Buzzword translations for people who aren’t marketers

Thu, 22/12/2016 - 10:04

My name is Zoe Pedersen and I have a problem with Buzzwords. It’s sadly true. I have yet to meet a Buzzword I don’t like. I slip them casually into conversations and I default to them as some of my go-to summary phrase words.

Perhaps my problem isn’t so much with Buzzwords but in my application of them. I’m a Client Service person and Client Service peeps, in particular, have to be careful of not becoming Buzzword Monsters.

We may like them, we understand them but many times, our clients don’t. To a client, spewing one buzzword after another can sound complex, confusing or it can come across as just plain bullsh*t. To quote one of our clients in a meeting recently: “buzzword translation please? What does that mean?”

Clients don’t want to be baffled by buzzwords. They want to know what you’re offering, why they are paying for it and why it’s important. Buzzword Bullsh*t is all well and good, so long as you can deconstruct that Buzzword and actually explain it in context to a client.

So, here are my current Top 5 favourite Buzzwords and how I see them playing a role for our clients, brands and businesses:


At Rogerwilco, we love this one because we are, at our core, Content Marketers. This particular buzzword popped up around 2012 when Content, as a marketing tool, was just starting to get some time in the limelight.

Now, every person, brand, agency and PR firm is trying to identify as a “storyteller”. But at the end of the day, it does ring true. Brands can’t be “salesmen” anymore because our target audiences have gotten too smart. They have access to too much information and they are largely self-informed.

So what pulls consumers in today is rarely the sales pitch. Coca-Cola is a prime example of exceptional storytelling. They rarely rely on their actual offering. Rather, they tell stories of love, friendship and happiness. Finding that unique emotional differentiator can allow a brand to weave a meaningful, relevant story into their narrative and that can not only pull consumers in, it can keep them over the longer term.

Google search results: “brand storytelling” = 19 100 000 results

Snackable Content

I do particularly love this one… and not just because whenever I hear it, I tend to immediately think about chocolate. This one serves as an attempt to explain short-form social media content. You can probably blame a social media agency somewhere for coining this buzzword.

In a world where the average human attention span is rapidly shrinking to match that of your friendly goldfish, producing short, bite-sized content with impact is the new challenge of content marketers.
The trick here is actually working out what snackable content is for your business or brand. Some audiences may be willing to sit down to a Big Mac-sized snack, while others only have time for a single square of chocolate.

Finding creative ways to get your message across in a way that impacts people is an exciting, ongoing challenge for today’s social marketers.

Google search results: “snackable content” = 143 000 results

Engagement Marketing

This one is still pretty new but I’m really hoping it catches on in the boardrooms. Brands, particularly the big guys, are still chasing after the Like as opposed to the Comment or the Share.

The Like is the nice vanity pat on the back. It’s that number that you can happily show a boss or CEO to prove your Social Media or online marketing budget is paying off. But what does it actually mean? Someone may “like” you but never actually see you again? What’s the point?

But if they comment? Better yet, if they share? Then that is true value. Actual engagement with a piece of content demonstrates an invested audience and that does mean something. It means someone is offering you their time. Someone has found your content meaningful enough to tell their friends about. And, at the end of the day, those are the ones who can make a difference to your brand far more than the casual “Liker”.

Go after the Sharers… not the Likers.

Google searches: “engagement marketing” = 159 000 000

Omni channel Retailing

Omni channel as a buzzword has been around a while but adding the word “retailing” to the end is the new bit. It’s the concept of bringing the traditional bricks and mortar and adding in an online experience to create one seamless retail journey for the customer. The challenge is in creating a simple, streamlined experience that can move across formats and devices without jarring or losing your shopper.

Instagram recently announced they will be launching online shopping as part of their user experience so that social fans and double-tappers can purchase products directly from a brand’s social feed. That’s highly dangerous to an Instagram addict like myself, but I love the idea of being able to experience a brand’s imagery, fan base AND shop for the thing I’m loving all from a single app.

Google searches: “Omni channel retailing” = 385 000


If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Same thing kind of applies to the world of media/advertising. You have paid for this piece of media but was it actually seen by real life people? As with anything, what is the point of creating something if no one actually views it?

Hubspot released some stats in 2014 that were pretty sobering:

  • There are now 198 million active ad block users around the world
  • About 50% of clicks on mobile ads are accidental
  • 54% of users don’t click on banner ads because they don’t trust them

Viewability may be a scary concept but it should be a catalyst to discussing the online content and media strategy for a brand. What ROI are you generating with your display ads or paid media? Are your effectively measuring your owned vs paid media split?

Google searches: “viewability” = 1 070 000

In summary

I still love my Buzzwords and that’s okay. One of our strengths as an agency is in demystifying the complex, keeping our fingers on the pulse and advising our clients on the best digital strategies for their business challenges. So we promise to keep the buzzword bullsh*t to a minimum! We’ll keep talking straight, simple sense and translating the buzzwords so our clients know and trust what we are doing.

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