How to Talk Like a Silicon Valley Marketer (Part 1 in a Series)

Many companies, industries, and regions have their own business vernacular – turns of phrases that you won’t hear anywhere else.

High technology is no exception. As someone who’s worked in Silicon Valley marketing circles for more than 20 years (gulp), I thought it might be amusing (and anthropologically responsible) to document some of the terminology heard in client meetings over the last two decades.

If these sound familiar, congratulations: you already speak the language. If you’re just starting out, feel free to drop one of these into conversation at the next marcom staff meeting. If you want to add to the list, add a comment to this post or drop me a line. I’ll post my favorites and compile them as a list on this blog, location TBD.

Now, repeat after me:

“Spray and pray”

An ill-conceived campaign targeted to a broad audience in the hope that someone, anyone will respond. (“At my last company, they had no idea who their audience was. Every campaign was just spray and pray.”)

“Stock the trout pond”

Generate leads that will only become sales many months later. (“We have no hope of closing business by the end of the year, so this is really about stocking the trout pond.”)

“Boil the ocean” (see also: Spray and pray)

A campaign designed to reach as large an audience as possible with the goal of engaging with the very small subset that would actually need the product. (“A vertical campaign is the only thing that makes sense. Otherwise we’re just boiling the ocean.”)

Share your favorite Silicon Valley marketing metaphor. Just add a comment to this post or send me an e-mail.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *