Don’t Look Brainless at Work: Understand These 7 Crucial Business Buzzwords



Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: April 7, 2021

One person cannot be expected to learn everything in school. Even if you were a first-rate student, there are bunches of things your instructors never told you – things you’ll need to know to succeed in the “real world”. Here’s a crash course to help you understand 7 of the most important business buzzwords, trends, and terms you’re likely to encounter at work in 2019:

Crucial Business Buzzwords You Should Understand

1. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a technology in which computers or other machines are made to solve problems as people do. “Machine learning” is an important component of AI. Innovators in every field of interest are trying to figure out how to use this technology to automate their work, increase their efficiency and save money. Current applications of the technology include driverless vehicles, interactive toys, and beauty apps.

In the future, artificial intelligence (AI) will have an increasing influence on every industry on earth. Some industries are already further along with AI adoption than others are. If you’re pursuing a career in any of the following industries, it’s particularly important for you to learn more about AI and its growing role in your niche:

  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing
  • Finance
  • Shipping and logistics
  • Transportation

2. Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is a term describing technology that juxtaposes computer-generated imagery with a user’s view of the real world. Examples include an augmented reality mirror at Disney’s Tomorrowland and augmented reality games such as Pokemon Go. The technology has applications in almost every industry. If you work in any of the following industries, this is the technology you’ll definitely want to learn more about:

  • Retail
  • Construction
  • Travel, tourism, and hospitality
  • Education
  • Healthcare

3. Big Data

“Big data” refers to the recently expanded capabilities that companies, governments, and organizations have to capture, store and use massive quantities of data. Harvesting and using such significant amounts of data was not easy prior to the popular adoption of computers. Virtually every professional in every industry can benefit from understanding more about data – because organizations in every industry are working feverishly to capture more data and figure out how to profit from it.

4. Blockchain

When someone says “blockchain,” perhaps you automatically think of Bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies. However, blockchain has countless potential and actual business applications that are entirely separate from digital currency.

Blockchain is also known as “distributed ledger technology” (DLT). This technology works because large numbers of networked computers in different locations are able to record and store the same information permanently. Anyone who wants to manipulate the data unscrupulously would have to breach multiple computers to do so – a virtual impossibility. The result is that any industry involving record keeping could potentially benefit from integrating blockchain into their systems and procedures.

In Australia, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has plans to transition its registry, clearing and settlement systems to incorporate blockchain technology. Public officials in Dubai are working to create a paperless government powered by blockchain technology. The Gulf News reports that the Dubai Land Department is already conducting all its transactions using blockchain technology. Numerous other governments and organizations are also working to profit from the incorporation of blockchain into their operations.

5. Content Marketing

Traditional methods of marketing include newspaper ads, magazine ads, and television commercials. These methods involve interrupting consumers when they are in pursuit of information or entertainment they’re truly interested in; marketers using these methods hope consumers will transfer their attention from whatever they’re intentionally reading or watching to focus their attention on the advertising. These traditional methods are easy for consumers to ignore, and they do not always produce the desired results.

Content marketing is a different approach to marketing. Instead of interrupting the consumer while s/he’s reading or watching media s/he enjoys, the goal is for the marketing team to create the media the consumer desires to read or watch. This type of marketing has proven to be exceptionally effective for attracting new customers, increasing sales and creating brand awareness.

Content marketing can consist of any type of content that would help consumers better understand topics relating to an organization’s products, services or branding goals. Content marketing can consist of videos, images, infographics, articles, blog posts, webinars or any combination of these.

If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or you are pursuing a career in marketing, it would be beneficial to learn more about content marketing.

6. Influencer Marketing

An “influencer” is an influential internet user – typically, a social media user — who has a sizable number of followers. The specific number of followers it takes to be an influencer is not set in stone, but some marketers set the cutoff point at one million followers or more. “Influencer marketing” happens when brands partner with these influential social media users. The brand pays the influencer or provides other perks – free trips, free products, etc – to advertise the brand’s products or services to the influencer’s following.

There are brands who partner with influencers who have smaller audiences. The New York Times points out definitions for “micro-influencers” (they have tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of followers) and “nano influencers” (they have as few as 1,000 followers).

A more thorough understanding of influencer marketing would be helpful for you if you plan to become an entrepreneur or pursue a career in marketing.

7. Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing is when a company focuses on strict elimination of all waste from its manufacturing processes. Toyota is known for being the innovator behind this concept. The Toyota Production System (TPS) specifies 7 different kinds of manufacturing waste that needs to be minimized.

If you plan to pursue a career in manufacturing in the UK or globally, an understanding of lean manufacturing principles is essential. According to a report from Foresight and the Government Office for Science, the manufacturing industry is directly responsible for employing 2.6 million people, which is about 10 percent of the workforce in the UK. The industry is indirectly responsible for even more employment because other workers are needed for providing many of the goods and services used in manufacturing. However, the number of workers in the manufacturing industry is declining, and so is the output being produced by the UK’s manufacturing companies.

Future employment in UK manufacturing roles is even more vulnerable. This is because automation technologies threaten increasing numbers of jobs in this field. So if you’re pursuing a career in manufacturing, consider aiming for a management role and taking Lean Six Sigma courses. Taking these steps can increase your chances of remaining employable as more manufacturing processes become automated in the future.

Now you’re updated on 7 of the latest business buzzwords you’re likely to encounter at work in 2019. Having a basic understanding of these trends and terms is sure to be helpful to you when your colleagues discuss any of these concepts in your presence.

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