Ethan McCarty

Digital strategy | Social business | People-centric biznology

Digital War is Over! (If you want it)

ImageHow many times have you heard your social media or digital campaign described with vocabulary borrowed from a field commander?  Even the term “campaign” has a distinctly military connotation.

Just the other day I participated in a webinar where the social media ‘expert’ describing his program used the following phrases in less than 15 mins:

  • “boots on the ground”
  • “battle for mindshare”
  • “the enemy”
  • “attack the competition”
  • “laser focus”
  • “Shotgun approach”
  • “social media bootcamp”
  • “Trojan horse”
  • “turning the battleship”
  • Referred to employees as “troops”

And it wasn’t just this one guy…I hear this language of war applied all the time to marketing and communications….”battle for hearts and minds” “on target” “crusade” “tip of the spear” etc etc.

I find it particularly disturbing because so many people in our field overtly declare themselves passionate advocates — and even evangelists — for doing things in new, social, highly collaborative, inclusive and innovative ways.  The whole war-as-metaphor seems like a colossal miss.

I am all for spirited competition and passion in our work, but can we agree to try to give the war words a rest? Heck, I will take impenetrable marketing lingo over jingoistic jargon any day.  Leverage THAT synergy, pal.

One response to “Digital War is Over! (If you want it)

  1. Susan Emerick (@sfemerick) December 19, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Missed that call but I will listen to the replay. I heard about the lingo used via social connections in my tribe already though :)

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