The What and Why of Marketing Buzzwords – What is a Marketing Buzzword? Why do we use use buzzwords? What does the future hold for Marketing Buzzwords?
On this week’s #MarketingBuzzword Podcast, Ben M Roberts does things a little differently. Instead of the normal Monday interview Ben is going to share with you the ‘what and why of Marketing buzzwords’, based on some conversations had with some of you amazing listeners.
This podcast episode is based upon the first section of Ben’s new book ‘Marketing Buzzword to Marketing Authority’ which is available for pre-order as part of his crowdfunding campaign from August 1st – August 31st: https://publishizer.com/from-marketing-buzzword-to-marketing-authority – If you love what you’ve just listened to or want to know more, please get involved and pre-order a copy today!
A full transcript of this episode is coming soon, but before that I want to let you know that The Marketing Buzzword Podcast is powered by Talkative. Talkative is a company that brings live web chat, voice calls, video calls and co-browsing together, in one package. This allows you and your business to truly engage with your customers, offer quick and effective resolutions to questions and improve the customer experience. You can find out more at Talkative.uk
I’m always keen to hear about the buzzwords you are loving or hating right now so please drop me a tweet to @roberts_ben_m or simply use #marketingbuzzword on Twitter & Instagram. Also, feel free to drop me a message if you think you can help break down a buzzword or know someone who would be amazing at it.
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Enough small talk . . . let’s talk ‘The What and Why of Marketing Buzzwords’
Transcript of ‘The What and Why of Marketing Buzzwords’ podcast episode with Ben M Roberts
Hello and welcome to the main part of the podcast. So in this episode, it’s a bit different to what we’re normally doing, and we’re gonna look at the what and the why, and we’re gonna sort of break this down into a number of sections.
And so what are buzzwords even really? Why do we use them? We’re gonna go through a number of reasons why people use buzzwords. And then we’re gonna dive in sort of the psychology around them being used, the different types of buzzwords, ’cause there are different types. The regional and cultural differences between buzzwords. Potentially even some misconceptions and how they evolve over time, because buzzwords don’t just stay buzzwords forever. We’ll look at whether we actually need buzzwords and could we live without them? And then what is the future of them, because ultimately they don’t all stay the same, and are we gonna get to a point where we don’t use buzzwords anymore, or just buzzwords are just the norm and we have to accept them.
Hopefully this will give you a real interesting way of looking at things, so when you sort of listen to any future episodes, you can understand, okay, I can see how that works, and sort of the breakdown and the history behind buzzword existence, ’cause that was essentially what the feedback I’ve had from the podcast is. And if you have any other feedback for me, please drop me an email to Ben@Ben-M-Robets.com, or just contact me through any social media channel that you can find me on.
So let’s crack on. So what is a buzzword really? Well, I define a marketing buzzword as a newly created term or phrase that seeks to define a marketing activity. Now other people will look at it and say, “It’s often an item of jargon that’s fashionable at a particular time, or in a particular context, and that it has little meaning but becomes popular.” I don’t necessarily subscribe to that way of thinking. I think that some buzzwords can be used as jargon and are particularly fashionable. Other ones are actually really helping to define a term, make things … Yes, maybe it’s a little bit of laziness and it’s a bit of too long didn’t read, and actually you try and break these buzzwords down to a smaller size to make it more manageable. But maybe that’s part of their beauty.
Now, for me, I think that buzzwords is there to seek to bring together sort of relevant marketing content under a single usable word that can make the content understandable for a specific audience.
Now, where people I think get this wrong is that a buzzword doesn’t necessarily have to appeal to all people. It doesn’t have to necessarily be understandable to customers or businesses. But they have to understand that certain segments may not understand them because that’s not their role to understand them. And as a company for example, you can talk about things in a number of different ways using buzzwords, and it makes 100% sense. But just because it makes sense to you, it doesn’t mean you should try and speak to your customers in that way, because that doesn’t necessarily make sense to them. Because then it does become jargon, because they’re like, “You’re using words that have no relevance to my life.”
You actually wanna make this … You wanna seek together to bring relevant … I’m gonna go back to this again relevant marketing content under a single usable word that can make it understandable for an audience. So you make it understandable for maybe other marketers, because maybe that’s the industry that they’re working in.
If somebody wants to come in and they have no experience of marketing, and you start using all these words, they go, “Well, that’s a lot of jargon.” But actually once they get in to the swing of things, you get into the industry, you understand actually no, this is actually part of the way things are.
Now, it’s supposed to help make marketing easier to understand, but I can see that they are used to create a sense of superiority. Because if you understand a buzzword or a term, this isn’t part of generic language, it does try to sort of create a sort of that sense of superiority, like I know what this means and you don’t. Why don’t you know what this means? You’re obviously not as clever a marketer, you’re obviously not as in the know with different people, or read enough articles. But that’s down to individuals, that’s not the buzzword’s fault.
Now, a buzzword is a term that’s used to sort of define and how it gains popularity, ’cause it becomes a buzzword because of the popularity of it, otherwise it’s just a word. But it’s the word you’re using and depending on how it’s used, it either becomes a buzzword or a jargon.
Now, every buzzword maybe at its core is a type of jargon. I mean at least that’s how they started out. They started out as an effort to [inaudible 00:04:37] in a complicated system, to make it a better flow of writing. As an example, it’s much easier to say something like the cloud than it is to describe a SaaS model, or a utility computing model. It just is much easier to say.
Now content marketing for example, you can put that around a huge number of elements. But by saying content marketing, people understand that okay, you’ve created content. That’s something that’s written, it’s visual or audio that people can consume.
It’s amazing to think actually that people … I know maybe you could argue a difference between jargon and buzzwords purely as the people that use jargon, know what they’re talking about, whereas people who use buzzwords do not, and they’re simply using them to sound clever. But it’s not the entire truth. Yeah, maybe it’s part of the truth. But like everything you can’t tarnish everyone with the same brush.
People who are out there building amazing content [inaudible 00:05:33] a value, just because they’re using a certain word, just because it’s seen as a buzzword doesn’t mean there isn’t any substance or value to be had.
Now, I get really annoyed people say, “Oh, you’re talking about buzzwords. Buzzwords is what’s wrong with the industry. It’s what’s wrong with marketing.” No, it’s not. And I will explore this a little bit later.
As I’ve sort of already started to acknowledge in this, there are ways in which they aren’t used brilliantly and they can be used for negative purposes. But also actually it’s a great way of us being able to group content to make it easier to understand, to actually appeal to the human laziness, because people are lazy, and yes, people go, “Oh, well, people shouldn’t be so lazy.” But they are. And maybe that’s actually the benefit of a buzzword.
So why do we still use them? Now marketing world, it’s completely swarming with buzzwords, I know you guys listening to this will understand that. And there is no escape, and no matter where you look, some are great, and they’re used as barriers. I mean the same thing I ask at the end of every episode, and I get amazing range of answers, it’s what is your favorite and what’s your least favorite buzzword? And you get so many different ideas.
Now, I just wanted to [inaudible 00:06:58] the people in wider range of industry now to find out what they think and use … What people in marketing use buzzword and what they hope to achieve when they use it, and what they hate and why they hate them? You just listen to every podcast I’ve done [inaudible 00:07:08] guest is amazing.
Now, I’ve come up with a number of reasons why people actually use buzzwords. Now, number one is gonna as a differentiator. Certain people use buzzwords to carve out a niche. So they first define their place, they use it to set themselves apart. It’s an opportunity to stand out. So for example using hashtags on Twitter, if you use the same hashtag, it’s a great way of aligning yourself to a certain word or a phrase.
Take for example Madalyn Sklar who I interviewed on the podcast, she aligns herself with Twitter chats, she talks about Twitter chats all the time, Twitter marketing. And you see her aligning herself to that.
As individuals, we’re all trying to speak in a way that gets people’s attention. And because the crowsy and noidy, noisy … noidy? Noisy world, you need to stand out and get counted to be noticed. And in marketing, there’s so much going on, there’s so many caveats, there’s so many little intricacies. You need to find a way giving yourself an edge and putting a little spin on things, helping get your content, your knowledge, your experiences shown.
And actually aligning yourself to a buzzword can be a differentiator for you. It helps you be different from everyone else’s out there by using a certain word.
Now, people also then on a slightly negative undertones use it to sound ahead of the curve. Now, because buzzwords are generally assigned to new innovations or new change in the market, being one of the first people to talk about it gives a first mover advantage. It’s the same principal to normal business, and when they release a product. We’ve seen that sort of product lifecycle curve that we all did in school, in university. We look at actually how you get a first mover advantage that gives you that foothold in the market, it gives you … people start to assign you straightaway with, “Oh, you’re great.”
So look at for example those people [inaudible 00:09:03] livestreaming and they owned that space, and now they’ve pivoted into other areas. Absolutely amazing. And that’s why you can maybe use it, you can use it to stand out, or you can use it to be ahead of the curve, to be ahead … As soon as you start seeing a buzzword starting being … go and become an expert in that subject. It’s an option, I’m not saying it’s necessarily the right or wrong thing to do, I’m purely giving you the ideas and the history around buzzwords.
Now, buzzwords are also used to ride the wave of popularity, ’cause buzzwords are generally an upward trend in terms of [inaudible 00:09:37] use and popularity. So like you’re gonna be ahead of the curve and getting on a buzzword early. You can actually just ride that wave of popularity, so bringing it back a little bit. By using them, you’re now at the cutting edge of marketing innovation and change. People use buzzwords to try and stay and be a part of the crowd.
So this is what the crowd is talking about. So instead of … People use buzzwords to try and be part of the crowd. Is that truly understanding what it means and how it actually works? The difference between people using the terms machine learning and AI interchangeably when they’re not the exact same thing. People who are using machine learning/AI, but they are different things, you’re just grouping together two things that necessarily don’t have to go together or don’t always 100% work together. These are prime examples in 2018. They’re not the same thing. But this is where people will use them.
Now, people also use buzzwords to help showcase knowledge. And this is something that I’ll investigate in a lot of depth during the book, and so I’m really excited about sort of sharing some ideas and examples with you. But by talking about a buzzword you’re able to showcase a depth of really specific knowledge so then you become known for something, you can start to build an authority and an audience around.
For example, hopefully marketing buzzwords for example, people will start to come and know me as an authority and someone who can help break down marketing buzzwords. What does it actually mean? Why are they important? How can you implement a marketing buzzword into a strategy?
Now, that’s something that I want to be known for. But obviously that’s not necessarily a buzzword itself. So for example some of the other people I’ve interviewed on the podcast, Andrew and Pete talked about content marketing. Content marketing isn’t really a buzzword anymore, but that’s how they built their audience. Mark Masters talks more about loyalty marketing and finding what you stand for.
It’s about finding these little niches to be able to help you showcase your knowledge and become a forefront leader in the industry. Jerry [Coleman 00:11:45] talking about customer experience, Dan Gingiss is talking about social customer service. Nicky Kriel about social media and selling on social. All these things.
Now, buzzwords were also used across numerous industries. Now what I don’t want you get in the mindset of this thinking that buzzwords are purely related to marketing and business, because they’re not. Yes, some industries more than others use buzzwords. Teaching for example, politics, and business, and marketing. And some industries have more barriers than others when it comes to especially more technical jargon, technical buzzwords, and technical wordings.
Now, people like … But this is where buzzwords become real complicated. People in certain industries like politics will use buzzwords in order to baffle, sort of bamboozle, and people in turn not understanding what things mean, so they won’t ask further questions.
Now, that is where I think a lot of this negative stereotypes of buzzwords come in. You look at what people do in marketing, yes, there is a little bit of that, but it’s not, nowhere near the same level. But it’s about creating a barrier to entry, preventing other people from having access to industry, that’s why it’s used in politics. I don’t believe in marketing buzzwords …
That’s what is used in politics. I don’t believe in marketing buzzwords are necessarily the same as politics. I don’t believe that you can tarnish two people with the same brush, like you can’t tarnish two buzzwords with the same brush.
Sometimes it is necessary and actually in some industries like healthcare, it can just be the nature of the beast. Yes, there’s a time and a place to putting things in layman’s terms and it’s essential for a smooth and effective transition of information from someone with knowledge to someone without knowledge. However, it’s trying to find that balance.
Now, each industry has its own quirks. Now in marketing, I believe, like I said earlier, I believe that sometimes they’re used as real technical jargon, but I do honestly believe that more often than not, there are always exceptions, that people are using this to try and find something to stand for, so they can show their own knowledge and it’s not necessarily about trying to stand out and be better than anyone else, because in marketing you’ll get found out for that and you’ll get caught out for it. It’s about actually understanding and building a real core knowledge.
Now, one thing, the other thing is that people use them as a blocker for the industry. So people use buzzwords in order to block those from outside having access to the inner workings of the industry. So it’s meant to be simple within the industry, but outside it keeps people away. So it’s like a barrier to entry. Some terms are not just used to try and simplify things within the industry, and I accept that.
Marketing is a prime example of things like, I’m trying to think of the right words here. Let’s use marketing as an example. Now marketing is a prime example of that. It’s where terms like content marketing, conversational commerce, now can be used as terms to collect other terms under one umbrella.
For example, under content marketing, you could have email marketing. You could have blogging, podcasting, live streaming, whatever you want to put under that. There’s no sort of definition. And conversational commerce, you put Chatbox, you put under there live chats. You could put in marketing automation, and these are basically terms that are used to collect other terms under one umbrella.
Now, if you’re looking at that term, you should be able to access and see what the terms are underneath it, but from the outside it can look a bit like, Oh God, what does it include? It doesn’t necessarily always make sense.
It’s a fascinating sort of way of looking at things, buzzwords, and there’s a huge number of reasons why people use them. I hope that’s given you a bit of an idea as to some of the intricacies around why buzzwords exist, and why they’re important.
Now, the psychology of buzzwords. Now this is something is a particular fascination of mine and one that really sort of grabs my attention. Now, the thing around it is something called a herd mentality or sheep mentality. Someone called it mob mentality. Doesn’t matter which term you use, but essentially it describes how people are influenced by their peers to adopt certain behaviors. Now putting that in another way that maybe, if that doesn’t make a huge amount of sense because it’s words, let’s try and put it into like a visual context.
So it looks at how a group of say, selectively bred dogs, sheep dogs, and we’ll use those as influencers with my “influencers, thought leaders”, whatever we want to call them. And how they can move around and how they move around a much larger pack of sheep and the sheep, we’re going to be, we’re just marketers. We’re just everyday marketers. We’re the everyday people on the street just trying to do what they need to do to get through every day.
And then you look at actually how these different people actually influence over us. How one or two influences can have a real impact upon a group of people. And that’s what the idea of maybe using a buzzword is. You want to share your knowledge and hopefully those people, those sheep will start following you, or start interacting with a way that you want them to.
That is why we want to obviously become opinion leaders and thought leaders because we don’t necessarily want to always be part of the herd. We want to lead our own herds. We want to be able to shape the destiny of our own pack or pride or whatever, whichever animal term of reference you want to use. I’m using the sheep reference because I call it, because we call it sheep mentality.
But the idea is that as a small number of influencers or thought leaders can impact on a larger population, and that large population will then follow this person around because they see that they’ve got the answers. They’ve got the knowledge, they’ve got the experience, the expertise, whatever it is, whatever you were trying to stand for, you want to find your own sheep that are going to follow you around and be able to influence.
Because ultimately if anyone says, I want to be an influencer, you want to have your own little pack of sheep that follow you around and go, yes, yes sir. Yes sir. And follow you around and do and sort of act as a way that you think is aligned to your beliefs and what you think marketing is and what you think people should help, you want to help people. If you want to help people or don’t help people, that’s by the by. If you want to influence people, this is essentially what you want and it’s really impacting.
Now, it’s amazing that actually we tend to gather in social groups to make us feel like we part belong, and it helps ease, it makes us feel a part of something and ease fears.
And that’s what we talked about a little bit earlier in the episode. We talked about actually how people gathered because they want to be part of that, ride that wave of popularity. They want to be known as, seen as someone who’s on the leading edge. Who’s using these terms. Who’s a part of this group because as a collective of marketers, we’ve got a massive collective and there’ll be a few influences around that are trying to shape us and push us in different directions. And we will try and stay together because we all want to use the words that they’re using.
The phrases they’re using. Gary V. crushing it. People start using this term and he pulled out the hustle and all these different things. People wanted it and yes, we may split off into our own packs, but then sometimes these thought leaders get together and they push us all back together.
Now people say, why don’t you just break free? We don’t want to use buzzwords. We want to break free from them. We want to find our own destiny. Yes, and you can break free from the herd. Yes, and it can be difficult though, and it can have its own consequences. In this term, leaving the herd can cause an unease in seeing the individual not doing what the rest is doing.
So as a thought leader looking at oh, people aren’t talking about my buzzword anymore. They aren’t talking about this word or phrase I’d like them to. They see their herd thinning. That can be something that’s a really interesting thing which I’m going to give dive to more in the book.
And then from the individual point of view as well. When you leave and you try and set up your own herd. You try and become your own sheep dog. You’ve got to find some sheep. So, it sounds almost brutal and horrible, but this is just the psychology. This isn’t something that you necessarily consciously look at doing. I want to be the, I want to grow to be the sheep dog, and I want to influence people. No, this is something that sort of naturally builds over time.
And actually going off by yourself can have its own consequences, because then you’re not part of the same pack anymore. You’re not talking about the same buzzword. You’re not talking about the exact same topics as everyone else. So you can almost get left behind. You can get forgotten about because you’re not part of the main pack anymore.
So that’s then the risk that you have of leaving these packs. Whereas for example, if you’re already an influencer, you already have some influence over the rest of the sheep, you can go off and split off and you can take some of the sheep with you and then maybe more sheep will join you over time. That’s a risk because you’ve still got a social construct there.
This is where I absolutely find the psychology of all this amazingly fascinating and it’s, oh, it really gets to me every time. I’m like, yes, this is so powerful.
Now, I want to talk to you now about the sort of different types of buzzwords that are out there, and there are different types. Some buzzwords can be inspiring, some can be just interesting, some will be proper attention grabbing, and just again, an audience’s attention in real life. It’s also how they grab their attention in a digital world.
Now, are these buzzwords are something that you, yes I can’t wait to stand for. Is it one that you go, I must understand. Is it one that just sort of is a click baity title?
Now there are different types and there’s also buzzwords that can be blockers. There are buzzwords which create barriers to entry, prevent mere mortals from accessing the industry. Because God forbid, we don’t want other people to understand what actually goes on in marketing. God, we don’t want the sales team or the HR team because they’ll think we’re not doing anything, or they’ll think we’re doing all these different things that don’t align with their own goals. Or why are marketing getting away with this? Why are marketing doing that?
Because people have their own barriers and walls that are not necessarily right nor wrong. I would love to live in a way where, a world where people have … Was it the Japanese Wall, the paper wall, those paper walls where people couldn’t, actually there’s not really any real solid barrier, but unfortunately there are.
Now, some buzzwords help build up those barriers, some I hope help break down some of those barriers. Now, which ones do you want to assign yourself to, align yourself to? Do you want to be somebody who aligns yourself to an inspiring and interesting and attention grabbing and knowledge building. Find whichever way it is, different types of buzzwords will align themselves to different types of people.
And some will help gain attention, others will take longer. It is what it is. I can’t go into this in a huge amount more detail right now because I haven’t spent enough time going through this and I’m not going to BS you guys and say, yeah, do this, do this. Because this part of the book, I haven’t quite nailed it yet. But I am, hopefully it gives you a little bit of a tease to what is to potentially come in the book. Whoo exciting!
Now something that I can tell you a little bit more about though is the regional and the cultural differences in buzzwords. Now how different countries have different terms and it’s easy to become really wrapped up in our own terms. But in different parts of the world and different cultures, people use words that are different, but actually mean the same.
Now the biggest example I’m going to give you of this is in Asia, the term key opinion leader versus in the West, we’ll use the term influencer. Ultimately these are two, these two are the exact same. It’s about opinions and influence and leading, but actually when you talk about influence in marketing. In parts of Asia, they don’t, it doesn’t have the same resonance. You want to talk about being a key opinion leader.
Now people don’t necessarily know that. We get wrapped up in our own little bubble. But we forget actually, if you’re trying to target people, an audience in a different part of the world, they may use terms in a slightly different way.
Even in sort of Western countries, there are different caveats, so different niches. You can’t, like sort of a bit of a theme running through this. You can’t tarnish everyone with the same brush. You can’t, not every buzzword is used exact, no two buzzwords are used exactly the same, and you can’t influence the exact same audiences all the time with the exact same buzzword in the exact same way.
Think about it, is if you’re starting to talk about influence in marketing, you’re not going to resonate with the same people. You have to look at who your audience is. Now they’re going to be loads of terms and I’m going to again, spell a lot more of these out in the book as we go through.
Just looking at actually, how do you align yourself across different cultures and through different countries, regions which have different terms for things? How do you become an influencer? How do you build authority in those areas and to those people?
… in those areas and to those people because that’s essentially what the book is about, from marketing buzzwords to marketing authority. Now, when do these buzzwords … This is a really common term that people keep asking me, and I think, “When do buzzwords actually evolve into everyday vocabulary?” Because every single new thing is regarded as a buzzword. Anything that’s new now is seen as a buzzword because we talk about things in a public space so much more than we used to. But some become everyday vocab. So, email marketing, digital marketing, social media marketing, SEO, blogging, even content marketing.
And hopefully, you get the idea now, like the idea that, “Oh God, actually, all those … ” At one stage or another, all of those were buzzwords. All of those were certainly new at one stage, and was like, “Oh my God. I need to jump on this email marketing and jump on this social media marketing thing. Oh my God. I need social media marketing,” and people are like … They said, “Well why aren’t you on social? Why aren’t you?” It goes the other way then. It’s like, “Well why aren’t you doing this anymore? Or why have you not done it yet?” Because it’s standard vocabulary.
It’s part of everyday marketing mix. There are others, which completely disappear off the face of the earth and that’s fine. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Remember, it’s almost like a wave of popularity. Some people ride the wave. Some buzzwords ride the wave all the way in, and they literally then get embedded on the sand and become part of culture, and it just disappear into the rest of the ocean. I love that analogy. I might use that analogy more in the book. But it’s looking at … Some will evolve. Now, some won’t. But everything will be regarded as a buzzword when it first appears.
Now, even these buzzwords, once they’ve hit the land and the sea, air, and the beach, so, email marketing, digital marketing, SEO, SMM. SMM? Social media marketing. I have it in my head. I don’t know what I’m saying. But they don’t ever stop evolving. Now, there’s always new additions and changes. That’s like the world of social media marketing, for example, changing massively. It just doesn’t stop. There are new additions. There are new changes. Look at everything from all the live streaming bits now, the live video we’re looking at.
So we’re changing the groups, the Facebook bonfires. We’re looking at all these different little changes all the time. It’s a bit like a … The way I could see it, it’s almost like … It’s like that product lifecycle clip we attached earlier or even maybe just a human lifecycle where everyone’s really excited as a baby, as a new word coming out and just have a buzz about it. Then it becomes, “Oh, and they exist now.” Maybe I’m being a little bit harsh. They exist now. Then they seem to start finding their own feet over time. Then they become more mature.
They start evolving. They get to their adulthood. The product becomes more mature, and then over time, then, gets to start finding their own little things. These don’t want to stop themselves from becoming irrelevant. They find these little bits to help them carry on, and they make all these little changes through their life. Okay, like a human lifestyle. Then they have kids or then someone else has kids and all these different workplaces. These are all new additions and changes, but you’re still exactly who you are. And eventually, it comes to an end. Nothing lasts forever.
Maybe I need to explain this more. Maybe if I were to map this out better in the book and I create a graph that will help me show what I mean, because maybe it’s not the best to come through a podcast, and it’s something that I can’t quite explain, but I have it all in my head. But hopefully it’s something that you all subscribe to and understand that, actually, the buzzwords don’t ever stop evolving. It requires change over a period of time. Social media marketing isn’t changing. It’s not going away. So, it is changing. It’s not going away.
There are new additions, new things going on, and we have to stay at the … If you want to stay at the leading edge … Social media examines society. If you want to stay at the leading edge of social media, you have to get involved in some of these things. It’s no longer a buzzword. I don’t anyone considers social media marketing a buzzword anymore, where they’re don’t add it into an important sense of everyday vocabulary. And really, that’s the aim. If you become one of these people that embodies yourself with a buzzword from an early age and you become a part of how it builds, when it reaches maturity and through its lifecycle, you can still feed off that.
You can still share that knowledge. That means you have to stay up to date with it. You just keep adding value all the time, new ideas, new experiences. It’s impressive and it’s powerful. There’s so many companies I’m going to share and people who have basically get involved in a buzzword really early on, and they’ve ended up becoming synonymous with that term. I love that. So it’s become synonymous, and that’s how you build authority, which is what we’ll explore in parts two and three in the book.
So, do we really need buzzwords? Well yes. I think we do. Some people will argue, “No,” but hey. Well I’m open to a discussion. I think that they help organize content. They help gather our thoughts, our ideas. Yeah, they help gather our thoughts, ideas, and knowledge in one place. It’s like it helps association. So when you use a buzzword, you become associated with something. Now, again, like I said, right at the start of this episode, it’s really difficult to stand out.
Now, a buzzword of something that’s become more and more popular, if you can get involved in one those buzzwords, you can become a go-to industry influencer or an expert in that thing because you’ve built up the knowledge and an expertise in it. If that carries on, over time, you can ride that wave for as long as the buzzword exists or becomes [inaudible 00:32:21] or however long you want to. A buzzword’s like a rallying cry. When you start saying these terms, some people would flock to you because, they’re like, “Oh my God. They’re talking about something that aligns with my views, my way of thinking. Something that I want to know more about.”
So when you think about, actually, using a buzzword, and some of the people that I’ve interviewed on the podcast think about it in a way that helps organize your content, helps gather your thoughts, ideas, and knowledge in one place, and that’s how you start building authority on a subject, where you get this massive amounts more detail and the intricacies of it later in the book. But I think it’s really important that that is why we need buzzwords. We need buzzwords to help gather everything in one place.
When people are talking about a certain subject, we’re using a common term or phrase that helps gather all knowledge in one area. Otherwise, we lose the knowledge. We don’t know where it all goes. You’re sharing a blog post, and it goes into the [etho 00:33:26]. No one’s reading it because you’re not using a term that everyone else is using. By using a term that everyone else is using, your content gets found, and if you’ve got great ideas, great knowledge, and great experience to share, why wouldn’t you use a buzzword? Why, why not? Because you’re not using it for the wrong way. You’re using it to help share your ideas and add value to someone else’s life.
Now one of the issue … Let’s finish up with one last bit. And now, what is the future of buzzwords? Now, this is something that’s quite important to me, and there’s a number of different ways in which this can be done. Now there will always be new buzzwords. They will not go away. Now, as I’ve been doing research for the book and the podcast, they’re saying, “Oh we should get rid of buzzwords.” No. I don’t believe we should get rid of buzzwords, and I don’t think they’ll ever go away whether I say it or not. But you have a choice.
You can either bury your head in the sand and try and ignore them, like an ostrich, or you can really go out there and try and build an audience around a buzzword for the right reasons and not use them as a barrier but use them to open up the industry. So using it as term and saying, “Look, this is what this is. This is what it is, and this is how I can help you. I can share knowledge, share expertise, share advice with you.” I love things like, in the UK, we have something called the Plain English Campaign, which really helps get rid of not the buzzwords necessarily. But we talked about the jargon where the people are using … not considering how it looks to the outside industry, where they’re using things as a barrier. Sound overly complicated.
And, massive problems like financial services sector, for example, where there is so much jargon. And now, actually, where the consumer and the customer has power, they’ve got this thing called the Plain English Campaign which looks to simplify things, get rid of the jargon so people could actually understand. It’s just plain English. So, it’s put in layman’s terms, and that is really powerful, and that is … Things like that come back because people use jargon words that not everyone understands. They’ve actually trying to teach what does this actually mean.
No. Buzz words aren’t evil, nor do they signify a lack of writing ability, or maybe you could argue that they’re a symptom of laziness. I’m open to an argument about that. But if you use them sparingly and with full knowledge of the complex ideas that they’re supposed to represent, then it can go a long way to enrich in your work and allow you to communicate better with your readers. Now, if, however, you’re putting them there just for the sake of using them or worse, even worse, using them without knowing what they mean. You’re better off avoiding them entirely because you’re not adding any value.
The future of buzzwords isn’t going to go away, and there will be new ones all the time. You have a choice, essentially. This is what I’m going to leave you with. You can either embrace a buzzword, try and build an authority on that by sharing your own knowledge, expertise, advice consistently over a period of time, and that’s how you start building authenticity and authority. Or, you can try and ignore them. You can try and imagine they’re going to go away. You can use them in a way in which … blocked people from the industry.
Now, I don’t think that’s right. It’s up to you. If you want to have a discussion with me, I’d love to have this discussion because this is amazing. This is how we learn. But that is not what I recommend. Thank you so much for listening to this episode. It’s been a little bit of a different one because, obviously, I normally don’t quite do episodes like this. Obviously, this Monday episode is normally an interview episode, and I want to do something a bit different because of what people have talked to me in the feedback.
I love the feedback, and I love having discussions, and obviously, I think with the book launching … We got a Publishizer crowdfunding campaign launching on Wednesday, the first of August. So that’s like two days’ time. I thought it’s like actually the perfect time to really share this with you, and hopefully, if you’re interested, I’m going to put a link to the publisher’s campaign in the show notes. Please do take a look, and I would absolutely love, absolutely love for you to get involved. Pre-order a single copy if that’s what it takes. Just one copy.
If you can order more, absolutely amazing. But just at least one copy, that would be absolutely amazing. If you have enjoyed this episode as well, please do leave a review on iTunes. And loads more insights and interviews on the way. I’ve got four or five interviews in the offing ready to bring you from next Monday. So, you’re not going to get just me for 40 minutes every single Monday from now on. But anyway, this was a pure one-off episode, but thank you so much listening. I hope you enjoyed the show, and please pre-order a copy of Marketing Buzzword to Marketing Authority. Goodbye.