Marketers have been urged to avoid industry jargon when they are reporting their effectiveness to the board.

According to a report by the IPA, in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and Telefónica, marketers often use specialist terminology when discussing their results with board members.

However, the report stated that many of the brand health and customer metrics that marketers use often do not convey a tangible commercial benefit.

Indeed, one finance director told researchers that he regards ‘brand equity’ as a soft term that does not carry much weight ‘from a finance point of view.’

As a result, marketers are being encouraged to reconsider how they communicate their effectiveness and the language they use when demonstrating results.

This could in turn help financial decision-makers better understand the worth of their marketing department and allocate more funds to this area.

The report highlighted a number of changes in terminology that have already had a greater resonance across businesses.

For instance, non-working media has been reframed as asset creation, while management information has been referred to as business intelligence.

Similarly, ‘brand halo effect’ has been rechristened as ‘value/margin protection’ and soft metrics is being termed levers to unlock future growth.

Longer-term spend, meanwhile, is being referred to as margin defence/share protection.

Janet Hull, Director of Marketing Strategy at IPA, commented: “The needs of brands and the changes in the communications landscape have accelerated the need to not only showcase the best in effectiveness, but to help develop a framework and capability to improve the process and behaviours to deliver effective marketing investment.”

Marketing’s jargon is undermining its credibility with finance teams CampaignLive