Glossary of Marketing Terms

Here is a glossary of Marketing terms, you can click on the Table of Contents below or scroll right through the list.

1. A/B Testing

A/B Testing is where you create two versions of a landing page, webpage, email subject line, etc. to see which one performs better. When doing an A/B Test you should change only one thing between each of the versions, then you can really see what is making a difference. There are lots of tools you can use to help create, serve, and analyse A/B Tests.

I have a ‘slightly’ unpopular opinion on A/B testing emails though – If you have 1,000 people on your list and you do an A/B test with an email – you are actually only asking 500 people if the email works for them!

2. Analytics

There are lots of Analytics tools, Google Analytics is one of the most popular for websites – And free. Analysing data enables you to identify meaningful patterns in the behaviour of your audience and the relevance of your content. The data can come from website traffic, conversions, social media, etc. Many companies choose to base their strategy on their analytics with a Data-Driven Design approach.

4. Annual Recurring Revenue

Commonly referred to as simply ARR. This is Recurring or Repeating income for one calendar year and is usually subscription-based monthly revenue.

5. Artificial Intelligence

AI is usually a bit of a misnomer although in recent years has become quite sophisticated. Artificial Intelligence started off as decision trees but has developed into big data processing and Machine Learning, where a computer or software system tries to replicate aspects of human intellect to make decisions or complete tasks.  Systems can recognise images, respond to prompts and can have visual or voice interfaces that can process inputs and outputs in an intelligent way, with accuracy and speed.

6. BANT

BANT stands for

  • Budget — How much money the prospect has for the project
  • Authority — Who is the decision maker
  • Need — Does the prospect have a problem your business can solve
  • Timing — When are they looking to purchase your product or service

7. Blog/Blogging

The word Blog comes from the term weblog which was then shortened to blog. and is a collection of ‘posts’ on a website, much like an online magazine. Like my Blog here.

Today most website owners from Individuals, startups, small businesses, and large multinational corporations write articles or have featured guest writers, to publish interesting, practical, thought leadership, or creative entertaining content, regularly on their website.

Blog posts are good for SEO and help drive website traffic. They build authority in niches and help engage with audiences to drive leads and convert sales opportunities.

8. BOFU – Bottom of the Funnel

The final stages of the buying process, or ‘funnel  – (TOFU – top of the funnel – identifying a problem, the middle MOFU – researching solutions, and BOFU – bottom of the funnel -Decision (ready to buy). CTAs at the BOFU stage are usually book a demo, a call, or a free consultation or sign up for a service.

9. Bounce Rate

An important metric for website owners and google Bounce rate looks at the number of visitors who land on a page leave immediately or without clicking on anything or moving on to another page on your site. It matters for SEO and PPC ads as it shows that the content is maybe not relevant or related to the keyword or Ad that brought them to the page.

10. Brand

A brand is important for any business, or person. It is what makes people recognise your company and separate it from other similar companies. It can be your logo, colours, tone of voice, visual look and feel, what you stand for and represent. In fact, anything that people relate to your company. Recently there has been a big shift toward personal branding, where people use social media and other channels to make themselves stand out, and in turn promote their beliefs, products, services, and businesses.

11. Brick and Mortar business

This is the physical premises of a business you will often hear it in the context of comparing to Online stores.

12. B2B – Business-to-Business

A business that sells products or services to other businesses (e.g. Oracle or IBM)

13. B2C – Business-to-Consumer

A business that sells products or services directly to individual consumers (e.g. Samsung, Apple, or Coca-Cola)

14. Buyer Personas

Buyer personas are descriptions of your ideal (Perfect) customers and help you to position your offering and marketing message. Personas must be based on factual data, not assumptions or ideals. You may have several personas, and decide to describe them in great detail; name, age, interests, as well as their professional traits.

15. CTA – Call to Action

A CTA is an important part of your landing page, email or campaign. It tells your audience what action you want them to take next. It can be highlighted and actioned by a Button on the page linked to a download, form etc. Common CTAs are; Buy now, get a quote, subscribe, download now, etc.

All content should have a CTA, it doesn’t have to be to sell but try to tell your audience what to do next before they leave or get distracted by the next thing.

16. Churn

Popular with Apps and SaaS companies as a Customer value/performance metric. Churn is the percentage of customers who uninstall your app, cancel a subscription or service or stop using your product within a certain time period. 

17. CTR – Click Through Rate

Whether in your Emails or on your website landing pages the CTR shows the number of people who respond to your CTAs. e.g. clicks on your CTA button. Actual “clicks” (actions) divided by the total number of actions people could take give you the “clickthrough rate.”

18. Cold Lead / List / Email / Call

A contact who has never engaged with your content, or spoken to you before is a Cold Lead, (a Warm or Hot Lead is one who is ready to buy). Therefore a Cold list is a list of prospects who have not shown any interest before – these need to be nurtured until they are ready to buy – and a Cold Email/Call is an email or phone call to a cold lead.

19. Comparative Advertising

A marketing message that compares you to a competitor or industry norm. Used to highlight your unique USP/differentiator some great examples in my Swipefile like this price comparison one

20. Content / Content Marketing

Any written, visual, audio or video information on your website created to inform, educate, or influence your target audience. Therefore Content Marketing is using this content to engage with your target audience. Probably the most popular form of Content Marketing is a blog

21. CMS – Content Management System

A Content Management System is software used to build your website, popular CMS are WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, Wix, etc.

22. Conversion

A conversion is when a prospect or visitor completes the CTA – Coverts. It can be any action. It doesn’t need to be a sale. If they fill in a form, download a piece of content, watch a video, etc this can be considered a conversion.

23. Conversion Rate

The conversion rate is the percentage of people who take the desired action, and convert. So, the total number of visitors divided by the number of converted gives you the conversion rate.

24. CRO – Conversion Rate Optimization

The tweaks and improvements made to an offer or page element to increase the conversion rate.

25. CPC – Cost Per Click

The price that you pay for each click on an advert. Usually, this is calculated based on how competitive the keyword is.

CPC is used most often with Google Adwords and for Facebook ads.

26. CPA – Cost per Acquisition / CPL Cost Per lead

CPA (or CAC Customer Acquisition Cost) is how much you need to spend to acquire a new customer. And CPL is how much you need to spend for a new lead.

This is usually calculated retrospectively or budgeted for based on existing data. For every campaign or marketing activity, you should consider the cost per lead, this obviously needs to be less than the revenue generated by a sale, as it tells you if it is worth doing.

For example, if you spend £1,000 attending an event or a campaign activity and you get 100 fresh leads it means your CPL is £10. If 10 of those leads become customers the CPA is £100. If the value of your product is only £100 you’re in trouble because every customer you acquire only generates enough to cover the cost of acquiring them. But you should always consider Customer LTV (Life Time Value)

27. CRM – Customer Relationship Management

A Software tool that helps you record the details of leads and prospects. You should be able to add new data via forms on your website and segment the list to target specific groups with different messages. This is usually part of, or integrated with, a marketing automation system. but is usually focussed on the sales cycle, so will be customised depending on your sales cycle and include details of your sales activity, contracts and be used to log every email, call, and customer visit. Leading examples are Salesforce, Hubspot, dynamic and SugarCRM, there are so many options from Free to enterprise priced CRM systems.

28. Decision-Maker

The person in your prospect or customer’s company who hold the position of authority to make the final choice about buying your product or service. Usually in the C Suite, CXO.

29. Demographics

Used in segmentation or tailoring your marketing message, demographics are the age, gender, income, education, family life, social aspects, etc. of your audience. These are useful when considering your buyer personas

30. Digital Marketing (Online Marketing)

A collective term for email marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, PPC SEO, SEM, etc. Any marketing activity which takes place online.

31. Direct Competition

Competitors that provide the exact same services as you.

32. Direct Mail

One of the early forms of B2C marketing, direct mail is still popular and effective today. Direct mail is written communication direct to a consumer where they live or at their place of work, through the mail. Usually segmented by demographics and geographical location, direct mail grew the industry of copywriting.

33. Direct Marketing

Marketing activities targeting the primary target audience or the ‘end user’, rather than a third party or a middle entity.

34. Discovery Call

Usually the very first in-depth call or meeting with a prospect. The purpose is to find out if they are a good fit for your product or service, and to qualify their Budget Authority Need Timing (BANT).

35. Ebook

A popular marketing Asset sometimes called a lead magnet, eBooks are generally a long-form piece of longer content designed to be placed ‘gated’ behind a form to generate leads. You will still see most companies producing these, but they are becoming less effective due to overuse and competition to the shortening attention span of prospects.

36. Ecommerce

Online stores and sales through websites are classified as Ecommerce – selling products digitally on the internet. Amazon, eBay, Shopify, & Etsy are popular examples.

37. Email List

The most important thing in your marketing stack is your email list. Users who have subscribed, signed up, opted into a free offer, or have shown an interest in your company and agreed to be on your list. As the saying goes ‘The money is in the list’.

38. Email Marketing

When you promote your products and services to your audience via email. The most effective marketing channel ever!

39. Engagement

A very important thing to keep at top of mind in marketing is Engagement. How do you keep prospects and customers interested in your brand and products and convert them into customers? By getting them to engage with you on social media, at events, your emails and your user community.

40. Engagement Rate

How popular or useful is a piece of content? We measure the likes, shares, comments or other interactions of each piece of content. Your content can be described as having a high or low engagement rate.

41. Evergreen Content

Evergreen is used to describe content that is relevant and useful to your audience not only now but in 2 years, 5 years, or 10 years. This content is timeless, high-quality information and as it is perpetually popular, offers huge SEO benefits.

42. Forecasting

Based on historical data, forecasting is a prediction of marketing and sales trends, costs or revenue, that are likely to occur in the future.

43. Geographic Segmentation

Remember that all-important list of prospects or customers? Segmenting is separating your audience into groups of audiences based on their location

44. GTM – Go to Market (Strategy)

GTM or Go to Market describes the process between developing a new product and releasing it to the market or a new (geographic) market. Although the research should be done very early on in the process, before you develop the product, and refined later. It is usually referred to as a strategy as it includes research, planning, opportunity size, competitive analysis etc.

45. Hashtag

The Hashtag was developed to help users find related content through a common keyword phrase. It is written without spaces, with a # in front of it. # was chosen as it was not used in any other commands. It is now popular on Social media platforms to help put your content in front of the right audience.

46. Inbound Marketing

When you promote your company via content marketing, podcasts, video, eBooks, email, SEO, Social Marketing, etc. it is inbound. The customer comes to you.

The opposite is Outbound paid advertising. You go to the customer.

47. Infographic

An infographic is a popular and visual type of content that is usually used to explain facts in a way that is easy to understand.

48. Keyword

A Keyword is a specific word or phrase that describes what your content is about or that your target audience is searching for (related to what you offer).

49. Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

A performance metric of various factors, to help you understand your performance. If you track KPIs it will help your company to focus on achieving its goals.

50. Landing Page

A page on your website that is usually prompted in an email, social post or ad. It usually contains a form that prospects will fill out and exchange their personal information for a lead magnet or offer.

51. Lead

All your marketing activity is focused on generating sales or leads. A lead is an individual or a company that has shown interest in your products or services. Leads can be either cold or hot and can be classified as MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) or SQL (Sales Qualified Lead).

52. Lead generation

All the marketing activities you do to get leads (prospects) who are interested in your products or services.

53. Lead Nurturing

Lead nurturing is when you communicate with the leads (prospects) in your CRM. You are engaging and building relationships with potential customers until they are ready to buy.

54. Lead Qualification

Not every lead you get will become a customer. So, all leads need to be qualified to determine whether they fit your criteria of a customer and you fit their needs as a product or service.

55. Lifetime Customer Value / LTV

A customer is for life, no just for Christmas, if you are lucky! Life Time Value or Lifetime Customer Value is a prediction of how much revenue and value a customer will be, if they remain a customer for life. This is useful when looking at acquisition costs, and also can be defined as Average LTV.

For example, if your average customer subscribes for 5 years at £1,200 a year then the LTV is £6,000.

Or if you are selling products what is the average order value and on average how many purchases does a customer buy (repeat purchases).

This highlights just how important it is to understand the data you hold about the behaviour of your customers

56. Margin

Your Margin is the profit gained from your product or service after all expenses for selling it are taken off.

57. Marketing Automation

An absolute ‘must have’ these days, Marketing Automation tools let you “automate” your marketing campaigns. Nurture leads, Drip Campaigns, and more. Automation lets you send the right marketing messages to the right people at the right time. Typically AM tools feature an Autoresponder, CRM, Email and Landing page builder, funnel or campaign builder, and range from free to enterprise. Examples are Mailchimp, HubSpot, Pardot, Sendgrid, Mautic (Open Source), etc.

59. Market Penetration

A metric or a strategy used to review performance or sell more of an existing product within the current markets it is being sold in. Can be expressed as a percentage. e.g. 15% market penetration in the UK.

60. Market Research

This is an extremely important activity for a new company, product, or campaign. Detailed research of the target market, competitors and potential customers allow you to make good business decisions.

61. Marketing

The process of promoting your products, services, or brand to your target audience

63. MOFU – Middle of the Funnel

The middle stages of the sales funnel which a buyer enters after they have identified they have a problem and are starting to consider if you can solve it. This is the time to position your business as the solution to their problem.

Content at this stage should be educational addressing common pain points. CTAs at the MOFU stage are usually ‘download a whitepaper or guide’, ‘watch an explainer video’, ‘book a demo or call’., etc.

(TOFU – top of the funnel – identifying a problem, the middle MOFU – researching solutions, and BOFU – bottom of the funnel -Decision (ready to buy).

58. MQL – Marketing Qualified Lead

An MQL is a lead that is ‘ready’ to be handed over to the sales team. An MQL has had some interaction with your content or company, such as downloading content, attending Webinars, requesting demos, etc., You can use lead scoring or conversion points to automate when leads are qualified and decide to nurture them more, or pass them to the next stage in your funnel.

62. MRR – Monthly Recurring Revenue

MRR is the amount of income generated each month from recurring or repeat subscriptions to your products or services. Like ARR, but split monthly.

64. Niche Market/Business

A very specific or narrow segment of a market in which you are trying to address the needs of with your product or service. Once you identify the niche you can more easily tailor your message and identify the right buyers.

65. Onboarding

Onboarding can refer to the period after a new customer buys your product or a new employee joins your company. Good onboarding contains all the information they need to get up and running, without overwhelming them with info. It can be delivered in stages, and in the format of videos, training courses, demo tasks, and is usually specifically guided to get to a level of competency, quickly.

66. Offer

This is usually an asset that you offer prospects on a landing page. The offer is designed to help you generate leads, so should provide as much value as possible. It could be a webinar, ebook, checklist, template, demo and more. Also sometimes called a Lead Magnet.

67. Pay Per Click (PPC)

A method of charging for online ads where you only pay when someone “clicks” on your ad, not when they see it (Impressions). You can read more about PPC here.

68. Public Relations

Public relations is an area of marketing that focuses on promoting your brand or company by getting Press releases in print or digital media, press conferences, social images, thought leadership, and articles to boost and maintain the reputation of an organization and its brands. These days the line between PR and Marketing agencies contains a lot of overlap, with both looking at the positioning and messaging of your company.

69. Responsive Design

A web page or email template that changes based on the resolution of the device the visitor uses. To ensure that your website or email can be viewed on Mobile, laptop, and desktop devices the layout needs to change having a responsive design or template means you don’t need to build separate websites for each.

70. ROI – Return On Investment

A way to measure the success of your campaign or activity (or product development). The investment you make in marketing, sales activity, or product developmet should generate a profit of greater value. If the ROI on an investment is negative, it generally means you’re losing money on that endeavor. 

Measuring the ROI on marketing efforts is a good way to assess what is worth doing and ensure you’re putting your money into the strategies that bring results.

71. Referral

A prospect or lead generated from someone who is an existing customer, an associated company, an affiliate or from a social media platform, or website linking to yours.

72. Sales Funnel

The entire sales process as a whole from – Awareness to ambassador – from prospect to paying customer – covers all the marketing and sales processes. See TOFU, MOFU, BOFU above.

73. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The practice of increasing a webpage’s performance in search results (SERPs). By optimising elements on a webpage such as the words and keywords, layout, internal and external links (there are on-page and off-page SEO factors). by making changes to your content you can move a webpage up on a search engine result “page” so that your content is discovered by more people, and more traffic comes to your page.

You should aim to get your website page in the first 10 results on page 1 of a search result. SEO elements include keywords, title and image tags, links, and more. Most people care about google results, but you can optimise for Bing or other search engines too.

74. Smarketing

The alignment of sales and marketing. All companies should aim for this as it not only improves the skill sets and knowledge of both teams but ensures that you are working towards the same goals.

75. Social Media

Probably needs no introduction, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat are now familiar to most of us. Even in countries where platforms we are familiar with are banned, homegrown solutions have sprung up or led the way.

Social media helps users to connect and companies to engage with their target audiences. Marketers can use these networks to increase awareness, grow their customer base and achieve business goals. There is also a lot of negativity around social media and the pressures it imposes on young people and the often fake realities of life and wealth that are portrayed.

76. S.W.O.T. Analysis

A framework to conduct an internal study of your company or product to identify your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

77. SQL – Sales Qualified Lead

An SQL (Sales Qualified Lead) is a lead your sales team has qualified as a potential customer.

An SQL has interacted with your content or company, has a qualified, budget and need for your product, usually had several meetings with a salesperson, and the contract negotiation stage is about to start.

78. Top of the Funnel (TOFU)

TOFU prospects are at the initial stages of the buying process. They are looking for answers to a problem they just realized they are having. (maybe you told them that they had this problem). Marketers create TOFU content that helps prospects identify the problem and leads them to solutions, preferably yours.

Content should be helpful and informative, talk about them and their challenges, rather than your company and your products.

(TOFU – top of the funnel – identifying a problem, the middle MOFU – researching solutions, and BOFU – bottom of the funnel -Decision (ready to buy).

79. USP Unique Selling Point

What differentiates your product from your competitors? This is your USP, it should be valuable to your target prospect, it could be the cost, the quality, ease of adoption, ease of use, unique technology, or method. Once you uncover this, your marketing messaging can really take shape.

80. User Experience (UX)

The experience a user has with your brand, website, or product, from the moment they discover you, right through the sales process and throughout the customer lifecycle, is what makes them decide to stay with you or move to a competitor. Create a great experience and you will keep customers for life. 

81. Viral Marketing

A method of marketing that attracts the attention of the majority of users on a platform. Content goes viral when users, share, comment, imitate and talk about it so much that it spills over onto other platforms and often into mainstream media. It is hard to create viral content, but it is possible to spot factors that make content go viral.

82. Website

Your website is your shopfront, your community, your brand, a way to connect with your audience. A website series of connected web pages, a homepage and other pages like contact, about, product/services. and often a blog. It should be designed to attract visitors, deliver your message, convert users into leads and then turn leads into sales, or fans.

83. Workflow

A workflow is a series of emails designed to nurture leads or carry out the next actions after a prospect clicks on a CTA. A powerful tool, you can use workflows to engage leads with follow up emails, learn more about prospects, segment lists, and much more.