Global Marketing
Management Consultants
Global Marketing
Management Consultants
Global Marketing
Management Consultants

The top 10 most abused marketing buzzwords this year

Marketing Buzzwords

This post is by Anton Buchner, a senior consultant with TrinityP3. Anton is a lateral and innovative thinker with a passion for refocusing business teams and strategies; creating visionary, data driven communication plans; and making sense of a more complex digital marketing environment.

Which of these 10 marketing buzzwords are you hearing people over use?

1. Big data

Has the person who keeps dropping these golden oldies into conversation found a data insight that has actually delivered profit growth?

2. IoT (internet of things)

Has the person talking about this actually embedded a sensor into an object and tested it him/herself?

3. Digital disruption

Well it sounds so 90s now, but has the person who keeps referring to digital disruption actually disrupted their business for the better? And how have they measured the success?

4. Content marketing

So last year, but has the person who keeps talking about CM actually determined which specific content and content journeys work best for specific customer behaviours?

5. Storytelling

Once upon a time, in 1895, there was a company talking to farmers about stalk cutters, furrows, disk plows and more, and people nowadays believe it’s something new.

6. Single customer view

“Next year our data transformation project will be complete and we’ll have a single customer view” Hmmmmmm really?

7. Programmatic

Does the person espousing programmatic conversation know the difference between quality conversion, lifetime value, and low cost media?

8. The Bachelor and The Bachelorette

(Oops couldn’t resist sneaking them in – sorry. Can you believe almost 1.5m watched the Bachelor finale decision?)

9. Hyperlocal

I’m so Uber the conversation about localized marketing. Then again, our local small businesses aren’t.

10. Wearable tech

Spot the person not wearing a wearable and you’ll probably have a more insightful conversation at a heart rate of around 70 beats per minute (bpm). Otherwise you might be in danger of doing 100bpm+ 


Is it me? Or are we turning into a society that gets sick of things really easily?

I blame the software companies. They spawned versioning. Although I do remember learning the concept of built-in obsolescence in the 80s, so I guess over the decades, we’re spiraling towards shorter and shorter attention spans and an ever-decreasing level of interest in things.

I don’t have a problem with the above buzzwords. It’s more the abuse of the terms that I’d like to tackle.

Impressive yet confused

Many marketers that we work with tend to be surrounded by people that use these terms to sound impressive, but haven’t actually clarified specifically what they mean.

Nor have they helped marketers actually create collaborative relationships, processes or strategic pathways to deliver on them.

Introducing the maturity curve

Maturity Curve

The maturity curve should be applied to any transformation. It’s a simple concept that performance can improve in a series of phases over time, until reaching a measurable limit.

So take your time and don’t get sick of things so easily

Apply this thinking to any of the buzzword concepts listed above and you’ll start to develop a pathway to success.

It will allow you to analyse resources, structures, processes, and internal and external relationships in order to implement change, rather than merely talk about it.

I worked with a high profile marketing team recently and showed them how this thinking would help their business understand where they stood, and where they could realistically evolve to. Moving them from overhyped promises to a concrete action plan.

To coin an old ad, “it won’t happen over night, but it will happen”. 

Before you get bored and click off this post (c’mon I thought I was getting you to change your ways), I’d like to pose one simple question about the word that you are most sick of hearing.

The question is: Why?

Please add the one buzzword, from the list of 10 at the beginning of this post, in the comment section below and tell me why it bugs you so much.

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    Anton is one of Australian's leading customer engagement consultants. With an eye for discovering greater marketing value and a love for listening to what customers are really saying about a brand. Anton has helped take global and local businesses including Microsoft, Nestlé, P&G, Gloria Jean's, Foxtel and American Express amongst others to the next level. Check out Anton's full bio here

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