Few things annoy decision makers more than the constant sing-song use of slogans, catchphrases, or buzzwords. Not only does it expose a person’s lack of experience, clichéd, repetitive and meaningless language also shows a decision maker that the person they’re speaking with is not equipped with the genuine knowledge to become a reliable supplier.
B2B marketing aimed at senior executives should come across in an intelligent and informed manner. Its fine to not know everything, and marketers who try and use jargon and buzzwords are often doing so to appear more sophisticated or knowledgeable than they actually are. Far better to grow and cultivate knowledge by asking questions and listening carefully to answers. This will win more respect for sure.
Plain English in B2B marketing
According to the Guardian newspaper “The Plain English Campaign says that many staff working for big corporate organisations find themselves using management speak as a way of disguising the fact that they haven’t done their job properly. Some people think that it is easy to bluff their way through by using long, impressive-sounding words and phrases, even if they don’t know what they mean, which is telling in itself” Read on to see some they don’t recommend for your B2B marketing.
Helicopter view – Need a phrase that means a broad overview of the business? Then why not say “a broad view of the business”?
Idea shower – Brainstorm might be out of fashion, but surely we can thought cascade something better than this drivel.
Touch base offline – Meaning let’s meet and talk. Because, contrary to popular belief, it is possible to communicate without a Wi-Fi signal. No, really, it is. Fancy a coffee?
Get all your ducks in a row – Be organised. Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street had an obsession with rubber ducks.
Thinking outside the box – This is a metaphor that means to think differently, unconventionally, or from a new perspective. This phrase often refers to the process of creative thinking in B2B marketing. We say it’s a fairly unconstructive way of telling people to come up with a new, unique idea, the phrase should have been ditched years ago.
Touch base – A favourite phrase of networkers and people trying to show a light touch in management, ‘touch base’ has been winding up B2B marketing executives for a few years now. It’s recently been joined by the even more unnecessary ‘touch base offline’ which is a roundabout way of asking someone to meet face to face.
Reach out – A lot of people in business seem to think the phrase ‘reach out’ is friendlier and less intimidating than ‘contact’, ‘get in touch’ or ‘call’. This has led to the phrase finding its way into countless B2B marketing dictionaries. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before it finds its way out again.
Let’s action that – Instead of saying, ‘let’s action that’ at the end of a meeting or discussion – why not just say, ‘that’s what we’ll do’?
Synergy – One of the most meaningless buzzwords out there at the moment: ‘synergy’ seems to have a huge number of meanings in the world of business. From ‘balance’ to ‘combination’ and ‘collaboration’ to ‘cooperation’, the word is thrown into the mix whenever someone wants to sound like they know what they’re talking about.
Going forward, whenever you touch base or reach out to your customers, you’ll be able to action removing buzzwords and jargon from your sales pitch. This should help to create synergy and allow your idea shower to flow freely!