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DJIM "Decoding jargon in marketing"




Mona: Hello and Welcome to another exciting episode of ConFuzed with your host Julian and Mona.

Our topic for today is something that we are all guilty of using as part of a marketing or communication or emails, meetings, presentations in client pitches that we've made, we have all used this, JARGON somewhere or the other.


So today we're going to be talking about “DJIM” yes. Is that right? DJIM? I am!


Julian: What the hell's that,Mona?


Mona: That's Decoding Jargon in Marketing!


Julian: Hateful stuff!


Mona: What if we all had a jargon detector inbuilt as part of a spell checker?

But yeah, so Julian, what do you have to say about jargon and motherhood statements?


Julian: Oh, I hate it and I hate motherhood statements. It's that it's a it's a as you well know Mona and this is just as it is sometimes. Yeah, motherhood statements is something

that I can't stand. In the way companies say things and the way organisations just make statements that mean nothing but sound good.


It's you know, jargon is never present part of our life and half the time you use it without actually understanding what it is. And it so interferes in what we say and what we do. And it comes back to clear communication, understanding what each other is actually saying and it sort of wraps up in the whole sort of other things.


We've been saying about actually asking the difficult questions and also English is a wonderful language where we can load words with meaning that mean one thing to you and another thing to me and that's that's that part of the problem that we have now, you know. I think I've used the example before I've sat in a meeting where I've had tech people on one side of the room talking to their client on the other side of the room and both are talking to another and nodding and having a conversation and understanding, you know, what each other saying and then you get to the end of the meeting and you talked to both sides about what they've drawn out of it and they are both come to completely different and opposite conclusions about what's being done next.


Because there was no clarity.


Nobody actually asked, nobody said anything. When you put that context into

how you're communicating with the client. It comes back to making assumptions that everybody understands what the jargon means and that you're the person you're communicating with actually understands what you mean by “it” compared to what they are hearing by it. It's really annoying field.


Mona: Yeah, and and in marketing or communication it's really important that your clients understand what it is that you're trying to say and how you're trying to help them solve.

And what do you exactly do? So it's really important to speak the customers language.


And and yeah, and and if you put yourself in their shoes for a minute, what does one do when what do we do when we don't understand some something, we are confused and depending on what it is, we slow down. And we try to figure it out and and in case we are unable to figure it out, we simply just lose interest and we say - Ok fine, that's it !! I can't do this right now. We move on to the next thing.


Also as a brand and as a business, you just don't want your clients to move on to the next thing like that. That's not what we aim for.


So in this age of limited attention span when we've got those limited seconds to make

a connection and an interesting read is like, who knows, this is fun. This is true, but it's bad for goldfish. It is still greater like 3 seconds. Then your average website visitor (by example of the Goldfish) has two seconds. So it's oh my god, how do you make a difference? How do you say what you have to say? And then if you use jargon or if you use words or terms that are hard to understand it (attention span) just

moved on to the next thing in those two seconds.


Julian: Mmm-hmm. Absolutely.

I know it's it's not just about grabbing attention though it but this is where motherhood statements come back is that people tend to use these these terms because they're full of deep meaning but they actually don't mean anything. It is far better to actually communicate the truth sometimes and try and understand what you're saying in layman's language than trying to grab their attention with with these motherhood statements you read them all the time, you know, you look at any any advert for a hotel and it or just do one of my favourite things which is drop onto one of the real estate sites and read some of the descriptions of the houses. They're all exactly the same all containing, you know, the exactly same terms and exactly the same jargon that makes you read it, you know, sleek kitchen units, but how does that mean, have they been aero-dynamically tested? What what what do they actually what are they actually describing and its all chock full of non words that are supposed to impart meaning.


”Nestled” is another one, nestled is a word that is used a lot. You know, this lovely house nestled in something or other. What are they actually saying? So, if we get back to what you're actually trying to communicate to your customers. You actually have to, I think, be clear about what you're trying to communicate to yourself. What are you actually saying?

What is it you're actually trying to get across? Is it the fact that it makes a difference? or is it the fact that you feel warm and cuddly about it? presumably. It's the first that you're trying to make a difference, you are trying to be clear. So avoid jargon, just don't use it.


Mona: Yeah and another example there is and this is more around abbreviations and short form words. There are so many out there and depending on which industry you are, each industry has their specific ones, which is really well understood within the industry,

but they're not, if you or if your clients are not from the same industry.


So for example one word that or a short form that comes to mind is “SME” SME in the education or education sector might mean “subject matter experts”. Well, if your clients are in another a industry, it means “small and medium-sized enterprises”. Yeah. Suddenly the same short form can be abbreviated for different words. If you're not being clear based on who you're talking to, you've just confused the client. On the other end client has assumed that this is what you mean and then the change in reference of the whole understanding and itself. It's just you can see quickly how a different meaning is based on who your ideal client is and their work.


And that's where you need to speak the language of the customers, so that they can understand what you're saying. And also another thing to keep in mind here is, listen to your customers and the words and the phrases that they use to describe the problem that they want a solution for. So it's best to adopt that language when you are marketing to them. It's no point having all these amazing terms and words and phrases that describe in your head what you do, because that's not how the client looks at it.


Julian: And that again is where you if you look at the use of language you should when you say listen to your client, you're absolutely right, but you actually then have to ask the client. What do you mean by that term? It's not hard and it's not difficult.


And again, it's all sort of thing that you think. Oh that's common sense. Yes, but people don't. So we assume that when you use the term I understand what you mean by it. That's the common mistake.


So as you say with your example of SME, you will be using SME in that context. I've immediately heard you and I think you're talking about small to medium sized businesses. So, you know, this is where you have to be clear and you have to clarify what your client means and and again, it's so simple but people don't do it. To say, what do you mean by SME Mona? Or Eileen, you know “systemic meet extraction” (SME). Oh, well, that's interesting. That isn't where I was going. So you understand that you then have to go right? Okay. I now understand the context and if there's a moment's doubt, I always find it useful as well just to clarify and again, this is just repetition, but just to clarify at the end. Okay, I understand you mean this by this, yes or no? You know, so again it comes back to just ensuring and it's again common sense that you are talking the same language and you have come out with the same understanding.


And again, it's something that they put into marketing training and in business training is ensure that you understand your clients requirements.


Mona: And you're absolutely right and it's just sometimes you can't there's some instances where you really cannot avoid using those specific technical terms or industry jargon and that is fine.


And as you said, it's helpful when everybody, if you have kind of explained it upfront the context of the use or this is how you're going to do this, what you mean and you elaborate a little bit and it's helpful when everybody understands the meaning of that word or that phrase and that's when it gets relevant and easier to use it.


And once you've asked that to your customer, then you've cleared any lack of communication or any gap in there.


Just summing that up, for social media and websites what really if you're thinking about marketing and avoiding the use of jargon. Focus on writing simple and short sentences and the second thing what businesses or professional firms can do is be really clear who you're talking to, especially who your clients are and what specific terms or questions do they use.


One really good thing is we all search online now and and it's really important to understand what terms, what kind of questions do we ask when we are searching on Google and make sure that when you have something new to say, be it a press release, an article or blog or an executive summary or a report, then give those templates a break! Don't just use the same templates and change the name, place, with the location or whatever that is.


It's really important for your brand to share something unique and how. That's what it is,

that's what a brand exists for. It's about solving the unique problem.


And in the end we need to understand what your clients do with your message. So if it's a service that you provide, it's important to explain that in simple steps because at the end of the day you want an action from your clients and that's the response

that you're after. So if they're not understanding your messages you are not going to get any closer to the action that you need from your clients, in terms of either taking up your service or helping you provide a report or whatever that is that you would like to communicate.


In conclusion, that's how you simplify your marketing messages and stay away from all the DJIMs and SMEs and motherhood statements.


So listeners TNT :) till next time



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