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Agency and marketing terminology (or how to get 20 points in bulls**t bingo)

Jackie Clode-Dickens, March 6, 2017

We marketers love inventing new marketing terminology, sometimes using the same term for a multitude of meanings. Our handy guide helps you know what’s what.

There’s a lot of interchangeable marketing terminology so this week I’ve collated some of the most popular into a handy little explainer. These are some of the most popular you’ll hear at work, in the pub, at networking events or when playing b*llshit bingo so that next time you can avoid omni when you should be multi.

Content Marketing

The production and distribution of digital content to engage with an audience that doesn’t directly promote a single product or service but provokes interest and elicits a desirable response from the reader.

Some argue that Content Marketing isn’t a standalone discipline and that marketers have been producing and distributing content for customer engagement since year dot. I’ll not fan the flames of that argument here, but just say that Content Marketing has become such a big topic in the marketing horizon, it’s a good idea to understand what it is.

Integrated Marketing

Integrated marketing is a discipline that works towards bringing together different strains of marketing around a coherent, consistent voice to enhance and amplify each to create wider engagement. So an example might be a brand ensuring the messaging and visual it uses in its TV advertising is reciprocated in in-store promotional material and on social media.

Multi-channel

Creating either tactical campaign-based or always-on marketing activity that is simultaneously distributed across a number of different marketing channels appropriate to the offer and the audience. As more and more channels get added, this becomes more complicated, particularly in organisations with very siloed departments.

Warning! This is one of the marketing terminology red herrings. Multi-channel is confused with omni-channel on a regular basis. You’re probably working in a multi-channel organisation. A good way to know for sure is if you work in digital how many people do you know in the brand team, if the answer is none then you’re definitely a multi-channel organisation.

Omni-channel

Similar to multi-channel marketing, but rather than all the channels operating independently, omni-channel marketing brings them all together to work holistically to produce a properly integrated marketing campaign. Omni-channel is much more customer-focused and ultimately more effective, we’re big omni fans. Read more about multi- vs. omni- channel marketing here http://www.dvoagency.co.uk/multi-channel-marketing-problems-and-opportunities/.

SEO

Simply put, Search Engine Optimisation. So any activity you do on your website with the aim of improving your site’s visibility and organic ranking with search engines (primarily Google). Many people mistakenly believe this is a one-time exercise to be done when a site is built or a product launched, but SEO should be an ongoing part of your mix, supporting all activity, both on and offline.

Customer Experience

A bit of an easy one this. Literally, your customer’s experience. What they experience when interacting with your business, at any and all touch points. This is ideally always positive, but invariably hits the odd bump in the road, and elements can often be out of your control. Not to be confused with User Experience (or UX).

User Experience (UX)

Hot topic/buzz word right now, and as usual, so-called ‘specialists’ have suddenly popped into existence to meet demand (or exploit invented opportunities?).

User Experience refers to the overall experience a visitor has when visiting your website or using a web-based application. So, how easy it is to find what they need, to move through the space, identify the required route and achieve the desired result. Not to be confused with Customer Journey.

Customer Journey

How a customer moves into, around and through any and all touchpoints with your brand or business. Online, offline, below the line, through the line, too far over the line, all of them! Often something that a business thinks is simple and straight forward but when they actually sit down and map it all out (we favour a massive white board and lots of different coloured pens. But we’re old school like that) it’s a lot bigger and far more complex than they ever imagined. Spend time early on understanding the customer journey and you’ll save yourself a massive headache down the line. Some people (ahem, DVO) are staunch advocates of the customer journey and can get quite emotional when people disrespect it.

Brand Experience

A bit more touchy-feely this one. Brand experience is the emotional, behavioural and sensory responses a customer experiences when exposed to your brand. Hard to control obviously, but with good planning, thorough research and good customer understanding, you can build a brand that meets your customers’ needs to put yourself in the best positon to evoke wholly positive responses.

Jimi Hendrix Experience

One of the most popular rock bands of the mid Sixties, led by the legendary Jimi Hendrix. Arguably the most successful trans-Atlantic act of the time, they produced three studio albums and anyone that can hear “Foxy Lady” and resist doing the ‘Wayne’s World dance” has no soul.

Strategy

A defined plan of action designed to achieve a predetermined goal or set of objectives. Often different departments will have their own specific strategies, which should all work towards supporting the overall business strategy. In marketing, there are often then discipline, sub-department and sometimes even tactical or campaign specific strategies in place. But again, these should all be based on how they can assist in meeting the business objectives. Often though, they aren’t and are entirely random.

KPIs

Key Performance Indicators. These are measurable outcomes to activity that can be collated and reported against to demonstrate whether that activity is meeting the business objectives. These can be quantitative, qualitative or anecdotal. But they must be agreed and in place from the outset. Too often we see companies struggling to assign KPIs halfway through a campaign or trying to change the KPI as it wasn’t fit for purpose, usually through lack of planning. Don’t be these people.

Goals

The terms Goals and Objectives are often used interchangeably, but are actually slightly different. The easiest way I can explain it is a goal is something you want to get, an objective is somewhere you want to be. Goals bring glory, objectives bring results. Both good, both needed, but inherently different.

If you’d like to wax lyrical about some of the terms mentioned, or more importantly you’d like some no-nonsense advice on your next strategic step, give us a call.

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