The first rule of marketing communications should be “Don’t confuse your customers.” If they can’t figure out what you’re saying they won’t stick around to find out, much less trust what you’re selling.

Based on the pitches I’m seeing and my copywriting/editing work with clients, here are ten of the current “worst offender” terms that send customers clicking on to your competitor’s Web sites:

When You Say… Do You Really Mean…
Transparent Visible, or honest?
Resources Money, or people?
Impact Help, or hurt?
Solution Hardware, software or services?
Contextualized How something relates to or works with something else?
Purposed Used for?
Transform Really, really, really improved?
Optimized Eliminate what’s unneeded or duplicate?
On the ground On the actual scene? Seeing something for yourself? Most informed?
Align with Coordinate with? Work to improve?

Want more? I’ve got plenty. And if you want help replacing jargon with clear language in your marketing material, I’m available for that, too. What horrible, meaningless jargon are you seeing that drives you nuts?

Author: Bob Scheier
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I'm a veteran IT trade press reporter and editor with a passion for clear writing that explains how technology can help businesses. To learn more about my content marketing services, email or call me at 508 725-7258.

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Filed under: Content MarketingPR/Marketing Writing Tips

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