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Digital marketers 'must drop the jargon'

09/05/2013

A recent report from the Institute of Leadership and Management indicated that the thing that most annoys British office workers on a daily basis is the use of impenetrable jargon and business-speak from their colleagues, with examples such as 'thinking out of the box' cited as the worst offenders.

This can also be a problem for people working in digital marketing - the nature of the industry means that many of the terms and concepts familiar to insiders can be difficult for others to grasp, potentially limiting the appeal of digital for companies that could otherwise benefit from it.

Speaking at the DMA Technology Summit, Harper Reed - the chief technology officer of Barack Obama's re-election campaign - suggested that esoteric language can separate the different components of an organisation, making it harder for marketers to connect with business aims.

He claimed that his team had to do a great deal to dissolve the gap between them and regular campaigners when working on the US president's re-election, reports Marketing Weekly.

Mr Reed even took aim at the golden cow of 'big data', suggesting that the way this concept is presented is making it harder to advertise it as an effective solution for companies.

"Big data is just data ... we [the technology people] take care of the 'big' part and campaigners can then go and use this intelligently," explained the digital marketer.

"For instance, the people that went out on the streets didn't have to knock on every door in a row - [by using big data insights] they knew which exact doors to knock on where they'd have have a more successful contact."

While it's obvious that there needs to be some form of technical language in which digital marketers can communicate their ideas, Mr Reed has a point - if industry specialists can present their ideas in plain language, they will be able to convince more business leaders of their efficacy.

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