Say What?!? Gobbledygook Words Don’t Sale

David Meerman Scott published an insightful article at His article highlights the top goobledygook phrases, otherwise known as buzz words, used in marketing and PR today.

What’s the number one phrase? The answer: “next generation.”

While David and I might disagree on how to use a press release (not the results, just the actual use), I must say I am in total agreement with his distaste for gobbledygook.

David highlights a key point in his article,

Here’s how the usual dysfunctional process works and why these phrases are so overused: Marketers don’t understand buyers, the problems buyers face, or how their product helps solve these problems. That’s where the gobbledygook happens.

First, the marketing person bugs the product managers and others in the organization to provide a set of the product’s features. Then the marketing person reverse-engineers the language that they think the buyer wants to hear based not on buyer input but on what the product does. A favorite trick that some ineffective marketers use is to take the language that the product manager provides, go into Microsoft Word’s find-and-replace mode, substitute the word “solution” for “product,” and then slather the whole thing with superlative-laden, jargon-sprinkled hype.

By just decreeing, through an electronic word substitution, that “our product” is “your solution,” these companies effectively deprive themselves of the opportunity to convince people that this is the case.

Marketers who simply use the find-and-replace function of their word processor in the manner mentioned above are lame and unimaginative! However, I believe that many marketers, me included, have in the past been guilty of writing copy based on what the product does and not on buyer input.

We should all follow the advice given by Mr. Scott.


Who am I ?

My name is Michael Morton. I believe in bringing energy and professionalism into the office, that knowledge is power, that leadership trumps management, that customers are more influential than advertisements, that content is king, and that two heads are better than one. I currently lead the marketing efforts of the Strategic Alliances department of my company. Let’s talk marketing!

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