Marketing jargon translated into English

There’s a lexicon for every profession and trade. Here’s a guide to help you decipher the industry nomenclature for ‘civilians.’

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I know I’ve gone on semantic rants before, most recently with regard to the marketing acronyms that make us all sound silly or needlessly confuse one another. Frankly, such rants are fun because it’s about calling myself out on my marketing jargon as much as it is about calling out others.

We all know we have a problem with silly buzzwords and ridiculously flowery language sometimes. It’s part of the job, and we spend so much time around each other that we sometimes forget how absurd we sound.

We’ve all also at some point tried to explain our jobs or recent professional activities to our non-marketing friends. Or our mothers. Or, worse, our grandmothers. That’s when we realize that a lot of the words and phrases we use every day don’t mean much outside our own walls.

We’re not doctors. What marketers do each day is relatively straightforward. So why all the industry-specific expressions? When you try to explain a facet of your job to an outsider and they stare blankly at you, the gut reaction can be to simply change the subject. If you would like a better shot at communicating with normal human beings again, read on for some ideas on how to rephrase your profession for the layman.

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