Decrypting Marketing Buzzwords and Trends
Have you ever Googled ‘B2B marketing strategies’? The result is billions of marketing ‘gurus’ sharing facts and opinions through articles, images, infographics, videos, podcasts, and any other type of medium used to reach audiences. There is certainly some great information and insight out there, but there are twice as many sources that are outdated, unsubstantiated, opinionated, or, in some cases, just plain made-up. When it comes to marketing and sales, determining which strategies and initiatives are going to be effective and which are just a phase can be very difficult.
Let’s take a look at some of the common marketing buzzwords, trends, and strategies that are all over the web.
Brand Ambassador (BA): A brand ambassador, sometimes called a brand representative, is a walking, talking human “advertisement” that represents your business in a positive way, particularly through social media. They enthusiastically relay to your audience that your products and/or services are what they claim to be and behave in a way that represents your company’s values.
- Pro: As an adaptation of the traditional ‘spokesmodel’, a BA can build authority and reputations through practical applications of a service. Your CEO or other employees can be a great representation.
- Con: Great brand ambassadors are tough to find. To be a positive representative, the candidate must be consistent, genuine, creative, passionate, and well-spoken. The price tag associated with a professional BA may not be feasible for most small MSPs.
Thought Leadership: As you probably assumed, thought leaders are experts that are recognized by their industry as an experienced, innovative, and influential source of information and guidance, and they profit from that expert-status.
- Pro: True thought-leaders are able to engage their audience and inspire the industry. Once you’ve been accepted as THE authority on an industry,you’ll see all aspects of sales and marketing benefit from your status.
- Con: Proclaiming yourself as a thought leader doesn’t actually make you one. Getting out and building your reputation as a leader takes a lot of time, effort and real experience. Too often a so-called ‘thought leader’ is devoured by both their audience and peers.
Newsjacking: Using current events that have gone viral to get your ideas, services or products attention is called ‘newsjacking’. By piggy-backing a story that everyone is talking about, you can use their momentum to further your cause. This is especially popular on social networking sites.
- Pro: Like with most marketing initiatives, this can be very successful with tasteful and appropriate news or trends.
- Con: Everyone has a different sense of humor. Something that you may find to be acceptable can be offensive to your target audience. Something that started out innocently enough may snowball into a full-out disaster.
H2H Marketing: Human-to-Human (H2H) marketing is an old concept that took on a whole new level with the introduction of digital marketing. It refers to adding a ‘human element’ to your marketing. Mobile computing means that the majority of people are never without technology and it becomes important to remind them that there is actually a human behind the tweet, blog, podcast, etc. For B2B marketing, H2H is using a relatable compelling story to demonstrate that you and your team understand how prospects feel and what they need.
- Pro: Statistically speaking, by sharing a story with your audience, you are much more likely to be remembered by them. When it comes time to make a buying decision, H2H marketing is often a deciding factor.
- Con: SMB decision makers are often hardworking individuals who will be immediately repelled by any degree of insincerity. Stories that are over-the-top or embellished will have the opposite effect and may even result in someone calling you out in a very embarrassing, public way.
Click Fraud: Click fraud is a black-hat marketing tactic that involves individuals or automated programs that are not interested in a product or service clicking on paid ads with the purpose of using the entire budget for that ad. Each of your clicks costs your competitors money. Once their ad’s budget has been used, it will no longer appear when those terms are searched for a set duration of time, usually about 24 hours.
- Pro: None.
- Con: Google has a ‘click quality’ department that tries to identify fraudulent activity on paid ads. It isn’t always foolproof. It’s difficult to know which clicks are genuine and which aren’t. Bottom line, avoid employing black-hat tactics and be vigilant about protecting your paid ads. You know what they say about karma...
Growth Hacking: Growth Hacking is generally applied to start-up companies who find new and innovative ways to grow their fledgling list of prospects from the ground up. The most popular methods of growth hacking are social networking, search engine optimization, and content marketing. Growth hackers ask themselves “How can I get my clients and prospects for my business?”
- Pro: Growth hacking tends to result in a higher quality prospecting base than other methods, like purchasing a contact list. Your target will be aware of your expertise
- Cons: It is true that you don’t have to have a marketing background to successfully employ growth hacking, but it does take work. “If you build it, he will come.” doesn’t apply to growth hacking.
While, there are many more buzzwords to add, this list is a start. When it comes to marketing, there is no magic formula, no marketing tactic that will turn your business into a Fortune 500 company overnight. Marketing success comes from a combination of work, innovation, and of course, the occasional buzzword.
Are there any marketing buzzwords or trends that you’d like decoded for you? Let us know! Check back with us in the future when we decrypt more of marketing’s latest fads.