By Their Words You Shall Know Them

Recently I’ve been spending time around online advertising people and I’m starting to wonder: if they’re so smart at communicating, do they ever listen to themselves? For some reason this industry has adopted the most aggressive and unattractive jargon – targeting, eyeballs, cut-through, impressions, and so on.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The parallel world of CRM does roughly the same thing but in much softer terms. CRM talks of customers, engagement, response, a lifetime. Yes, the CRM guys may be after only one thing (see Clue #80), but at least they have the decency to tell us they want a relationship.

Why does this matter?

  1. because the words we use about people behind their backs shape the way we act towards their faces
  2. because they might be listening.

Update 20/04/2008: Similar sentiments expressed by Russell Buckley on Mobhappy: The Language of Advertising

Update 05/11/2010: John Dodds has targeting in his sights

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