Language should be a facilitator

I’ve been reading some articles recently about language in business marketing. I’d like to say they’ve led me to some unarguable conclusions which I could relay to you all, but they haven’t. There’s a lot of contradictory advice out there.

Many experts tell us not to use business jargon. That’s hardly surprising. In summary though, I think the key to writing marketing material which resonates with buyers is to think about things in terms of SEO, which should lead us to think about things in the same terms as our customers, and in turn will get rid of the jargon.

In SEO, if we sell blue widgets – even if we only sell them as part of a customised system – and we want to be found, we should present ourselves as a blue widget supplier, or perhaps a blue widget-based systems supplier. Why? because that’s what customers will look for. We all know that.

For years, it’s somehow seemed more sophisticated to present ourselves as ‘widgetesque solutions providers’ or just anything which avoids saying what we really do. That went away on websites when SEO became important, but it lingers on in other sorts of marketing material. It shouldn’t. We should learn from SEO. If we’re to get on the same page as customers, we need to talk like them. Nobody goes to an exhibition looking for a ‘provider’ of a ‘widgetesque solution’, they go to look at blue widgets. Language should be a facilitator, not a barrier.

Discussion

  1. Andrew Bartlett

    Agree totally about use of appropriate jargon. I am also finding that in the quest for simplicity some companies are over-simplifying things and failing to speak the same language as their potential customers. Would be interested to know what articles you have been reading on business language.

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