Top 10 Overused Marketing Words


Unconsciously, we promote and sell new products and fads. We create fresh theories with pleasant but meaningless vocabulary. When you say activate, did you mean “promote” or “start”? Think about it.

These days, when marketers write something about their products and services, they unconsciously fall into a nonsense habit of using terminology. Well, we understand that we all hope that out emails, marketing copy, brochure, and even our PR attract people and make them do something. So, the best “material” is to play with words to impress them.

But customers and readers are starting to realise that they are being advertised to. There are words and phrases that we often use but have lost its value and meaning. Your “impressive” marketing words become “trash” that confuse them.

Anyway, the next time you write your marketing copy, remember these “goof” terms in your next marketing materials:

  • Best is supposed to synonymous to “unique.” Are you determined to convince your readers that your product is the “best” in the industry? Claiming the “best” may make them grin because thousands of you say (with the same product) that your product is the “best.” Rather than using this overused term, how about getting a quote? Or, you can use positive feedback from a real customer who can confirm that you or your product is the “best.”
  • Unique is more than being special; it means that you are “being the only one of its kind.”  Instead of claiming that your services or product is unique, define and show your product’s true features and benefits. Then,  allow your customers and readers affirm that what you are offering is “unique.” When you directly claim that your product or services are unique, it will not convince them per se.
  • Exclusive. How come it is “exclusive” to more than one person?
  • Pioneering. If you are really leading everybody else in a research or development of new theory, concept, or product, then you are “pioneering.” If not, avoid using this word. It is misleading, and the customers and readers know it.
  • Groundbreaking or breakthrough is often used like “pioneering.” There are just few “groundbreaking” products such as typewriter, sliced bread, and iPod. “Groundbreaking” figuratively means it has opened a new and fresh “ground.” Or, have developed a new product or market that no one has done before.
  • Revolutionary. Is it true that your product started a “revolution” in the market?
  • Advanced is always used in almost all content such as “advanced technology,” or “advanced system,”or“advanced product.”  This term is losing its true meaning and value. If you continue to use this word the way it is often used these days, imagine how the next generation will use this term?
  • Engagement in marketing means to define a process between an individual and a company or product before the individual becomes a customer. But the meaning somehow has changed these days.  Do we really read, “We attained big engagement numbers on our web page”? Can you show us the true benefits and real numbers to prove your point instead of using “engagement” differently?
  • Bleeding edge is widely used in technology industry – these days. When “cutting edge” was already saturated, advertisers began using “bleeding edge.”
  • Thought Leadership. Marketers or entrepreneurs can never claim they are thought leaders. Only their customers and market audience can identify what or whose concepts they find it worth following. Well, I can say I am a diva; however, it does not mean anybody will come and listen while I sing. Can you tell me how “thought leadership” becomes a business goal? What is its role in marketing? Well, I read somewhere that more than 50% of Australian advertisers feel that it is.

How we talk, how we say things, and how we use words are crucial when we are dealing and interacting with customers. When we are interacting with them in public forums and social media, and we use words differently, then they will feel that we do not understand them. We cannot interact and talk with them as if we are vacuum cleaner dealers. Instead, we should personalise our interaction with them. In planning phase of our marketing strategy, we reflect on the following:

  • What does my target audience like to hear?
  • How shall I engage them?

And then, I believe we should start saying what we mean. Let us begin to challenge these fluffy words and stop making things complicated for our customers. They deserve more than these “fluffy” terms because they are our customers. And customers are the reason why we are here in the industry.

So, the next time you are writing, editing, and posting your revolutionary, groundbreaking, unique, and exclusive marketing copy, think twice!

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