Rejecting stale tech marketing words

Read a pile of technology marketing and you quickly assume that you alone despise many of the words you keep hearing. They’re words like optimize, leverage, synergy, and utilize. People in this industry don’t really talk like that, do they?

Many don’t, at least not in private, and they don’t tweet like that, either. One tweet trail at Gartner BI Summit complained about exactly this kind of word — these miserable words with all the wild flavor bred out of them like factory-farm tomatoes.

On the list of suggested extinction, Jill Dychè listed optimize and fact-based. Scott Davis listed leverage, co-optition, and dot-bomb. Someone also threw in win-win, synergy, and the lovely utilize.

Mark Madsen cautioned that banning all those words would leave marketing with nothing but proper names and prepositions.

The whole discussion started off when Dychè posted a link to David Silverman’s article in Harvard Business “10 Business Words to Ban.

Now Dave Wells has followed with a weblog post. He left the TDWI conference in Las Vegas last week with his head “afloat in buzzwords.” So many new terms every quarter, and so much ambiguity. ” Maybe its time that we define our terms and differentiate between similar sounding terms.” He goes on to list a few he’d like to see on the endangered list.

Let the movement flourish.

4 Responses to Rejecting stale tech marketing words

Leave a reply

Other recent posts

End of one-size-fits-all data stories

This appeared originally on the TDWI site in September behind a paywall. It’s still there, but today they’ve had the 90 days of exclusive use that I agreed to. Survey after survey reveals that about 80 percent of business users don’t use data analysis—despite all the marketing and “easy to use” tools. As if in… Continue Reading

Qlik finally set to leapfrog Tableau?

Who’s your rival? I carelessly asked a Qlik person at the company’s annual analyst reception Monday night in Miami if she hadn’t once worked for Tableau. Her revulsion was immediate. “No! Never!,” she said. We smiled. There was so much more to talk about. For one thing, how will private equity change things? Qlik wasn’t… Continue Reading

Five Tips for Better Data Stories

Originally published on September 22, 2015 in BI This Week, a TDWI publication. A “data story” sounds like such a great idea. You just mix data with storytelling and you’re done — except that most data storytellers get one thing wrong: they drown out the story with data. Such storytellers, I believe, assume that audiences… Continue Reading

Bohemian Grove a la BI

The Bohemian Grove of the BI industry convenes for the fifteenth time in just three weeks. Naturally, you ask the obvious question: Are you serious? The Grove? A summit? The answer begins with a fond recollection of the Grove. If you’ve never attended the Bohemian Grove yourself — I haven’t, though I live in the… Continue Reading