7 Buzzwords That Create More Confusion Than Clarity

As a business owner transitioning to digital marketing, you may be understandably cautious about making the leap from your existing marketing efforts to invest resources in digital marketing campaigns. Whether you’re just beginning to realize the web’s potential for growth or you’ve simply been satisfied with your current marketing strategy, the attraction of digital marketing is clear but this is still unfamiliar territory for you. It makes sense to approach with caution.

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One thing that won’t make this transition easier is the amount of buzzwords you might hear in meetings with internet marketing firms. As someone new to digital marketing, these buzzwords may create more confusion than clarity for you. Ambiguous terminology makes digital marketing more puzzling than it needs to be. This is unnecessary because digital marketing offers the kind of trackable, real-world benefits that will best serve you and the future of your business.


In the interest of clarity, saving you time and helping to ease your transition, let’s take a look at seven buzzwords you’re likely to encounter and what each one actually means.

Going Viral

Though the word “viral” may cause you to think of a virus, the term “going viral” in digital marketing actually refers to a piece of sharable web content that sees distinct and rapid increases in popularity, often with the help of social media. Though social media is one of many useful marketing channels, talk of your digital marketing efforts “going viral” may be a sign that your marketing firm is trying harder to sound hip than to do something truly impressive. Investigate the action plan behind any strategy for “going viral”.


Oftentimes, some new technology is pitched as “disruptive”. A defining characteristic of the web is that it is in a constant state of evolution and flux. In that environment, is anything really able to be “disruptive”? A dependable digital marketing firm should stay ahead of trends and patterns to give you identity and presence online more than aiming to be “disruptive”.

Low-Hanging Fruit

This one exists both on and off the web so perhaps you’re familiar with it, but in general it’s synonymous with a goal that can be reached with ease. The goal of digital marketing isn’t to go after easy wins, but rather to provide business owners with modern marketing resources that will sustain them today and help them grow with tomorrow. So it’s safe to ignore any talk of fruit at the table.

The Cloud

“The Cloud” is basically a fancy way of talking about information online. Though the term may conjure images of something vaporous or imaginary, the storage of data or web applications within a network of servers gives you the basic idea. Bear in mind, however, that when you inevitably hear the term used, it means different things to different people.

Holistic Approach

“Holistic Approach” just refers to a collaborative approach to marketing, where the marketing efforts are aligned to sales and business objectives. This term initially came from the healthcare industry so its application in marketing isn’t a good fit. Running multiple marketing strategies across several mediums (radio, TV, mail and internet, for example) is a sound practice and will give your business a wide reach.

Big Data

This simply refers to very large sets of data that are analyzed by computers to reveal patterns, trends and other blueprints that can reveal useful information. But as business owners, it’s likely you’re less concerned with “big data” patterns than simply knowing if your marketing strategy is producing results. So ask your digital marketing firm to show you the meaningful data that demonstrates results. The right digital marketing agency will provide all the information you’d like, but will also understand that you are primarily concerned with the data that matters most for your business.


This acronym, standing for Search Engine Marketing, is a blanket term used to describe broad and often dissimilar digital marketing techniques. For example, content marketing, pay-per-click advertising and search engine optimization may all loosely fall under the umbrella of “Search Engine Marketing”. However, each technique involves such specialized procedures that it’s best to think of each as completely separate marketing methods.

In Conclusion

You’re very busy and your time is valuable so hopefully this breakdown of common buzzwords helps you navigate a successful transition to digital marketing. It’s essential that you find a firm that doesn’t hide behind buzzwords when decisions about ideal marketing strategy are best treated as ongoing conversations. That way, not only will you take part in crafting your online identity as customers will see it, you will know that your perception online is consistent with your reputation as a business. With this all in place, your time can be spent doing what you do best – working hard to deliver quality goods and services – only now reaching a much more qualified audience.