100 Blog Posts: What Does the BS Meter Say?
For anyone who has been with me since I launched my blog, “Navigating Off the Napkin,” we have hit the 100-blog-post mark. I will admit that sometimes my blog posts are focused on a lot of detail and other times they are more about vision and philosophy—but one thing I hope I don’t do is write a lot of BS. I may use some industry jargon every now and then, but everyone knows how much I despise the use of buzzwords for the sole purpose of using buzzwords.
Well, imagine my happiness when I read a recent article by Harriet Geoghegan titled “Jargon Busting: The 10 Worst Phrases in Digital Marketing.” I found this article so much fun (and actually a bit informative) that I read it twice—and now I’m going to share it with all of you.
You know the phrase, “You had me at hello”? Well, this article had me at “hello.” Harriet opens up the conversation by writing: “Have you ever found yourself using the term ‘We need to educate the client’? Have you ever sent a report accompanied by a glossary? Do the titles on your lengthy PowerPoint presentations contain more than one acronym? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you need to cut the [BS] right away.”
I just love that. And, for the most part I agree with almost everything she writes in her article. I’m not going to ruin the full read for you, but here are the areas where she calls us marketers out:
- Remarketing: Is it that hard to use “the plain English description of exactly what you’re planning to do and why?”
- Attribution modeling: “Attribution modeling is a simple concept dressed up as something far more technical than it really is …”
- Growth hacking: “If you are using the term ‘growth hacking,’ you need to stop what you’re doing immediately, go home and have a big, long think about your actions.”
- Big data: “Big data” seems more like something a U.S. politician would invent to try and stir up a conspiracy theory.
- Click-through rate: “As a standalone metric, it is entirely useless …”
- UX: “ … There should absolutely be a moratorium on using the acronym in any external contexts.”
- Link building: “The phrase ’link building’ shouldn’t ever be a valid part of the conversation. Instead, consider it PR for the online world and remember: people talking about you = good; robots creating links to your site = bad.”
- Paid search: “There’s a deeply held secret in the digital marketing world, and I’m probably going to get into trouble for letting the cat out of the bag. No one actually knows what to call online advertising.”
- PPC: Clearly this is not BS, I think she just picks on this one for—you guessed it—being an acronym.
- Above the fold: If you’re using this, it sounds like you might be aging yourself.
Now, if you haven’t had enough fun reading her article, try this on for size. Did you know that a marketing agency created a Marketing BS Detector? Yes, they they did! Check it out here, where they reference it this way: “Test any copy and see if it comes off smelling like roses—or shiitake.”
Yes, I tried it out, and yes, it really does work. I entered “integrated marketing” and it told me the phrase failed the Marketing BS Detector. To be more specific, it told me the major violation was the word “integrated.” I actually concur.
And this, folks, is your 100th blog posting from me at “Navigating Off the Napkin.” And, by the way, I put the phrase “navigating off the napkin” into the detector and I got a grade of A with these specific comments: “This copy smells of potpourri. Breathe easy—this copy is so neat and clean we could eat lunch off of it.”
It’s been a pleasure, folks. See you next week with post No. 101.
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.