‘Weird Al’ Takes on Marketing

A good parody makes the audience somewhat uncomfortable, even as they laugh. The humor has to hit close to home to be truly funny. As you watch “Weird Al” Yankovic’s music video for “Mission Statement,” which buzzwords are a little too familiar to you?

To avoid using jargon in your marketing messages, see my tips in “Sadly, Interesting is More Important than Accurate.”

Sadly, Interesting is More Important than Accurate

Precise language is one of my joys. It’s exhilarating to find exactly the right word that communicates in the best way possible.

Which is why it pains me to admit that accuracy isn’t all that important if it’s boring. For marketing communications, you must be interesting first and precise second. To catch a customer’s attention, it’s best to spark their curiosity with memorable content.

Words become boring through overuse. When a word is ubiquitous in the culture, customers start to overlook it, like static in the background. Sometimes, these words are useful descriptors of what your company does, but it doesn’t matter if customers have grown accustomed to ignoring them.

Instead, choose words that are easily understood but unique in the context of your business. Compare these two marketing campaign approaches from Mosquito Joe and JH Mosquito Control Services. Mosquito Joe takes a friendly approach that is much more interesting and memorable than JH’s technical description of its service special.

Mosquito Joe – Outside is fun again.

Sadly, Interesting is More Important than Accurate

JH Mosquito Control Services – Mosquito Control Special!

Sadly, Interesting is More Important than Accurate

Some Terms that Might be Accurate, but are Terribly Boring:

  • Solutions
  • Collaborative
  • Communication
  • Service
  • Special
  • Alignment
  • Outside the box
  • Cutting edge
  • Turnkey
  • Innovative
  • Expert

Perfection is Illusive, but Keep Working on It!

True marketing magic happens when you find precisely the right words that also perfectly describe what you do and why customers should buy from you. I advocate striving for that goal!

In the meantime, though, you have to keep marketing and selling. “Don’t let perfection become the enemy of good,” is a powerful business adage. As you move forward, infuse more interesting and unique language into your marketing. You’ll attract customers’ attention, and they will allow you more time to explain accurately what you do.

Marketing Jargon Defined

For many small businesses, one of the most confusing things about marketing is the jargon.When talking with marketing professionals and vendors, sometimes these words get tossed out without any definition. Here’s a quick list of some of the most common  marketing jargon:

  • Marketing Mix – The marketing activities that make up your marketing plan. For instance, e-mail marketing, pay-per-click advertising and promotional events.
  • Target – The customers you are trying to reach with your marketing efforts (You’ve probably noticed that many marketing terms have militaristic origins. I think this is a terrible way to think about marketing, as I wrote in this article – “Marketing isn’t war on your customers“).
  • Copy – The written content on a business’s website, blog, brochures, advertisements, etc.
  • SEO – Search Engine Optimization. The ongoing process of making a website attractive to search engines like Google.
  • SEM – Search Engine Marketing. This encompasses the marketing mix a business uses to market to users of search engines, both SEO and advertising.
  • CPM – Cost Per Mille. In the advertising world, this is the cost per one thousand showings of your ad. Sometimes, it’s also referred to as Cost Per Impression.
  • Impression – An impression is when your ad is visible to view. For instance, each time a banner ad loads on a web page it counts as an impression. But just because the ad is visible doesn’t guarantee a person is actually looking at it!
  • PPC – Pay Per Click. This is the type of internet advertising made popular by Google and is used by all the search engines, along with Facebook. It means you pay for the advertising when someone clicks on your ad.
  • CPC – Cost Per Click. How much each click costs in a PPC advertising campaign.
  • Viral Marketing – Marketing efforts that are started by a business but grow and become controlled by groups of customers. For instance, you’ve probably heard of a video that has “gone viral.”

Have any other marketing jargon you’d like defined? Just post a comment, and I’ll be glad to help!