Marketing Jargon That Needs to Stop: A Listicle in 11 GIFs

Jargon is the heroin of Marketing. We all hate it, but we’re addicted to it. Try to kick the habit by avoiding some of these words/portmanteaus that drive all of us crazy.

Innovative (with a special shoutout to Disruption)

I don’t live in Silicon Valley which means I thankfully don’t suffer from Uber for X fatigue. But the number of times I’ve seen innovative or disruptive in briefs, vendor decks, and agency presentations is galling. These words appear so frequently in this industry that they have lost all meaning.

Ping

The only appropriate use of this word is if it immediately precedes pong. We’re a society that craves specifics. Text me, email, call, write, carrier-pigeon, smoke signal…anything but ping. #NeverPing

Phygital

“The intersection of physical and digital” i.e. when you do a search on your digital device to find a physical store location. I have no idea why we decided this needed it’s own portmanteau. It’s ugly written down. It’s uglier when you say it. Avoid at all costs.

Advertaining/Edutaining

Really, anything that ends with -taining and doesn’t begin with enter. When was the last time you saw an ad that didn’t try to either entertain or educate the consumer. Thats literally all we’re paid to do.

SoLoMo

If you’re blissfully unaware, SoLoMo is an amalgam of Social, Local, and Mobile. Yes it’s real, yes it’s been said to me with a straight face. I don’t want to talk about it. Just say no.

Masstige

This gem is a mash up of mass and prestige, designed to imply affordable luxury. For example, if Rolls Royce were to come out with a $40,000 car, it would be a masstige product. We used to just call these line extensions. Let’s go back to that.

I feel you, Kim

Mediable

This is more PR than advertising but still egregious. Just say, “We don’t think anyone will want to write about your idea” rather than passive-aggressively asking, “yeah…but is it mediable?”

Omnichannel

omni: from the latin omni, all : in all ways, places, etc. : without limits. Likely invented because “The everything roadmap” sounded too simplistic. Is your channel strategy in all places, ways, etc. without limits? Probably not. This is a classic example of “Don’t use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do.”

Not even this guy is omnichannel

The generics

Engagement, content, relevance, deck (yes, deck), drive [insert word here], leverage [insert word here], circle back, touch base, flesh out, viral/buzz, influencer.

These are the pumpkin spice latte of advertising words.

We all indulge sometimes but be judicious: You’re better than this.

This guy was once Don Draper

Check avails

Just spell the damn thing out! It’s only 6 more characters (or one syllable)!

Synergy

I don’t know how this one’s still around. Year after year it’s on lists of jargon to avoid and yet somehow it’s still a word people say with alarming frequency. Synergy is harder to get rid of than the smell of brussels sprouts in the office microwave.

What did I leave out? Share the words you love to hate! Remember, only you can prevent forest fires. And bad jargon.