If you’ve ever run an online marketing campaign, you know that new strategies need to be fresh and effective. That is to say, they need to have the quality of being novel–and they need to work. Marketing strategies need to be novel because if they aren’t, your audience will yawn and click away like the long-necked birds they are. But at the same time, your novel marketing strategies need to work.
In other words, the task of coming up with a fresh new marketing strategy is like reinventing the wheel without losing any of the functional robustness of the wheel. To be brief, your marketing strategy has to have at least three of the five following qualities:
- Utilize strategic networks
- Engage collaborative ROI
- Synergize one-to-one metrics
- Scale sticky e-commerce
- Monetize mission-critical channels
If strategic networks are not properly and fully utilized, they might as well not exist. When investment returns are not made collaborative and fully engaged, then you’re going to start eating into your profits. When one-to-one metrics are not fully synergistic, then they are not going to give you any meaningful data. Failure to scale sticky e-commerce means your organization is not growing. And finally, without fully monetized mission-critical channels, you’re not going to get active returns on your outreach efforts.
When Marketing Lingo is Full-on Bullhonkery
Okay, if you’re at least 45% on the ball, you’ll have noticed that the five terms listed above mean almost nothing and the paragraph following those the bullet points is a complete word salad.
Now, I ask you, how often do you think consultants and professional content creators successfully snow marketing teams by loading them up with b.s. terms like these? The answer is, very often indeed. The bullet list above came from a site called the Marketing Bullshit Generator. Many of the results it generates are pretty clearly nonsense. However, it shows how easily a cunning b.s. artist might be able to con a naive marketing team.
Our goal here is to help keep you from falling prey to marketing hucksters. You’re welcome.
Real Marketing Terms that are Real B.S.
The mark of a b.s. marketing term is that it has the sound of being quite technical. It feels precise, complex- like the product of many hours of research and thought. Sometimes this is true, and sometimes it is not. Our concern is terms that do nothing but make the person who uses them sound superficially smart and professional. The sooner you can spot these people, the sooner you can really boost your ROI. See what I did there?
This simply means changing the name or appearance of your brand. Changing a logo, altering a value claim, trying out a new name- it’s all “rebranding.”
Why it’s BS: Because if you don’t know that your current brand image isn’t working, then putting a “re” in front of it isn’t going to help.
It sounds both technical and spiritual at the same time. It’s like Dearth Vader, or Weird Science–magic and technology. The problem is that what it really means isn’t mysterious at all–and knowing the word won’t help you achieve it.
Why it’s BS: Because it just means everyone working together harmoniously. You can’t manufacture that. If you can, please tell me how.
Word of Mouth
Brilliant. That’s much better than word of thigh, or word of face. Right? What other kind of word is there? Honestly, if one more marketing guru says “word of mouth” to me, he’s going to feel my word of fist.
Why it’s BS: It essentially means the same thing as “public relations,” which we’ll get to.
It sounds pornographic, and frankly, if it was, it would mean a heck of a lot more than it does. Organic engagement just means people interacting with your brand because they want to–as opposed to by force or by lying about your popularity.
Why it’s BS: You could just say ‘engagement,’ unless artificial engagement isn’t obviously undesirable.
This was stolen from politics because it’s use in that “space” (yeah, that’s one too) makes it sound intelligent. It isn’t. It’s sophistry.
Why it’s BS: It’s just another cheap way to sound authoritative without adding any real meaning.
What, as opposed to phony time? What real-time means is “right now.” It means you’re seeing up to the minute results. It gets its appeal from its association with software products that tell you what’s going on right now–you know, rather than later.
Why it’s BS: It’s a cheap way of sounding technical. People who use that term are going to have to learn to code when their victims finally figure out their game.
I’m going to position you as a thought leader in your market space. ‘Cause that’s way cooler than being a rip off artist.
Why it’s BS: Using this term openly admits that you’re offering to help someone pretend they originated an idea. It’s essentially plagiarism by proxy.
Everything’s a space nowadays, isn’t it? No. What you really mean is “venue,” “market,” “profession,” or “discipline.” Please stop using this term, I can feel the Devil singing when you say it.
Why it’s BS: It’s just more sophistry, and I hate it.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Can you say “synonym for public relations?” Good, because that’s all this is. Yeah, I know there are CRM software tools. But if you’re not referring to the technology systems, you’re simply referring to managing your reputation.
Why it’s BS: Because when you say it, those of us who care about the meaning of words and making sense die inside a little bit.
If you want to develop a strong voice, avoiding nonsense is key. I long for the day when sophistry is no longer a viable strategy for positioning one’s self as a marketing guru. Perhaps when that day comes, the creator of the universe will finally emerge and let us all in on the joke.
DL M has 21 years of professional writing for print and online media and has 10+ years experience as a freelance fiction editor. He’s a content creator for major corporations covering all topics for a wide range of industries, specializing in white papers, research, news content. His specialty subjects include: current events, marketing, analytics, personal development, leveraging social media, SEO, business development, cloud computing, language, and politics.