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Know the Latest Marketing Terms and What They Mean

Published:, April, 2010
Author: Roberta Bernstein

Sometimes it feels as if marketing terminologies grow faster than the number of new apps for the iPhone. In the past year, new marketing strategies around new technologies have been introduced. And while some of these new terms sound intimidating, keep in mind that the strategic changes being described are, with a few exceptions, just revved-up extensions of marketing techniques pros have used for decades. For instance, marketers have been using viral marketing techniques for many years. But in this age of Twitter, Facebook, and other social media, the tactics have changed. Here is a list of marketing terms to help you navigate this brave, but not always so new, world:

Augmented reality: This is fairly new and very cool. It is a mix of real-world elements (such as a window display, a kiosk, or a billboard) and computer-generated imagery and audio. The augmentation, which requires a video camera and special software, allows the reader to interact with the advertisement. One recent example that received a lot of attention is Esquire magazine’s 2009 Best and Brightest issue that used augmented reality by allowing users to download software and then hold the magazine to a webcam to see, among other things, Robert Downey Jr. appear on their computer screens, talking about his new movie, “Sherlock Holmes.”

Guerilla marketing: This term has been around for decades and is just what it sounds like: a marketing ambush designed to catch people’s attention. While it was best exemplified not too long ago by “wild postings,” literally the plastering of slapdash-looking posters in environments the marketers have no formal agreement to use, guerilla marketing has also gone digital. For example, QR codes, or quick-response codes, are two-dimensional barcodes that store addresses and URLs. Users with a smartphone equipped with the correct reader software can scan the image of the QR code to launch the phone’s browser, bringing the user to the product’s Web site. From there, they can learn more about a product and even make a purchase.

Branded entertainment: The integration of products into entertainment venues is as old as radio and TV. Believed to cut through today’s ad clutter, it’s very much back in vogue and ranges from sponsorships and product integrations (think Coke cups on "American Idol") to brands that become a vital component of a project. Branded entertainment can include event sponsorships and marketing and product placement.

Viral marketing: The idea behind this technique is as old as gossip and rumor mills. It’s the result of a marketing message being spread and replicated by consumers themselves, usually through social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and word of mouth. This nontraditional advertising can be considered “viral” only if it works: if it’s passed around to enough people to actually impact brand awareness. These promotions range from video clips to interactive games to text messaging. While it can be relatively inexpensive, there is a loss of control over the message.

Buzz: The level of chatter surrounding a service or product has always been important in helping to determine the success of an advertising campaign. “Buzz” is a word usually used in relation to viral marketing and word-of-mouth promotions. Potential opportunities to create buzz around a product include reviewing incoming traffic to a Web site from organic links and determining what new keywords can be associated with the site to increase traffic.

Behavioral targeting: Consumers leave a trail of personal data on the Web, and behavioral targeting uses that data, including gender, age, location, and browsing habits, to decide how and when to serve ads. In other words, it’s a juiced-up version of looking at demographics. Some consumer groups and privacy advocates oppose this type of targeting, and a recent study notes that most adult Americans do not want marketers to tailor advertisements to their interests.

Data mining: Data mining is the analytical process of finding new and potentially useful knowledge from data, and it’s been a hot topic lately. The information can be used in myriad ways, such as helping a company see where its advertising is most, and least, effective and helping it target consumers who are most likely interested in its brands.

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