The marketing buzzwords you need to know (and what they actually mean)

Joel Svensson

It’s no secret that the advent of the internet has kicked marketing into overdrive – not just in terms of its rate of change, but also in terms how many people practice it, its potential reach, and the attention span of consumers.

In this fast-evolving landscape, it can be more than a little tricky to keep up with the latest trends. So, here’s a handy guide to the latest and greatest buzzterms in marketing to bring you up to speed.


With the rise of social media, GPS data and ubiquitous Wi-Fi, advertising specificity can go beyond country or region to target customers at the level of city, suburb, and even real-time physical location (see “Geofencing” below), and it’s this uncannily accurate targeting that spawned the catch-all phrase ‘hyperlocal’.

Smart content

In a nutshell, smart content uses customer data to provide a customised experience for each customer. Hyperlocal marketing is one example, but once you think about all the ways you can subdivide customers – age, gender, marital status, search history, browsing history – the potential for tailoring content is endless.


Have you wanted to know tomorrow’s weather and reached for your phone to find out? You just experienced what Google terms a ‘micro-moment’, one of the dozens, if not hundreds of little moments each day when you engage with the internet to learn, do, or buy something. Learning to engage with customers by “being there” during their micro-moments is all the rage right now.


A kind of hyperlocal digital marketing, geofencing is the practice of defining virtual “fences” around an area – say, the area immediately surrounding your business – that when crossed, trigger your ads to pop up on people’s smartphones. Essentially, it’s a way to leverage the location of a business by extending the storefront into nearby devices.

Lifestyle marketing

It turns out that a lot of customers like brands that they think align with their personal values, and it’s possible to capitalise on this by creating content that will resonate with your target demographic – even if it has nothing to do with your product.

Red Bull, for instance, knows that a good portion of their customer base belongs to the thrill-seeker set, and so they sponsor and create extreme-sports events. Similarly, a company that makes exercise garments might initiate a campaign that promotes clean eating, letting customers know that the brand shares their health-conscious values.


Blockchain is a technology that uses peer-to-peer networking and encryption to create robustly secure “digital ledgers” which can be used to track just about anything, from financial transactions to video gamer profiles.

The rise of blockchain not only has major implications for digital finance (in the form of Bitcoin), it has the potential to revolutionise online privacy and to change advertising in fundamental ways.


A term for someone who has a large following on social media. Such people have become an important part of social media marketing, since getting them to endorse or even mention your brand can result in a marked uptick in engagement. This is called ‘influencer marketing’. Influencers with relatively small – but very loyal – followers are sometimes called ‘micro-influencers’.


Search engine optimisation is essentially the art of making your business – including your services and marketing content – highly searchable. That means learning how Google works, thinking about keywords, and producing fresh content. If you’ve recycled an old website address for your latest business venture, it’s probably time for an upgrade – you could be missing out on valuable traffic.

(Lead image: Unsplash)

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