I’ve not had a good rant for a while, so watch out, one’s on its way – and it’s all about buzzwords (and one in particular).
What’s got me so riled?
The word ‘experiential’.
It’s one of the latest ideas buzzing round the marketing and events industries.
Experiential marketing is basically a way of creating a strong bond between the consumer and the brand by submerging them in a fun and memorable experience.
In other words, if you attend an event where a brand is launching a new product and whatever they come up with gives you the feel good factor, the chances are you’re more likely to buy it.
So, rather than just seeing a static advert somewhere or an ad on Facebook, you are actively involved in the event.
The idea is that you can touch, feel and taste (if appropriate) the product and experience it for yourself. Take the Nespresso ‘boutiques’ as an example. Rather than opting for a static display of coffee makers, Nespresso have devised car-like showrooms where their customers can taste the coffee, learn about the machines and make an informed buying decision. They see it as a lifestyle choice – “pah to instant, I want to have the luxury of my own mini barista in my kitchen.”
What’s my point?
As a copywriter, I spend my life trying to get away from empty phrases like ‘experiential’ in an attempt to get back to basics.
The best language to use in your marketing is (always has been and always will be) that which is simple and easy to understand – something your reader can relate to.
I recently had a meeting with a potential client who was in the events industry. During our conversation we got on to the subject of experiential marketing. I was open and honest and said that I hate the use of buzzwords like that and strongly encourage all my clients to move away from them and talk in a language their customers understand.
After all, if I met with an agency that only spoke industry jargon at me that was supposed to impress me, I would yawn and show them the door (OK, I would be a bit more polite than that, but you get the picture).
The English language is a varied and wonderful thing and there are plenty of normal words that can be used to explain the concept without the incomprehensible grandiose jargon. In fact, because ‘normal’ language is far more eloquent and easier to relate to, their impact is far greater than the latest empty industry jargon.
I just want to point out that the events industry isn’t the only buzzword culprit – just about every industry has their own ‘insider speak’. It’s fine when you’re conversing with colleagues, but please resist the urge to fill your marketing with it.
Bring back plain English
Every day consumers are crying out for plain English marketing.
They’re fed up with jargon and buzzwords cluttering up their social media feeds.
During meetings, they want straightforward ideas with straightforward explanations that deliver results.
So my plea to every marketer out there (and all other industries that use jargon) is to please, please, please ditch the over hyped words that don’t impress anyone. Instead of trying to blind your clients with science to justify your high fees, create something for them that’s meaningful and that will deliver results. After all, the ROI is what they’re interested in, not how many syllables you can cram into your marketing spiel.