14 Popular Marketing Buzzwords Explained

Does it ever seem like marketers are slinging buzzwords around with no real idea of what they mean? The digital age has provided some low-hanging fruit when it comes to marketing jargon. Words like data visualization, curation, and customer-centric have become game changing buzzwords leveraged by marketers to improve their credibility and relevance.

If you noticed that almost every sentence in the paragraph above is sprinkled with buzzwords, you can see why they’ve received a certain amount of criticism. Although outwardly buzzwords convey industry knowledge, they can often lack any real substance. Despite this, it’s still useful to understand what they mean.

If you’re having a hard time deciphering all of the marketing jargon being thrown around these days, check out the list of popular buzzwords and their definitions below to get up to speed:

1. Big Data – a hyped-up term with several disagreed-upon definitions. It’s commonly used to describe the process of making informed business decisions using the trail of data points that consumers leave behind each day. The “big” here merely refers to the size of the datasets, which can be unwieldy to work with.

2. Closed-loop Reporting – a process that allows you to attribute revenue to its original source by tracking leads and the marketing initiatives that created them. Get it? You’re ‘closing the loop’ between marketing expenses and revenue generated!

3. The Cloud – the new age of the internet, where applications and services are hosted on the web instead of on your computer. The cloud allows us to access any of these services from any device with internet access. Say goodbye to full hard drives and tedious data transfers from computer to computer.

4. Content Curation – collecting existing content, such as articles, tweets, and videos, and re-sharing them from your site while crediting the original source. This can be a useful strategy for marketing departments that do not always have the time to produce original content.

5. Customer-Centric – focusing on the customer experience rather than the bottom line. Being customer-centric isn’t quite the same thing as the age-old mindset of “the customer is always right,” but it is about understanding the customer and being responsible for meeting their needs.

6. Data Visualization – the process of taking otherwise uninteresting data and converting it to a more visual form. Infographics are easily the most prolific form of this content. These visualizations allow audiences to see patterns and quickly consume large amounts of data.

7. Earned Media – positive customer recognition and interest obtained through promotions other than paid advertising. Content marketing and social media are often drivers of earned media. It’s also called ‘free media’ due to the low financial investment required.

8. Game Changer – a person, software, idea, etc, that radically changes how a situation or industry develops. However, the word has become so overused that it can also just refer to a pretty good idea, product, or person.

9. Gamification – creating engagement and solving problems using goal-setting, real-time feedback, transparency, teams, competition, and other techniques taken from game design. In other words, it’s taking what we’ve learned from games and applying it to real life situations. Sounds kind of fun, right?

10. KPI (key performance indicators) – industry jargon for the sets of values that you measure performance against, like click-throughs or impressions. KPIs help you define and measure your goals.

11. Low-hanging Fruit – the easiest to achieve and most obvious opportunities, often used in the context of sales. Once you’ve tackled the low-hanging fruit, get ready to do some climbing.

12. Multi-channel Push – distributing content to consumers through several different channels instead of just one. At the risk of using a word to define a word, you’re really just pushing content through multiple channels. Pretty simple!

13. Neuromarketing – a new field of marketing that attempts to study consumers’ brain patterns and responses to advertisements and products. Marketing, meet science.

14. Turnkey Solution – a system or software that is immediately ready to use after implementation. Just flip the switch and you’re ready to go!

There are probably more than 50 buzzwords on the tip of any marketers’ tongue right now, but these are a few that come up consistently. If you have any more that you think deserve to be on this list, leave a comment below!