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Terminological Confusion

Sometimes marketing, particularly marketing terminology, can be its own worst enemy. Given the rate at which we marketing folks mass-produce jargon and buzzwords, it’s no wonder people get confused. In fact, some of the terms even confuse us. Here’s a random sampling of some beauties we fell for:

  • Analytics. We thought this referred to the homework required to know what you’re doing before you do it.
  • B2B. We found out this means business-to-business. At first we thought it meant back-to-back, like the games of a doubleheader.
  • Bounce Rate. We were absolutely certain this referred to the number of times we’ve been thrown out of bars.
  • Call to Action. You could have knocked us over with a feather when we found out this didn’t refer to inciting angry mobs.
  • Churn rate. We thought this described the amount of butter a room full of chimpanzees could make in an hour. Then we were sued by STOP (Scare Tactics or Pressure), a coalition of PETA and the National Dairy Council.
  • Evergreen Content. We were so proud when we pitched the International Society of Arboriculture and told them this was the number of trees in a coniferous forest. We didn’t get the gig.
  • Inbound Marketing. At first, we thought this was a myth. Then we found out myths have kernels of truth or plausibility to them since they typically explain some otherwise inexplicable natural or social phenomenon. It turns out inbound marketing is, indeed, inexplicable. But it’s just a fallacy.
  • Lead. Given our acuity with parts of speech, our first guess was that this was a verb, you know, as opposed to follow or get out of the way. When we found out it was a noun, we thought it was the part of the pencil that writes.
  • Long-Tail Keyword. It wasn’t until we searched high and low for just the right kind of seed to feed the thing that we found out this isn’t a bird.
  • LTV. No matter what anyone tells you, this abbreviation does not stand for long-tail vireo.
  • Marketing Automation. (see Inbound Marketing)
  • Middle of the funnel. Contrary to what we heard from every moonshiner we ever knew, this doesn’t refer to the part where the mash gets stuck if the cheesecloth rips.
  • Mobile Marketing. We have it on good authority from a number of dealerships that this term doesn’t refer to car sales.
  • TOFU. After telling them we didn’t like soy, we were laughed out of the American Marketing Association.

Since there’s no end in sight for the steady drip of vapidity in the marketing lexicon, all we can say is be careful out there.

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