Six Marketing Buzzwords That Really Must Die

Six Marketing Buzzwords That Really Must Die

This story was originally published by

Jargon, buzzwords and acronyms. Those in the media and marketing world are in love with them. Those sprouting jargon think they sound cool or intelligent. But onlookers think they need a crash course in the English language. Adage created an initial list of eight media and marketing buzzwords that need to die including: curated/curation/curator, disruption/disruptive/disruptor and (B&T's pet peeve) game-changing/game-changer. But there are many more wanky non-words that need to meet the chopping block. Check them out. follows up it’s popular post about marketing buzzwords.

I recently published a column titled “Eight media and marketing buzzwords that must die.” It was shared thousands of times across social media and I got a ton of virtual pats on the back (e.g., “Amen!”) mostly via tweets and comments, as well as some great suggestions for additions to the list.

No, wait, let me rephrase that: The audience passionately engaged with my content and was not only inspired to share it but felt empowered to collaborate with me on additional content creation.

I should note that some readers speculated about what their lives would be like in a buzzword-free world. Like Jeffrey Makowka (@jmakowka), who tweeted, “This would eliminate about 80% of the vocab in most of my meetings.” Given that Jeffrey’s title at AARP, per LinkedIn, is Senior Strategic Advisor, Thought Leadership, well, I believe him! (Coincidentally, I’ve been lobbying Ad Age to change my title from Media Guy to Senior Executive Evangelist, Echo Chamber.)

Meanwhile, Jafet Ramirez of Atlanta posted a comment on that read, “Sorry, Media Guy, but if I don’t use those basic statements, it will be impossible to leverage my out-of-the-box thinking to engage our brand’s stakeholders.”

I’m afraid that Jeffrey may soon be struck entirely mute, and Jafet may have to leverage his thinking back into the box, because the people have spoken, and they want more buzzwords and phrases put on death row. To wit:


“Please add any form of transformative to the list,” William Mount of Charlestown, Mass., wrote in a comment on “It’s often seen in conjunction with some form of disruptive and must also be banished.”

I dunno, William, banning transformative sounds like it could be sort of transformational. Are you sure you want to be that disruptive?


KayAnn P. Schoeneman (@KSchoeneman), VP-global research at Ketchum, tweeted, “Let’s add impactful, too.” Yes, let’s!

Also on the list are:

To find out why the above buzzwords made it on to the list see Simon Dumenco’s full story here. 

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