2016 predictions – bad marketers will make your eyes bleed

The end of December is traditionally the time for an endless gush of 2016 predictions from “experts” across the web. I’m going to buck that trend however, by making a plea to copywriters, marketers and clients that they stop using the following phrases. Forever.

Because if you can cut these junk statements from your work, the world will be a much happier, healthier place.


Social media guru/rock star/ninja

Nothing screams “needy” as loudly as this combination of meaningless words in a social media profile. These terms are merely a warning to everyone that you send a lot of tweets and constantly instagram your amazingly social social life.

We also know that your favourite topic is yourself. Which isn’t all that social really. In fact, it’s the polar opposite.

But of the three, ‘ninja’ is by far the least apt. Ninjas are supposed to be stealthy, invisible, unnoticed. You on the other hand, with your thousands of loyal followers, are highly visible.

And if you are a ‘guru’, a ‘rock star’ or a ‘ninja’, please don’t look to closely at those followers – the high proportion of bots to ‘real’ people is sure to dent your ego.

Suggested replacement: Egotist

social media douche bagImage credit Brad Tramel


If you have yet to encounter this word, there’s still time to pull back from the edge. Another example of complete laziness a portmanteau word, MarTech joins its half sibling ‘MarComms’ and distant cousin ‘FinTech’ in the lexicon of shame.

If you really have to know, MarTech is short for ‘marketing technology’ and is used to describe all those tools you already use to help manage and execute campaigns.

So like most modern marketing terms, MarTech is completely unnecessary. Just typing it makes me feel dirty.

Suggested replacement: Marketing Technology

A dancing MarTech sheep

Growth hack

Another pointless phrase used to describe something that businesses have always done – improved their performance to generate larger profits.

Growth hacking may sound new and sexy, but it’s just a rebranding of a basic business principle used by unicorn start ups to help them (and more importantly, their investors) feel special.

In this regard, 2016 is likely to see a lot of tears – from people blinded by terrible words, and investors who realise they have been scammed by hugely over-valued Silicon Valley start ups.

And when we all experience DotCom Bubble 2.0, growth hackers are going to look pretty silly. To the point they never use that phrase again.

Suggested replacement: Really? Just stop being a tit.

A Samuel L Jackson growth hack meme
Ultimately my 2016 predictions are unlikely to come true. In fact, I these phrases will probably continue to grow in popularity for the foreseeable future. But as the Season of Goodwill draws to a close, I still dream that we marketers could unite against these linguistic abominations. #CopywritersUnite?