By Published On: July 1, 2018

Marketing shouldn’t be about using jargon to baffle a potential client. It’s about using the smarts and tools available to build the best campaign results for clients’ businesses to meet their goals. I was taught that, in order to truly help clients, it’s important to explain marketing concepts without relying on jargon and buzzwords. However, there has recently been a shift in that belief system. People in general are now more educated about buzzwords (and they sound cool), so this is a dilemma for those of us who learned otherwise.

Today’s marketers didn’t invent certain marketing concepts, but they have taken them and repackaged them into slick buzzword capsules that feel more exclusive and have an aura of mystery around them. The problem with this is that it leaves ambiguity around something that a client should understand and be a part of. Here are some examples of what I’m talking about:

ROI (Return on Investment) – some people seem to think they recently invented ROI. They didn’t. Marketers have been talking about the importance of data, testing and measurement in marketing for decades. It’s important to measure your campaign but it’s even more important for that testing to be statistically valid or it doesn’t actually tell you anything. Opens and clicks are exciting but do not prove ROI.

Personas – building personas is a way to understand what your best customers look like and what motivates them to make a purchase. This is an important step in any marketing campaign. It’s the same thing as creating a customer profile to understand your audience to envision who you are writing your copy to. It speaks to relevancy, and copy should be relevant. Always. This is not a new idea but the packaging of it and “process” to get there are. Successful marketers have been building personas long before the term was coined, and everyone should understand how it works.

Conversion – to some marketers this can be an open or a click (see ROI above). But what happens after the click? Was a form filled out or was a call made? Is the campaign fulfilling on its business strategy? Better yet, has the campaign increased sales? Now that’s a conversion.

My point is, it’s easy to get distracted by the current shiny vernacular without getting to the substance of the marketing value. Jargon in marketing will come and go (remember camera-ready or database marketing?) it’s the substance beneath it carries the real meaning and creates enlightenment.

About the Author: Megan Devine

Megan Devine
Megan taps into her left-brain logic and right brain creativity—steering the business, bantering with her team, and strategizing on client work. She says it’s her dream job and we believe her. Using her passion and knack for understanding complex connections in business and marketing, she collaborates to create love between brands and customers. She possesses expertise and experience that only comes from persevering in the ever-changing marketing agency world. Megan co-founded d.trio marketing group, now cat&tonic, in January of 2000 and took sole ownership in 2019. Her vision, support, and sheer stubbornness got us through 9/11, the great recession, and a pandemic. She has judged the International ECHO Awards since 2005, has consulted for several organizations, and serves on several boards. Educated at Carleton College, she learned the importance of critical thinking for success. At home she learned the value of a good story.
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