7 digital marketing buzzwords every marketer should know.

Posted July 1, 2017 in by

Have you ever been sitting in a meeting when someone threw out a term—big data, for example—and you weren’t 100 percent sure what the term meant? You’re not alone. In the world of digital marketing, it seems like new buzzwords pop up every. Single. Day. Trying to keep track of them all is enough to make a person dizzy.

That’s why we have compiled a list of some of the most common digital marketing buzzwords being used today and explained how to use them correctly. It’ll help you step into your next team meeting with both knowledge and confidence. Without further ado:


Digital transformation.

Digital transformation is simply business transformation through the use of technology and digital initiatives. With a focus on the customer being top of mind, this is a very big topic at many companies right now. While digital transformation focuses on the enterprise as a whole, we are going to focus more on the marketing part of it for the purposes of this blog.

Below is a good chart explaining the building blocks of a digital transformation. You can see in the Customer Experience column how many of those initiatives directly impact marketing; however, there is some crossover in each column.1

The common misconception is that a digital transformation takes place in one department or that one department can achieve a successful digital transformation without working with other departments. Actually, business lines are intertwined in a digital transformation, and change happens everywhere. That being said, digital transformations can be led by a single team such as marketing or IT.


Big data.

This term describes a large volume of data—both structured and unstructured—that businesses collect daily. But it’s not the amount (or size) of data that’s important. It’s what organizations do with the data that matters. Big data can be analyzed for insights that lead to better decisions and strategic business moves.2

Here are some examples of data that businesses may collect that could be used to improve marketing:

  • Client names
  • Client email addresses
  • Products a client has bought
  • Client location
  • Client service interactions
  • Client purchasing habits

It seems pretty logical that the marketing department would have access to client names and email addresses—but what about the other items? This data could be siloed in different parts of the organization. This is because big data can be used for much more than marketing. However, by accessing more of or all of the data your company collects on customers and target audiences, you can potentially improve your marketing, decrease your spend and improve your overall client experience.


Omni means “of all things.” Omnichannel means “of all the channels.” Today, clients and customers can interact with a business through many different channels, not just in a physical location. That’s why, when a marketing plan or strategy is developed, it should take into account all of the channels that would be effective in reaching the client. Sometimes the terms multichannel and omnichannel are used interchangeably—but they’re different. Bonus term time! Multichannel is an internal view, while omnichannel is a view from the customer’s point of view. It should be as seamless as possible to pass through each channel from the customer’s point of view. This would truly be an omnichannel approach to marketing.

Marketo explains it like this: “Multi-channel is an operational view—how you allow the customer to complete transactions in each channel. Omni-channel, however, is viewing the experience through the eyes of your customer, orchestrating the customer experience across all channels so that it is seamless, integrated, and consistent. Omni-channel anticipates that customers may start in one channel and move to another as they progress to a resolution.”3


AI (artificial intelligence).

According to Techopedia,4 artificial intelligence (AI) is an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans. The misconception here is often that AI is this:


While AI can be incorporated into robotics, they’re not the same thing. Some of the activities computers with artificial intelligence are designed for include:

  • Speech recognition
  • Learning
  • Planning
  • Problem-solving

As our friends at econsultancy.com say, “It’s worth pointing out that AI and machine learning still need people … to improve their accuracy and to train algorithms properly.” 5 In other words, advancements in AI still rely heavily on humans.


Content marketing.

Also know as “the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.”6 Content marketing is a buzzword that encompasses a lot of things!

What some companies tend to get wrong about content marketing is that they make their content entirely about their brand or product. We can see why this could make sense to some people, but if it’s what you’re currently doing, it’s probably time to update your content marketing strategy.


Content amplification.

Content amplification is the process of helping your content reach a significantly wider audience. The practice of content amplification encompasses many individual techniques, strategies and methods of amplifying the reach of your content, making “content amplification” an umbrella term for several unique strategies.7

Content amplification happens whether you use paid advertising on Facebook or leverage your (free) loyal email list to help you spread your message. In other words, it can be done through organic or paid means, and it doesn’t require any special tools, despite what you might have read before.


Programmatic advertising.

The industry definition of programmatic media buying: “marketing and advertising is the process of the algorithmic purchase and sale of advertising space in real time or buying ad space in an automated way.”

Don’t worry about rereading that ten times like we had to! It basically means you’re using a machine to buy ads.

During this process, software is used to automate the buying, placement and optimization of media inventory via a bidding system. Automating the process means that it can be done in real time and doesn’t rely on the human touch.8d This is not to be confused (but often is) with retargeting/remarketing. Ready for another bonus term? Programmatic is the “how you buy ads,” while retargeting is “how you target ads.”


Now that we’ve covered each one of these at a high level, let’s put it all together. Also, each one of these can be referred to on their own, and they often are, but I’m going to walk through them all in one all-encompassing example:

Your business is going through a digital transformation, so as a marketer, you decide to review all of the mass amounts of data you have available to you to see how you can make an impact. It’s clear that you need an omnichannel approach to achieve the best client experience. After analyzing the data and writing a strategy targeting your audience(s), you determine you need to do some content marketing. But to ensure it is found, you’ll use different means of content amplification, one of them being programmatic advertising.

There you have it. Now you can feel like the cool kid in the next meeting. Do you have any digital marketing buzzwords you hear in meetings that drive you nuts? Share them with us!


  1. https://www.capgemini.com/resource-file-access/resource/pdf/Digital_Transformation__A_Road-Map_for_Billion-Dollar_Organizations.pdf
  2. https://www.sas.com/en_us/insights/big-data/what-is-big-data.html#
  3. http://blog.marketo.com/2014/04/the-definition-of-omni-channel-marketing-plus-7-tips.html
  4. https://www.techopedia.com/definition/190/artificial-intelligence-ai
  5. https://econsultancy.com/blog/67745-15-examples-of-artificial-intelligence-in-marketing/
  6. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/content_marketing
  7. http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2016/08/31/content-amplification
  8. http://www.stateofdigital.com/what-is-programmatic-marketing-buying-and-advertising/
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on Google+