101 Marketing Terms You Need to Know

Following on from my previous Social Media and SEO glossaries, here is the latest collection of terms you need to know, this time the focus is on general Marketing.


A/B Testing: A/B testing is a simple way to test and compare two variations of a single variable to determine which performs best in order to help improve marketing efforts. As an example this can be done with email marketing (where you vary in the subject line or copy) and calls-to-action (where you vary colors/copy)
Above the Fold: This concept refers to the placing of content on your webpage. Essentially, visitors should not have to scroll down the page or search to find out what you want them to do once they’re on your page. What you want them to do should be … ‘above the fold’.
Advertising: The practice of gaining recognition to a product, service or business through paid broadcasting, print or digital.
Algorithms: Are a calculated set of steps used by search engines to determine how your page should rank in search results.
Alt-Text: A description of an image in your site’s HTML. This is alternate text that will be displayed by a browser when an image can’t be found or loaded.
Analytics: A program which assists in gathering and analysing meaningful patterns in data about website/social media usage.


Blog: Short for web log or weblog. A blog is a regular entry of commentary and discussion and other material, such as photos and video.
Bottom of the Funnel: Refers to the stage of the buying process leads reach when they’re just about to close as new customers. They’ve identified a problem, shopped around for possible solutions, and are now very close to buying.
Bounce Rate: This represents the percentage of visitors who enter the site and then leave (“bounce”) without viewing other pages within the same site. Reasons for this could be that they didn’t find what they were looking for or the page was not optimized for usability. The lower the bounce rates, the better.
Brand: A name, term, design, or other feature that gives recognition to a specific product, service or business while separating it from other establishments.
Business to Business (B2B): Commerce transactions between businesses, such as between a manufacturer and a wholesaler, rather than selling to an individual consumer.
Business to Consumer (B2C): A business selling to an individual consumer rather than another business.


Call-to-Action: A text link, button, image, or some type of web link that encourages a website visitor to visit a landing page and become of lead. An example of a CTA would be ‘Subscribe Now.’
Churn: A key metric SaaS companies use to determine the percentage rate at which their customers are going to cancel their recurring subscription to their service. You do not want your customers to churn.
CTR or Click Through Rate: The percentage of users that click on an ad out of the total number who see the link. The higher the click through rate the better.
Closed Loop Marketing: The practice of tracking the information gathered during marketing efforts to show how they have impacted bottom-line business growth and then leveraging that intelligence to refine your marketing strategy going forward.
Content: In relation to inbound marketing, content is a piece of information that is created for the purpose of being digested, engaged with and shared. It can come in many forms from a blog post, video, social media post, to a photo, podcast and more.
Content Curation: The process of finding other relevant content that has already been created and then sharing it with your audience. Remember to always give credit to others’ content and adhere to content copyright laws.
Content Marketing: The process of creating and distributing valuable, informative and entertaining content, such as videos, white papers, guides, and infographics, with the aim of attracting, influencing and retaining customers.
Context: Sharing valuable content is important, but it’s equally as important to ensure that it is customized and contextually relevant for the right audience.
Contextual Advertising: A form of advertising that places your ads with Web pages, blog posts and news articles that are related to your business. Doing so gives a higher chance of click through and conversion.
Conversion Path: A specific online path that facilitates lead capture. At a basic level, a conversion path is comprised of a content offer, call-to-action, landing page, and thank you page.
Conversion Rate: Refers to the number of people who successfully did whatever it is defined as converting (email newsletter, made a purchase, etc.) divided by the number of visitors to your site. The higher conversion rate, the better.
Corporate Identity: A corporate identity is the overall image (symbols, colors, logos, etc.) that make up the public image of a business.
CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization): The method of using analytics and user feedback to improve the performance of your website and increase the percentage of visitors that convert into customers.
Customer Loyalty: When a consumer is a repeat buyer of a product, service or brand.


Demographics: The term used to describe a grouping of a market segment, based on age, gender, income, family life and social class for example.
Digital Marketing: An umbrella term for marketing solely using digital technologies (the internet) to reach consumers. Examples include, email marketing and social media.
Direct Competition: Competitors that provide the exact same services as your business.
Direct Mail: A means of advertising whereby commercial literature is sent to prospective customers through the post. It is often based on demographics and/or geographical location.
Direct Marketing: The business of selling products or services directly to the public rather than through retailers.
Dynamic Content: In laymen’s terms, dynamic content is the HTML content on your website, forms, landing pages, or emails that changes based on the viewer. Data is captured based on past website interactions.


E-Commerce: The means of selling products digitally on the internet
Email: In its most basic sense, email stands for ‘Electronic Mail’ and is a message distributed by electronic means from one computer user to one or more recipients via a communications network.
Exit Page: The exit page is the page in which the visitor decided to leave your website for another one or close the window.


Facebook: A social networking site that connects people with friends and others who work, study, and live around them. Facebook is the largest social network in the world with more than 1 billion users.


Geographic Segmentation: Segmenting a group of audiences based on where they live or where they are located.
Geo-Targeting: Setting your ads, including PPC campaigns, to reach only those in a specified physical location.
Google+: Google’s own social media platform that launched in 2011.


Hit: A hit is a request to a web server for a file such as documents, graphics, or webpages. For example, when a visitor calls up a Web page with four graphics, that’s five hits, one for the page and four for the graphics.
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language): is the standard markup language used to create web pages. This is the coding portion of a website that search engines read.


Inbound Marketing: Rather than the old outbound marketing methods of buying ads, buying email lists and going out to get prospects’ attention, inbound marketing refers to marketing activities that bring visitors in and focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product.
Inbound Marketing Funnel: The path which a prospect takes from the initial contact right through to the final conversion to a customer. A prospect can enter the funnel at any stage and is systematically nurtured down the funnel with a goal to converting them.
Instagram: An online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, and share them on a variety of other social networking platforms.


Javascript: A scripting language that allows website administrators to apply various effects or changes to the content of their website as users browse it.


Keyword: A word or phrase entered into a search engine for the purpose of finding relevant results. Specific keywords are targeted for advertising purposes to attract consumers using that word or phrase.
KPI (Key Performance Indicators): Is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key online marketing goals.


Landing Page: Any page that someone lands on after clicking on an online marketing call-to-action. This page revolves around a marketing offer, such as an e-book or a webinar, and serves to capture visitor information in exchange for the valuable offer.
Lead: An individual or business that has shown interest in one of your products or services. Could be either a MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead,) or an SQL (Sales Qualified Lead.) Once a prospect is converted into a lead, they are then in the inbound marketing funnel and will be nurtured down the funnel with a goal of them converting at each funnel stage.
Lead Nurturing: The practice of building relationships with potential clients and developing a series of communications (emails, social media messages, etc.) even if they are not currently looking to purchase a product or service.
Lifetime Customer Value: A prediction of the net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer.
LinkedIn: A business-oriented social networking site. Launched in May 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking.
Local Search: Allows users to find Web sites and businesses that are within a local geographic range.
Long-Tail Keywords: Search queries that contain three or more keywords.


Marketing: The process and action of communicating the value of a product or service to customers, for the purpose of promoting or selling that product or service.
Marketing Automation: Refers to software designed for marketing departments and businesses to more effectively market themselves on multiple channels online by automating repetitive tasks such as customer segmentation, customer data integration, and campaign management.
Market Research: The action of collecting valuable information on consumers’ needs and preferences.
Marketing Strategy: A marketing strategy basically lays out how you are going to market your products, services or business to customers. It is a comprehensive look at what your marketing objectives are and how you’re going to execute them.
Marketing Qualified Lead: A prospect that has indicated interest in your businesses products or services by doing something such as downloading a white paper or attending a webinar and as such is deemed ready to be handed over to the sales team.
Meme: In a broad sense, a meme is an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.
Meta Description: HTML attributes that provide concise explanations of the contents of web pages.
Middle of the Funnel: This refers to the stage that a lead enters after identifying a problem. They are now looking to conduct further research to find a solution to the problem. This would be where your business would offer case studies or product brochures etc.to help bring your business into the equation as a solution to the problem the lead is looking to solve.


New Product Development: The process of developing a new product or service for the market that involves research, development, product testing and launching.
Niche Market: A very specific and focused segment of the market.


Offer: In marketing, offers are the gateways to lead generation. This is simply the content that is provided once a lead has filled out a landing page form. What marketers should classify as an offer is something of value that a website visitor must complete a form to get access to, such as an e-book, whitepaper, webinar, and/or kit.
Off-Page Optimization: Refers to factors that have an effect on your Web site or page listing in natural search results. These factors are off-site in that they are not controlled by you or the coding on your page. Examples of off-page optimization include link popularity and page rank.
On-Page Optimization: Refers to factors that have an effect on your Web site or page listing in natural search results. These factors are on-page in that they are controlled by you or by coding on your page. Examples of on-page optimization include actual HTML code, meta tags, keyword placement and keyword density.


Permission Based Marketing: The approach to selling goods and services in which a prospect explicitly agrees in advance to receive marketing information.
Persona: Often referred to as a buyer persona, it is essentially a basic profile of a target consumer. It acts as representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers and includes factors such as customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals.
Personalisation: Involves creating customer experiences, or interactions, that are relevant, unique and tailored to each individual consumer.
Pinterest: A social network that essentially acts as an online pinboard allowing users to ‘pin’ images or products, services, places etc. that they like or want.
PPC (or Pay-Per-Click): An advertising technique in which an advertiser puts an ad in an advertising venue, such as Google AdWords and pays that venue each time a visitor clicks on the ad.
Premium Content Offer: A type of high quality, in-depth content, for example a webinar, podcast or e-book, that you can offer for free in order to convert people at certain stages of the inbound marketing funnel.
Prospect: A term to describe a potential customer qualified on the basis of their buying authority, financial capacity, and willingness to buy.
Public Relations: The professional maintenance of a favourable public image and reputation.


QR Code: Known as a ‘Quick Response Code’, a QR Code is a camera and smartphone-readable code consisting of an array of black and white squares, typically used for storing URLs, text or other information.


Referral Marketing: A method of promoting products or services using a business’ existing customers through referrals, usually word of mouth.
Relationship Marketing: The focus on developing customer loyalty and long-term customer engagement with a prospect or potential customer rather than shorter-term goals like customer acquisition and individual sales.
Research and Development: The process directed towards the discovery, innovation, introduction, and improvement of new products, services and processes.
Responsive Design: An approach to web design aimed at creating sites to provide an optimal viewing and interaction experience across a wide range of devices from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones.
Retargeting: A cookie-based technology that uses a simple Javascript code to anonymously ‘follow’ your audience all over the Web. When a user visits your website, a cookie is set on their computer and even after they leave your website and continue searching around the Web, your ads appear wherever they are.
ROS (Run of Site): An Internet advertising program that allows ads or banners to appear on any page inside of a website. Then, no matter what page a person clicks through on your website, they will likely see that advertisement.
RSS Feed: (Really Simple Syndication) allows the content from regularly updated websites such as blogs or podcasts to be aggregated and posted to one website (often called a “reader”) or mobile device.


SaaS: Stands for “software as a service.” And is software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted.
Sales Funnel: The entire sales process as a whole from prospect to paying customer, and all marketing, advertising and sales processes in between.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization: The process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.
Snapchat: A video messaging application where users can take photos, record videos, add text and drawings, and send them to recipients.
Social Media: Websites and applications that enable users to create, share and discover content and participate in social networking.
SWOT Analysis: A study undertaken by a business to identify its internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as its external opportunities and threats.


Target Market: A group of customers that a business has decided to aim its marketing efforts towards.
Top of the Funnel: Refers to the very first stage of the buying process. Leads at this stage are just identifying a problem that they have and are looking for more information. A business at this stage should look to create helpful content that aids leads in identifying this problem and providing next steps toward a solution.
Twitter: a popular micro blogging social media platform that enables users to publish 280-character real-time messages with photos, videos, and other content.


Unique Selling Proposition (USP): Any traits that differentiate a product from its competitors, such as the lowest cost, the highest quality or the first-ever product of its kind. It is the reason you give to a potential customer in order to make them consider you and not the competition.
Unique Visitors: Refers to the number of distinct individuals who have visited your website during a given period, regardless of how often they visit.
URL or Uniform Resource Locator: Also known as web address, a URL is a reference to a resource on the Internet. An example would be http://scarlettdarbyshire.com/. URLs are important for on-page SEO, as search engines scour the included text when mining for keywords.
UX: Short for ‘user experience’ and is a term for the experience your customer will have when they interact with your service or product.


Viral Content: The term used to describe any piece of media that suddenly becomes an online sensation.
Viral Marketing: Any marketing technique that encourages Web sites or users to pass on a marketing message to other sites or users on their own, exponentially increasing growth in the message’s visibility and effect.
Visits: The visit metric is the total number of times people have visited your website, whether returning or new visitors.


Website: A website is a set of interconnected, related webpages, typically served from a single web domain


YouTube: A video-sharing website on which users can upload, share, and view videos.

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