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Breaking Down the Buzz

Jul 1, 2024

They’re everywhere: buzzwords. From puzzlers like “synergy” to the seemingly straightforward “EOD,” buzzwords swarm around marketing meetings and clog up your office. These snappy sayings wield influence in shaping perception and strategy within industries. However, behind the glossy exterior lies nuance and indicators of common values. By delving into the origins, implications, and sometimes overinflated promises of these buzzwords, we can unravel their true meanings and discern whether they contain genuine insights or merely serve as a distraction in the pursuit of relevance and engagement.

We’re going to break down some of the most commonly used marketing buzzwords, so you can see what the buzz is really all about.

Thread the Needle

To skillfully navigate a difficult conflict with the precision it typically takes to thread a needle. Threading the needle involves carefully balancing a project while avoiding potential pitfalls and problems. If a coworker tells you their team needs to thread the needle, it usually is code for “tread carefully.” Threading the needle, or maintaining the delicate equilibrium of a project, is a skill required of all smart marketers. 


Swimlanes are a type of chart that visually demonstrates who on a team is responsible for what tasks. It’s based on the metaphor of swimlanes in a pool and is supposed to bring clarity to team roles. The flowchart is a tool for distinguishing job responsibilities. The swimlane metaphor also provides opportunities to tell other people, “stay in your lane.”

Take if Offline

Taking something offline is the decision to intentionally set up a separate time to discuss the topic at hand. This is usually done to avoid derailing a meeting. “Let’s take it offline” can also be a more polite way of saying “move on already.”


The dreaded End of Day, or EOD, is a term used to set a same-day deadline. Sometimes passive aggressive, “get it to me by EOD” means “I need it today.” Making a deliverable due EOD sets a deadline and communicates urgency. The drawback of using EOD is it’s subjective based on when the day is actually ending. This time can vary even between two people working in the same office—and if you’re working with someone in a different time zone, all bets are off. While the term EOD narrows deadlines down to the day, the actual time can be left unclear.

Low-Hanging Fruit

Low-hanging fruit literally refers to the fruit on the lower parts of a tree that’s easiest to grab, ripest, and most desirable. In marketing, it refers to tasks or projects that are easily completed, or prospective clients who are easily won over. The benefit of low-hanging fruit is that it usually provides maximum payoff with minimal effort, however the downside is a solution that’s referred to as "low-hanging fruit” is usually an obvious answer but not necessarily the best or most innovative one. In reality, there’s a limit to how much fruit is hanging low on the proverbial tree, and at some point you’re going to have to reach higher. 

Actionable Insights

Conclusions drawn from data sets that can be used to inform upcoming decisions or scopes of work. Actionable insights make sense of raw data and include clear direction for the future. For insights to be actionable, they must also be relevant, specific, and direct. When your team executes consumer studies, you expect actionable insights. Actionable insights typically lead to deliverables. 


Synergy literally means: “combined action or operation.” In marketing, synergy refers to the idea that combined marketing elements produce a greater effect together than individual efforts do on their own. An example would be a full-service marketing agency—like Pyper, Inc.—that has creative, media, and strategy all working together to produce better outcomes for clients. When executed correctly, marketing synergy powers successful campaigns. When thrown around a meeting room, synergy just confuses your employees. 

Snackable Content

Short, easy-to-digest, and visually engaging content. Typically designed to communicate a message quickly and widely. The best snackable content fits on a mobile device and can be easily shared. The upside of snackable content is it can be widely disseminated and widely consumed, however the downside is it must sometimes be “dumbed down” in order to be enjoyed by the masses. While snackable content can appeal to everyone, it may not be niche enough to draw in your target audience.


Behind the Buzz

Marketing buzzwords can be powerful tools for creating shared meaning and simplifying complex concepts. The danger of buzzwords is their potential to skew too figurative and have the opposite effect, obscuring meaning. As we navigate the never-ending need to differentiate ourselves, it’s becoming increasingly important to balance the allure of buzzwords with a commitment to clarity. The best way to use buzzwords is thoughtfully, with intention and care. 

If you feel buzzwords aren’t cutting it, and you need a marketing plan instead of just marketing buzz, contact us today!