Are you marketing in the right language?

Effective marketing uses the right language for your customers

Have you ever noticed that every business sector or industry has their own ‘special’ way of talking? They use language which is very specific to them; in fact, it becomes embedded in their culture to such a degree that the people within it don’t even realise that they may be being misunderstood by those outside of their business. Linguistically speaking, this language is call ‘jargon’. Take a moment to think about the different types of jargon you have heard…perhaps financial, educational, engineering, scientific, or political, to name a few. Quite often acronyms are used, too, which not everyone knows the meaning of. Unfortunately, using too much jargon, or technical language, may switch off your audience…especially your potential clients.

We are all human and it is natural to us to want to be able to communicate well, in a meaningful way, in order to build relationships, rapport and trust. If we don’t understand what someone is saying to us, we may feel confused, frustrated, ostracised, or even too embarrassed to ask what they mean, for fear of being made to look foolish because we ‘should know’. Of course, this can’t be the case, because after all, why should we know their ‘special’ language, which may be alien to us?

Therefore, those businesses who are marketing using their own jargon run the risk of ‘putting off’ potential clients. Some businesses may be under the impression that they need to use jargon in order to show how much they know, or how competitive they are, or how knowledgeable they are about their marketplace; however, this is not really the case. There needs to be an element of inclusion and balance attached so potential clients are not turned off by the language used, yet those ‘in the know’ can still pick up on the fact that the business knows what its talking about.

So, this philosophy should be consistent across all of your marketing collateral, whether digital, or ‘hard’ print, such as brochures or leaflets. Don’t run the risk of boring your audience with words and ‘buzz phrases’ they don’t understand. Titles, headings and sub-headings should be concise and understandable. Draw an audience in; make them want to find out more about you, your services, or products. The more they understand you, the better it will be, and may even lead to improving your sales.    

Thinking point: Who is making the purchasing decisions? Use the appropriate language.

If you would like any help or advice on how to write using effective marketing language, call Hannah on 01283 808460, or email