I was sitting at home catching up on some reading tonight. I’m a pretty simple guy so whenever I hit some new terminology, I often click over to Wikipedia to figure out what the heck I’m reading. I’m also getting up there in years… so after I read what it is, I roll my eyes and go back to reading.
The reason I roll my eyes is that authors (especially marketing authors) always feel compelled to have to invent new words for us to learn and to replace the old, boring words. I suppose it makes them feel smarter while we retreat to inadequacy.
Here are some of those terms:
- Paid Media – We used to call this advertising.
- Earned Media – We used to call this word-of-mouth.
- Owned Media – We used to call this public relations.
- Traffic – We used to call this circulation or viewership.
- Gamification – We used to call this reward, loyalty, badge or point systems. Boy Scout badges are circa 1930, this isn’t new folks.
- Engagement – We used to call this reading, listening, or viewing (and later… commenting)
- Content Marketing – We used to call this writing.
- Call-to-Action – we used to call this a banner ad. Just because it was on our own site, didn’t mean we needed a new name.
- Acceleration – we used to call this promotion.
- Graph – (eg. Social Graph) we used to just explain this as relationships.
- Authority – we used to call that popularity.
- Optimize – we used to call this improving.
- Curation – we used to call this organizing.
- Scorecards – we used to call these dashboards.
- Analytics – we used to call these reports.
- Updated: Personas – we used to call these segments based on behavioral or demographic profiles that data providers developed.
- Infographics – we used to call these pictographs, sometimes data illustrations, or posters. We’d hang the cool ones in our cubicles (er.. workstations).
- Verbiage – we used to call those words.
- Whitepaper – we just called those papers. They only came in white.
- Humanization – we didn’t used to call that anything.. we used to have to answer the phone or the door in person.
- Added: Context Marketing – We used to call this dynamic or targeted content.
There are some other great words, too… hybrid, fusion, velocity, democratization, cross-channel, templatize, aggregation, syndication, acceleration…
These guys need to back off the Google+, get some sleep, and dumbify it down to the 8th grade vocabulary we actually remember. Why is there this need by humans to always change? Perhaps calling it by something new means that we’ve somehow evolved? (I don’t buy it, do you?).
I think most companies still struggle with simple branding or graduating from a crappy website, never mind a hybrid accelerated earned media campaign whose velocity is amplified by humanized engagement.
In all honesty, I suppose I’m guilty, too. I have a new media agency, not a marketing firm. It’s truly more of an inbound marketing agency… but I gambled that there will always be new media, but inbound might be replaced by some stupid new term like acute.
You know, as opposed to obtuse.
This research stems from a survey of 165 marketing, commerce and supply chain executives, and 12 deep-dive interviews with executives who reveal the ways they are rethinking their engagement strategy.