat to the nonexistent garments of these prideful men and women.

Storytelling, in contrast, is something very few people do well.

Put a different way, and to modify a phrase from Truman Capote, content marketers are typists while storytellers are writers.

The latter are readers, voracious in their consumption of material and eclectic in their sampling of everything from Joyce to James and Hemingway to Heraclitus and Dickens to Dostoyevsky, but forever — and rightly — discriminating in the consistency of the quality of their literary cuisine.

Content marketers gorge themselves with verbal junk food, and then try to pass their overpriced snacks — their bounty from vending machines and convenience stores, and from gas stations and movie theater concession stands — unto us by calling it Delicious and Nutritious.

The aftertaste is, however, bitter and acidic.

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