Every industry, every business, and even every culture has its jargon.
NASA is a lot easier to say than the National Aeronautics and Space Administration when we want to talk about rocket ships and moon rocks.
That’s just one example. It would be easy to list a whole lot more.
But the Grand Prize Goes to…
Web application and software development lead the pack for most amount of buzzwords and fuzzwords. Not only is that industry rife with the lingo, but the work itself is also done in code. Nothing else can beat that for doublespeak.
When someone throws around the phrase SQL injection, it sounds like some sort of vaccination. Vaccinations are good, but SQL injections are not.
On the other hand, if someone said hackers could access sensitive databases and steal customer credit card numbers, that would strike a completely different chord with a website owner. And by the way, that cybercrime (130 million stolen credit card numbers) actually happened to 7-Eleven, Office Max, Dave & Busters, and others, as reported in Wired magazine1… a SQL injection.
Web development firms that serve marketing agencies will take great care to safeguard vulnerabilities and avert attacks when websites are developed. And that’s what agency owners want to hear. Plain talk that resonates on a business level. It’s akin to the way marketers sell benefits versus features… the sizzle instead of the steak. Owners can then turn around and deliver that level of confidence to their end clients.
So, of course, a good web-dev partner will have all of the scope documents, terms and conditions, and legalese highly defined and highly refined in any sort of project undertaking. The steak, if you will. The letter of the law is present in that paperwork. But the spirit of it should be front and center. Top dog.
That is, instead of stating that “we use Wordfence and Sucuri (cloud-based firewalls),” the outsource partner will assure clients that it spends the time to have proper measures in place to harden a WordPress site, so it does not go down. Attacks happen every day, so security protocols are kept up to date. Everyone can sleep better at night. Margins can be maintained. The partner can be trusted.
It’s All About Communication
Amaury Khelifi is a CTO, a keynote and the author of “Why Is It So Hard to Talk with Developers?” Well, he says that developers and business owners simply speak different languages. In fact, he uses a highly detailed mapping diagram to illustrate that very point. But in a nutshell, he points out that business owners have great knowledge of their industry and a vision on how to serve it yet lack the technical know-how. Whereas developers have the technical know-how but don’t know about the owner’s industry or their vision.
Bridging that gap is all about communication. And that can be done with a liaison.
Take the case of outsourcing web dev offshore, where the developers are in another country. In contrast to having NO go-between, a hybrid model of that scenario WOULD HAVE a go-between… a home-based account services team that provides the plain-speak and project management. And that is the liaison between the offshore team and the agency. In that model, the specialists plus the peace of mind are all in one.
Business, Not Bafflement
Whether the topic is security or ad spend or product positioning, or what-have-you, clarity of communication applies when it comes to development. Look for an outsource partner that speaks business, not bafflement.
Kind of like good-cop, bad-cop… here’s good-example, bad-example:
If we can really focus your positioning, it’ll cost less to market because there will be a smaller, more defined audience to talk to. Ad dollars will be going to those more qualified people. So at the end of the day, you’re saving money and creating greater ROI.
If we could create a lookalike audience in Google and then use their display networks in AdSense, we can probably get your CPI down to $3 per click. If you get 72 people there, you can possibly convert half, and about 50 percent will probably be sales qualified.
Jargon has its place, and we are all capable of recognizing that place. It is not to make others feel inferior by explaining things in technical terms that are hard to translate. No one wants to feel that way. Helpful outsource partners provide the language agency owners can turn around and share with their end clients.
—Daniel Dennett, American philosopher, and cognitive scientist
I have always figured that if I can’t explain something I’m doing to a group of bright undergraduates, I don’t really understand it myself.
- K. Zetter, “Hacker Sentenced to 20 Years for Breach of Credit Card Processor”, Wired magazine, https://www.wired.com/2010/03/heartland-sentencing/, Mar 26, 2010