Marketing professionals have a pretty bad reputation when it comes to using buzzwords. And for good reason! Sit in on any marketing meeting and you’ll soon start hearing about synergy, leverage, and a dozen other buzzwords that marketers use way too often.

Many of these words have crept into everyday business talk, and I find myself seeing these words more and more when reviewing website copy and marketing material for small business clients.

We’re all guilty. When I first started out as a freelance copywriter, these buzzwords used to be really jarring. I’d do everything I could to rewrite them when a client sent me a bio or about us page riddled with marketing jargon. But over time I found myself using the exact same words! It’s like a virus.

So, as marketers and business owners, we all need to be mindful of these types of words. We need to be on our guard at all times so we don’t turn off the very people we’re trying to connect with.

Here’s my list of 22 marketing buzzwords you should avoid using on your website, marketing collateral, or social media profiles.

  1. Innovative

  2. Synergy

  3. Leverage

  4. Service provider

  5. Unique

  6. Leading

  7. World-class

  8. Dynamic

  9. End to end

  10. Solutions

  11. Best of breed / Best in class

  12. Extensive experience

  13. Track record

  14. Passionate

  15. Proud

  16. Provide

  17. ROI

  18. Strategic

  19. Expert

  20. Utilise

  21. Facilitate

  22. Committed

So what’s wrong with these words?

The problems with these words fall into several categories, described below. Many of these words fall into more than one category.

  • Overused
  • Lazy
  • Ambiguous
  • Meaningless
  • Hyperbolic
  • Using a long word when a short one will do

For example. anyone who calls themselves an “expert” probably isn’t one. There are lots of adjectives that sound great when others use them to describe us, but calling yourself a dynamic, innovative, expert just sounds like a lot of hot air.

A lot of this also comes back to the literary principle of “show, don’t tell.” You can say what you want about how great you are, but how about showing some specific examples instead?

What’s the alternative?

“But wait!” I hear you say. “If I don’t use any of these words then there’s nothing left to say!” If this was what you thought when reading this list then you have a problem…

A common theme with a lot of these words is that they are all about you, the business. If you’re finding a lot of the above words in your copy then it means you’re not focussing on what your customers care about – themselves.

The language on your website and across all of your marketing material needs to be about your customers. It needs to talk about the problems you solve for them, and how you solve them. Try putting yourself in your customer’s shoes and figure out what you’d want to know if you were looking at this website for the first time. When we start doing that, we suddenly start using language that talks about the customer, not ourselves. And this is what people really respond to.

And that’s a long way away from being innovative, passionate, and proud about the solutions you provide 🙂

What words should be added to this list? And how many of these marketing buzzwords are YOU guilty of using?