We all know how frustrating it is when you write something and people come back to you saying they’re confused. The fact is, it’s impossible to get into someone’s head. You may ask yourself, how am I supposed to know what my audience knows? And that’s true. While it does take time to figure out what your audience is aware of, one thing for sure is that you don’t want to lose their interest. Avoiding jargon language in your marketing materials is one way to ensure you can get your message across.
Because AEC companies offer a wide range of services, it means you’re marketing to a wide range of people. From married couples to church pastors, a corporate board of directors or a government agency, the AEC must communicate ideas to them in effective ways. What are we suggesting here? Always, always, always, consider your audience. They are your clients, and it is their opinion that matters most.
Here’s an example of a sentence that has jargon and could easily be explained so that the layperson can understand it.
Our firm employs stochastic modeling to reduce potential error.
Now, obviously the potentially confusing word here is “stochastic,” which means the process in which developers perceive and prepare for random variables that could help predict the outcome of a project. Now, if a layperson is reading this, let’s say an owner of an organic Tex-Mex taco chain (hey, we’re in Austin . . .) because he’s looking for a construction company or industrial engineers to build an office headquarters for him, is he going to look that word up? Or, is he going to be confused, lose interest, and try to find another company? The chances for the latter are strong enough to make you avoid using jargon.
Here’s how that sentence should be written:
Our firm uses sophisticated modeling to predict potential risks so we save you time and money.
Now, isn’t that easier? The sentence still retains all of the meaning of the previous, but without the confusion. And on top of that, it communicates to the potential client that their best interest is in mind. The most important thing is that the reader always comes first—their thoughts, feelings, and actions. They will not be moved to make a decision on something they don’t understand.