Overused Marketing Words

Matt Hofherr Blog

By Matt Hofherr

I’m tired of overused marketing words. So I’m going to suggest a few replacements. But before I do – has anyone else noticed words like ‘modern’, ‘next generation’ and ‘innovative’ — are being used by marketers all over the place? What about just saying ‘new’, ‘forward-thinking’, or ‘advanced’? Here are a few words I’d like to kill:


This is a buzzword I keep hearing. It’s usually code for this is ‘easy to execute’. So I recommend instead of actionable simply say ‘easily implemented’ or ‘deployable’.


Marketers keep saying and saying it. I get it – you’re trying to tell a client you’re going to constantly improve. But somehow when you say it too much it loses believability. So let’s try ‘sharpen’, ‘enhance’ or ‘hone’. Or, here is a radical idea, just replace optimize with ‘improve’.


Viral is the biggest marketing joke word of our times because nobody has control over whether something goes viral. Sure, MUH-TAY-ZIK | HOF-FER has had a lot of success in this area, but that’s just a by-product of great thinking. And a lot of it has to do with the luck of having the right idea at the right time. We can’t guarantee a viral hit just like a songwriter can’t guarantee a #1 song. So instead of viral, I’m going to try ‘share-worthy’ or ‘curiosity-invoking’ or ‘infectious’. On second thought, I’m taking ‘infectious’ out because it reminds me of virus, which reminds me of viral.


It’s so cute it’s hard not to use. Snackable is just so easy to say. Who doesn’t like a good snack? Heck, my blog post is snackable, but I know no one is going to bite into it. So let me suggest two alternatives — ‘easily-absorbed’ and ‘concise’.