Digital Marketing Buzzwords to avoid in 2020

2 January 2020

Every year a new wave of wishy washy buzzwords evolve in the digital marketing space to confuse and manipulate certain conversations in favour of the information provider, often digital marketing agencies. Although not all digital marketing phrases are bad, we have picked a handful of terribly misleading and horribly overused buzzwords to watch out for in 2020:


  1. “Growth Hacking” - By no means is this a new buzzword, but the concept of “Growth Hacking” as a buzzword for the industry is a frustrating one at best. In its simplest form, growth hacking is the process of trying new things until you find out what is effective, which in a nutshell is what every single person performing digital marketing is attempting to do. As much as it can be perceived as a funky word to explain innovative new processes, it can just as much be identified as a poorly planned or non-existent methodology behind someone’s digital marketing process. If you are one of the millions of people who put “growth hacking” in your LinkedIn profile, just know that this doesn’t make you “edgy”, it makes your potential customers confused.
  2. “Content is King” - Come on guys, it isn’t 2012 any more. If the saying was “High quality content is extremely important for businesses” then sure, you have a point, but the content isn’t the be all and end all of digital marketing. Let us paint you a picture: You have a website with 1,500 blogs on it and heaps of quality content on all of your pages, but you only have 12 visitors to the website a month and you haven’t made a conversion yet… Content is great, but it is certainly not king in 2020.
  3. “Customer-Centric” - This expression has reached critical mass and at this point is as overused as they come. I’m sure an agency has pitched a “customer centric campaign that focuses on your end user” multiple times, but these are just fancy words to say we are marketing to people who are interested in your business…. Of course you are, how else would you do it?! The issue here is that people can become very data driven and they tend to ignore who they are trying to market to, PEOPLE! So a large portion of customer-centric campaigns are actually less customer-centric than campaigns that don’t claim to be, let that one sink in for a minute!
  4. “A.I (Artificial Intelligence)” - This is a slightly contentious one as the evolution of A.I and the intelligence behind certain algorithms is very exciting, but the reason this has been added is a real misunderstanding of what it actually means. A.I doesn’t refer to anyone with an algorithm platform and good A.I doesn’t refer to any single platform, it is a combination of technologies across machine learning that work together to produce the best result. So when an agency starts discussing A.I, make sure you ask them exactly how they use A.I and how that properly benefits your business. You will be astonished by some of the answers you get.
  5.  “Deep Dive” - Deep dive is often referring to a deeper look into the data and analytics behind your campaign, which is a pretty bizarre concept when you think about it because shouldn’t all campaigns should be looked at as deep as possible from the get go? The most annoying part of this is that the objectives of the campaign have normally been explained before and doing a “deep dive” is normally an excuse to cover up missing what was originally explained, which is awfully inefficient.
  6. “Attribution” - Oh boy… Where do we even start with this one? This is simply just a fancy way of stating where your traffic comes from. Attribution can be tricky as there are a lot of elements to how a potential customer actually contacts your business, but a lot of the time attribution will be used in sales pitches or as an excuse not to gather the right data during a meeting or presentation. Attribution is the perfect amount of technical difficulty for people to pull one over you, so ensure that you have it properly explained to you and rpush for the reason of why it is relevant to you in the conversation you are having.


So if you are engaging with a digital marketing agency or anyone who claims to be a digital marketing expert and you hear any of these particular buzzwords, it would be wise to push for some further explanation and see if you can get past the fluffy terms and identify a proper explanation of the value they can provide to you and your business. And if you are one of those people who uses these buzzwords, it might be time to refresh your vocabulary and find some better words to use in the future. 

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