Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Marketing Communication Breakdown.

Jargon often develops as a kind of short-hand designed to speed up communication about frequently discussed ideas. It is inclusive - a signifier of one having passed some rite of passage and developed a level of expertise that binds you to the gang. Trouble is, that also excludes those who are new to the game.

Some people contend that jargon is good exactly because it binds people to the world of the product/service. They have a point. Inclusivity is a great goal. But does it have to be so excluding?

It's worth thinking of better ways to welcome engagement with your business and to reward customer achivement and user effort without putting up pscyhological barriers to entry? The best jargon is simultaneously inclusive and exclusive - that which resonates with your distinctive voice but is couched in self-explanatory language.


Anonymous andrea said...

Like when Oprah explained 'RSS' to her viewers as 'Ready for Some Stories' :(

6:18 AM, July 24, 2008  
Blogger Niko H (nom du guerre) said...

A question: is this problem of jargon rooted in the fact that alot of companies still do the whole monoloque thing, as in just talking to potential buyers?

taking a que from the world of human dating, the best opening is still, hello.... and than just reacting and adapting to whomever you are talking. the trick is to observe how the lady or guy you fancy is behaving before you approach.

So translating this rather crudelly to comms, a brand should launch, shut up, see how people use their product and then start talking with consumers, instead of talking and then seeing how the react to the talk or the product.

Could this work? and if it has been done to your knowlegde could you tell me about the case

6:50 AM, July 25, 2008  
Blogger john dodds said...

Andrea - oprah should have checked my sidebar - RSS is TIVO for blogs ;O)

Niko - I think all the best newer business have worked like that - especially the ones without big marketing budgets who eschewed running ads - and there are a surprising number of them. Promotion after all is not just ads. Many retail businesses with direct contact with customers know this.

But for me calling products SKUs is bad enough, just like calling customers consumers. It's all divisive jargon.

1:39 PM, July 25, 2008  

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