Can Marketing Be Meaningful?

One of the problems of working in marketing or communications is that the words we use easily become part of the industry jargon. And the more we use such words, the faster they become laden with "industry meaning".

And as marketers thrive on innovation in language, we constantly reinvent. We create new compound words, adjectives and even nouns. And we appropriate. Why? Because the new connotations that we create (we hope) will provide new stimulus to our language … we are aiming to create a deep resonance within language that taps into the emotions of our audiences.

But it is a real challenge to avoid falling into jargon. Unfortunately, even the "new" words that are used to indicate new directions can quickly be seen as jargon. This is the nature of the flexible English language in all its forms — it is the trademark, the reason for its success and also the reason for its failure. Words can become outdated or superseded very quickly these days. Take, for example, Johnn Moore’s recent admission.

Now there is not much that you can argue with in the post. But if marketing is to be meaningful, then clearly it has to be meaningful for its intended (as well as its unexpected) audiences. Without that relevance, then it is just marketers writing for marketers. And hey, while that might get you an award or two, it may not always translate into meaningful experiences or dollars in the bank.