The following words are useless in 2015:

  • PPC (pay-per-click) was the name for advertising in Google, but you can also place ads in Google and pay for the display (impression), not the click. So the term PPC is now useless.
  • SEM (Search Engine Marketing) became the new name for putting ads on the web because it really meant putting ads in Google. That covered PPC and impression advertising. But.. search engines are no longer the center of the universe. That shifted to social on mobile. What do you call ads in Facebook? SEM?
  • Paid Placement is a better term: it covers the payment to place ads on search engines, social, websites, blogs, apps, and so on. But… isn’t that just another word for advertising?

So let’s just call it advertising. That includes paying for the click, the impression, content placement (get your text or video into a blog), and so on.

And while we’re on this, what about SEO? That’s Search Engine Optimization, which the methods to get your website to rank higher in Google. But… the same problem: Google’s no longer the only issue. What’s SEO for social? There’s no name for that.

What about SEO for apps? There’s actually a new field for SEO for apps; it’s called ASO (App Store Optimization, or how to get your app to rank higher in Apple App Store and Google Play).

I call it Findability. Your target audience can find you (website, page in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) whatever device they are using (desktop, tablet, cell phone) in whatever software (search engine, social, etc.) they’re using.

What about online and offline marketing? Digital vs offline? There’s no clear difference anymore. Only a newbie would launch digital and offline campaigns that are independent of each other. The proper way to do marketing is to launch a campaign where the various elements support each other: the ads in Facebook point to the (paid placement) video in Youtube; the ads on the billboard use the Twitter hashtag; the QR codes on the bus ads point to the website, and so on. All of these platforms (search engines, websites, blogs, videos , ads, etc.) should point to each other in a meaningful way to support the goals of the campaign and the company.

What about Content Marketing? I hesitate to call it advertising because often, it’s not advertising (the point of advertising is to sell something). When a university publishes a series of academic books on foliage in the rainforest, that’s research and publishing. Yes, it does enhance the university’s reputation, but that’s not the point of their publishing. I write my books primarily to educate and inform, not to promote myself. Yes, indeed, the books do help in promotion, but that’s not my main goal. So… you have to look at the key purpose of the content (books, video, etc.) to determine if it’s publishing or advertising.