‘Marketing speak’ is universal. Generally I find that people who use jargon do it as a defence mechanism (i.e. they haven’t quite grasped something they have heard, or been told, and are trying to repeat it to sound informed and/or to not look stupid).

Saying ‘I don’t understand’ isn’t seemingly something people are willing to admit nowadays, especially at work. I don’t think anyone would disagree that an appetite to learn isn’t a strength and something we’d want in our employees. Asking questions, when you don’t understand, is key to learning. Embrace asking questions, don’t fear it. Through personal experience I have found that as you become more informed, people around you will become more forgiving of your queries because of the broader respect they have for your accumulated knowledge (a lot of which you will have gained through asking questions of other people at other times).  It also encourages those same people to ask questions too.

Whilst working at Team Sky we had to battle being geographically dispersed, having a multinational staff where for many English wasn’t their first language and where there were groups of specialists who had deep seated skills in a particular area (and so falling into jargon was easy).  To combat misunderstandings, and therefore a drop in performance, we maintained (to the best of our ability) a consistent universal terminology to avoid misunderstandings. To achieve this you had to understand what you were talking about.

Back to the subject, in days of old your brand ambassadors were also your key influencer. In the modern digital world these roles are now very distinct because of the owned media channels we all have the opportunity to command. Thus understanding the distinction between brand influencers vs. brand ambassadors vs. brand advocates is key when building an engagement strategy and communicating the roles of each to your key stakeholders. Bill Sussman does a good job of explaining it here on Entrepreneur.com.

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