Dictionary of Marketing Terms – A to L

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There’s nothing that prohibits learning more than acronyms and overly complex terminology or phrasing that you’re not comfortable with. To try and help clarify some of the more common words, terms and phrases in marketing we’ve put together the following glossary to help you out.

From A-L…

A/B Testing – Refers to the testing of two or more options within the campaign to see the best outcome or method to engage and audience.

ABM – Account Based Marketing. This refers to a highly focused approach to your marketing that specifically targets individual or very small groups of contacts or companies. It can be delivered in a number of ways but is built in a way that allows you be specifically engaging with that customer/ group. For example if you wanted to win Barclays as a customer you might conduct an ABM campaign to understand, promote, engage, communicate and influence as many contacts as you can find and relevant with Barclays specifically.

Account – In marketing terms an account usually refers to a specific organisation. For example if you have a sales person in your organisation that manages the relationship with HSBC, Barclays and Natwest then would usually be referred to as having 3 “accounts”.

Affiliate Marketing – A revenue sharing agreement between online advertisers and the owner of a website or blog. For example the a website can setup an affiliate marketing program where they will agree to promote or host adverts and links for another organisations solution to their audience in exchange for a percentage of the sales created from their site.

Audience – This refers to the group or groups of people/ businesses/ contacts with which you are trying to market to. For example if you’re trying to sell and market to men over the age of 50, then people who fall into that category would be defined as your audience.

Automation – From a marketing perspective automation is usually referred to as a way in which you can automate to some degree – usually with the help of a software platform – multiple stages in a campaign. One example of a marketing automation program purpose can be used to manage email marketing campaigns – perhaps once a contact receives 1 email, depending on how they engage with that email, your marketing automation platform can determine what email they receive next. There are a range of platforms for marketing automation, but some of the largest include Marketo and Eloqua.

Banner – Typically used to describe an online/ digital advert displayed on a website. This style of advert is usually around 468 pixels wide and 60 pixels tall.

B2B – Business to Business. This describes a business that sells or markets direct to other businesses.

B2C – Business to Consumer. This describes a business that sells or markets direct to consumers.

Blog – A blog is a website often used to create articles or features on a specific subject or area.

Bounce Rate – This comes in 2 different formats. For email marketing bounce rate refers to the rate in which an email failed to be delivered to an email inbox. For example if you sent 100 emails and 4 failed to be delivered you would have a 4% bounce rate. For websites the bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors to a website that land on the site but leave without clicking or interacting in anyway.

Browser – A software program that a user will interact with to navigate the Internet. High profile examples of browsers include Internet Explorer, Safari and Chrome.

CAC – Customer Acquisition Cost. This metric refers to the cost on your organisational marketing budget to acquire a single new customer. You could work this out simply if required by taking the entire budget you spent on all marketing activities during a year and then divide them by the number of new customers you completed a sale or transaction with.

Campaign – A marketing “campaign” is a very common term that’s used to explain the series of activities that are used in conjunction with each other to promote a specific message/ product/ service. For example, if a Apple launch a new mobile phone model they will run a marketing campaign to promote and drive sales of this product. The campaign could last anywhere from a week to years and consist of a wide range of tactics such as email, social media, events, tv and much, much more,

Closed Loop – An important practice in marketing and this refers to the ability to deliver a campaign, monitor it and then evaluate and report on its success. For example a customer could receive an email….visit a website…trial a product…return to the website and buy the product. If you can track and report on each stage then you are able to “Close the Loop” on measuring your success in a single journey.

Contact – This typically refers to an individual person that you have confirmed the identity for as part of your marketing efforts or sales process. If you’ve had “John Smith from john.smith@smith.com” confirmed as individual you know exists and you have this information then you effectively have him as a contact as you can now try to engage and market to them.

Content – Whilst this might seen like an obvious one to many, the term “content” in the subject of marketing refers to an asset that you have created on behalf of your organisation. The videos you create, documents you write, social media posts you put out, product literature you use are all examples of content.

CRM – Customer Relationship Management. A CRM is system or piece of software that is designed to capture and keep track of everything that existing or potential customers do. The most popular example of a CRM system is Salesforce.com but also includes others such as Microsoft Dynamics.

CPC – Cost Per Click. This refers to the cost for an individual click onto a digital advert as a percentage of the amount of money spent to deliver the campaign. For example if an organisation paid £1000 for a campaign and received 10 clicks the CPC rate would be £100.

CPL – Cost Per Lead. Whilst there are specific CPL campaign types you can run marketing within, this metric refers to the cost on your organisational marketing budget to acquire a contact that can be classed as a “lead”.

CTA – Call To Action. A very important part of any campaign or action and this refers to the behaviour you’re encouraging the reader of an activity to take. For example in an advert the CTA could be “Go to Our Website…” or “Trial Our Product for Free”.

CTR – Click Through Rate. Another important acronym and one that refers to the engagement your audience has with a campaign they see. For example if they received and email and you had a CTA (see above) to encourage them to visit your website, if 100 people saw it and 2 people clicked to the website then you have a 2% CTR. This is also important in measuring email marketing.

Device – The world has changed significantly in recent years and there are now many more forms of technology that a user can engage with content on, so remembering these different “devices” is essential. The term device can be used to cover the medium/ technology that a user can use and can include everything from a computer/ PC/ laptop, mobile phone, tablet, ereader and any other relevant technology.

Display Advertising – Display in essence refers to the digital banners and adverts you see on websites. They come in a range of sizes and styles but they are in essence “displaying” an advert.

Ebook – An Ebook is quite simply a digital book or asset. They can often be more visual than a standard printed book and incorporate more graphics and so on, but form a powerful asset for marketing engagement by providing information on a subject through a digital file displayed like a book.

Email – Electronic Mail. Most of us are familiar with email these days as the defacto form of communication where you send an electronic message from one account to one recipient.

Engagement Rate – This can be used in a number of ways but is used to monitor and measure the way in which your audience engages with your content. For example your engagement rate for a social media post could include likes/ shares/ comments versus the number of people who saw it.

Form – A form these days is typically an online method that captures data from a contact. A form could simply be used to add the details from a customer when they purchase something and provide their personal and payment information.

Freemium – This is a sales model that works on the basis of offering the customer a core or basis element of a product/ service at no cost. If they wish to “unlock” full or advanced features of it they will need to pay a cost to purchase this. In other words the initial offering is free and the full offering is available at a premium.

Gated Content – This is a great way to capture data from the content you market out. For example if you have created a valuable Ebook but don’t want to give it away totally for free then you can place a form “over” it that says “provide your first name/ last name/ email to download this Ebook”. By doing this the content is still seen as free but you’ve gained potentially valuable data by making someone go through a gate (form) before they can access.

GIF – Graphics Interchange Format. A gif is a type/ format of digital image file. It can be either be a static or an animated format.

Guerrilla Marketing – This is a marketing style that usually refers to taking an unconventional or less traditional approach to a campaign. Often considered as a disruptive style of marketing to often either stand out in a crowded market place or to take advantage of a situation by delivering a highly noticeable campaign.

Hashtag – Most commonly a hastag is used on Twitter but has since spread to other areas including Facebook. A hashtag is a way for your audience to interact with each other on social media and have conversations about a particular subject more easily by referencing a specifically created tag or hashtag.

Hosting – More often than not hosting is used in the term “web hosting” which is refers to the method or provider you used to “host” your website on the Internet.

HTML – Hyper Text Markup Language. Try not to be too overloaded as that may sound like it’s extremely complicated and in truth it is. From a marketers perspective all that truly needs be understood is that it refers to a computing language used to write and create web pages and a lot of emails are also built using it. If you hear someone refer to sending an HTML email it won’t be the sort of email you would send via something like Microsoft Outlook or Gmail, but think of it as the polished emails with embedded visuals etc you might get from someone like Amazon. They will form the core of how you send marketing emails for your organisation.

Impression – An impression in marketing terms refers to a single impression of a digital advert being displayed on a website. Each time a page is loaded or a visitor opens a web page they will generate impressions of content and advertising. In the context of a digital advertising campaign impressions are often a term used to measure the metrics of a campaigns duration and scale.

Inbound – This form of marketing is used to denote a mechanic that draws customers to engage with your organisation as opposed to you having to actively pull them into it. A website could be a simple example of inbound marketing as you use it as a way to encourage an audience to actively engage with your business or buy your products and services but you are not necessarily active in connecting with them.

Infographic – A great way to create an asset/ piece of content that incorporates a number of visual elements to explain and represent a subject to make easier to digest and understand.

Java – This programming language used by developers to design interactive tools and websites.

Keyword – Usually refers to words that relate to topics and subjects that a web page gets indexed by in order to be picked up and categories by search engines such as Google and Bing. They play an import role in your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) strategy and how visible a website is on the Internet.

KPI – Key Performance Indicator. A term used to define “what success looks like” as part of a sales or marketing campaign. For example if you’re planning a social media programme, then KPI’s could be the number of likes and shares you receive. Alternatively it could refer to the numbers of visitors to a site, people who register to attend an event and many, many more!

Landing Page – Typically this refers to a specific page who will use to drive traffic to from a campaign. For example if you’re promoting a free Ebook as part of your campaign, you might host this on a dedicated web page with a form to capture information – see gating – before providing access to the Ebook itself.

Lead – An important term that refers to a person or company that has expressed an interest in your company or products/ services through so means that can build upon to try and convert to a future sale. For example if someone has downloaded a trial of your product they would usually be classed as a lead. If someone has attended your webinar they would usually be classed as a lead.

Likes – A terms typically specific to sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn where a member of the audience can actively engage with a post by clicking a “like” function.

Lifecycle – A lifecycle is usually used to describe the stages that a contact goes through in relationship to your organisation. For example a high level view of a lifecycle could be taking them from “awareness” to “consideration” to “purchase” or “conversion” and through to “repeat/ renew” or “loss”. A lifecycle can be a massively complicated process to create if you wish to analyse and define each and every interaction or option for a contact/ customer but can also be used at a high level to describe the stages in a specific campaign.

LTV – Long Term Value. This is a calculation that can be used to determine the total financial value to your organisation of an individual customer. Rather than look at an individual “sale” or transaction, when you calculate the LTV of a customer you look at all of their transactions and purchases added together. For example if during the time a customer has a relationship with you they buy 3 products at £1000 each before they stop transacting, the LTV would be £3000. This is a particularly useful metric in terms of looking at the ROI on a customer on a longer term basis and therefore the overall value of a marketing campaign or spend.


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