Hated buzzwords and vogue words

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    I prefer to call the little toys that I fly around the house and back yard “Quadcopters”.



    “Homeland” Sounds like a term from a dystopian novel.


    Which is apparently the new, “yeah” as used in response to a statement or question or at the end of above.


    I don’t like the word “buzzword.”


    that being said, why do people have to say “that being said”?


    Shit. I do that.

    After thinking about it, I use it in the following cases:

    1. As an attempt at some relevance and focus after a ramble,

    2. To soften a particularly ugly blow to others in dialog,

    3. Introduce a summary, or conclusion that may be contrary or not so obvious

    4. Because I lack a suitable transition otherwise.

    That’s not an inclusive list, just the top instances I thought of just now.

    Alan Craig

    “At the end of the day…”
    “In my heart of hearts…”
    “Let’s drill down on this..”
    and the most overused phrase mostly abused by sports talking heads and pxp announcers:
    “As you alluded to earlier..”



    “Penetrate the market”

    “Extract revenue from the customer”


    paradigm shift


    I don’t know if this is a buzzword as such, but I see it here occasionally, but not just here.
    It always strikes me as condescending;

    As in short for “Just saying”.



    giddyup (why this has come into style is beyond me)

    IMO (guilty here, but does it take THAT much longer to spell it out?)


    or, win-win-win.

    marketing professional (why can’t they just admit they are salespeople?)

    oh, and my favorite, “Branding”. As in “that isn’t our brand”, or “that helps our brand”. Guess what, consumers don’t care about your “brand”. They care about a product they like.


    I also find the “fake folksiness” on message boards (for the lack of a better term) somewhat condescending. Or, at least, I don’t think that it reflects very well on the people who use it.

    • “Just sayin'”
    • “Ain’t”
    • Deliberately breaking grammatical rules (assuming that one is not quoting somebody or writing dialogue).
    • Deliberately mixing-up homophones (such as your and you’re)

    I am a bit on the fence about interjections (such as “blech,” “yuck,” etc.) because these do occur in traditional prose, and I have used them on occasion.


    Incorrect: “…”

    Correct: “. . .”



    Marketing people are very different from sales people. Both can be classified as professionals, or not, depending on what level of interaction with people and the process in play.

    Many people will classify it all as “sales” and for some contexts, that’s reasonable. In many cases, it’s absolutely no, and doing that can be quite expensive as the common lumping of those activities together actually dilutes the potential of sales people, which generally results in lower close rates, which costs a lot of money.

    The difference boils down to who actually closes business. Those people are, in fact, sales people. They may do marketing type activities in addition to selling, but if they close, they are sales people.

    Marketing only people do not generally close business. What they do is support the sales process by demand generation, overall branding efforts, awareness, product education… and that generally is done with advertizing, but not always. They also perform market analysis type activities, such as segmentation, establishing and quantifying market caps, and so forth.

    There are now some grey areas, and I see those as automated systems that perform marketing type tasks that lead to close of business. The most common is an internet site that may have content marketing (information, blogs, etc…) that leads to a qualifier, and ends with a conversion, or sign up for new account. These will see frequent follow ups to insure the most business is done.

    Marketing the product, in very general terms, involves all the activities related to the introduction of the product to the market.

    Selling is actually helping somebody to purchase, and that’s the close, and it is what differentiates selling from other activities, including marketing.

    There is also a growing set of technical marketing type people, and they are often called pre-sales, though their activities range from pre-deal efforts, such as proof of concept, technical product education, to actually assisting the sales person in closing business, with the occasional close they may do themselves due to some prospect qualifier, such as needing to actually understand and use the product in question being part of the condition of doing business.

    **that’s a lot of what I have done in my career over the last 20 years or so, and I’ve held sales, pre-sales, light marketing, and other roles related to fairly sophisticated and expensive products. And it’s worth dealing in the expensive ones as that is where the margins are and where those exist people actually will pay to get deals done, and often pay very well for the larger ones.

    **You are incorrect about branding too, but I’ll save detail on that one for another day, save to say it’s a part of marketing and it’s impact on sales is something we can measure and recognize revenue from. Anyone who thinks branding is a waste of dollars need only look to the extreme pain companies who do not tend to their brand tend to go through once it’s a problem. 🙂

    I’ll also add that marketing, and branding both contribute very significantly to value perception. Where value perception is higher, revenue from sales will be higher.

    Things are worth what people will pay for them, and sales knows that and will work to get the most for them. However, sales cannot compensate for poor value perception, which is what marketing exists to help with, right along with general awareness. A well recognized, high value brand will be bolstered with marketing efforts that communicate as much value as possible leaving sales the most room to work for margins on deals done.

    The exact same products, people, you name it, operating under a brand that isn’t recognized for value or whatever attribute makes sense for the product being sold, will simply deliver less overall revenue for the same, or even more aggressive sales efforts!

    Go and ask Apple computer how important those things are, and then go look at their public filings to see just how seriously great their margins are compared to just about anyone else who is reasonably comparable.

    You are quite right in that people care about good products! However, the subtle bit here is associated with the definition of “good” and marketing people have very considerable influence on that, which is why they exist. Most often, “good” is a very highly subjective thing.

    This is true of products people “like” too. What do they like? Often they will say “good”, which gets one nowhere. What is good? It’s often what the marketing defines as good, and done regularly and consistently, people can begin to associate “good” and “like” with specifics, which all get rolled up into “the brand” Once that is done and well established, new products can get a boost from the brand, which translates into more and higher margin sales.

    People like to believe they make objective decisions when they purchase, but the data just isn’t there to support that in the very vast majority of cases.


    For a great, negative case, look at the Limbaugh movement. All they have done is ask the question as to whether or not the very negative statements Limbaugh makes regularly reflects the value(s) they want associated with their brand.

    Almost 4K, and maybe it really is 4K now, companies said no. It’s hard to sell those special flowers based on value derived from an AD on a show that demonstrates profound and often offensive sexist behavior regularly, just for example.

    The Pro Flowers people really do struggle with crap like that, and the impact on their revenue is real.

    Another stellar example of basic brand value awareness is seen in Volvo. They own the word “safe” and have that associated with their car brand, do well at communicating how valuable that is and are able to sell cars for good margins and at prices that bring good revenue.

    Volvo, without that strong brand identity, would very likely sell fewer cars, due to overall less awareness of both their product and who it’s most appropriate for, and would see lower margins per car, due to their design focus on safety not competing well with sexy or “vroom!” or any number of other things people associate with higher value cars.

    Most importantly, the people who want “vroom!” aren’t ever going to be Volvo customers. It’s in their best interests to do the branding work so that prospects who do present themselves actually are qualified more than not and that improves the overall efficiency of sales, which means both higher revenue and or margins.

    (guess I did have some stuff to say about branding)

    If Volvo were to change their branding to “Vroom!” and not change their engineering focus, they would see a very serious misalignment in their prospects not being qualified, due to the “Vroom!” not matching up with the “safe” product. This would result in lower revenue, lower sales efficiency and very significantly lower margins.

    Good sales people will move products even when marketing and branding errors exist. Where those errors don’t exist, those same good sales people will perform much better, and that’s yet another basic way to differentiate the disciplines.

    Bringing this back to radio…

    The old KSKD branded and marketed very carefully and they were successful at selling an automated station. Had those efforts focused on “live ‘n local” that selling would likely not have been successful due to the value recognition being misaligned with product realities.

    Of course, this misalignment is completely chronic in radio today. Overall product value has been very seriously diluted in the vast majority of cases, which makes it tough for sales to command the margins needed to make everybody happy. Since that dilution invalidates so much established radio branding, which can be thought of in rough terms as “setting expectations”, the branding efforts have had to center in on much more generic value statements laced with a lot of gimmicks just to have “new” things to talk about…

    A real mess.


    Regarding branding, what do you think about the slogan “Charlie. We play everything!”

    If taken literally, the slogan is not true. That station does not play Tin Pan Alley music. They do not play Black Flag, The Dead Milkmen, the Germs or any other independent label punk rock. They do not play avant-garde techno. There are many artists and styles that are not in their playlist.

    However, listeners of the station seem to interpret the slogan to mean, “we offer more variety than competing radio stations” or “we are not as rigid in our music selection.” I imagine that the creators of the slogan meant for it to be interpreted in this way.

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