Marketing buzzwords: they are bandied about in boardrooms, memos, emails and meetings every day. While many of them are useful, many more of them have been so drastically overused that they are now devoid of meaning, or worse yet, suggest a meaning that is counterproductive.
As 2016 has just begun, we propose a New Year's resolution that will retire a number of these buzzwords that pertain specifically to lead generation.
1 - Synergy
The term is used to convey various elements or factions working well together, but now has become so ubiquitous in business speak that it is perceived merely as filler. In today’s work environment, we are expected to cooperate and be effective as a team. The real issue with this word is the way that it is used. CEO’s and senior management can’t simply instruct their employees to have synergy, and get along. Processes such as a judicial branch are required to put some bite behind the bark.
2 - Thought Leader
Once used to describe a person who is an authority and innovative within a given field, today, using the term suggests a lack of original thought. We’re not saying that thought leaders no longer exist, rather, we suggest to not throw out that word unless you’re describing the work of a prolific innovator in that industry. A thought leader is not someone who is simply good at their job. Instead, they are a person who is challenging the norm with the intent to improve it.
3 - Holistic
Everyone claims to adopt a holistic approach to convey that their approach is comprehensive, all-encompassing or universal. Instead, it invokes imagery of alternative medicine. There are predictions that a few companies will combine the multiple solutions they offer from the 2,000 plus sales and marketing solutions available today with the intent of producing one, holistic solution. If that were possible, or even a good idea, Salesforce would not contain the number of add-on apps it offers to enhance its one product.
4 - Millennial, GenX, GenY, Baby Boomer…:
Categorizing massive segments of the population into generational buckets is not as useful as we might think. Instead of being a reliable demographic, it supposes an overall sameness to everyone within that group. We would be better served using other criteria that is far more specific when defining our target group. Instead of using a generation that spans over twenty years, focus on life stages. This will ensure you don’t assume characteristics about your customers based on their generation. Not all 30-year olds are having kids. Not all 20-year olds are getting married. Uncover the things that will help you connect with your customer.
5 - Learnings
A vaguely arrogant marketing-speak term that is synonymous with lessons, knowledge, data or new information. Don’t use this word to describe those things. Try to explain it, make it your own, or improve upon it by keeping that information fresh in your mind. The last thing we want to do is dumb down a piece of marketing information.
6 - Viral
It is the objective of most any online marketing campaign to have it go "viral". The term, however, does not come with a specific definition. In other words there isn't a specific measure that would deem something to have gone viral. To avoid vague objectives, it is better to instead refer to specific and measurable numbers. For example, set a goal for your campaign to receive 500 interactions in a specific amount of time.
7 - Low-Hanging Fruit
Meant to describe easy opportunities for new business, or prospects that are most inclined to purchase, using the term low-hanging fruit tends to devalue such opportunities by suggesting that they require less attention or effort than the higher hanging fruit. Qualifying those interested in your business until they are ready to buy is incredibly important. This is because if sales only receives sales qualified leads, they become less skeptical of leads in general, and they can focus on guiding that person towards a closed deal.
8 - Functional
A product or service that is fully functional is one that works the way it was designed to work. It should go without saying that your offer is functional otherwise there would be no point in selling it. Try to avoid being redundant with your “fully-functional” product. Give your prospects the basic information they need to make a purchasing decision, even if they don’t choose you. That prospect could still be a source of referrals.
9 - Robust
Here's a word that is often used to describe an offering that doesn't inform the potential consumer at all. It's an adjective that sounds positive but has no meaning whatsoever. Unless you're selling coffee, robust should not be used to describe your product. Instead of saying your product is robust; you can share its breadth of solutions. Briefly explain the benefits, and what problems they solve. Be a guide and help your prospects through their purchasing process.
10 - Unique
Another adjective that has been used so frequently that it is completely meaningless. If your product is unique, and a competitor emulates your idea, your product is no longer unique. Unique means one-of-a-kind. Something can't be more one-of-a-kind than something that is similar. The English language has so many great descriptors out there! Be different and find something that works for your company. For example, Salesforce describes themselves as “the world’s #1 CRM solution.” VM Ware explains the benefits of using their technology with, “Transform Your Business Through Mobility.” Your product or solution is different, and your descriptors should be too.
11 - Cold Call
This may well be the most controversial entry on this list; however, the term cold call suggests an intrusive and unwanted sales solicitation. It may be more accurate to describe an initial contact in the teleprospecting process as an introductory call or initiating a conversation. A cold call has a negative connotation, while a conversation is an everyday occurrence.
These are only a few of the marketing buzzwords that we feel need to disappear in the coming year. Certainly there are others that either convey something that could be said in fewer words, implies a misleading or unrelated idea, or are completely meaningless, such as “going forward”, “30,000 foot view”, and “at the end of the day”.
Can you think of any more buzzwords we should add to the list? Add them in the comments below, and if you want to talk about how the judicial branch might increase new logo revenue by up to 3 times, let us know!