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Essential Buzzwords and Jargon for the Modern Marketer

August 12, 2020
Written by James Kenneth Koh

It’s funny when I see kids and teenagers today. I often think to myself how strange it must be to have never used a real camera, where you had to wind the film along and wait a few days before you even got a chance to see your precious 24 or 36 photos. A time when there was no such thing as a selfie, or the ability to delete a picture if you didn’t like it before taking another one. Or even a real telephone. One where you physically dialled the numbers. A time when you had to actually know the number of the person you were calling. A time when the phone was a phone – not a camera, calculator or a talking street directory.

I meet with a lot of leaders in the industry and interview loads of candidates in advertising, marketing, media, and sometimes even recruitment and when I tell them that I started out in the game at a time when the internet didn’t exist yet, I have to admit I get some very strange looks.

I often think back to those early days. And just like the Gen Ys and Zs who probably can’t imagine a world without being able to access information about literally anything at all from the smartphone in their pocket, there’s no way I could have imagined what my world would become or what jobs I would one day end up working on for my clients.

My world was traditional marketing, advertising, media, and PR. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought my world would collide with data science (I didn’t even know what that was!), cyber security, or digital technology, artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual or augmented reality! Have I suddenly been transported into a parallel universe where I was expected to become a science fiction recruiter?

I am writing this post with one objective in mind. To start a conversation.

If you’re an advertising, marketing, communications, PR, or media veteran (wear that badge with pride… I do!), how have you seen your industry change throughout your career? If you’re a hiring manager, what are the ‘in’ or trendy positions you are looking to fill today? Or if you can’t remember working in a world without data analytics, ecommerce, APIs or Salesforce and Hubspot integrations, what do you see as the next stage in the evolution of your career? What jobs do you see coming up in the future?

To be honest, the idea for this post initially came to me when I thought how cool it would be to have a live glossary of all the trendy buzzwords and marketing jargon, just so that I could stay up to date with all my clients and candidates. I may still work on that. In fact you might even contribute to it by joining the conversation.

But for now, here – in no particular order – is a handful of buzzwords and jargon for the modern marketer. I’d love for you to add to it, so feel free to reply or comment below so we can build a live glossary together!

Performance Marketing: Performance marketing is a comprehensive term for online marketing and advertising programs, where advertisers pay only when a specific action occurs. These actions can include a generated lead, a sale, a click, and more.

Martech: Otherwise known as Marketing Technology, is the term for the software and tech tools marketers leverage to plan, execute and measure marketing campaigns.

Adtech: Advertising Technology (Adtech) is defined as a range of software and tools that brands and agencies use to strategise, set up, and manage their digital advertising activities.

Lifecycle Marketing: This is the process of providing your audience with the kinds of communications and experiences they need, want, or like as they move from prospects to customers then, ideally, to advocates.

Experiential Marketing: Experiential marketing is a marketing technique that creates experiences between brands and consumers. Experiential campaigns use an activation (for example product sampling, immersive experiences, stunts, events, etc.) to bring brands to life by interacting directly with the target audience.

Loyalty Marketing: Loyalty marketing is an approach to marketing, based on strategic management, in which a company focuses on growing and retaining existing customers through incentives.

Design Thinking: Design Thinking is a process for creative problem solving. It has a human-centered core and encourages organizations to focus on the people they’re creating for, which leads to better products, services, and internal processes. You might want to check out Ideo.

Customer Experience: The best way to define customer experience is the impression you leave with your customer, resulting in how they think of your brand, across every stage of the customer journey.

Content Marketing: This is a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.

Data Science: Data science can help marketers gather, aggregate, and synthesise data on their products for several different demographics. Based on the insights provided by this data, they can develop products and create highly targeted marketing campaigns for their intended demographic.

Marketing analytics: Marketing analytics is the practice of measuring, managing and analyzing marketing performance to maximise its effectiveness and optimise return on investment (ROI). Understanding marketing analytics allows marketers to be more efficient at their jobs and minimise wasted web marketing dollars.

Cybersecurity: Cyber Security is crucial for marketers. Knowing what the threats are, what kind of damage they can do, and how to overcome them is essential for succeeding in business, so marketers should take special care to bring themselves up-to-speed on the latest cyber security trends and information.

Machine learning: Machine learning is the study of computer algorithms that improve automatically through experience and is reshaping marketing. Machine learning is a branch of artificial intelligence (AI) that automates model building for data analysis. The concept behind machine learning is that a computer can learn from the data it analyses by identifying patterns. Ultimately, this technology can make decisions without humans.

Virtual Reality: Virtual reality (VR) is a simulated experience that can be similar to or completely different from the real world. Applications of virtual reality can include entertainment (i.e. video games). Virtual reality marketing enables brand owners to place their brand image closer to the eyes of consumers. VR provides values through new business models and offers users an immersive experience that allows them to connect with a product in a new way.

Augmented Reality: Augmented reality (AR) is an emerging trend in marketing and sales strategies. It allows brands to give customers unique experiences simply by tapping into their mobile devices. AR is more than just a novelty or a new frontier in gaming. It’s an interactive, enhanced experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real world are altered with computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities.

Like I said, I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to share more buzzwords so we can keep this glossary as up to date as possible.

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