Whenever we learn anything about anything we love to prove it. It’s only natural, especially if you’re enthusiastic. One of the ways we like to show we know something about something is to use the lingo.
Acronyms, abbreviations, buzzwords and bullshit.
If you read anything about marketing on or offline, every book, article and whitepaper (maybe even my own blog) is pumped full of it. And, if you’re looking for a bit of advice on how to make your business stand out, or make a start in digital marketing, it’s like everyone who seeks to tell you how it’s done speaks a foreign language.
David Ogilvy, perhaps the most influential adman ever, said this:
Our business is infested with idiots who try to impress by using pretentious jargon.
He was notoriously brash, but he has a point. Jargon works a bit like armour. It makes us seem more powerful than we are. Makes us feel safe. Reassures us that we’re doing the right thing, even when we’re not. But it can also force us into a box, restrict our thinking and will us to apply some ‘textbook’ theory where it makes no practical sense.
As far as I see it, marketing and branding are reasonably simple. Not easy – but simple. It’s about consistently showing up, staying true to who you are, always doing the right thing by your customers and working tirelessly at making your business matter to others, no matter how few.
There’s no one way to do that. There’s no set budget that needs to be spent. No must-use platforms or nailed-on strategies. No magic pill. No need for jargon.
Everyone can build a brand whether they’re a marketing guru or a handyman in his own van who couldn’t give a toss about David Ogilvy. Provided you’re doing good work, all it takes is persistence and patience. Don’t let the language barrier convince you otherwise.
Sorry for the radio silence over the last few weeks. It’s all been a bit hectic, but hopefully, this slightly longer-than-usual post makes up for it. I’m back now, so speak soon.