During the second half of the year 2019, a group of scientists carried out a study. They formed two groups of consumers: jargon and non-jargon / jargon-free. The non-jargon group was made to read three paragraphs, relating to technology and containing simple words. And the jargon group had to read three paragraphs on similar topics, with the content having specialized jargon.
For example, the jargon group was made to read sentences such as “This system works because of AI integration through motion scale and tremor reduction”.
In the meantime, the non-jargon group read content like “This system works because of programming that makes the robot’s movements more precise and less shaky”.
Now, where the non-jargon group was concerned, they did not find the content engaging even though definitions for all the terms were given. They did not seem interested in what they were reading, with some of them even arguing against the content.
On the other hand, the jargon-free group seemed both engaged and empowered, while some of them also wanted to read some more.
According to Hilary Schulman, who is the main author of the report, specialized jargon sends signals to people that they do not belong. She further elucidated that though you can mention the meaning of the terms, yet it has no effect. The readers perceive that the message is not meant for them.
This perception spells bad news for sales persons and marketers.
The perils of jargon
Sales and Marketing professionals love to use jargon – particularly when they’re working with tech companies. The use of industry jargon is widespread in tech companies, but jargon-filled spells disaster for their marketing campaigns.
Normally, sales and marketing teams use jargon owing to the perception that by using buzzwords, they seem like experts and has people trusting them more.
However, this is not necessarily true, for jargon can turn people off. More so, the audience may stop listening even if they know the meaning of the jargon terms. Human brains are known to respond to content that contains simple and clear language.
Now, when posed with the question of whether some industry-specific terms are mandatory in your sales and marketing projects, the marketers and sellers will respond with a responding YES. You cannot write intelligent content without the use of terms such as cost-per-lead (CPL), unique visitors, share of voice, among others – they say. However, you must make sure to use mandatory terms using simple and clear language while mentioning their meaning where required – for a larger audience for your content that is.
Contrastingly, you could be turning-off over 90% of your prospective customers with jargon-filled content.
As a sales and marketing leader, a smart thing to do is check the content and follow by eliminating jargon; this helps people to understood what you have to offer them.
Surely, the digital age has removed the barriers between brands and customers. Yet, owing to bad messaging, branding professionals are putting back those blockages with jargon-packed messages, emails, whitepapers, among other content material.
Penning content about complex subjects may not be easy. But companies can enjoy a competitive edge by devising content that is easy-to-understand.Last modified: October 14, 2020