Friday Fails: Cut the Industry Jargon

06/20/2014 6 min read Written by Lynton

Inbound Marketing Jargon

Buzzwords, cliches, jargon- every industry has been known to throw them around. But using jargon when talking with prospects and clients can be both alienating and confusing. Keeping to clear and direct language that everyone can understand will keep you sounding like a robot and out of this week's edition of Friday Fails.


Hi everyone, welcome to this week's edition of Friday Fails. I hope ya'll are enjoying the World Cup like I am and watched the US win the other day!

First of all, I just really wanted to touch base with the inbound community. Really wanted to take a deep dive into some industry jargon and really drill down into what's going on there. I want to leverage our expertise in this week's edition of Friday Fails: Why NOT to use industry jargon.

Ok so we've all heard it. Ya know, the buzz words, the business words, the isms, the things we use in your conference room, the things you use with your peers. But industry jargon is one way to really alienate someone who's not part of your industry. Even someone new to your industry, or really just trying to kind of put their foot in the water or dip a toe in this new inbound marketing world. 

So let me give you an example of what might happen:

Where industry jargon is really going to kick me in the butt and make me lose a lead or really confuse the heck out of someone. 

Say I get a phone call. This person owns a pet shop. They want to really grow their business, kind of get started with marketing. Maybe they've done a couple of emails, maybe they've done some fliers back in the day and they've considered a brochure. Now they're calling me to ask me about how I can help with their website. Maybe give them some insight into what is going on with what they call "digital marketing." 

So let's pretend I say...

"Hey Sarah, thanks for calling. First of all let's take a look at your website, look at the UX going on there, do you have any CTAs? What's your CTR? Now first of all I'd look to look above the fold and see what's going in your main nav. Are you really relating to your buyer personas? Are you reaching that target audience and giving them that evergreen content that SEO is going to be able to research them and find them? Do you have any TOFU, MOFU, BOFU content going on? How often are you blogging? Because typically I'm going to recommend you blog twice a week. And make sure that you're following best practices which is good for both your SEO and it's going to help people find you. But the way we really can help you is going to be metrics based. I'm going to improve your website and we're really going to go for your buyer personas . I'm going to do a deep discovery of those personas and make sure that we're able to find them on the web. And they're able to find their way to you based on that evergreen content and your TOFU/MOFU/BOFU content. Depending on where they are in the sales cycle and where they are in that funnel. So ya, I'd love to help you why don't we talk about some KPIs that we can track going along and make sure that we're reaching your goals."

What the HECK did I just say?!

Lots of marketing words. Lots of jargon words that's going to confuse the caller. They're going to say "Guess what? I just feel dumb. I'm unable to even understand what this person is saying." And what typically happens is they're too polite to say they don't know what I mean. 

So this is a fail because you're really alienating someone.

So you really want to make sure that you're speaking clearly, using words that you can use in Scrabble and they would count as points. 

Inbound Marketing JargonMake sure that the words you're using aren't just something you can share with your colleagues. Especially when you're talking about the click through rate (the CTR) or the CTAs (those calls to action). We're going to use those to reach that target audience of the person who's going to then read your content and reach out to you. And perhaps buy a product or use your services. 

So make sure that when you're speaking to people, even if it's within your industry, that you're not just using a bunch of buzz words. Buzz words that really make you seem like an inbound marketing cyborg. Use real words and make sure that you're clear and your message is getting conveyed. Make sure that the audience is understanding what you're saying and they're not just making you look like you're from another planet.

So thanks for following this week's edition of Friday Fails, we will see you again next week!

By: Lynton

Lynton is a HubSpot Elite Partner that provides certified knowledge and tools to grow your business through integrated inbound marketing, including lead generation strategies, website designs and development, and CRM integrations.

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