What These 20 Marketing Buzzwords Really Mean


Lauren Durfy

There are so many buzzwords in marketing today. Think of them all: account-based marketing, social selling, influencer marketing, and more!

As a marketer, how do you know what each one means and why are they important? This blog lists 20 of the biggest marketing buzzwords and what they actually mean.

1. Big Data

Big data is a term that refers to a massive body of unstructured and structured data. This body of data is so large that it’s tough to process through traditional means, and therefore must be handled, stored, and managed using new tools.

2. Content is King

While this is technically three marketing buzzwords, it makes the list regardless. Used endlessly since its inception a few years back, this buzz phrase illustrates that, in the modern marketing environment, having a content strategy, producing great content, and ensuring what you develop is user-friendly is critical.

3. Clickbait

BuzzFeed, we’re looking at you! Clickbait refers to any headline or title that is purposefully outlandish or difficult for the purpose of creating clicks. While these headlines might look catchy, they generally promise more than they deliver. Clickbait has a bad reputation in the world of content marketing since the pieces behind the catchy titles typically offer little value.

4. Contextual Marketing

Continuing with the “C” theme, contextual marketing is marketing that’s designed to be aware of its surroundings, and fit well within a larger placement or strategy. A great example is a blog about Instagram strategies, featuring a CTA and link to a free ebook about taking better Instagram images. This is contextual marketing in all its glory.

5. Disruptor

Every innovative company wants to be a disruptor. And for good reason – disruptors are shaking the market up. They’re the ones out in the world releasing products that totally change an industry, or throw the status quo off-kilter. Think of the people behind Uber or Airbnb. These are great examples of disruptors.

6. Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is a buzzword you hear everywhere right now. Referring to the practice of marketing a product, good, or service via social media, social media marketing is a widely-used tactic that can offer some serious benefits.

Ideal for driving brand awareness, promoting loyalty with new and existing customers, and launching new items, social media marketing is a tool that virtually every company should be leveraging.

7. Gamification

Gamification is a process of integrating video game-like elements into software or service for the purpose of encouraging users to take desired actions. A popular tactic among software and technology platforms, gamification encourages users to continue a process or move through a funnel.

8. Growth Hacking

Growth hacking is a phrase that refers to bootstrap marketing strategies common among small businesses and lean startups. It’s the go-to for companies with small budgets and frequently means getting creative with free or inexpensive marketing strategies, including but not limited to SEO, viral marketing, social media, and content marketing. When used correctly, it can be amazingly effective.

9. Employee Advocacy

For years, brands have been trying to figure out how to get the word out about their companies. Ads? Paid reviews? Content marketing? All of those can be important tactics, but one reigns supreme among everything else: employee advocacy. The practice of having employees advocate on behalf of their organization. Employee advocacy via social media is becoming a go-to tactic for brand building and generating awareness.

10. TOFU/BOFU Marketing

Standing for Top Of Funnel/Bottom Of funnel Marketing, this marketing buzzword refers to the tactics marketers use to appeal to people at different phases of the buyer’s journey. When used correctly, these marketing approaches can provide a more personalized approach that is great for snagging customers and guiding them through their buyers’ journey.

15. Influencer Marketing

Hand-in-hand with employee advocacy, influencer marketing is a method of spreading the word about a company’s product, good, or service.

Influencers are people with industry-relevant social media or online followings, and brands can partner with them to get reviews, product breakdowns, and more. It’s a common tactic among B2C businesses and can be super effective when the influencer is chosen intelligently.

16. Attribution Tracking

Attribution is the science of determining where leads and purchases come from in an online marketing environment. Specifically, it assigns credit or allocates funds from a sale to marketing touchpoints that customers were exposed to during their purchasing journey. Understanding these touchpoints and knowing what works is essential for showing marketing’s ROI.

17. Account-Based Marketing

Account-based marketing is a B2B strategy that focuses on sales and marketing efforts and resources on targeted accounts within a defined market. To reach these accounts, account-based marketing deploys highly personalized campaigns that are designed to resonate with said accounts.

18. Sales and Marketing Alignment

Sales and marketing alignment refers to the practice of ensuring sales and marketing teams are on the same page. In most corporations, this is not the case, and special attention needs to be paid to ensuring the teams work together as effectively as possible.

19. Employer Branding

Employer branding is the process of articulating a company’s unique message, voice, and strategy and using it to draw ideal candidates toward a company.

20. Thought Leadership

Thought leaders are essentially influencers. They stand out as the most informed people within their industries and become go-to sources for high-quality information. They share new ideas, innovative information, and commentary that followers flock to.

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