Unpacking This Year’s Biggest Business Buzzwords

Growth hacker? Thought leader? Find out what they mean, why they’re huge right now and how to tap into that popularity.

Thanks to the internet, we can measure the trends of pretty much everything. In 2014 for example I’m sorry to tell you that Lemon Drizzle Cake, the king of all cakes and protector of the cake realm, was usurped by Chocolate Cake as the most popular cake recipe in the United Kingdom.

Anyway (we can grieve later), our ability to see what’s buzzing online is a crucial tool in tailoring our own input. For businesses and digital marketers, keywords that have been creeping into Google’s lexicon this year are a key indicator to the industry’s current values. Here’s three big ones, what they mean, and how they should shape your approach to the market.

Conversation

An obvious result of the social media explosion, conversation has become a coveted concept with businesses looking to increase engagement with their brand. It isn’t a new idea, but with the advent of social media its relevance has been soaring. Now that inbound is the norm for marketing, many companies rest assured that they’re talking to their audience about ‘content they care about’.

Yet knowing your audience’s interests is easier said than done. Measuring data and statistics about your audience’s behaviour is a method that many are satisfied with, but it’s hardly qualitative. Remember, it’s important to see the potential of dialogue that social platforms offer and seize it. Converse with your market, build relationships and let your engagement increase organically.

Overuse: 3/10 – Conversation will always be relevant.

Thought leader

The meaning of ‘thought leader’ is somewhat self-explanatory. It’s an individual or entity that is viewed as an authority in a certain field and is revered for their expertise. We’ve all encountered them – the big names of the industry whose thoughts are valued almost like doctrine.

While truly knowledgeable figures are a great resource, the concept of ‘thought leadership’ has become somewhat saturated. On the internet, everybody has a voice, and that voice reserves the potential to be heard.

Because of this, there are countless individuals who believe that, providing they shout loud enough, they enter the thought leader echelon. So remember, just because somebody has a large following does not mean they are the pinnacle of innovation in your industry. And if you yourself want to become a figure of influence, it starts with what you’re saying, not how loud you’re saying it!

Overuse: 6/10 – The term is blurring around the edges.

Growth Hacker

A growth hacker is a marketer that uses the wealth of technology at their disposal, along with critical analysis, creativity, and metrics to achieve – you guessed it – growth.
As entrepreneur Andrew Chen writes:

‘Growth hackers are a hybrid of marketer and coder, one who looks at the traditional question of “How do I get customers for my product?” and answers with A/B tests, landing pages, viral factor, email deliverability, and Open Graph.’

Because marketing is so intertwined with the internet, the myriad of online resources can now be harnessed to catalyse a company’s development. To the average business owner, it suggests that the rate of their growth can be ‘hacked’ and accelerated with digital technology and tools. This means that if you haven’t already, you need to combine your marketing know-how with coding and other technical approaches to shift into 2015’s digital gear.

Overuse: 8/10 – Everyone in the industry should be a growth hacker, really.

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