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Get rid of the lingo

imagesWe all want to feel cool, right? and smart? and attractive? and thin?

In addition to outward appearances, how we act and talk says a lot about who we are. As soon as you open your mouth, you’re likely to give clues as to where you’re from, how much education you’ve had, and what kind of people you hang out with. In your professional life, chances are that you’re always striving to sound as smart and on-top-of-things as you can.

We’ve all done it – used big words to impress someone, referenced some hot topic in conversation so your coworkers would think you were on the cutting edge. But sometimes use of this jargon can undermine your efforts to look knowledgeable. So I’m offering a list of marketing lingo (thanks to one of my new favorite sites, Spin Sucks) that’s really past its freshness date:

  • Deliverables – A fancy way of saying we’ll give you what you ordered, on time and within your budget.
  • Guru – Call yourself this now and everyone will be snickering behind your back.
  • Hit – This one will really date you if you use it instead of visit.
  • Listserv – It’s just an email list people.
  • Onboarding – (This one is my all time favorite – I still remember the first time I heard it and thought, wow! that’s a made up word if I ever heard one.) Say what you really mean which is you’re trying to encourage your members to become more deeply engaged with your credit union. Unless your credit union is on a ship.
  • Sticky – This one seems to be especially popular with CU marketing folks. (Checking accounts are very sticky products!) Instead of saying sticky, just say good. It means the same thing.
  • URL – I know, it’s very popular with non-marketing folks too, but no one knows what it actually stands for (uniform resource locator.) It’s just a web address, people.
  • Viral marketing – I really kind of hate this one. You can’t plan on making your marketing viral, it’s something that happens naturally. It’s a result, not a plan.

Trust me, the simpler the better. You want everyone to understand you, don’t you? And since you’re trying to attract as many people as possible to your CU, it’s best if you speak the same language they do.

Tell us what you think.