OJD (Obscure Jargon Disorder) – Please Don’t Spread It!

The few moments that you have to get a message across are precious – and yet, the opportunity is often wasted because of a prevalent marketing sickness called OJD – Obscure Jargon Disorder.

This is when the words you use bring obscurity, instead of clarity. You open your mouth (or someone clicks on your website), and a fogbank rolls out – words that are not easily comprehended by your audience (of one, or many).

Result: they change the channel. Tune you out. Opportunity lost.

The example I give today via video is amusing, in its own sickening kind of way – because I am reading words from a website that purports to be serious. Take a listen:

In fact, this website is such a motherlode of obscure biz-jargon that I cannot help but quote another section:

Creating sustainable models for consumer-directed growth means taking the natural pattern of the environment as the jumping-off point: design an open platform to link pieces, and then let a billion free centers of operation self-organize themselves within new systems of value. In other words, create a closed-circuit of self-making and self-control, and then manage the birth of new ecosystems for perpetual invention and mutual benefit.


If your spouse, or mother, or neighbor can’t understand your message, it’s likely your clients won’t either.

Obscurity or Clarity

Here’s the thing – we all get so immersed in our own little professional worlds, that we assume everyone else (co-workers, existing clients, potential customers) understands this rather extensive backdrop of knowledge we have.

They don’t. What seems perfectly clear to us can be be gobbledy-gook to them.

Test your message rigorously, especially with those outside your bubble. Distill it and make it simple. It’s the best, and primary, go-to-market tactic you can employ.

A clear message is better than a thousand clicks on obscurity.


Also on the blog: Anatomy of a Referral (yes, clarity is your messaging has a huge impact on referrals!)

Do you need marketing clarity?


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