There’s a fine line between using marketing buzzwords to hold interest and in using them to make yourself sound… well, smarter than you are.

Take for instance, this quote from the boardroom of a Fortune 500 company (source wisely held back):

“We can’t boil the ocean, so let’s start by bucketizing the deliverables and picking the low-hanging fruit.”

If our business development guy said that in the presence of a prospect, well, we wouldn’t get the gig. Wouldn’t it be much better to say this one in plain English, like so?:

“This is far too ambitious given our resources, so let’s start by identifying the desired outcome and then moving on the deliverables that are easiest to execute first.”

Marketing in Ottawa, just like anywhere else, is a game based on delivering results. If you don’t have a plan to turn investments of real cash into additional sales, you might as well not bother (be prepared for your quarterlies to underwhelm though). Real marketing — for real businesses in Ottawa — requires a high level of clarity, accountability, and demonstrable scale. Numbers matter. Metrics matter. Results matter.

In honour of all professionals practicing results-based marketing here in Ottawa, we present to you our Top 5 list of marketing buzzwords that should just go away:

1. Eyeballs

Eyeballs don’t matter. Sales matter. If I’m a business owner, I don’t want to be sold eyeballs – I want to be sold a healthy jolt to my incremental revenues.

2. Impressions, Reach, and Frequency

These marketing metrics were snappy when Fidel Castro still ruled the island (when his beard was black and his paunch non-existent… in the ’60s). Make no mistake, these are very weak metrics – and nothing to get excited about. So, why do we still get excited about them? In non-digital marketing channels, the first two are estimates. Scientific ones, perhaps, but still just best guesses.

3. Cross-Channel Marketing Program

Successful marketing is always cross-channel and there’s nothing magical about that. If your marketing efforts aren’t cross-channel, they should be. Especially if your marketing money is being dumped exclusively into channels that are difficult to track (TV, Radio, or Direct Mail).

4. “This Will Be Revolutionary.”

No, it won’t. Unless that ad campaign actually topples a dictator, it’s just an ad campaign. What’s revolutionary is thinking that all advertising is equal. If you buy in to spray and pray spending on the advice of the people who are selling you that airtime, sooner or later your empire will topple.

5. Synergistic Marketing

Success is always synergistic. No man is an island, and no business person succeeds alone. Collaboration and cooperation throughout your organization isn’t something special – it’s essential for growth. Marketing is no different. ‘Synergistic Marketing’ implies that marketing can integrate successfully with all aspects of a business and be a partner in your success.

We don’t need a special buzzword for that. At MB, we just call it ‘marketing’.