Every so often, trendy marketing and sales buzzwords crop up. Then they end up being fads that fade out of use. It feels like just yesterday that things were “on fleek,” we were all having a “lit” time, and everyone loved their “bae.” YOLO, am I right? Of-the-moment words tend to float in and out of our collective vernacular without much stickiness or longevity.
Even in business, we see buzzwords pop up and then fizzle out. Remember “surfing the net” or seeing “web 2.0” topping every conference agenda?
Then there are other sales and marketing keywords that do stick around – for good reason. They may seem trendy, but they are so much more than ordinary marketing buzz phrases.
Are you looking to make your marketing and sales more personal? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Personal Experience for tips.
Here are the top 5 buzzing keywords defining B2B Marketing and Sales this year:
We see headline after headline telling us that the rise of automation and robots will all but eliminate the need for a human workforce. Not so fast, B2B doomsday preppers. The keyword “human” seems to be more prevalent and more important in business than ever. Businesses that focus on the humanness of their workforce and in their sales processes are finding that there are some things that we can’t automate.
A recent Forbes article titled Unleashing the Power of Humanity in Business puts the “human” keyword into focus with this standout line: “By putting people at the center of your business model, you unleash the power of humanity and generate unimaginable positive ripples for your employees and your customers. Technologically assisted or not, meaningful human connections remain the key to accelerated business success.”
This is a marketing buzzword that is often associated with millennials and Gen Z. These younger generations have been progressively demanding brands and organizations be more authentic. But what does that mean? As one Gen Z survey respondent shared in a recent research study from Irregular Labs, if a brand is “trying too hard” to come across as authentic, it’s probably “a straight path to failure.”
“Authentic businesses inspire and prosper,” asserts Neil Patel says in a blog post titled Why Authenticity is the Key to Growing Your Business. “Simply put, being authentic means staying true to who you are, what you do and who you serve.”
“Trust” may not be a new sales buzzword on the scene, but it’s one that we keep seeing rise to the top of the discussion this year. In a way, it feels like trust binds all the other sales and marketing keywords and B2B best practices together. In a recent episode of Harvard Business Review’s advice podcast titled Building Trust, guest speaker Liane Davey, an organizational psychologist, put it this way: “Trust is really the basis of effective communication. Trust is the basis of having productive conflict. So, the reason it’s so important is because it underpins pretty much everything else we’re trying to accomplish…”
Building a relationship or building a business has to go hand in hand with building trust with the people around you. There’s a reason this marketing buzzword isn’t going anywhere. Trust will undoubtedly continue to be a foundational element of building B2B relationships moving forward.
“Empathy” is a hot keyword that we have seen on the upswing lately. Especially where B2B marketing and sales strategies are becoming more account-based and relationship-centered, the ability to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes is a more important than ever.
As Julien Adler wrote in a Medium article titled Why Empathy May Be Your Most Important Business Skill, “In the workplace, empathy can help boost productivity and sales. Empathy fuels collaboration because people feel others on their team honor their concerns and feelings.” And Charlie Liang, head of demand generation at Lattice, recently shared his take on empathy via LinkedIn, saying, “Empathy is such an underrated skill in the workplace imho. Practice empathy and you’ll be so much better at your job (sales, marketing, product), work relationships and even at home.”
The sheer amount of information we all interact with on a daily basis is astounding. Between emails, texts, posts, stories, snaps, blogs, infographics, phone calls, podcasts, TV content, ads, and actual real-life experiences, it’s a wonder our brains don’t all shut down by noon. This is why memorability has become a rising keyword. It is becoming harder and harder for companies – and their sales and marketing professionals – to create memorable moments with their intended audiences.
We predict we’ll continue to hear more anecdotes in B2B customer success stories that speak to salespeople and other team members doing the unexpected or going the extra mile. Bare minimum or boring won’t cut it anymore. We think Jeff Gapinski gets to the heart of it in a recent Forbes article titled Six Ways to Make Your Brand More Memorable, writing, “Give people a reason to remember you. The downside of not being memorable isn’t being neutral; it’s being forgettable.”
Do you have a favorite hot marketing or sales buzzword that is driving your approach to sales or marketing this year?
Comment below to tell us what resonates with you from our list, and feel free to share your own not-going-anywhere buzzword that’s defining your year in B2B.