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“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around for awhile, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller

Like life, the marketing world moves pretty fast. Each year we have new tools and terminology to learn and use. Here is my annual list of the latest marketing terms, along with some of the new slang just for fun. You’re welcome to add your favourites to this list. We’d love to hear from you.

Employee amplification

It’s what it sounds like: Companies and organizations encourage their employees and team members to share approved content on their personal social accounts. This is how far we’ve come from the days when employers discouraged or even banned talking about work online.

Show marketing

We now know that the average person responds better to visuals than text. Marketers will be “showing” more and “telling” less this year. Content marketing statistics from HubSpot bear out this move:

  • Colour visuals increase people’s willingness to share content by 80%.
  • People remember only 10% of the information they hear. But when a relevant image compliments the same piece of content, it increases retention power to 65%.
  • 46% of marketers say visuals are critical to their current marketing and storytelling strategies.
  • Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images.


This technique has been around for a while now, and it finally has a term – trendjacking. Trendjacking is the practice of hopping on a major social media trend and using the buzz around it to market your brand. Think of it as highjacked viral marketing.

For example, last year saw a very interesting social media discussion – #thedress. Also known for the hashtags #whiteandgold, #blueandblack and #thedressiswhiteandgold. The discussion was around determining what color the dress actually was. I even doctored an old Rolling Stones album cover to have some fun with it. Watch fashion, food, and pop culture brands use these trending hashtags to bring their products into newsfeeds.

Content Shock

Competition for consumers’ attention has become increasingly difficult and costly for businesses – and is therefore no longer worthwhile for some. Because of the daily content deluge, users are simply presented with too much content per day and too few hours in which to digest it. Sound familiar?

Options to avoid content shock:

  • Focus on a niche area
  • Spend more money on high quality content
  • Spend more money on content distribution
  • Focus on new types of content and channels that are not (yet) being used by the competition

Bottom line: In the future, non-relevant content will have very poor prospects.

Personalized Content

Delivering customized content that is tailored to a user’s interests and reaches him or her at the right time, and in the right place, will become a major objective in the near future.

The more website content can be geared towards the individual user, the higher conversion rates will be.

Whether it’s individualized products for every reader or store content perfectly suited to a user’s particular needs, finding new ways to create this personalized content will offer a marketing edge.

Content Discovery Platforms

Content discovery platforms are a form of native advertising, offering companies the opportunity to distribute their content through channels other than their own in order to increase their reach and attract new users. Still fairly new to the market, many companies already rate paid channels for content distribution as very effective. Platforms like Outbrain have a large publisher network that includes news sites, blogs and business portals.

Visual search

Pinterest is pioneering this with a tool that lets you select the part of a pin that interests you and then shows you more pins containing similar images.

Device mesh

The connective tissue between mobile, wearable, home, and auto devices. This promises to be the “thing” that will advance the “Internet of Things”.

As always, here are some of the new words that you’ll be hearing more of in 2017.

DARTY: The day party, a daylight occasion for getting your drink on, darties on! I’m not sure of the marketing implications. Just thought you’d want to know.

FOLO: This is the fear of living offline. Just go ahead and try it. You’ll know why it’s a word.

THROW SHADE: To talk trash about a friend or acquaintance; to publicly denounce or disrespect. When throwing shade it’s immediately obvious to onlookers that the thrower, and not the throw-ee, is the uncool one.

SHIP:  It’s an abbreviation for relationship.

WOKE:  The more ‘woke’ someone is, the more they understand about a topic or a person.

LOW-KEY: When you’re secretly enjoying something, you’re low-key loving it. Kind of like keeping something on the D.L. (the down low)

HIGH KEY:  This is the opposite of low key. Another way to say you really love or approve of something.

SAVAGE:  It means vicious, or wounding, in an exaggerated way.

CALM:  The new word for sweet, fine or cool.

HUNDO P: If you totally agree with something someone says, you agree with it “100 per cent” – or, if you’re a millennial, you agree hundo p. It’s really just an abbreviation of 100 per cent, and it’s so fun to use I’ve been saying it all week. It’s hundo p my new favourite phrase.

EXTRA: I expect to be hearing this one a lot. Used to describe someone who’s over-the-top or trying too hard. You might even realise you yourself are extra about something .

DONE: Tired of someone’s attitude? Can’t face going to work in the morning? You’re done with it. You can use all caps for emphasis. I’m so done with this year’s list. DONE.