Marketing buzzwords, corporate jargon, and industry fads might make marketers feel like they fit in around the conference table, but if you want your audience to understand you, it’s time to remove this language from your vernacular.

Trendy, flashy words and phrases can be born largely by accident: Someone uses a phrase once to describe something, then it catches on and people in that industry use it over and over again. Your workplace probably knows the term, but a different agency could have a slightly different take on it. Eventually, the word spreads out and grows thinner and thinner in meaning, losing its original impact and clarity. While throwing the word into a slide deck might make you feel like you’re just reading the room and speaking the right language, these words can actually muck up your concise vision and purpose — especially if you’re using them to speak to consumers.

These terms don’t translate well into the real world. They don’t reflect the lives and experiences of consumers. When brands are trying to build connections, they should be digging deep into communities to find how they can genuinely relate and resonate on a meaningful level. Trite, confusing corporate jargon is not the way to do it.

Fix Your Buzzword Problems by Crafting Language With Purpose

Don’t waste your time, effort, and money on messages your audience won’t understand or care about. Make sure every message you share is positioned to communicate clear value, real impact, and authenticity.

You can start by analyzing the marketing buzzwords you tend to use to describe your products and services. Don’t be shy — we all do it. It’s time to perform an honest audit of the terms you use to communicate and reevaluate how you might change it up to improve your marketing strategy and create more meaning.

This can happen in two relatively simple steps:

First, trace the word back to its root. Ask yourself: What is the true meaning behind this word? Not what it means to other agencies or brands, but what your team is describing when they use it. If you said it to consumers, would they immediately know what you were talking about, or would they have to look it up?

Next, craft a new explanation that your audience will understand and care about. Create a clearer, more precise definition that you can own. Buzzwords themselves aren’t things agencies or brands can own because everyone uses them. The concepts and ideas that brought those words and phrases to life, however, can help you take a well-rounded, comprehensible approach to your brand messaging.

As you break down marketing buzzwords and translate them into a language your clients and consumers will understand and relate to, remember that the end result of your brand messaging should be something your audience will believe in and act upon. The key is to be clear, direct, and impactful.