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The Ultimate List of Business Buzzwords and Their True Definitions

You know when you're having a conversation with someone, and they begin to blurt out a bunch of crazy, jargon-like words and phrases at you as if you're supposed to know what they mean?

Funny story, because this just happened to my boss when listening to a voicemail from our internet service provider. The amount of terms that went over our head made the entire voicemail useless.

Honestly, this probably happens more often than not.

When starting a job, working with clients, or in other business settings, you're sure to hear at least one "buzzword," and they'll buzz in your head. (I had to make one joke about it, ok?)

 

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What Are Buzzwords?

Buzzwords are terms and phrases that sound impressive, cool, or even exciting, but not everyone always understands the definition of them.

Buzzwords can either be cringe-worthy, overused, or irrelevant, or they can be valuable and have merit. Ultimately, there are a lot of buzzwords in the business world – especially in marketing, sales, and service.

Why Is Understanding Buzzwords Important?

Like it or not, we’ve all thrown out a buzzword here and there when talking to a friend, coworker, or boss. Corporate speak can be both a valuable skill and something that causes your colleagues to roll their eyes, or even LOL.

Business buzzwords, for good or ill, are a part of corporate life. While some buzzwords are useful at certain times, for example when marketing or selling, others are fillers or just lazy language.

All that being said, we've compiled the ultimate list of business buzzwords relating to marketing, sales, service, and even social media and millennial marketing. Take notes!

List of Marketing Buzzwords

marketing buzzwords to know

The marketing world is stuffed with buzzwords, both good and bad. Here are some top marketing buzzwords you should know.

Advertainment

This is a marketing term that means advertising that doubles as entertainment. Advertainment is often a blurring of the line between a product promotion and media entertainment.

Remember Red Bull's Stratos Space Jump? That was advertainment.

Big Data

The massive collection of structured and unstructured data that is often difficult to process through traditional means. Data collected from mobile, web browsing, voice data, etc.

Content Is King

Coined by Bill Gates himself, this catchphrase has been thrown around in almost every marketing blog out there.

Basically, the phrase refers to the idea that it's important to have a content strategy and publish quality content for your audience in order to succeed in digital marketing.

Customer Journey

Customer-Journey-map-graphic-1

A documented list of experiences that a customer will go through when interacting with a company. To better understand the customer journey of your own customers, you might wish to develop a customer journey map.

Deep Dive

Otherwise known as brainstorming, this one is used by professionals as in “We're going for a deep dive on the Parson's account.”

Growth Hacking

Refers to bootstrap marketing strategies utilized by businesses with small budgets, startups, and new businesses. Growth hacking consists of free marketing methods like blogging, social media, SEO, and content marketing.

Hyperlocal

Hyperlocal search uses GPS data to geographically target audiences and provide location based advertising.

Hyperlocal SEO is optimizing your online content to reflect your location using street address, neighborhood information, proximity to local landmarks, and even longitude and latitude to pinpoint searchers to your physical location.

Low Hanging Fruit

 

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An obvious, easily attainable win you have to grab. While you always want to grab the brass ring, sometimes you can't neglect the easy score.

-Jacking

Jacking is the process of commandeering content for your own marketing purposes. Examples include news-jacking, where writers cover a breaking story to further their personal agenda. Meme-jacking is a corporate takeover of a popular meme to market their product or service.

Move the Needle

The phrase “move the needle” is used often in sales and marketing when effort is required to make a noticeable difference.

Retargeting

The practice of putting product or service ads in front of people who were on your site earlier but didn't purchase from you. It's a great way to bring people back to your site.

List of Sales Buzzwords

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Alignment

Mostly related to smarketing, or sales and marketing alignment. The act of breaking down silos between different teams in an organization to work toward the same goals and be more efficient as one working team.

Disruptor/Disruptive

Something that “rocks the boat;” It's a game changer, a unique product or service whose innovation throws the status quo off kilter.

Freemium

A strategy where the “basic” version of a product is offered free of charge. Extra functionality requires an upgrade to a premium version. Examples include Wordpress, Mailchimp, and Hootsuite. This is also used frequently by mobile games.

Leverage

When one person has an advantage over another. Additionally, this term can be used when referring to taking advantage of a great opportunity or using a feature/product to its full extent.

An example of this in a sentence would be, "In order to make the most out of HubSpot's Marketing Hub, you should be leveraging HubSpot's CRM capabilities."

Quick Win

 

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Similar to low hanging fruit, a quick win is just as it sounds: something that can be accomplished that doesn't require a lot of resources or work but could have high impact on your business.

Quota

A target that sales reps try to reach over a certain period of time, often on a monthly or quarterly basis. A quota can be measured in both dollar amount or in number of deals closed.

Value Add

A positive impact you add to a product or company. For example, “Did the client respond positively to the value add at the pitch?”

Wheelhouse

In boating, a wheelhouse shelters the person driving the boat. In business, the term “wheelhouse” is used to describe a person’s or company’s specialty. For example, inbound marketing is Bluleadz's wheelhouse.

List of Service Buzzwords

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Customer Acquisition

A term used to define the act of winning over a customer as you "acquire" new business. This process involves persuading prospects to pay for your product or service through strategies like customer referral programs, search engine marketing, and digital advertising. 

Customer-Centric/Customer Centricity

A business approach that prioritizes positive customer experience as the core company philosophy. Customer-centric companies prioritize the needs of their customers to deliver complete, long term solutions.

Customer Lifecycle

A customer lifecycle outlines the stages a prospect goes through before, during, and after completing a transaction with a company. Number of stages can vary depending on your business and industry.

Customer Retention

Customer retention is the ability to keep customers with your business and encourage them to repeat a purchase or service.

Retention rate can be measured by subtracting the number of customers you ended with (after a certain period of time) by the number of acquired customers. Divide that total by the number of customers you started with, and multiply the new total by 100.

measure-retention-rate
Source: PostFunnel

Personalization

The method of using a customer's name, sending relevant content, or marketing based on interests or behaviors to deliver a tailored marketing experience to each prospect or customer. Using personalization in marketing, sales, and service can help create a unique journey for everyone who comes through the "doors."

Touchpoint

One moment that a prospect or customer has with your business. Examples of touchpoints include phone calls, emails, and live chat messaging.

Voice of the Customer

A research method that companies use to identify a gap between customer expectations and the actual experience they have with their business. Voice of the customer (VoC) considers everything said about the product, service, and overall business to better understand the needs of customers.

Other Important Business Buzzwords to Know

Social Media Buzzwords

Developing a Marketing Plan for Social Media-1-1

Clickbait

Headlines crafted for the purpose of driving clicks. Clickbait captures an audience by providing mystery, but the content is typically subpar, making this one of the negative business buzzwords.

Earned Media

Media you don't pay for and can be cost-effective for business growth. This includes social mentions, social shares, recommendations, and reviews.

Live Streaming

Facebook Live, Instagram Live Stories, and Twitter Live had made live streaming very popular among social media users. Live streaming is when someone films a real-time video on social media, which engages a live audience.

Micro-Influencer

Someone on social media with anywhere between 1,000 and 10,000 followers. Micro-influencers are typically well-known in their niche and have high rates of audience engagement.

User-Generated Content (UGC)

Any form of media, like photos, videos, and text, that is posted to an online platform or social media by a user.

Incorporating UGC into your social media marketing is a great way to provide social proof to your audience and highlight your products/services being used by actual people.

Millennial Buzzwords

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Like it or not, millennials have come up with all sorts of slang buzzwords that you might want to use in your marketing efforts.

FOMO

Acronym standing for "fear of missing out." This buzzword can be used in terms of sales, deals, events, and more.

Lit

Something that is cool, turned up, or exciting is considered "lit."

Spilling Tea

A phrase used when someone is sharing secrets or gossiping about something.

TL;DR

An acronym standing for "too long; didn't read." Basically, it's a sort of disclaimer for readers who don't want to read something because it looks too long.

Incorporating TL;DR elements into your marketing and sales content can help quickly summarize your main points for people who don't have the time to read an entire message.

Using Buzzwords Right Can Create Buzz Around Your Business

(Ok, just one final buzz-related joke, I promise.)

Believe it or not, this is just a small sampling of buzzwords relating to the marketing industry. Every industry and profession from sales and marketing, to finance, healthcare, and the auto industry has their own specific jargon and business buzzwords. 

Today, whether you're pitching a new product or networking in your industry, business buzzwords can give you an aura of being more reputable if you use the right terminology in the proper context.

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General FAQ

What Is a Buzzword?

A buzzword is a term and phrase that sounds impressive, cool, or even exciting, but not everyone always understands the definition of it.

Buzzwords can either be cringe-worthy, overused, or irrelevant, or they can be valuable and have merit.

What Are Common Buzzwords in Marketing?

Some of the most common buzzwords in marketing are: content is king, big data, growth hacking, move the needle, and retargeting.

What Buzzwords Are Used in Sales?

You hear a lot of sales buzzwords without even realizing it. Some of the most common sales buzzwords include: freemium, leverage, quick win, wheelhouse, and quota.

What Are Customer Service Buzzwords?

Some popular customer service buzzwords include customer lifecycle, customer retention, customer centricity, touchpoint, and voice of the customer.

Baylor Cherry

Baylor Cherry

Baylor is a Marketing Specialist for Bluleadz. As a native Floridian, she enjoys soaking up the Florida sun, buying clothes she can’t afford, and dreaming about one day owning a dachshund.