Marketing Buzz Phrases/Words

Like trends in clothing or music, buzz phrases in marketing and sponsorship change as the world around us transforms. Some of these buzz phrases warrant merit and are beneficial to the industry, while others could be considered anti-productive devolutions. Here is some commentary related to prevalent marketing buzz phrases and words of today.

Personal Brand

This popular phrase makes many marketing purists and senior practitioners sick to their stomachs. The words reputation and image were reincarnated as personal brand some time over the last five years and the phrase is now commonplace in conversations ranging from mainstream media outlets to advertising agency board rooms. For the biggest stars who command a majority of endorsement dollars, personal brand may be a term with relevance, but most us would probably be better off sticking with reputation/image as the terminology of choice since our personal brand is of little value to anyone beyond ourselves, our family and our employer.


How can it be that an overwhelming majority of CFOs and CMOs would mention analytics as a strength during a job interview? Granted they are referring to very different iterations of analytics, this reality does shed light on our current obsession with the term. Attend any marketing, advertising or sponsorship related conference and inevitably the content will include heavy doses of analytics referencing, with each instance probably having minimal contextual congruence. What this all means is people are frivolously using the term in hopes of sounding smart, but in reality, it actually creates more confusion since everybody is typically referring to something different. In no way are we saying analytics are bad, just standardization and context are needed and additional analytics aren’t necessarily a good thing,


Analytics and ROI go hand-in-hand, in that seemingly everybody talks about it, but almost always under different personal definitions. Furthermore, inherently, it takes analytics to quantify ROI, which is another area of natural relatedness. With ROI, the term is here to stay. Every marketer will continue to see the level of accountability increase, especially as the digital marketplace sees heightened transparency and regulation. But for ROI to act as an asset and not a liability, one must clearly define what it means to your organization, identify the relevant KPIs/criteria which create ROI and communicate those to all relevant parties.


Terminology will continue to change as the technology, social media and larger societal trends shift. When used correctly, ROI and analytics seem to have some staying power and legitimate value in the marketing and sponsorship world. The concept of personal brand appears to be more of fad and may fade in prevalence. This isn’t to say the dynamics which create a personal brand will disappear, but a correction in the way they are described seems needed. In conclusion, we challenge you to think of once prevalent terms that are becoming archaic or have gone by the wayside.

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