459089531Okay, I'll admit it. Marketing is a fun profession. In the marketing world we get to use both sides of our brains: one side for analytics and data and the other side for creativity and strategy.

Marketing is also a frequently misunderstood profession. Some people see it as so easy to do that they hand it off to their administrative assistantIT person, intern, or anyone else in the company with "extra time" on their hands.

In reality, marketing is a highly skilled profession that requires intelligence, creativity, people skills, persistence, and a willingness to try new things all the time.

As marketers, we have all sorts of terms and ways of talking that are specific to our jobs. Terms like "organic search," "CTA," "heat map," "embed code" and "lead scoring" are frequently used as we create amazing inbound marketing campaigns.

On the flip side, however, there are some terms that are just about as nerve-wracking as fingernails on a blackboard to an inbound marketer. We'll never tell you (until now) but we have good reasons for hating these terms.

So here they are, along with explanations and suggested substitutes.

1) Eblast

Yikes! So violent. This one really ruffles our feathers because it implies that you are shoving a bunch of spammy emails down your unsuspecting audiences throats. Blast away!

In reality, we want email to be strategic, targeted, personalized, and properly segmented. Additionally, we want the content to be simple, direct, to the point, and useful. With this in mind, the word "blast" seems a bit too intense.

Suggested alternative: Email campaign.

2) Enews

Ahh.... good old enews. We see this almost every single day. What subject line could be more compelling than "March eNews!" ... right?

The enews label describes a generic email newsletter filled with promotions and packed with so much noise that no one really wants to read any of it. Stop the madness!

Instead, send targeted emails that have a specific purpose and a specific value proposition.

Suggestion alternative: Email campaign (again).

3) Social Media Strategy

Social media is new(-ish) and shiny! We need to get on board! Let's create a social media strategy!

Or, less calm down a bit and take a more holistic look at our marketing strategy. The reason inbound marketers cringe at this word is because it's the online equivalent of building a house with a "hammer strategy."

Social media is a platform and a way to communicate. It is one segment in a suite of tools that can be put together to create a business strategy and a marketing strategy. Inbound marketing is about creating a process that includes not just social media, but a more well-rounded toolbox that was put together based on business objectives.

Suggested alternative: Marketing strategy.

4) Viral

"Can you make this video go viral?" This instruction makes marketing pros break out in hives. First off, it's very difficult to simply make a video (or anything else) go viral. Either it happens or it doesn't.

Can you create something so funny, entertaining, or mind-blowing that it has a better chance of getting shared a gazillion times thus resulting in your company getting featured on all the prominent talk shows and bringing you tons of business? Maybe. But what are the chances?

It's more important to focus on delivering value to your specific audience, and then creating a clear path to action. If you solve problems for your audience and consistently earn their trust through inbound marketing, you won't need to obsess over going viral.

Suggested alternative: Valuable.

5) Marketing Person

Other variations include "marketing girl" (which conjures up images of the Mad Men era) or "marketing guy." This is vague. What does a "marketing person" do? Hang out and make fliers? If you have a team member in charge of marketing, give him/her a real title. Some examples:

  • Marketing Director
  • Marketing Manager
  • Marketing Coordinator

These titles give specificity to the job and provide direction to what this person should be doing. Of course it's very difficult for one person to handle all aspects of your marketing which is why we recommend partnering with an agency but that's another discussion.

Suggested alternative: Marketing Director, Marketing Manager, Marketing Coordinator


While these terms are used all the time, we'd like to see a shift toward more accurate language and more realistic labels.

What marketing terms drive you crazy? Let us know in the comments!

This post originally appeared on the SpinWeb Blog. SpinWeb is a HubSpot Partner located in Indianapolis, IN.

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Originally published Jul 4, 2014 10:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016


Inbound Marketing