2018 IN REVIEW: Throughout December we're looking back at the year in APAC marketing, advertising and communications—listicle-style. Today, we get to vent about the buzzwords we're the most sick of.
If there's one thing that marketing and PR people have a love/hate relationship with, it's buzzwords. For every snappy phrase that improves on the accuracy and brevity of industry communication, there are dozens of misguided monsters that do neither and only serve to confuse or infuriate. What's worse is that even out of those few actually useful hero terms, many are abused long enough to morph into linguistic villains.
2018 was no exception to terrible terminology, so here's our rogues gallery of industry buzzwords that deserve an overdue, "Bye Felicia."
Let's disrupt this. Let's disrupt that. Disrupt the sector! Disrupt the planet! Disrupt everything in existence! Seriously on thin ice with this one people. Congratulations, you added a chatbot to your website. You didn’t do LSD with Tim Berners-Lee and lead the cyber revolution in Tron. Chill.
This word makes us twitchy. Maybe it’s because it sounds so much like fidgeting—or maybe because it’s a horrible mash-up of physical and digital that makes us want to scream and run back to the comforting arms of 'O2O'.
5. Little Fresh Meat
No... just no... and no. It’s creepy. It’s pervy. It’s weird. It sounds like the title of that lewdly illustrated album from the '70s prog rock band your dad’s embarrassed he’s a fan of. If you ever refer to any person living or dead as “little fresh meat” in our presence, we’re liable to back away slowly and start reaching for little fresh improvised weapons. Eww. Yeah, we published a whole article about it. What's your point?
Thinking. The word is “thinking”. Say what you will about Frankensteined portmanteau jargon and eye-rollingly obtuse acronyms, there’s at least an arguable (if still ridiculous) logic behind their existence. Ideation, however, is the very epitome of the kind of slimy soulless '80s corporate lingo that gives the industry a bad name. A pointless rebranding of a word which nobody needed or asked for. Don't you think?
3. Digital Transformation
Like a political Minions meme on Facebook, the application of this functional term has gone disturbingly far beyond anything resembling its originally intended purpose. Just because something has blinking lights doesn’t make it digital. Just because something’s on the internet, doesn’t make it transformative. But sadly, we think it's too late to get this phrase back to where it had any meaning. Actually, forget the minions, this meme is as old and dead as keyboard cat.
Not a word. Not a word. Not a word. Not a word. Not a word. Not a word. Not a word. Not a word. Not a word. Not a word. Not a word. Not a word. Not a word. Not a word. Not a word. Not a word. STOP MAKING UP WORDS.
Fine, we made this one up, just because it’s Christmas. But we’re fed up of hearing about how 2018 was the ‘Year of the GIF’. We really don’t think that’s true, marketing; maybe it’s time to just put down the sweets and go to bed. You’re over-tired, and you’re beginning to show off.
What marketing buzzword of 2018 would you send to the rubbish dump of history? Let us know.