"Dimensionalizing the paradigm" and other marketing speak
March 22, 2006
When I was with Apple, I worked in marcom (Marketing Communications). This is where I first learned to speak like a real marketing genius. For example, I learned to use the term "best practice" instead of the more common place "effective," "efficient" or..."good." In the old days we'd say something like "Let's identify what works and what doesn't." Or perhaps "What sucks and what kicks butt." But then I attended my first meeting to "identify best practices." I'm still not sure what it means, but I've been able to survive for the past few years in business without ever having to use the phrase again. And I hope that neither you or I ever have to see the phrase in a PowerPoint slide.
And speaking of marketing hubris (I mean genius), did you ever see this great video by Aquent. Before the Microsoft parody of marketing communications and design, there was this great clip available on the Aquent site. Beautiful.
"Why squander [negative space] when you can use it to generate an incremental cross-brand revenue stream...?"
- Harold Moonbayer
Brand managers need to become creative geniuses, not just marketing strategists, says Harold Moonbayer. Watch as Moonbayer enlightens you on how to communicate brand integrity, how to inspire creatives, and how to communicate brand essence. You'll also learn a bit about what makes an effective typeface, how to eliminate negative space in your designs for greater impact, and how to add balance to your design with a more strategic logo placement.
Having just gone through the first day of a two-day workshop on coaching oral-proposals (ie: the presentation portion of a proposal), I think I heard enough phrases like "Best Practices". I felt like one of the only people who didn't know all of the vocabulary because my background is plain English, not "Trapped-In-A-Cubicle"-speak :)
Posted by: Lauren Muney | March 22, 2006 at 08:13 AM
Hah. Just this week I attended a meeting in which one agenda item (put forth by the consultant running the meeting) was 'Decode the technologies".
We're still not completely sure what he meant by that.
Posted by: Lars | March 22, 2006 at 12:04 PM
"What sucks and what kicks butt" Hmmm. Could it be we have a new name for a marketing blog? ;-)
Posted by: Heidi Miller | March 23, 2006 at 07:02 AM
I hadn't seen the Aquent clip before. I almost fell out of my chair laughing - I swear I have worked for Moonbayer before!
Posted by: Shaula Evans | March 24, 2006 at 11:15 AM
I hate marketing jargon as much as the next person. However, the phrase "Best Practices", while much overused and misused, actually means something important.
Used properly, "Best Practices" refers to a set of practices commonly agreed by an industry to be the proper way to operate. These practices are often codified in some sort of "Best Practices" document.
Best Practices in computer programming, for example, include proper use of whitespace, sensible identifier naming, narrow interfaces, coherent modules, and a host of other things that virtually everyone in the industry would say are an important part of successful coding. Lists of these practices can be found in many books on the subject, for example McConnell's "Code Complete".
It is unfortunate that the repeated use of "Best Practices" to denote "practices the speaker thinks are good" has diluted the term.
Posted by: PO8 | April 03, 2006 at 03:39 AM