Jargon is horrible. It’s such a deterrent for customers, and most jargon is unnecessary.
Where possible, avoid it. Where unavoidable, explain it in simple terms - why not turn that explanation into quality content?
For me, there are two types of jargon in marketing:
Actual, technical jargon, which can be worked around, but really on a case-by-case basis; and,
Marketing jargon, otherwise known as Marketese, or, as I like to call it, business bullshit.
Here are a few marketing jargon words I’ve come across, when communicating with customers and with fellow marketers, with some alternatives for you to consider:
Why: If something is not truly unique, just don’t use this word at all. Use a word that actually describes what you’re selling.
Alternative(s): Depends on what you’re selling! Rather than something as vague as ‘unique’, explain exactly what it is that makes your product or service ‘unique’.
Why: Is what you’re describing really exciting? Really?
Alternative(s): Engaging, interesting, inspirational. Something that actually effectively describes your product or service.
Jargon: Best, leading, premier, top
Why: You might think you’re the best, but ‘best’ is subjective. Try a less subjective, more specific word.
Alternative(s): Show how you are the best rather than stating it like a fact.
Jargon: Going forward
Why: Of course you’re going forward, where else would you be going?
Alternative(s): Just take this out - the sentence or phrase can usually stand without it.
Jargon: Groundbreaking, innovative, revolutionary
Why: Is what you’re doing really revolutionary and totally new? Not likely.
Alternative(s): New - then explain the features that would make it different to the rest.
Jargon: Cutting-edge or bleeding-edge
Why: Overused. And ‘bleeding-edge’ makes me feel a bit sick.
Alternative(s): Progressive, explain what's 'new' or different about it.
Jargon: Blue-sky thinking
Why: This sounds lofty, not grounded or practical.
Alternative(s): Open-minded, creative.
Jargon: Touch base
Why: Way too overused.
Alternative(s): Contact, update, talk, meet.
Why: Optimisation is far too subjective.
Alternative(s): Specifically explain what can improve.
Why: Mathematically impossible.
Alternative(s): If anything, 100%. Or just 'all'.
Jargon: One-stop shop
Why: Nothing is truly a one-stop shop. Not even Amazon, although they're getting there.
Alternative(s): Explain what you actually sell or can provide, rather than just ‘everything’.
Why: To me, this implies someone getting screwed over and ‘used’. Not something you’d want to highlight.
Why: I think all marketers and copywriters are guilty of using this one. It doesn’t really mean anything, or explain exactly the service or product you’re advertising. Ultimately, you want to make it as easy as possible for your reader to understand what you’re saying. They shouldn’t have to work.
Alternative(s): Say what it is you’re actually selling. What problem is your ‘solution’ actually solving?
Essentially, the important thing to note with all of these suggestions, and other similar words or phrases, is to speak as simply as possible to your reader.
A general rule of thumb is to write as though you’re speaking to an 11 year-old - use shorter, simpler words for more powerful statements.
This isn’t a definitive list, just a few words I could think of. If there are any more words that you’d like me to add, or look into some alternatives, pop your thoughts in the comments section below.