Let’s talk frankly about the jargon problem.
Yes, we know, poor beleaguered marketer, you’re dreadfully sick of the jargon problem. You’ve been inundated with virtual volumes of well-intentioned writings about the jargon problem. The jargon problem is making you want to disrupt the integrity of your omnichannel device in real-time with a large brick, right? We get it.
The reason we get it is because here at CabinetM we’ve pored through enough marketing materials that, if printed on actual paper, would require an inconveniently large storehouse. We are also building a rather nifty glossary of terms.
There are two scenarios that can get you into trouble — using jargon, and not using jargon.
Jargon the Terrible
Jargon itself is not a problem.
Jargon is simply any specialized language unique to a particular industry. Surely you don’t finger-wag your accountants for talking about your break-even point, profit margin or deferred revenue from annual subscription sales? That wouldn’t make sense. It also doesn’t make sense for you to bend over backwards to avoid saying “B2B,” “innovative” and “personalization” if your product is an innovative B2B Personalization Platform, simply because those terms made someone’s jargon list.
Writing is stressful, isn’t it, with that carillon of anti-jargon danger signals ringing in your ears. In this situation, you might be tempted to come up with a new expression. That’s how we get terms such as “open kimono.” Sounds like a panic move, doesn’t it.
Think of jargon in terms of water droplets. Individually they are natural, necessary and fortifying, but too much all at once and you’ve swamped your message until it’s about as clear as mud.
Jargon The Great
You should be able to state your mission, craft a message or summarize your product in one or two sentences. Your job is to convey what problems your product solves. Without jargon, your job is impossible. Keeping your target audience in mind means writing “SEO” and “CRM” along with a whole glossary of industry shorthand that you know your people will understand.
But when you keep your target audience in mind, don’t forget about reaching people who don’t even know they’ve got a problem. You can help them, but only if they understand what you do. That means plain language, using the most widely understood terms. If some of those terms happen to show up on those hilarious jargon lists online, that’s OK. The balance lies somewhere between writing with clarity for a wide audience, and strategizing to optimize your omnichannel message across every audience segment in the customer service sector in order to engage real-time at the on-ramp of the B2B buyer journey. Write wisely!