The 10 Most ANNOYING Marketing Buzzwords

Calling all marketers! Get ready to disrupt (yup, that’s one of them) your digestive tract with marketing clichés that will make you puke. These marketing buzz terms are polluting creative minds everywhere – and there might even be scientific evidence linking these cringe-worthy catchphrases to Millennials’ intense feelings of “I don’t want a desk job”. It’s certainly possible. However, for everyone else, can we make a pact?

As fellow marketers and creative professionals, let’s kindly retire (or extinguish) these irritating phrases so we can all evolve past this “noise” cluttering our industry. Are you with me?!

1. Disruption

First, let’s be clear. “Disruption” is really more of a business term. It describes a market condition that takes place when an existing market collapses and a new one emerges. It’s actually very similar to “Disruptive Innovation” which happens when a new market comes to fruition entirely. Uber might be a great example of both – depending on how you look at it.

However, when this “Wall Street” phrase ended up leaking all over Madison Avenue, “disruption” and “disruptive” became overly used, watered down terms that essentially started to mean nothing.

Certainly “Creative Disruption”, might have a place, as it refers to exposing business model flaws and promoting big changes in consumer behaviour (in the creative sense). However, I can’t help but wonder whether some Agency Account Director just throws out “disruptive” terms just to win some big account. I mean, come on. Disrupt what? Isn’t it our job as marketers to change consumer habits and get noticed?

2. Growth hacking

Okay, I realize that “hacking” is supposed to mean “coding” in this sense (not cutting down), but this phrase sure does sound like an oxymoron to me!

Popularized by Sean Ellis and other techies in the early 2000s, the term was meant to describe non-traditional ways to achieve growth through experimental marketing strategies and emerging technologies. READ: this is also a glorified way of describing underpaid “bootstrappers” (oh, but with equity of course!) trying to unlock the key to “crowd culture” (yawn).

Perhaps growth-hacking was a relevant, meaningful term 15 years ago, but not today. Most marketers are expected to (magically) achieve growth with technological brilliance and creativity because it’s our job. Sound like a lot of pressure? Well, welcome to marketing.

3. SoLoMo

Oh no-no. If your ears have not been scarred yet by this irritating term (in what seems like “slow-mo”), it means “Social-Local-Mobile” as if this is some genius concept or secret to being relevant. So, please, don’t use this catch-phrase. Ever.

4. Actionable Insights

Actionable? As opposed to “Well, we learned something today, and we’re not going to do anything about it”.

I mean, am I missing something? Where does one look for “actionable insights”? Is this something people need in addition to regular insights? For example, if I’m comparing landing page performance in The Marketing Manager, and I see one campaign outperforming the other, I think I know what action to take. Do you?

5. Seamless Integration

If you work in the tech sector, I bet you are emphatically nodding your head “yes”. This godawful term is about as common and meaningless as your vendor saying “we have an API” when asked “does your product do (xyz)?”.

In fact, let’s just throw in some puzzle pieces to truly visually convey (because we’re idiots) that our software seamlessly integrates (puke) with boredom and clichés. After all, we need to “scream” that each piece of our ho-hum app actually functions when interfacing with some other random technology.

And while this style of tech marketing seems awfully common (more like ubiquitous), to me, it feels rather ironic. After all, I’m pretty sure that puzzle pieces have jagged, noticeable edges. Don’t they?

Besides, there is no such thing as “seamless” integration. It takes work and maintenance for two tools to “talk” to one another – and you (the consumer) get to pay for it. There you have it.

6. Turn-key (and everything “key” in general)

Let’s face it. If someone offers you a “turn-key”, “off the shelf” solution, does it make you open your wallet? Personally, it makes me turn into a glazed-over zombie. Why? Because even if something is difficult, a brand will either never admit it or up-sell you the “turn-key” solution (rigor mortis setting in).

Now of course, I understand that this term was once synonymous with “effortless”. Nevertheless, it has since evolved into a useless adjective that lazy marketers use to describe some blah-blah-blah with blah-blah-blah. That being said, I propose we lock up this useless adjective (pun intended).

In fact, as long as we are stuck on cliché doorway analogies, can we please also stop saying [anything]gate to describe a conspiracy theory? Maybe I’m being unreasonable, but I would love it if people could coin something new. After all, the key (cringe) to creative marketing is to explain concepts meaningfully. That’s why “turn-key” is no longer descriptive; tell me WHY something is so effortless – in an engaging, concise way. Does this sound difficult? Well it is. That’s why creative people have jobs.

7. Content Is King

Yawn. “Content is king” and “(whatever) is queen” sounds like a big, gay party – but everyone’s really bored with it.

It’s no mystery. Live sports and fan favorites like “The Walking Dead” keep Cable television in business. After all, those Cable bills are expensive! Perhaps that’s why this cringe-worthy, irritating phrase simply won’t die; decision-makers in the media universe are ignoring the fact that modern consumers are stingy with their time. How else can we explain this endless sea of boring content?

Maybe I’m wrong, but here is my understanding of modern consumers (who all have built-in A.D.D)

AWESOME content = I will only tolerate ads if they cannot be blocked. And if I really hate ads, I will PAY to have them blocked – so please stop forcing these painful pre-rolls and what feels like 10-minute commercial blocks on me.

BORING content = I hate you for wasting my time – also known as “get out of my in-box” syndrome while emphatically clicking “spam”.

Assuming that the media gods disagree with me, I believe this painful phrase will continue to exist.

8. Advertainment

Speaking of “content is crap”, marketers make up stupid terms like “advertainment” to seem like they’re solving some really big cultural problem – but they’re not.

“Advertainment” is essentially just an annoying way to explain “branded content”, product placement or flat-up fantastic marketing in disguise. I understand the concept, but here’s the problem: if you call your own work “advertainment”, you sound like a pompous fop.

Don’t get me wrong – some marketers have managed to make advertising very entertaining, including Red Bull with their adrenaline junkie videos, and AMC with their Walking Dead and Mad Men apps (also known as “gamification” – which theoretically could make this list).

Nevertheless, does “advertainment” really solve a problem? I guess so, but can we please not call it that?

In all seriousness though, if you are a marketer that somehow figured out how to move product without annoying people, congrats. This is an achievement. I’m serious.

9. Ecosystem (to describe everything)

Are we a bunch of ants stuck in a science class diorama demonstrating seamless integration (see term #5 above)? Silicon Valley seems to think so.

We hear this word a lot, especially when some “thought leader” (yawn, could also make this list) is ill-prepared to answer a tough question in a meeting.

“Well you see [insert CEO name here], our next step towards changing consumer behavior patterns is to move the social conversation to the Internet-of-Things ecosystem,” said the slightly hungover marketing executive recovering from last night’s vendor bender.

Look. We’ve all been there, but the use of the word “ecosystem” is starting to feel out of control. Somehow, everything can arguably be an ecosystem, including that Chia Pet they sell in Walmart. Do you see what I mean? Germination. Photosynthesis. Whatever. And it all brings me back to where I started: my seventh-grade science class.

10. Snackable Content

Doesn’t this phrase make you want to vomit? Personally, I find it nauseating, but here’s some “food-for-thought”: the term “content consumption” is actually the mothership concept that spawned this ugly-duckling buzz term. All it means is that time-starved consumers prefer concise headlines, bullet points, easy-to-read lists (unlike mine), and pretty much the opposite of heavy, homogenous-looking text. Makes sense.

Nonetheless, isn’t it amazing how unappetizing this trite phrase sounds? I actually almost puked (in a good way) when Grant Higginson of Welby Consulting tweeted it to us during our “Tweet the most annoying marketing buzzword to win a drone” contest. Needless to say, he won.

Digital Marketing: Basic Strategies Every Beginner Must Know

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing refers to the usage of online advertising tools to project products and services to potential customers. Digital Marketing has become a key component of the marketing strategy of most companies today, because as much as a third of the world’s population now spends time online.

What are the benefits?

Digital marketing provides advantages that were previously unprecedented. With over 2 billion people having an active online presence, online marketing provides an incredible outreach. Also, most social platforms provide their services for free, making them very cost-effective. People also tend to prefer an online marketing approach because of its personal touch and interactive nature. With these features, online advertising provides opportunities that traditional marketing hardly can; and even if it could, it would be a financial and logistical nightmare.

Now that we have established the importance of digital marketing, here are the basic strategies one must apply to get maximum results:

1. Know your audience: It is important that you discern exactly what your brand is, what it stands for, and which people make up your target demographic. This knowledge will enable you select the most appropriate digital platforms for your brand, as well as use available online tools to target customers that will most likely lead to sales conversions.

2. Have a comprehensive strategy: This involves you defining specific goals your brand intends to achieve with online advertising. This allows you to leverage on particular strengths of relevant e-marketing platforms and also use analytical tools such as Google Analytics ton track and manage progress and goal achievement.

3. Have Optimized and Integrated accounts across all relevant platforms: It is not just enough to have accounts across several online marketing platforms; you must also make sure that they are functioning to their fullest capability. This includes rich media for all your social media accounts (i.e. quality photos and videos) and regular interaction with your customers; as well as a fast and aesthetically pleasing website with enough backlinks and very active SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Most e-marketing platforms also provide facilities for cross-platform integration, enabling you to seamlessly synchronize your brand’s online presence; and also make it easier for potential customers to locate your brand across different platforms.

4. Have a consistent voice: Carve out a particular niche for yourself which is relevant to your brand, and remain consistent to it throughout all your online activity. Saying something today and something else tomorrow could easily confuse potential customers and chase them away.

5. Provide quality content: With regards to your internet marketing content, go with the acronym QERO, which stands for Quality, Engaging, Regular and Original. If your online content consistently possesses these qualities, you can be sure of comfortably winning over the hearts of several customers.

6. Use Smart Tools: There are a plethora of online marketing platforms, and handling each one separately could be cumbersome. Instead, make your work easier and smarter by using the variety of smart tools available. Tools like Buffer, Everypost and Hootsuite enable you handle several social media accounts at once, MailChimp is great for e-mail marketing, and Adroll helps you re-market to customers who are already loyal.

7. Combine with Traditional Marketing: In as much as digital marketing has immense potential, traditional marketing should not be jettisoned just yet. In fact, the best results are achieved when digital and traditional marketing strategies are combined. So by all means have a robust online presence, but also complement that with TV and Radio ads, as well as the timeless one-on-one customer relationship.

Digital marketing has developed rapidly over the past few years, and it promises to be a major player in the marketing industry for years to come. Hence, the sooner you get acquainted with it, the better; and the more you save yourself the unnecessary expense of outsourcing your online advertising to a digital marketing agency.

What Is Digital Marketing?

When we use the word “Digital Marketing”, we are actually referring to online marketing efforts from a brand.

Therefore, if you are asking what is Digital Marketing (DM), here is your answer:

This is a practice in Business through which advertising messages are delivered through online channels such as websites, mobile apps, search engines, social media and emails. It helps a brand generate interest in their products among their consumers.

Though DM started gaining popularity in the year 2000. In the last couple of years it has revolutionised marketing communication.

In a real sense:

It is brand messaging (Advertisements) delivered through electronic channels such as Television, Radio, Internet etc. Electronic channels generate, store and transmit data in the series of the number 0 or 1.

Therefore,

It can happen both Online and Offline.

If the above is true, then

It existed ever since Guglielmo Marconi sent first wireless signals in 1896.

Isn’t that crazy!

However, the simple definition of DM does not say enough about the practice of digital marketing in today’s world.

This meaning is useless as technology is just the enabler of digital marketing. So let us understand what exactly digital marketing is?

What is Digital Marketing in Today’s Context?

In today’s context:

It is a set of interactive marketing promotion activities which are done online. These activities help an individual or organization reach its target audience and achieve its business & financial objectives.

Therefore when we say digital marketing, we are essentially referring to Online Digital Marketing.

The other form of DM is offline digital marketing, which happens on other electronic devices such as Radio or Television.

I know you are not here to read about radio or TV, so I will spare you (though I have invested millions of dollars on Offline marketing during my career).

Going forward in this article when I say “DM”, I am actually referring to “Online Digital marketing”, as that is what you intend to read here, right?

  1. It is a set of marketing activities and not just one activity.
  2. It is Interactive and not just one way. It enables two-way communication and is much more engaging compared to the other marketing methods. Interactivity is what distinguishes it from advertising on Television, which is also electronic but not interactive.
  3. It happens online. What it essentially means is that the activity is carried out on the Internet or telecom networks. Though it happens online, it can empower both the virtual or offline world. An example of DM in the virtual or online world is email marketing or social media marketing or search engine marketing. In the colloquial sense when we say digital marketing we refer to virtual or online marketing only. An example of this in the offline world is the use of tablets to showcase product offerings at a retail store.
  4. It helps an individual or organization. It is useful not only for large companies but also for individuals as well, unlike TV or newspaper advertising. One can take advantage of digital advertising on small budgets as well.
  5. It helps reach and engage the target audience. It is focused, and one can use multiple targeting methods to reach their audience.
  6. It helps achieve business and financial objectives. It is measurable & ROI driven. It helps achieve business & financial goals.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you need any further info!