5 Marketing Technology Buzzwords: Explained

With each year that passes, the marketing technology world throws more buzzwords for us to absorb. Oftentimes, these terms can be understood theoretically, but hard to implement into our own organizations, practically. 

Here are five terms that I see are going to be repeated in marketing technology concepts this year. How many have you heard circling around the space, so far?  

1. Orchestration

Extensible orchestration is a term that has been on the tips of Salesforce marketing experts’ tongues over the past two years, but what does it actually mean? Let’s break it down…

  • Orchestration: most commonly related to a musical conductor’s intentions is to plan and coordinate the elements (instruments) of their situation (the orchestra) to produce the desired effect (harmonious music).
  • Extensible: designed to allow the addition of new capabilities and functionality.

Extensible and Orchestration come together in a Marketing Cloud and Pardot (Account Engagement) context to improve how marketers coordinate the elements (data sources, content, workflows) of their situation (teams, channels) to produce the desired effect (single profile of an individual, actionable engagement data) – and be able to add elements without disrupting their situation.

Examples off the top of my head include:

  • The Pardot API v5 (more endpoints added with each release).
  • Marketing App Extensions, with External Activities and External Actions.
  • Email Content object – being able to deploy to different types of emails.

I have a feeling we will see more functionality over the course of 2023 that will make your Marketing Cloud tech stack feel more like an orchestra than a ‘cocktail’ of platforms.

2. Consolidation

A recent partner conference hosted by Salesforce discussed the proliferation of apps that compete with Salesforce platform offerings. By their estimation, there are approx. 13,000 marketing application competitors (that has risen from 200 over the past 20 years!).

We only need to see the Marketing Technology Landscape, published annually by chiefmartec.com. Their call out statistics? “The number of solutions is now 9,932 — up 24% from 2020”. Also included in the article is a visual progression from 2011 (~150 solutions) through to 2022.

I think we’ve got the point – more apps on the market means more risk that two or more apps in your stack serve the same function. Subscription-based apps rack up in cost and eat into your marketing budget. 

There’s one question hanging over anyone who is evaluating their apps: “Should you opt for ‘best of breed’ or ‘best of suite’? ‘Best of breed’ gives you the best app in the marketplace for that particular need, whereas ‘best of suite’ offers multiple products within the suite.

Best of Breed vs. Best of Suite: Which is Best for Your Marketing Tech Stack?

Consolidation is a theme that Salesforce are leveraging, seen most recently with the introduction of “Sales Suite” and “Service Suite” editions. Firstly, these “help any company unlock cost savings and create exceptional customer experiences”. Secondly, “Salesforce Suites simplify tech stacks and reduce total cost of ownership” – as opposed to using a range of different vendors and tools (Salesforce News).

Salesforce are in a good position to advocate this. Take Marketing Cloud, for example, with 20+ modules (“Builders” and “Studios’”) that cater to almost all marketing channels you could desire.

What is Salesforce Marketing Cloud? [Builders and Studios Overview]

3. Activation

Customer data platform (CDP) was the hot theme in 2022 – we heard plenty at Connections ‘22, and then Salesforce surprised us by unveiling Genie (now Data Cloud) at Dreamforce ‘22. The conversation around CDP and the Salesforce platform is not going to fizzle out in 2023 by any means! 

Data Cloud (Salesforce’s CDP) is designed for audience segmentation and ‘activation’. This means that with their segment, marketers can kick-start campaigns (across multiple channels), or run Einstein optimization tools that recommend engagement tactics.

Activation is the key differentiator between CDPs and their predecessor, DMPs (data management platforms). With CDPs, data activation can be done in two main ways:

  • Native: Just like the Marketing Cloud example above, the segment can be utilized within the same platform, such as kick-starting campaigns (across multiple channels), or running Einstein optimization tools that recommend engagement tactics.
  • Cloud storage/BI platforms: Sending the segment to these platforms means that the data can be ingested by other platforms, or used for visualization. 

4. Augmented

The dictionary definition of augmented is “having been made greater in size or value”. Augmented data, in a marketing context, means leveraging machine learning to generate new data points for use in prescriptive (the ‘now’) and predictive (the ‘what if’) analytics. 

The value of augmented data is that you can operationalize data analysis, as the ‘heavy lifting’ to combine and generate data points is taken care of. This gives users who aren’t necessarily skilled as data scientists access to powerful data analytics. The business value is that users can spot improvements to take action. 

5. Interoperability

A mouthful to say and sounds complicated – however, its definition is relatively simple: the ability of software to exchange and make use of information. 

Moreover, interoperability applies to many aspects of marketing. However, it’s not only about software, but the users on each end of the information exchange. Here are some examples that came to mind:

  • Marketing/sales teams mesh: Which data points are mutually beneficial to both the sales and marketing teams? How is, say for example, marketing data processed on the sales side to make it usable for their way of working? 
  • Partnerships with other organizations: You may wish to share Lead and deal intel with partners to increase your revenue. There’s also the opportunity to partner with other organizations to offer loyalty programs that go beyond coupons for your own products and services. Bringing more rewards into loyalty programs are enticing incentives to continue engaging with your brand, and can boost gamification. 
  • Content syndication: Publishing your content to other websites requires interoperability with that third party to ensure that the set up is correct, and you are receiving the data and insights in return.

Bonus: Analysis Paralysis 

I tried to keep this rundown to five terms, however I couldn’t help myself but to add this bonus one!

With more data being captured than ever before (more data sources, and more ways to analyze data), we can face what’s known as “analysis paralysis”, a state of overwhelm, not knowing what metrics to look at. 

Analysis paralysis can be solved by defining core metrics you are looking to improve, setting up dashboards/widgets for the whole team to view (everyone on the same page!), understanding where data has come from, and the ability to question what may seem like anomalies.


Marketing buzzwords are always circling around the space, so I hope this post helps to clear up those terms that I predict will cross your path in 2023 and beyond. 

Let me know in the comments which new marketing technology concepts you have been implementing so far…

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