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Opinion: Enough with the marketing mumbo jumbo

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If your business can’t explain a concept or product succinctly in layman’s terms, you probably have a marketing problem on your hands.

Let’s face it. The world is complicated enough. It shouldn’t be a struggle for a potential customer to understand the basics of what you’re trying to sell. If the messaging isn’t clear, you’ll lose at least some business.

A recent instance came up when my dad asked me whether I knew anything about ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: ZI). He was looking at buying some shares.

Other than immediately thinking it was the video service – that’s Zoom Video Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ZM) – I hadn’t heard of the company. So as one does, I Googled it and went to the company’s website. Holy buzzwords and marketing lingo, Batman!

“ZoomInfo puts best-in-class data and technology at the epicenter of business productivity, innovation and growth,” the website reads. “Through flexible data API and our industry leading go-to-market platform, ZoomInfo supports growth within enterprise organizations. ZoomInfo’s platform and data easily integrates in common sales, marketing and recruiting technologies and custom applications.”

I consider myself to be fairly learned in technology, but it’s a slog reading through that.

ZoomInfo’s Google business profile simplifies things a bit, summarizing that the company sells software on a subscription basis, as well as access to a network of information for sales, marketing and recruiting professionals.

Admittedly, those who would travel to ZoomInfo’s website probably already would have an idea of what they do. But why overcomplicate the verbiage? It’s as if the idea was to sound impressive by using flowery language, but that tactic fails by the high likelihood many won’t understand what is being communicated.

Let’s use Zoom Video Communications as a comparison.

The company’s website indicates its technology “helps businesses and organizations bring their teams together in a frictionless environment to get more done.”

“Our easy, reliable cloud platform for video, voice, content sharing and chat runs across mobile devices, desktops, telephones and room systems,” the company’s website reads.

Much easier to digest.

It’s a battleground to gain customers and market share, so companies should be doing all they can to make sure their marketing is on point.

Marketing via websites and social media is typically the first place where many customers interact with a business. Advertisements are frequent, and the nature of the internet means ideas and information are consumed quickly and often.

There’s a lot out there competing for your potential customer’s attention. And you only get one first impression.

Liam Gray, a content writer for business-to-business blogging service Blend, has some helpful tips from a September 2020 article titled, “The negative effects of jargon in content marketing.”

1. “Use jargon sparingly.” It’s best only to use it when the concept is simple and it can help establish your business as an authority.

2. “Communicate in the same language as your buyers.” Especially when marketing to social media, simple language is best.

3. “Know your audience.” Complicated wording should only be reserved for your core customers, not potential business.

4. “Prioritize clarity in your content.” It’s vitally important to getting your message across.

Companies must leave complicated jargon at the door and communicate better to gain the business of the modern-day customer. It’s as simple as that.

Springfield Business Journal Web Editor Geoff Pickle can be reached at gpickle@sbj.net.

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