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Ann Mares column: Marketing industry on buzz word treadmill

7:01 PM, Apr. 28, 2013  |  Comments
Ann Mares
Ann Mares
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In an industry of creative thinkers and strategic minds, it's no wonder that marketing professionals are constantly inventing ways to explain new (and sometimes not so new) ideas, concepts and tactics. Since these buzzwords often become part of a marketer's vernacular, you may hear them tossed around during a marketing meeting, and, ultimately, end up lost in translation.

As marketers, it's our job to not only communicate your brand to your customers, but communicate clearly with you, our client. To help keep everyone on the same page, here's a list of marketing buzzwords to pin to your bulletin board:

Big Data: This refers to the vast amount of data that is able to be tracked at any given moment. Big Data can help companies uncover trends, provide insights and lead to faster innovation. It can come through various interactions, whether people-to-people, people-to-machine or machine-to-machine. Due its volume, variety and velocity, Big Data is hard to capture, store, organize and analyze, so businesses are spending big bucks to figure out how use it efficiently and effectively.

The F-Factor: It's all about friends, fans and followers. In the age of social media, consumers are increasingly relying on online networks to discover, discuss and decide what products to buy and which services to render based on referrals from sources they trust. So marketers are not only interested in their target customer, but that customer's social influencers as well. The use of Big Data (see above) can help marketers figure out the best way to engage these audiences.

SoLoMo: Think Branjelina, advertorial or even brunch. SoLoMo is another word mashup, this time of social, local and mobile. It represents the growing trend of using mobile platforms to target consumers socially with local content or promotions. Foursquare - a location-based social networking site where smartphone users "check in" at venues and receive special offers from participating businesses - is one example. Marketers like SoLoMo because it connects consumers with their F-Factor networks (see above).

Gamification: This doesn't refer to video or computer games per se, but rather using techniques from game design to engage users and solve problems. Brands are finding a healthy dose of competition can lead to stronger and faster engagement with consumers. The social competition GetGlue, for example, gives television viewers points or badges for "checking in" while watching TV - in other words, they are rewarded for completing a real-world activity. The spread of gamification can somewhat be credited back to the SoLoMo movement (see above).

Second Screen: Also referred to as a "companion device," second screens are electronic devices (i.e. tablet or smartphones) that are used when watching TV. Second-screen apps - like GetGlue (see above) and even Twitter -create an interactive experience with the TV content and can provide an additional opportunity for advertising or ad placement. A recent study found 87 percent of U.S. entertainment consumers are using at least one second-screen device while watching TV (source: The NPD Group, April 9). Marketers can't ignore this proliferation of second-screen usage.

Since I'm limited to space in this column, there's no way I can share all of the latest marketing buzzwords with you. But now, at least you have a better idea of what may become a real "game changer" in your own marketing.

Other buzzwords leaving you buzzing? Share them with me at twitter.com/anniemares.

- Annie Mares is an account manager with Coalesce Marketing in Grand Chute. She can be reached at 920-380-4444 or annie@coalescemarketing.com.

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