The word ‘marketing’ has been so overused in popular culture that the mere mention/sight of it creates a sort of Pavlov-like anti-response within this author’s body. It’s been written about so much and talked about so much in SO many ancillary and often esoteric terms, that it’s difficult to ascertain where the truth lies and how much of it is just smoke and mirrors. Bear in mind, the CONCEPT of marketing holds JUST as much validity now, as it did at the start of the 21st century. It’s just that now sometimes, it’s beginning to feel like an obligation, instead of a purpose.
“The picture is becoming less blurred…”
The classic ethos of marketing: ‘Communicate the message of the company/organization to the consumers’ while ‘creating a need’ without being homogenized. A little bit of lateral thinking can maybe help you be clearer and more concise to your employees, investors and consumers.
Be the hero of your boardroom for sure. But be Peter O’Toole, not John Travolta. Make your ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ instead of ‘Face/Off’.
Anyways far from it, for me to criticize modern day marketers. I’m just a dissatisfied consumer whose needs are often not met. But other people seem to be consuming at a rapid rate and YES, our country’s economy and GDP is showing an increase each year, so all is well for most people. But after doing some research and contemplating on Marketing Buzzwords, I have come up with certain critiques that can objectively be viewed as any certain way, but I do believe that they hold some kernel of truth.
If you’re a successful marketer, then you can go on right ahead and ignore this. If you’re someone like me, who feels that there can be sort of an empty void sometimes in the process of marketing communication. Maybe you’ll find enjoyment reading what’s written below.
Anyways, here we go:
- ‘INNOVATORS’: The word has simply lost its’ meaning due to overuse. People slap the word ‘innovation/innovative/innovator’ to almost everything they can lay their eyes on. Any new start up can start it’s tagline as: “An innovative app that ______” and it won’t make a single difference in the consumer’s eyes. No one wants to be told how innovative you are and if you want to position your product to a marketing savvy audience, please minimize the usage of the word.
“Kill them with your innovation”
- ‘IDEATION’: This word is cool in theory. Creating a methodical term for ‘coming up with Ideas’ sounds wonderful. But unfortunately, people buy products because they feel the need or make a connection, NOT because how clever they think you are. Even if this works for you (and whatever management lecture you’re about to give), you sort of have to admit that it seems like something conjured up by a 26 year old start-up owner on his weekend pub binge. Lots of room for improvement.
- ‘FREEMIUM’: This is more like a gentle, friendly warning. It’s not a bad word by any means and we wish you all the luck in your ventures. But the word has taken incredible notoriety in recent years thanks to the horrible money-scamming business practice in mobile gaming (And we know you all saw that episode of ‘South P). If you’ve come up with an incredible business model that is sustainable, and has growth, more power to you. But know that you are walking on a path of coal with this. Try coming up with a fresh, more honest buzzword. Try being in the best possible light (as much as possible).
“ Shine a light of Altruism”
- ‘REPURPOSING CONTENT’: We really like the practice and we’re big fans. Every piece of content needs a fresh coat of paint and creative re-adjustment. With that said, you could also use that same creativity in coming up with a better and catchier buzzword. Content marketing requires a lot of creative and empathic skills and if you have them, that’s fantastic. But find an appropriate buzzword that represents your skills, instead of just describing them. “Brian De Palma figured out how to do it!”
- ‘STORYTELLING’: This is a fairly common gripe but we’re discussing it anyway. There is no other way to put it. The word has simply been overused and overplayed to the point of exasperation. Nowadays, hearing someone is a ‘brand storyteller’ is just about as novel and exciting as getting a new Marvel movie each year. Which is not at all. We admire and respect the ambition to identify as storytellers and are sure that you mean it. But storytelling also involves a lot of evolution and progression and not repeating what constantly works. Keep on telling stories but for the love of god, stop using the phrase ‘storytelling’.
We are not cynical at all. In fact, we’re eternal optimists. And we love variety. Nothing delights us more than the feeling of surprise and it’s this surprise that we always hope we’d feel more often. And here’s to hoping that we do so, more often than not. We are big fans of the feeling of being caught unexpectedly by ‘pleasant surprises’ and it’s always a joy. Thanks for reading.