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This Blog Is What It Is

Sometimes in our marketing and advertising world, we succumb to the overuse of buzzwords. Jargon allows us to communicate quickly in our own section of society.

BuzzwordsThe buzzword and jargon sea level is rising rapidly, which may raise all boats, but it is sinking our ability to clearly and effectively communicate.

Here are the top ten “most annoying buzzwords” according to TrustRadius.
  1. New normal
  2. Synergy
  3. Circle back
  4. Take this offline
  5. Pivot
  6. Unprecedented
  7. Think outside the box
  8. Bandwidth
  9. Work from home
  10. Low-hanging fruit

According to TrustRadius, “we use jargon because it feels convenient, comfortable and safe.” What can be lost is clarity. In a survey (combined with Google Trends research), TrustRadius found that 66% of people hear buzzwords way too much or often in a typical workday. And we all use buzzwords to communicate concepts quickly.  I’m really not sure what “It is what it is” is, but it seems to sum up how we are all feeling in times of crises and uncertainty.

Just like there are too many commercials in cable movies, too many buzzwords are cluttering our business communications, from advertising to annual reports. Clarity should be the watchword for 2022. Content is not king (another buzz phrase); clarity is king.

I know I often use all the annoying terms. So my wish for 2022 is not to take this offline but to circle back and find better ways to express the new-normal synergy during these unprecedented times. To add bandwidth as I pivot and think outside the box to reap the low-hanging fruit as I build better alignment with my work from home.

That is what it is.

Mark Mathis III is chief creative & strategy officer, partner and cofounder of AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising.

Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.