Last Updated on 10 September 2020

I found early in my career that being good at marketing wasn’t as important as being perceived as being good at marketing. Unfortunately, like most trades, being ‘good’ at it involves slinging around the industry jargon.

Later in my career, when I didn’t need my vocabulary for confidence, I realized that many of the buzzwords we used had become so common, and overused, that they lost impact and value.

Long story short – do what you can to avoid these overused terms. They’ve become so boring to listen to, we’ve created BINGO games to play just to stay alert at typical jargon-filled meetings…

Blattner Brunner, a US based creative agency, has developed an official BINGO card as a tool to discourage this jargon… Sort of a ‘bust your agency folk if they use these terms.’ (I saw this in BrandWeek a few months ago – they were nice enough to send me the PDF).

That line there at the bottom says it all:
Be original. Do something that works.

Overused Terms

Typical words include:

Low-hanging fruit, e-tailing, talk off-line, blue-sky idea, win-win situation, think outside the box, holistic approach, level playing field, sanity check, put to bed, whole nine yards, helicopter view, gap analysis, touch base, rain check, sing from the same hymn sheet, finger in the air, get in bed with, big picture, benchmark, ball park, ticks in all the right boxes, strategic fit, bread and butter.[1]

Or these…

Skill Set(s), Benchmark, Multitask(ing), Granular, Service Oriented, Wow Factor, Off Line, Run the Numbers, Team Building, Pushback, Game Plan, Diversity, Cognisant, No Brainer, Integration, Bottom Up, World Class, Outsource, Big Picture, Drill Down, Time Frame, Bottle Neck, Risk Reward Ratio

And these…

Synergy, Strategic Fit, Gap Analysis, Best Practice, Bottom Line, Revisit, Bandwidth, Hardball, Out of the Loop, Benchmark, Value-Added, Proactive, Win-Win, Think Outside The Box, Fast Track, Result-Driven, Empower [or] Empowerment, Knowledge Base, Total Quality [or] Quality Driven, Touch Base, Mindset, Client Focus[ed], Ball Park, Game Plan and Leverage [2]

Other Jargon Bingo Card Resources
Here are some cards pre-made online.

  • Buzzwords Bingo – leverage, mind share, touch point… they’re all there…
  • B.S. Bingo – drill down, mission critical, going forward… maybe we should play both cards at once…

Bingo Jargon

  • Bingo Glossary (this one or this one) – If you want to play bingo and don’t know the jargon this will help.

[1] – Meeting Room Jargon
[2] – B.S. Bingo