The Case Against Business Jargon, Corporate Spiel, and Marketing Buzzwords

Category: On Writing Posted: June 8th, 2017

The longer I’ve been in business, the more frustrated I’ve become by business spiel. It’s perfectly possible to perform your job without resorting to industry jargon or anachronistic corporate speak – by subverting this you can, in fact, come across as an imaginative and creative person, which is essential if you’re working as a creative. Mindlessly reeling off the corporate way of things is a sure-fire way to produce rubbish content.

The Digital Agency Conundrum

Having worked for a digital agency in Manchester city centre, I noticed it, and all the other dozens of agencies in the area, used exactly the same approach to attract clients on their respective websites.

The buzzwords were everywhere – “we tap into”, “in our pipeline”, “we get to know you”, “transparent business model” etc. These competitors are all looking at each other and aping the same buzzwords to try and steal an advantage, but there was little innovation going on.

The agency I worked for had a particularly distinctive web design, however, which moved away from the boring corporate sheen most agencies promote. This was the extent of the creativity, however, as on-site copy was reduced to chest thumping narcissism.

The fact is, there are a lot of digital agencies out there with very talented teams, but no one is better than the rest, even though they all pretend they have a distinct advantage and do things differently – despite so clearly following the same business approach. There just remains this odd, almost anxiety driven, habit of resorting to buzzwords to win over clients.

A Corporate Environment

I made the step out of digital agencies in 2017 and now work as a Content Manager. The company, a popular tourism brand, embraces its identity and attempts to connect with customers in a genuine way, although behind the scenes there can still be the stultifying business spiel which I believe stops businesses performing at their best – there’s an informal barrier which is constructed which staff feel they need to adhere to, otherwise they’ll be fired.

A lot of brands, arguably spearheaded by Google, are attempting to promote a friendlier working environment. Thankfully, we aren’t expected to turn up to work in a suit and tie these days, so I believe the further we progress into the future, more brands will open up and allow their staff to be themselves.

Signing off your emails with “Cheers!” instead of a “Best regards” is a touch more emphatic.

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