drinking the kool-aid

Don’t Go Drinking the Kool-Aid with your Marketing

People in your industry have a certain lingo. People in your company are familiar with the terms you use within your company. To sound like you know what you’re talking about in your industry, you’ve got to use the right jargon, right? Using the snazzy terms that separate your company from your competition is critical, right?

Wrong. Talking like that when you’re doing internet marketing is bad. You won’t reach the audiences that you need to reach. You’ll be doing what we call in marketing, “Drinking the Kool-Aid”. Here’s why that’s bad.

In the late 1970’s cult leader Jim Jones lead his followers to a remote region in South America to start a new life. The paradise they were trying to make came to an end when the Reverend told his followers to drink poison, poison that was given to his followers in Kool-Aid. They listened. They drank it. They died.

Kool-Aid Terms

We use that term in marketing to denote terms that only insiders would use, people loyal to a company and accustomed to hearing and repeating it’s message. It alludes to blind loyalty, which in itself might not be that bad in all cases. The problem arises when you try to reach audiences using those terms. That’s when those terms become poisonous. That’s when those terms end up wasting your money and effort.

More importantly, you might blow your one chance to make a first impression. Suppose you do grab an audience’s attention, but fail to connect with them? What if you weird them out with some term that’s strange to them?  Today’s audiences aren’t going to take the time to delve into the benefits of your product or service by virtue of curiosity based on some term they haven’t heard before. You have to spell it out. A. B. C.

As marketers, we frequently encounter clients who have a strong desire to get their site’s ranked on Google for the wrong terms. They pick terms that are important to them, but instead of being the terms that will draw audiences in, they end up being terms nobody searches with ever. They’re Kool-Aid terms.

We say “No Drinking the Kool-Aid” in Content Marketing

We tell our client’s that we’re not going to use Kool-Aid terms in their marketing, especially when we’re picking key terms for SEO for websites.  Instead we always insist, “Talk like a layman.” Don’t waste your time doing online marketing using terms nobody ever searches for. It might get you in the #1 position, but you’re marketing to an empty house. We insist that they instead let us research which terms make sense. Using the correct terms, not drinking the Kook-Aid, is critical if you’re after results: more clients, loyal customers, more sales.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  1. […] stakeholders, not in the language of their audience. In marketing terms, this is what we call “drinking the Kook-Aid.” There’s little benefit communicated to the audience, little reason to expect audience […]

  2. […] more website visitors. We call marketing efforts that speak in the language of the industry “drinking the Kool-Aid” mostly because it can be consequently fatal to meeting your online marketing potential. Ask […]

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