Marketing Buzzwords: Love 'Em or Loath 'Em

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Ah, buzzwords. We all use them. We all love to hate them. What got me thinking about buzzwords (again) was an article I came across on "viralsourcing," which <I>BusinessWeek</I> writer Ben Kunz defines as a combination of crowdsourcing and viral marketing. So, in essence, a buzzword based on yet another buzzword. Sigh.

Ah, buzzwords. We all use them. We all love to hate them.

What got me thinking about buzzwords (again) was an article I came across on "viralsourcing," which BusinessWeek writer Ben Kunz defines as a combination of crowdsourcing and viral marketing. So, in essence, a buzzword based on yet another buzzword. Sigh.

OK, I get it. Buzzwords and buzz phrases are an easy way to capture the essence of a thing in one or two words (and, admittedly, I use my share of them). For example, for eons companies have collected feedback from customers and prospects and used that insight to inform their business decisions; today we call that crowdsourcing. Sure, crowdsourcing captures the essence of group feedback that an enterprise takes action on, but it sounds so, well, pretentious.
Every industry has buzzwords and phrases, but I think marketing must lead the field it is enthusiastic embrace of all things buzz-related. In fact, there are myriad websites that capitalize on--and poke fun at--this fervor. Marketing Buzzword Bingo, for example, lightheartedly offers a way for marketers to supposedly "jazz up" their marketing meetings with buzzword-loaded bingo cards. Hit the refresh button for a nearly endless collection of such doozeys as advergaming, brandtailing, freemium, infotanement, and searchandizing, or more standard fare like paradigm shift and convergence.

When I blogged about overused buzzwords way back in the "primeval" days of 2007, the most annoying buzzwords cited in a study at that time were:

the big idea, buzz, critical mass, customer-centric, integrated solution, it is what it is, low-hanging fruit, make it pop, organic growth, outside-the-box, paradigm shift, ROI, and synergy.

Today, the evolution of social media and recent changes in marketing and customer service strategies have created a vast wellspring of new buzzwords to love and loathe.

What is your most--or least--favorite buzzword or phrase in today's social media-crazed, voice-of-the-customer enlightened, twitterific marketing world?

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