Web design and marketing strategy

7 marketing terms to stop using in 2016

Marketing is both, the promise and the delivery. But what happens when we promise something (while necessary and totally valid) that is so overused that our listeners are getting immune to it?

Collectively, marketers are responsible for literally killing a few brilliant tools and platforms, when we start to “over-market” or when our words lose their power. So let’s get each other back on track and start speaking authentically… or wait a minute… let’s see, this might be one of the words we need to talk about first…

1. Authentic xyz

Authentic, you-nique, etc., etc… yes, this is what we all aim for in marketing (and in life) to be authentic and unique, but if we keep using all of those overused phrases, how is that authentic? What do we really mean when we say “authentic“. The truth is, for different businesses, it would mean a slightly different thing. In reality, we don’t want to “tell people that you are/to be authentic”, we want to show them HOW they can be authentic. How are you authentic? How’s your company different/authentic?

When your marketing is authentic, people will know it without you pointing that out in each and every marketing campaign of yours.

2. Bottom line

The bottom line is, each business needs to be profitable (otherwise, cue in Kevin O’Leary’s voice: “Your business will go out of business.”). That’s the bottom line. The other bottom line, that is used in marketing (the accounting term), obviously needs to be positive. If your marketing is not affecting your “bottom line” then a new marketing provider should be found (naturally). So why highlight the obvious? Of course marketing should affect your bottom line.

3. ROI-driven xyz

Similarly to the “bottom-line” – why state the obvious. Marketing is always ROI-driven.

4. Results-oriented xyz

Success is measured by the results, not the effort that goes into it. Even if we put a lot of effort into something that doesn’t result in a desirable outcome, we definitely should reconsider the strategy right away.

5. Holistic/natural approach

Unfortunately, the words natural, organic, etc. are not only overused in marketing, but also in general, in our everyday life. You never know what’s organic and what’s not these days, because if you look at the shelf of packaged goods (and the way they are marketed) – everything is natural and organic.

We faced a similar challenge with one of our *retail clients when we worked on their branding, packaging design and other marketing assets. While their product was natural, and organic, we purposely avoided using these words where possible, and looked into visual ways of telling the same story, but in their own (authentic 😉 way. 

6. Emotional connection

Aiming for an emotional connection every step of the way could be tiring. Besides, the thing is, there are only 4 basic human emotions out there: anger, fear, happiness and sadness. So, if we aim to always stay emotionally connected to our customers, I’d say we would always want them to feel happy, when they work with us. We all know that there are days when a logo design project can turn from happy to sad or anger in no time. (Hypothetically speaking of course 😉 So, do we really want to connect emotionally? Because keeping anyone happy 100% at all times is a mission impossible task.

I believe, what we try to do is to be relatable in our marketing, not emotional. When, as marketers, we design a marketing campaign, we want customers to be able to relate to what we are saying.

Make your marketing relatable, not 'emotional'. #ThinkFresh Share on X

What emotion they feel at that moment, could be questioned, but what they think or which associations a brand or an ad evokes when a customer interacts with it, THAT’S what counts.

7. Strategic marketing

I will leave you with this quote from the great Sun Tzu. No comment is necessary here.

marketing strategy


Are there any other phrases, you think, we should leave behind in 2015? Head over to our Facebook Page to share your thoughts or stop by our Marketing Greenhouse  on Robson Street in Vancouver (we always have chocolate).

*We have a few cool examples in our portfolio, where we aim to stay away from “how things are done” in the industry, so if you are in retail, give us a shout, we would love to share our findings with you!