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Marketing terms and definitions for beginners [Ultimate guide]

July 5, 2022 | Teemu Raitaluoto

Marketing is full of jargon ─ terms specific to an industry or domain ─ so we compiled the most important terminology and synonyms here for beginners and gurus in marketing alike because new terms pop up every day.


Glossary

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  Y  X  Z

A

Above the fold

The top visible part of a website or a landing page is referred to as above the fold. Top-of-the-fold is a synonym for above the fold. Other parts of a web page that are not visible without a scroll are referred to as below the fold.

It's important to optimize this part of the page because it's the first thing a visitor sees on a page. Optimizing the above fold reduces bounce rate and helps with page conversion rates.

A/B testing

A/B testing is a synonym for split testing. It's the process of testing two versions of a website or landing page at the same time to find which version converts the best. A/B testing can also be applied to email marketing campaigns and other things where it's important to find out which version is better.

Two different versions of a page are shown to different visitors on a page and the goal is to gather conversions. The test is over when it reaches statistical significance and then the better version can be shown to all visitors.

Account-based marketing (ABM)

Account-based marketing is a subcategory of strategic marketing that aims to acquire target accounts that fit a company's Ideal Customer Profile criteria. ABM differs from other marketing activities in that target accounts are individually targeted instead of targeting a broader audience just based on firmographic criteria alone.

1 to 1 personalization or 1:1 personalization is the same as account-based marketing.

ABM has been shown to have a higher return on investment (ROI) compared to any other marketing initiative.

More in-depth about what is ABM and how you can use it to reach target accounts.

Affiliate marketing

In affiliate marketing, affiliates are rewarded based on new customers the affiliate is able to bring to a business. Typically, the affiliate is rewarded a share of the revenue that they brought.

The affiliate model scales well and requires little effort from a company's side to organize it. Both B2C and B2B companies use this commission-based model as it allows others to sell your product on your behalf.

Annual contract value (ACV)

Annual contract value is calculated on a 12-month basis. Sometimes businesses make multi-year deals which is why it's better to calculate the contract value on an annual basis to compare the value of contracts.

ACV is similarly helpful if a business has made contracts that have a duration of less than a year and it's important to normalize their value.

Annual recurring revenue (ARR)

ARR is a measure of revenue a business generates in 12 months from a customer. It's a similar metric to MRR but counted on a 12-month time period. ARR is heavily related to the SaaS business model where customers are charged on a recurring basis.

Shorter and longer contracts can also be normalized to an annual basis and represented as ARR as long as the revenue is recurring.

Read a more detailed article on recurring revenue here.

Average order value (AOV)

Average order value is a term used in e-commerce to represent what is the average value of a typical customer purchase. AOV can be calculated by taking the sum of all sold products of all customers and dividing it by the number of customers who have bought something.

Companies typically try to increase AOV by using upsell and cross-sell tactics.

 

B

B2B

B2B is a short form for Business-to-Business. It refers to businesses that sell to other businesses. Companies operating in B2B traditionally use very different marketing tactics than B2C companies, for example, webinars.

B2C

B2C companies target consumers as their customers. They employ very different marketing and sales strategies to B2B companies that have long sales cycles.

B2B2C

B2B2C companies sell to both businesses and consumers. Companies belonging in this category are for example certain productivity tools such as Trello.

Banner blindness

Banner blindness is a common term in marketing used to describe a customer's learned ability to not look at advertisement banners, ie ads. The customer's trained eyes gloss over ads causing said blindness.

The key causes of banner blindness are too many ads and irrelevant ads. Perhaps with better ad personalization and targeting this can be fixed in the future.

Behavioral segmentation

Behavioral segmentation refers to customer segmentation that is done on the basis of customer behavior. Behavior such as what content a person consumed and what application features a person engaged with can be used to segment customers. With enough data, patterns of behavior start to emerge which is critical for good segmentation.

More on segmentation here and here.

Below the fold

Below the fold refers to the lower part of a website or landing page which is not visible when a visitor first lands on a page. Everything below top-of-the-fold is considered below the fold.

Large images and other slow-loading assets should be included here so they don't affect the initial load time of a page which contributes to SEO.

Bottom of funnel

Bottom-of-the-funnel is the closest stage to conversion. It's when your customer has passed the consideration stage and is in the act of buying your product.

Bounce rate

Bounce rate is a key website analytics metric that tells that a visitor didn't complete any action on a page before leaving. If a visitor leaves without engaging with a page, Google interprets that so that the search did not match the search result well enough and this page should have a lower page ranking

To lower bounce rate, it's important to optimize the above-the-fold of a website and to improve the relevancy of a page to the visitor with personalized content.

Brand awareness

Brand awareness is a metric that tells how many people in a certain customer segment acknowledge the existence of a company, what is their value proposition, and what is their positioning.

It also measures how memorable and recognizable a brand is to customers and potential customers.

Brand experience

Brand experience is a wide concept that includes the perception a customer has about a company based on all the interactions a customer has had with that business.

It's important to be deliberate about your brand so that as many customers as possible have the same perception about your company as possible.

Brand engagement

Brand engagement means interactions that customers participate in with your brand regardless of the channel. An example of brand engagement is when consumers interact with content a company shares on social media. Engagement creates emotional attachments to a brand leading to improved customer loyalty and brand experience. A good way to create more brand engagement is to grow more followers on social media sites who then engage with your content. Engagement is calculated by taking the amount of people that interact with your content and dividing it by the amount of people the content reached.

Brand positioning

Positioning describes how a brand wants to be positioned and compared in relation to its direct competitors.

Good positioning is important so that customers can distinguish how the value propositions of companies are different. However, in some industries, it's not easy to create a differentiable offering so it becomes more important to position a brand differently in the mind of a customer.

An example of a simple positioning would be whether a brand is perceived to be cheap or expensive.

Buyer persona

Buyer personas are a way to create better customer understanding by creating fictitious people personas and assigning the demographic and physical characteristics that might lead them to buy.

Personas is a heavily outdated concept, replaced by other methods such as jobs-to-be-done. Its controversy lies in the fact that personas are often not rooted in reality and have characteristics that could apply to very different types of buyers, therefore, making them useless for marketing.

 

C

Call to action (CTA)

Call-to-action is an actionable next step that a customer is encouraged to take on a website, landing page, or email. It can be a button or a link that when pressed counts as a conversion, but it can also be a more complex action such as filling a form.

It's important to only include a single CTA to avoid customer decision fatigue and to personalize CTAs to each visitor in order to maximize conversions.

Read more about guiding customers to the right sales funnel with personalized CTAs.

Case study

A piece of study conducted with a customer to describe how they reached results using your product. A case study also describes the customer's context and the situation at length so that other customers can evaluate if the same applies to them and whether they could achieve the same results.

It's important to create multiple case studies about customers with different backgrounds in order to cover as large a customer base as possible.

Channel marketing

In channel marketing, a third party sells your product on your behalf. It's an effective way to scale sales without much additional effort.

The 3rd party should sell the products in a different market or a different channel to avoid channel conflict where both companies are competing for the same customers.

Channel marketing vs affiliate marketing: Channel marketing differs from affiliate marketing in that affiliate marketing is commission-based whereas in channel sales the 3rd party might purchase and resell the products with a higher profit. 

Click-through rate (CTR)

Click-through rate is calculated by taking the number of impressions and dividing it by the number of clicks an ad has collected. CTR is a key metric in ads to show how interesting the audience the ad is shown to finds the copy and imagery, and whether it should be improved.

Community-led growth (CLG)

Community-led growth is a growth model where leads are invited to participate in a community to learn and discuss a topic before they become actual customers. Member involvement is a critical part of CLG but if it's successful CLG is very effective in creating new revenue.

Community-led growth vs product-led growth: In CLG the growth driver is the community while in PLG product is the growth driver.

Company data

Company data is a synonym for firmographics data.

Content distribution

It's not enough to create content in order to get people to read it. Good content distribution is important so that people find the content in the right channels when it's timely and relevant.

Companies can distribute content on social media and other channels. It's always important to understand in which channels potential customers could find your content.

Content intelligence

Content intelligence is a process of creating insights about the patterns customers consume your content and how it contributes to sales.

Content intelligence coupled with content recommendation can be used to recommend the best articles to read next for customers. It is a form of personalized marketing.

Content lifecycle management (CLM)

Content lifecycle management includes planning, creating, optimizing, distributing, measuring, preserving, deleting, and repurposing content over its entire life. Some content is not evergreen and therefore loses its purpose after a certain time. Such content would be mainly viral content.

Content management system (CMS)

A content management system is a central hub for all content of a company. Content is planned, created, optimized, distributed from the CMS to customers.

CMS vs headless CMS: A headless CMS doesn't connect the content at all with a frontend, ie. the part where readers can actually read the content, whereas a CMS does. 

Content marketing

Content marketing is the process of generating interest, inbound traffic, and revenue via content that is published on a website or other platforms. Blogs, videos, podcasts, and webinars are all different forms of content that are used for marketing purposes.

It's part of demand generation and different from paid marketing and social selling.

Content personalization

Content personalization is the process of showing different and personalized content to each customer on a website, landing page, or email. Content personalization takes into account the background of the reader to make the content as relevant as possible based on different factors such as behavior, firmographics, or other unique characteristics.

Read more on what is content personalization here.

How to personalize content based on channel, industry, company size.

Content strategy

Content strategy is the process of creating a strategy on how to win customers using content. A good content strategy includes picking important keywords, resourcing content creation, planning distribution, and planning SEO.

A great content strategy also includes how to utilize modern approaches to create personalized content.

Conversational marketing

Conversational marketing utilizes chatbots and customer support chat bubbles for marketing on a website with the aim to create a dialogue with a customer. These chats can engage visitors and customers at the right time based on visitor behavior and background context.

For example, it's common to trigger a conversational marketing outreach when a visitor has spent 10 seconds on a pricing page to ask if they need help with understanding the pricing.

Conversion

When a user performs a key action or does the intended CTA on a website, it counts as a conversion. Some conversions generate leads, eg. if a lead submits their information on a form, some drive wanted behavior such as pricing page visits.

Any action a user takes can be considered as a conversion if a marketer has so determined. Not all conversion events are equally useful in trying to generate more revenue for a business.

Conversions are a key concept in A/B testing.

Conversion platform

Conversion platforms aim to improve lead conversion in different channels such as websites or email. It's a high-level term that includes other tools such as chatbot software, website personalization tools, and others that aim to raise conversion rates.

A/B testing is common in most conversion platforms.

Conversion rate

Conversion rate is calculated by dividing the sum of all conversions by the sum of all sessions that could have led to a conversion.

Sum of all conversions / Sum of sessions that could have included a conversion.

On a website, there might be 1000 monthly visitors and only 100 of those visitors signup for the product. That gives a conversion rate of 100/1000 = 10%.

Conversion rate optimization (CRO)

Conversion rate optimization is the process of planning improvement projects, improving conversion rates by different means, and measuring the improvement. Conversion rates can be optimized using A/B testing, personalization, or other tools.

An improved conversion rate is validated with A/B testing when the test has reached statistical significance.

Read about the best tools to improve website conversion rates.

Copywriting

Copywriting is the process of creating copy. Copy is a sales-y text that aims to convert a potential customer immediately. Key characteristics of copy are simple word choices and well-spaced paragraphs to maximize comprehension.

Cost per lead (CPL)

Cost-per-lead is calculated by taking the sum of all monetary resources spent to acquire the leads and dividing it by the sum of leads acquired.

CPL = Money spent / leads acquired

CPL metrics are unique to different channels and to different customer segments.

Customer acquisition cost (CAC)

Customer acquisition cost is calculated by dividing the sum of acquisition costs by the number of customers that were acquired. An acquired customer is usually one that has started paying for a product but can sometimes also include freemium signups as well.

CAC = Total acquisition costs / customers acquired

CAC is one key SaaS metric.

Customer churn

Customer churn is a measure of how many customers have unsubscribed from or didn't return to use your product. You calculate it by taking the difference of customers in the current and previous period. Churn is always represented as a percentage and can be calculated on a monthly or annual basis.

Churn = ( Customers in current period - customers in previous period ) / Customers in current period

While customer churn represents the number of customers that left your service, revenue churn describes a similar metric for revenue. Customer churn gives you a more accurate picture of churn for freemium products where it's important to understand how engaging customers find your product even if they are not paying for it yet.

Retention is calculated from churn and describes how many customers you were able to retain in a given period.

Retention = 1 - churn 

Churn is one key SaaS metric.

Customer data platform (CDP)

Customer data platform is software that collects and aggregates customer data across different customer touchpoints and channels. A good CDP integrates with all the different marketing technology tools to aggregate as much data as possible.

A CDP can be used to provide better customer experiences across different channels if data travels two ways.

Customer expansion

Customer expansion refers to getting additional revenue from a customer by growing usage and needs of a customer. The expansion of a customer account can happen via cross-selling or upselling.

If more customer accounts expand than churn, it's possible to reach negative revenue churn which is very attractive for SaaS businesses.

Customer experience

Customer experience is created from all the different touchpoints a customer has with a business. This includes all the emotional, physical, and spiritual experiences a customer has.

The total customer experience is formed during the whole customer purchase journey.

Customer journey

Customer journey is the journey a customer goes through from awareness to pre-purchase to purchase and post-purchase.

Customer journey is a similar term to the user journey, which is a term used when a customer interacts with a product.

A customer journey map is a common tool in marketing to map out the different touchpoints a customer has when they go through the sales funnel.

Customer lifecycle

Customer lifecycle includes the whole time span from when a customer became aware of your product to purchase and post-purchase. There are multiple customer experience touchpoints during a customer lifecycle.

Customer loyalty

Customer loyalty is a measure of the likelihood of a customer to do repeat purchases with a business. Loyal customers don't try to find the same products from your competitors but stick with you instead. Customer loyalty is a synonym for brand loyalty.

Positive customer experiences lead to higher loyalty. Higher customer loyalty leads to lower churn (and higher retention).

Customer reference

Customer reference is a client who is willing to risk their own reputation to guarantee that other companies should do business with you.

Often, reference customers are also willing to take calls from other potential customers to describe their experiences doing business with you.

Customer relationship management (CRM)

Customer relationship management platform is software that includes information about a customer and where they are in the sales pipeline. The customer relationship can be tracked in the CRM to keep track of what was discussed and agreed with a customer, what customer wants and needs, and how sales should handle upcoming customer interactions.

CRM vs CDP: CRM is different from CDP in that CRM's main purpose is to track a customer's progression in sales, while a CDP includes much more data about different interactions a customer has taken during the customer journey

Customer segmentation

Customer segmentation is the process of dividing a large customer base into smaller groups. For example, all the people in US can be segmented based on their age or education into smaller groups such as "18-25-year-old college-educated people".

The benefit of customer segmentation is that businesses can target their messaging much better so that it's as relevant as possible to people seeing the message. Better segmentation usually leads to better CTRs.

Behavioral segmentation, demographic segmentation, psychographic segmentation, technographic segmentation, and firmographic segmentation are all sub-branches of customer segmentation.

Customer segmentation is a key concept in personalization because for a message to be relevant to a recipient it has to be well-targeted. Marketing to a customer segment of 1 is referred to as ABM.

Read more about how to segment customers and personalize content to each on here.

Cross-sell

Cross-selling is the action of selling another different product on top of the product a customer was already buying.  Cross-selling is very common in e-commerce where customers can be recommended products based on their other purchases. For example, when a customer buys a pair of shorts and receives an offer to buy discount sunglasses it can be considered cross-selling.

 

D

Dark funnel

Dark funnel is a term to describe all that non-attributable activity customers engage in outside the marketing funnel. The dark funnel activities still contribute to getting customers and great marketers try to influence these touchpoints as well.

Word-of-mouth is an example of a dark funnel activity where customers talk to each other outside the control of your marketing, especially if the conversation happens offline or in private digital channels.

Decision fatigue

Decision fatigue is a psychological term that describes a customer becoming exhausted and indecisive if they are presented with too many options at once. The original research goes against intuition as it would be easy to assume that more choice is always better.

Marketers use the knowledge of this phenomenon when designing different pricing tiers and other things that require a customer to make a choice. It's best practice to offer limited options and highlight one of the choices as the recommended and most popular option.

Demand generation

Demand generation is the process of driving customer awareness and interest using inbound marketing. The philosophy behind demand generation states that you cannot make customers need your product faster so it's better to increase your brand awareness and educate customers about the problems they might have.

Demand generation vs lead generation: demand generation aims to be in the mind of the customer when they are ready to buy while lead generation aims to capture emails so that sales can contact them and check if they are ready to buy. Gated content is a key term in this debate.

Digital asset management (DAM)

Digital asset management is software that saves and organizes digital assets such as images and videos for marketing, sales, and design purposes.

Digital marketing

Digital marketing is marketing that takes place on electronic devices such as mobile phones and computers. Digital marketing is an overarching term that includes online marketing, which is marketing done only on the internet. For example, TV marketing is a form of digital marketing which is not online marketing.

Digital marketing is different from traditional marketing which refers to marketing done in newspapers, events, and other media that are not electronic. For example, animated commercials on TV are still digital marketing even though TV as a channel is becoming more traditional.

Differentiation

Differention is the process of making sure your business is different from competitors. Differention includes creating a different value proposition than competitors and creating a different brand positioning.

Digital content

Digital content includes all content such as blog texts, videos, images that are in digital format. Digital content can be saved in digital asset management software.

Digital experience platform (DXP)

Digital experience platform is a collection of technologies that enable the creation, organization, optimization, delivery, and analysis of experiences in digital channels. Such platforms usually include analytics, content management, social media management, product information management, and other tools.

Digital marketer

This is you, hopefully, if you're reading this. Digital marketer is different from traditional marketers in that they focus only on digital content and channels.

Drip marketing

Drip marketing is an email campaign format that aims to educate a customer about the problems they might have and how a product can solve them to make customers more likely to convert at the end of the email campaign.

Drip campaign vs lead nurture campaign: the two are almost synonymous but lead nurture campaign content is more personalized and takes into account the customer's stage in the pipeline and the behavior they have expressed.

Learn how to nurture pipeline leads with personalization.

Dynamic content

Dynamic content is adaptive content that changes based on a customer's interests, behavior, and preferences. Dynamic content is a synonym for personalized content.

Dynamic content vs static content: Static content is the same for everyone while dynamic content is different to individuals or customer segments. Dynamic content converts better because it's more relevant to the recipient.

 

E

E-commerce platform

E-commerce platform is a software that showcases products and allows consumers to make purchases directly from the platform. Key features of an e-commerce platform are a CMS where product information is saved and organized, a shopping cart, and checkout with payments and billing.

Email marketing

Email marketing is the process of using email to communicate with customers to market to them. Email marketing can be used to drive awareness and interest for education and sales purposes.

Common formats of newsletter marketing are newsletters, product marketing campaigns, drip campaigns, lead nurture campaigns, and company announcements.

Learn how to nurture pipeline leads with personalization.

Engagement rate

Engagement rate is the measure of how interesting a customer finds a piece of content or a product.

Time-on-page, bounce rate, and conversion rate are typical ways to measure engagement. If a customer completes a key action on a page, that counts as an engagement.

Read more about how to increase website engagement here. 

Evergreen content

Evergreen content is content that doesn't go outdated over time. It can be the opposite of viral content which is usually more time-dependent.

The benefit of creating evergreen content is the cumulative effect the content has because old content can drive traffic to a website even years after its published.

Experience management

Experience management is the process of mapping all the touchpoints a customer has with a business and tracking, modifying, and optimizing those experiences.

Experience management can be applied to vendors, employees, and job applicants as well as customers.

Experience optimization

Experience optimization is the process of improving an experience by tracking, analyzing, and improving a customer experience.

 

F

Firmographics

Firmographics refers to company data such as company size (amount of employees or revenue), industry, location, technographics, and other data related to companies. Firmographics are to companies what demographics are to people.

Firmographics are closely used in firmographic segmentation.

Firmographic segmentation

Firmographic segmentation is used to divide a large group of companies based on their firmographics (company data) into smaller sub-groups.

In B2B, it's useful to segment company audiences based on their size and industry to create more relevant messaging that is more personalized.

Read more about firmographic segmentation and how to use it for personalization here.

Footer

Footer is the lowest part of a website. Information such as relevant links is usually put in the footer to not include too much information in the top-of-the-fold or navigation bar.

The footer is a key HTML element that also usually includes information about the author of a piece of content.

 

G

Gated content

Gated content refers to content that is behind a lead generation form that requires readers to give up their information to consume the content.

Gated content has become controversial with the rise of the demand generation philosophy. The main argument against gated content is that it's better to allow your customers to read your content which helps them remember you when they are ready to buy.

Growth experiment

A growth experiment is a test setup that aims to grow any key metric of a business. A growth experiment starts by creating a hypothesis about a change that could grow a key metric. A/B testing is a key concept to a growth experiment because it's important to measure the situation before and after the change until there's enough data (statistical significance).

Growth experiments are usually done in a build, measure, learn loop where it's important to learn why or why not the original hypothesis was correct. This helps with creating new growth experiments that contribute to the learning of an organization.

Go-to-market (GTM)

Go-to-market describes the strategy a company applies to bring its value proposition to market and achieve competitive advantage and differentiation.

Key questions a GTM model should answer are:

Sales model: self-service or account executives selling your product

Marketing model: Content or events, and which channels a company should market in

Service model: Self-service content or dedicated customer success managers 

Growth hacking

Growth hacking is the process of conducting growth experiments. Growth hacking can be applied to marketing, product, or other business areas where it's important to improve the key metrics of a business.

Growth marketing

Growth marketing is a sub-branch of growth hacking that focuses only on marketing. It's become a standard to refer to growth marketing and digital marketing almost synonymously which is false.

As a beginning marketer, you should ask if a company does their marketing in sprints (limited 1-6 week time periods) using growth experiments. Otherwise, growth marketing is just a buzzword for the company.

Guerrilla marketing

Guerrilla marketing is the creative use of novel and unconventional marketing tacticts to gain attention from people and key target customers. A simple example of a guerrilla marketing tactic would be graffiti on a wall.

 

H

Header

Header is a core HTML element that usually includes introductory or navigational elements of a website.

Headless CMS

Headless CMS is software used for content management but it doesn't include a reader-friendly front-end. The benefit of a headless CMS system is that it allows developers to develop their own presentation/view layer where the content is consumed.

Read about Headless CMS vs CMS here.

Heatmap

Heatmap is a piece of marketing technology that shows what parts of a page a customer engaged with. The heatmap is an aggregate result of all the customer interactions where red markers show the most engaging parts of a page and green to transparent shows the least engaging parts.

Heatmaps are an important tool to optimize content and elements on a page. If none of the customers engage with an element, it should be replaced or re-styled. Sometimes heatmaps expose usability issues.

Hero image

The hero image is the topmost image in the above-the-fold part of a web page. It's important to A/B test and optimize this image as it contributes largely to bounce rate.

Hyper-personalization

Hyper-personalization refers to the usage of artificial intelligence (AI) and real-time data for real-time personalization.

The term is slowly being outdated as a buzzword as commonplace personalization often already includes the use of AI and also happens in real-time.

Read more what personalization usually refers to.

 

I

Ideal customer profile (ICP)

What does ICP stand for? Ideal customer profile is a description of the best-fit customers a business should market and sell to. ICPs have a bigger need for your product and should therefore convert to customers faster. Customer profiles are created to target your customers better.

ICPs can be created using common firmographic data but it also includes a deeper understanding of why these customers convert faster and why they are more loyal.

Impression

Impression is a metric of how many times an ad was shown to a customer. Impressions are needed to calculate an ad's click-through rate and how good is your ad copy and customer segmentation.

Inbound marketing

Inbound marketing is the process of creating and publishing content that raises customer awareness and interest.

Inbound marketing vs outbound marketing: Where inbound marketing aims to attract customers to consume content, outbound marketing aims to interrupt and start a conversation or conversion immediately. Paid ads are considered to be outbound marketing.

Intent data

Intent data is a subcategory related to behavioral data indicating that a business is interested in your offering. Identifying company visitors on a website based on their IP address is regarded as intent data. Other intent data are reading patterns of product reviews.

Intent data can be used to inform the lead scoring of a company.

 

J

Jobs to be done (JTBD)

Jobs-to-be-done is a framework that describes what a customer aims to accomplish. JBTD helps to improve marketing messaging and segmentation with behavioral data.

The benefit of the jobs-to-be-done framework is that it focuses on the result a customer wants to achieve instead of the means to achieve it. The framework also helps designers innovate new solutions if there are no limitations to how it is done.

Jobs-to-be-done vs customer personas: While jobs-to-be-done focuses on what the customer wants to accomplish, personas focus on just the demographics of a customer which leads to poorer targeting and segmentation.

 

K

Keyword optimization

Keyword optimization is part of SEO that focuses on researching, selecting, and optimizing content around specific keywords a business wants to rank for.

 

L

Landing page

A landing page is a web page whose main purpose is to convert a customer. It's a simplified version of a website without navigation bars and only one call-to-action.

It's common to drive traffic from ads directly to a landing page instead of the generic website.

Landing page is a synonym for a lead capture page.

Read more about the most common landing page builder tools here.

Landing page optimization

Landing page optimization is the process of improving the conversion rate of a landing page. It's a subcategory of conversion rate optimization and website optimization.

It's important to optimize the conversion rate on a landing page to boost campaign results. There are multiple ways to optimize a landing page such as website personalization and A/B testing

Read more about how to optimize a landing page with personalization here.

Lead

A lead is a person who has expressed interest in your product and has submitted their information into a lead capture form. The job of lead generation activities is to get more leads.

Sales contact leads to conduct discovery calls and understand how well the customer's need and problem fits a company's offering.

MQLs and SQLs are other important terms related to leads.

Lead generation

Lead generation is the process of generating leads with different methods such as landing page forms or other methods where a potential customer's contact information is collected.

Lead generation includes concepts such as lead nurturing and lead capture.

Read about lead generation vs demand generation and lead generation for technology companies.

Lead nurturing

Lead nurturing is the process of educating leads about the problems they are having and how your product solves those problems. The purpose of lead nurturing is to increase the odds that a lead converts.

Read about the difference between lead nurturing and drip marketing here.

Lead scoring

Lead scoring is a process of assigning leads a score based on how valuable they are to your business and how likely they are to convert to customers.

Lead scoring is usually a part of a larger marketing automation platform where it's easy to assign different scores based on what content a customer consumes. Different behavior rewards different points and usually, points are removed after too long a time period has passed.

A lead scoring model describes the whole system of how leads are scored, ie how actions are rewarded.

Lifetime value (LTV)

Lifetime value is a metric of the total value a customer brings to a company over their entire lifecycle. It's calculated by taking the revenue they bring during a time period and multiplying it by the total number of time periods they stay with you.

LTV = annual revenue * number of years they stay with you

The number of years a customer stays with you can be calculated from churn or retention numbers.

LT = 1 / retention (years)

For example, if 50% of your customers churn every year, your customer lifetime is 1 / 50% = 2 years.

Local SEO

Local SEO is a tailored strategy to search engine optimization that helps increase the visibility of a business in local organic search results. Businesses with a physical location or serving a specific geographic area can leverage local SEO to their advantage.

The process includes optimizing Google Business Profile, building more local links/citations, getting more reviews, optimizing a website with location-specific keywords, and many others. Apart from these, there are several other local SEO ranking factors that affect the ranking of a business in a local search.

 

M

Marketing automation

Marketing automation is software that helps with distributing content across different channels in different sales funnel stages. Marketing automation platforms can be also used to automate repetitive marketing tasks such as social media posting.

Marketing qualified lead (MLQ)

Marketing qualified lead is a lead that has expressed interest based on marketing activities. If a customer leaves their lead to a lead capture form, they can be considered an MQL. MQLs are more likely to convert than prospects.

MQLs are passed to sales who contact them to understand their needs and qualify them further.

Marketing strategy

Marketing strategy is the process of researching, planning, and executing a set of marketing activities that aim to create good positioning, differentiation, and win in the markets. Creating a good value proposition around a customer problem is the first step toward a good marketing strategy.

The marketing strategy should be well-based on how customers currently perceive the market, the category, and the problem.

What are the 4Ps? Marketing strategy has traditionally included a so-called 4P approach: place, price, product, and promotion.

MarTech

Martech is a short form term for marketing technology. When talking about a martech stack, marketers refer to the suite of tools a business is using.

Middle of funnel

When a customer considers your product to solve their problem, it's called being in the middle-of-the-funnel stage.

Top-of-the-funnel comes before middle-of-the-funnel and bottom-of-the-funnel comes after middle-of-the-funnel.

Minimum viable product (MVP)

Minimum viable product is the smallest functional version of a product that enables you to test a hypothesis. It doesn't have to be software, a landing page is sometimes enough to test if people are interested in what you are offering.

The purpose of an MVP is to learn something about a customer segment and produce validated learning.

MVP is a key concept in growth hacking.

Monthly recurring revenue (MRR)

Monthly recurring revenue is revenue that is renewed every month. It's a key term to SaaS businesses and can be converted into ARR by multiplying by 12 months.

Multivariate testing

Multivariate testing is similar to A/B testing where you test more than two versions at the same time.

The challenge of multivariate testing is usually the amount of traffic needed to reach statistical significance.

N

Net promoter score (NPS)

Net promoter score is a measure of how many customers promote your business and how many are detractors. Its value ranges from -100 to 100.

How NPS is calculated: Sum all scores from promoters and subtract all detractor values.

Promoters (score 9-10): Loyal enthusiasts

Passives (score 7-8): Satisfied but not very engaged customers 

Detractors (score 0-6): Unhappy customers who have had a bad experience and can damage your brand

NPS = sum(promoter scores) - sum(detractor scores)

 

O

Omnichannel marketing

Omnichannel marketing means marketing in multiple channels at the same time. It has become necessary to be in multiple channels at the same time to be in the mind of a customer.

Online marketing

Online marketing includes all marketing that takes place online. Digital marketing is a synonym for online marketing.

Organic traffic

Organic traffic is the measure of people who find your website through search without them landing there from an ad. Strong organic traffic is usually a signal of great inbound marketing efforts. 

Outreach campaign

Outreach campaign is the action of reaching out to prospects that might be interested in your product. People in the campaign are usually not leads yet.

Outreach campaign effectiveness varies based on your customer segmentation and value proposition.

 

P

Page ranking

Page rank describes how high your page is shown in search results on Google. Page rank of 1-10 is usually desirable because the first page of Google generates the most traffic to a page.

Page rank is a key term in SEO.

Page view

Page view is a metric that describes if a customer has visited your website or landing page. It's good to measure page views on different pages to understand how popular they are and how customers navigate across your different pages.

Paid traffic

Paid traffic means traffic that has landed on your website or landing page via a paid ad. Paid traffic is a good way to boost growth if you have the budget for it.

Paid traffic vs organic traffic: They differ in that paid traffic comes via paid channels and organic traffic comes because of content and inbound marketing efforts.

Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) 

Pay-per-click is an advertising cost model where you pay based on clicks on your ad. PPC is a good way to optimize the cost of conversion.

PPC is different from pay-per-impression which aims to create brand awareness instead of conversions.

Personalization

Personalization is the process of creating relevant content for a small sub-segment of customers. Relevant and personalized content converts better than generic content. The ultimate personalization definition would be "for the person".

Personalization has become more important with the rise of consumer and B2B buyer expectations.

Customer segmentation is a key term in personalization.

Personalization vs customization: Customization aims to make content different based on customers' self-selected preferences while personalization is up to the marketer.  

Read more about why personalization is important here.

Personalization engine

Personalization engines are a category of technology used in eCommerce that take in large quantities of customer and purchase data and produce personalized product recommendations and search results.

Personalized marketing

Personalized marketing is the process of carefully segmenting customers and creating personalized content for those customers in emails and websites.

Personalized marketing is becoming more important as customers don't respond well to poorly targeted generic marketing anymore.

ABM is a sub-category of personalized marketing.

Pirate metrics (AARRR)

Pirate metrics describe common growth metrics important in SaaS. It's important to optimize the metrics to achieve fast growth.

Where pirate metrics comes from:

Awareness: How many customers are aware of you?

Acquisition: How many customers are you acquiring?

Revenue: How much revenue are you generating from customers?

Retention: How many customers do you retain?

Referral: How many customers refer you new customers?

Product-led growth (PLG)

Product-led growth is a growth and marketing model. PLG includes a product where value creation is fast and easy to understand. PLG also includes creating marketing content that puts the product in the center and educates customers about the use cases it solves.

Product-market fit (PM-fit)

Product-market fit is a startup term that describes how well a market is reacting to a product that is created. It is said that when a company has reached PM-fit, the biggest issue the company has to deal with is how to keep up with the growth.

Measuring PM-fit is not easy. One way is to understand how loyal are your customers and if they would be disappointed if your product went away.

Product marketing

Product marketing is the process of creating and publishing content about your new feature launches and product use cases.

Product marketing is a key strategy in PLG.

Product qualified lead (PQL)

Product qualified lead is a lead that has signed up to your product and completed key actions that indicate that they are receiving value from your product and could convert.

7-day retention is one way to qualify leads in a product.

Product qualified lead is a key strategy in PLG.

 

R

Referral marketing

Referral marketing is a process of getting new leads and customers that are referred by existing customers. Referrals are multiple times more effective in getting new revenue compared to doing cold outreach.

Referral marketing vs affiliate marketing: Affiliate marketing is different from referral marketing in that affiliates are paid a commission based on new leads generated but the affiliate doesn't have to be a customer themselves.

Revenue attribution

Revenue attribution is the process of recognizing (attributing) which marketing channel activity brought which stream of revenue. Revenue attribution is important to understand what marketing channels work for a business and if a business should spend more in that channel.

The problem with revenue attribution is that it is hard to attribute closed deals to one channel, especially in B2B, due to omnichannel purchase journeys.

Revenue churn

Revenue churn is a term used to describe how much revenue you were able to keep month-to-month or annually. It's different from customer churn in that it directly considers the amount of revenue instead of the number of customers that churn.

Revenue churn is a similar term to revenue retention. 

Revenue retention can be negative if enough customers buy from cross-selling and upselling efforts.

 

S

Sales cycle

Sales cycle length describes how long it takes for a customer to go from awareness to purchase.

Sales funnel

Sales funnel is a marketing term that includes all the steps a customer goes through to become a customer. The sales funnel includes the phases of top-of-the-funnel, middle-of-the-funnel, and bottom-of-the-funnel.

As a whole it includes 7 steps:

1. Awareness: Becoming aware of the company and its offering

2. Discovery: Qualifying leads and defining needs

3. Evaluation: Making an offer

4. Intent: Negotiating

5. Purchase: Closing the deal

6. Loyalty: Delivering and using the product

Sales pipeline

Sales pipeline describes the different stages a customer goes through to become a customer. Sales pipeline is a key term in sales to evaluate the revenue potential in each stage and how the sales forecast might change based on what is in the pipeline.

Sales qualified lead (SQL)

Sales qualified lead is a lead that is considered a potential customer by sales. The customer goes through a discovery call where the customer's needs are mapped and it's evaluated if the customer is a good fit.

Search engine marketing (SEM)

Search engine marketing is a form of paid marketing where ads are shown on a search engine such as Google. The benefit of SEM is that customer intent can be easily captured based on keywords

SEM traffic is considered to be paid traffic.

Search engine optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization is a process of researching keywords, optimizing content around keywords, and analyzing results. SEO is a big part of inbound marketing because, without proper optimization, your content is not ranking as well as it could be.

Smart content

Smart content is a term used by Hubspot to describe their content personalization features.

Read more why the smart content is not so smart.

Social proof

Social proof is a psychological term where the purchase or usage of another customer of a product increases the perceived value and trustworthiness of the product.

It's an important marketing tactic to show other people are using your product. Customer references, case studies, and customer logos on a website increase social proof.

Social selling

Social selling is the process of creating and sharing content on social media with the aim to generate sales. Social selling is a good way to educate customers and create thought-leadership among a group of customers.

The benefit of social selling is that it's non-intrusive and can reach large audiences quickly and affordably. Check these social media post ideas to improve your social selling. 

Software-as-a-service (SaaS)

Software-as-a-service is a business model in which a customer pays a recurring fee for the usage of the product instead of buying the ownership or license to the product.

The benefits of the SaaS model include frequent product upgrades and lower start-up fees.

The SaaS model was popularized by Salesforce and has become the de facto model in the software industry.

Split testing

Split testing is a synonym for A/B testing.

Statistical significance

Statistical significance is a mathematical term rooted in statistics. In marketing, it describes whether the result on an A/B test is reliable enough to say either version is better than the other.

It's common to use the 95% confidence interval to determine statistical significance.

Strategic marketing

Strategic marketing aims to win wanted positioning and strategic accounts. Strategic accounts are critical to win over because of the status they hold in the market. Strategic accounts are different from just target accounts which may not be strategic.

ABM is a part of strategic marketing.

 

T

Tag manager

Tag manager is used to distribute Javascript tags quickly on a website without touching the page code. The word "tag manager" is usually used synonymously for Google Tag Manager (GTM).

Technographic segmentation

Technographic segmentation is the process of segmenting customers based on the technologies they use. The benefit of technographic segmentation is obvious if your product can create more value when integrated with a certain set of other technologies or if the technologies signal something else about a customer.

Thank-you page

A thank-you page is a page that is usually shown after a form submission. It's a good way to measure conversions because it signals that a customer actually submitted the form.

Top of funnel

Top-of-the-funnel includes the awareness stage of a sales funnel. In this stage, it's important to make customers aware of your value proposition and company.

Touchpoint

A touchpoint is any interaction a customer has with your company. Each touchpoint contributes to creating a customer experience.

It's important to carefully consider each touchpoint and optimize them to create the best customer experience.

 

U

Unique selling point (USP)

Unique selling point is a statement about your product that makes your product differentiate from competitors and better than them.

It's important to understand your USP and highlight it across your marketing content to appeal to customers in the best and most favorable way.

Unique visitor

Unique visitor is a website visitor that can have multiple page views and sessions across a time period. It's a useful metric to track the number of different people consuming content and visiting a page.

Unique visitor is a similar term to Monthly Tracked User (MTU) commonly used in SaaS billing.

Upsell

Upsell is the act of selling an upgraded version of a product by highlighting the increased value of buying a premium version. Upselling is a key source of new revenue for a lot of businesses because it's much easier to sell to existing customers than to new customers. Upselling is the only way to achieve net negative revenue retention meaning customer accounts increase in value over time rather than diminish.

There are no good and meaningful upsell synonyms, but phrases like "convince/convert to buy more of the same product or a more expensive product" can be used instead.

User-generated content (UCG)

User-generated content is content that is created by website or app visitors. Comments on a website and discussions on social media are considered to be UGC. UGC is not so valuable for SEO as content created by a business unless you are running a media publication business where registered users create long-form content. Usually, site owners disavow hyperlinks in UGC so the website doesn't get flooded with spammy links.

UTM tag / UTM parameter

UTM is short for Urchin Traffic Monitor which was designed to attribute marketing across channels when visitors clicked on links. UTM parameters are simple query parameters used commonly in software development to fetch data. An example of a UTM parameter is utm_campaign and a full link example would be:

https://markettailor.io/?utm_campaign=marketing-terms-blog

Learn how to use UTM parameters for website personalization when visitors land on your website from different marketing campaigns.

You can build your own links with UTM parameters here.

V

Value proposition

Value proposition is a statement of value a customer receives when they purchase your product. It's important to understand the different values your products can offer and what is the most appealing of them to your customers. It's alright to try out different value propositions pre-product-market fit.

Viral loop

Viral loop is a marketing tactic where one action leads to more of that same action and the result is compounding growth. For example, a share on social media leads to other people seeing the same content which can lead to them sharing the same content leading to more views.

Viral loop is a marketing tactic where one person taking action leads to more people taking the same action resulting in compounding growth.

Viral loops are a part of viral marketing.

Viral marketing

Viral marketing aims to create marketing content and actions that compound, leading to viral loops.

Viral content aims for the right timing while evergreen content aims for content that doesn't get outdated.

 

W

Web analytics

Web analytics is a software tool that aims to track customers and aggregate data in a way that makes it easy to create actionable insights from the data. Without web analytics, it's impossible to say what needs to be optimized.

Webinar

A webinar is a real-time online event where a host and sometimes a guest discuss a topic. The purpose of webinars is to educate the audience about the problems they might have, create awareness, and capture leads.

Website optimization

Website optimization is the process of improving the conversion rate and engagement on a website. There are several ways to improve the website conversion rate such as website personalization and A/B testing that aim to change the content on a website and find the best and most relevant version.

Optimizing page load times and reducing errors such as broken links can also be considered website optimization. These are also related to technical SEO.

It's important to optimize website conversions so that efforts in inbound marketing and paid advertisement don't go to waste.

You can optimize a website by increasing its conversions and/or engagement.

Website personalization

Website personalization is the process of creating personalized content on the website and landing pages. Content is changed dynamically based on segmentation criteria such as firmographics, geolocation, and behavior.

Website personalization is a sub-category of personalization.

Read more about website personalization here.

And check out top website personalization tools here.

Word of mouth marketing

Word of mouth marketing is the process of customers telling other customers the benefits of your product. WoM marketing is perhaps the hardest form of marketing because it takes other people to discuss your product. This conversation can be facilitated to an extent by being present in channels where customers are having conversations and supporting the conversation.


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