Hear a Buzzword? Demand a Definition

Content marketing. Native advertising. Engagement.

These, my friends, are the buzzwords du jour. And there seem to be as many definitions OF them as there are letters IN them. Every publisher, every social network defines them in the context of their offer, their platform — what they are able to deliver to the advertiser.

Susan Getgood raises an important point today on her Marketing Roadmaps blog when she calls attention to the multitude of conflicting definitions for terms like content marketing and native advertising.

Though she hasn’t yet narrowed them down to my satisfaction, that’s all right. The real value lies in being reminded that we should always demand a definition when a colleague advises us to do more in content marketing or to take on native advertising. More often that not, these vogue words mask either fuzzy thinking or unethical intentions–or sometimes both.

So the next time someone uses the term in conversation with you, don’t let it pass unremarked. Ask for a definition. If it puts an end to the conversation, that’s probably for the best.