Have you ever sat through a marketing meeting and wished you had a bingo card to fill out, just to get through the buzzwords, drudgery and platitudes? Yeah. Same.
Listen, after 20-plus years in journalism, it’s a much-needed change of pace to work for a tech company. And I think I’m finally recovering from the borderline Stockholm syndrome and self-importance that come with working in an elitist East Coast newsroom (er, sweatshop?).
But sometimes, I wish I had a bingo card at the ready while reading any marketing content, not just ours. Tech marketers, especially, are so used to “getting into the weeds” that we forget to speak like humans.
We struggle with when to be specific, and when not to be. We even wrestle with internal politics, preferences, and punctuation (holy exclamation points!).
- Mention this industry, but don’t limit ourselves to that industry.
- Don’t be too technical / this isn’t technical enough.
- We need to change our tone / this doesn’t sound like us.
- Don’t use the word “hosting” / always use the word “hosting.”
- Don’t be too heavy-handed in talking about the company / make sure you mention the product up high.
- SEO (see below) is king / where’s the narrative?
- We should mention customers more / we can’t mention these customers.
It’s no wonder that buzzwords, cliches, abbreviations and the like are like those annoying, short words that seem to permeate crossword puzzles (does Uma Thurman really need to be in that many puzzles?).