Glossary of marketing terms

Glossary of marketing terms
One of the ways we like to stand out, be different and memorable is by communicating with our clients in plain English. We’ve found this works well and is usually very much appreciated. The feedback we’ve had suggests that this improves user experience with us at all stages of the relationship. In addition, businesses come to us to learn; whether it’s a consultation or a workshop, especially if they are also marketing or web professionals and need to have a proficient understanding of all things marketing. So, we thought a glossary of marketing terms would be a useful blog post to create, which can be used as a handy bookmarked reference.

Marketing glossary

B2B = Business to Business / B2C = Business to Consumer
Selling products and services to other businesses (Business to Business) and selling products and services to consumers (Business to Consumer).

CTA = Call-To-Action
This is what you want your potential customer to do. So it could be to sign up to your newsletter, send an email, or make a purchase. It can be used online, on a print promotion and in person.

CRM = Customer Relationship Management
This is how you can keep track of everything your business does and is usually an online program such as Salesforce, Zoho and Hubspot. Some also integrate sales, financial and social media tools too. The goal is to streamline your marketing efforts and be able to easily extract stats and data to help you increase your sales.

KPI = Key Performance Indicator
This is how you measure the success of a marketing activity. Examples include the number of leads generated, landing page views, number of new clients generated during a set period, to name a few. You can set overall business goals and individual goals for specific campaigns/projects. They are important because they keep objectives at the forefront of decision making and ensures everyone in your organisation is working towards the same goals.

CAC = Customer Acquisition Cost / LTV = Customer Lifetime Value
This is the cost of attracting and persuading a potential customer to buy your product or service. You can calculate this for any time period or campaign. Total spend including salaries and then divide that by the number of new customers, and you’ll have the results. Knowing if the results are optimal for your industry is a bit more tricky. One way to benchmark your CAC is by comparing it to LTV. An ideal LTV to CAC ratio is 3:1. Read more about this HERE.

SWOT = Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats
This helps analyse your company’s internal strengths and weaknesses and any external opportunities and threats. It’s normally a study to identify the optimal business strategy and any challenges within your industry and market. The findings should lead to a high-level action plan with key tasks to be carried out with the aim of increasing success and growing your business. Take a look at one of our True Stories as an example.


P – Political
E – Economic
S – Social
T – Technological
E – Environmental
L – Legal

This is a framework used to analyse and monitor the external marketing environment factors that impact on your organisation. The results are used to identify threats and weaknesses used in the aforementioned SWOT analysis.

ROI = Return On Investment
This enables you to evaluate the efficiency and profitability of your investment. To calculate ROI, the return of an investment is divided by the cost of the investment. The result is usually a percentage so you can multiply the result by 100 for the final result. Calculating ROI helps to determine what’s working and not working in your business so you can make changes. Learn more about calculating and good ROI HERE. But how are the more intangible indicators measured such as time investment which can lead to increased credibility or new opportunities for example? It’s a good idea to strategically keep track of these as well.

AIDA = Attention/Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action
These are the four steps within the traditional ‘Marketing Funnel’. It’s the journey of the customer from learning about your product or service to purchasing from you. It’s a helpful reminder that brand awareness is an important first step and worth spending time and effort on brand awareness campaigns or initiatives.
Marketing funnel, AIDA

4P’s/Marketing Mix = Price, Product, Promotion and Place
The elements of these four high level categories form the basic, tactical parts of a marketing plan. All elements rely on each other to form a strong marketing strategy. There is also an extended marketing mix, a more modern approach, that contains 3 further P’s – physical evidence, people and process.

BANT = Budget, Authority, Need, Timeline
These are the criteria used to qualify prospects which help to determine whether your prospects have the budget, authority, need, and right timeline to spend money on your products or services. According to Hubspot, BANT isn’t enough anymore. Learn about their new framework for qualifying prospects HERE.

CMO = Chief Marketing Officer
The main duties of the CMO are to:

  • understand the company’s position in the marketplace and in the future
  • develop and execute strategy that will drive their organisation to that future market position

Digital marketing and optimisation acronyms

SEO = Search Engine Optimisation
Organically ensuring your website can be found in search engines for words and phrases relevant to what your site is offering. SEO done well can reap fantastic results and should be seen as a long term ongoing marketing strategy and investment.

SERP = Search Results Pages
These are the pages displayed by search engines in response to a query by a search engine user. These pages contain website page links, images, app links, ads and videos.

GA = Google Analytics
Google’s free web analytics service that tracks and reports website traffic. Very useful and is free so be sure to set up your account and install your unique tracking code.

CTR = Click Through Rate
The percentage of your audience that clicks through from one step of your marketing campaign to the next. The total number of clicks that your page or CTA receives divided by the number of opportunities that people had to click from a web page or email. You can use this to measure the success of an online advertising campaign for a particular website or landing page as well as the effectiveness of email campaigns.

CPM = Cost Per Thousand (Impressions)
When you are paying for ads, sometimes they are sold on a CPM basis. It is usually seen when buying display ads and particularly if you are paying for them to be seen on a recognised brand site. It is calculated as follows: CPM = (Ad Spend / Ad Impressions) x 1000

BR = Bounce Rate
This is the percentage of visitors who come to your website and then leave rather than continuing to view other pages within the same site. Influencing bounce rate factors are good design and user experience and relevant useful content. Having a low BR can help increase your SEO and you can monitor your bounce rate within your Google Analytics.

PPC = Pay Per Click (same as CPC = Cost Per Click) / SEM = Search Engine Marketing
This is a form of paid digital marketing (search engine marketing) whereby you pay a fee each time one of your ads is clicked. For example, a Google Advert will show up within the first results and have ‘Ad’ in front of it.
Paid advertising PPC
This can be an expensive but effective form of search engine marketing.

CRO = Conversion Rate Optimisation
Creating a website, landing page or campaign which ultimately convinces someone to do what you wanted them to do, which will be unique to your website. So, SEO is what you do to get potential customers to your website and CRO is how you turn them into customers once they get there.

ROS = Run of Site
This means that your online ad can appear on any page (not just on one specific page) of a particular website.

SOV = Share of Voice
This is a calculation based on a percentage your ad is seen as opposed to other advertisers. If there are four advertisers rotating ads evenly on a homepage, for example, each advertiser would have a 25% share of voice. If you are the only advertiser on a homepage, then you’d have 100% SOV. The term has now also widened in definition to include other forms of online visibility including social media mentions.

Web and social media acronyms

HTML = Hypertext Markup Language
This is the standard markup language for building websites. It can be styled and enhanced by using a number of other coding languages to create functionality such as JavaScript (programming language).

URL = Uniform Resource Locator
The address of a web page. A URL is formed of characters in a specific, unique order and is shown in a web browser window/tab inside the “address” bar.

CSS = Cascading Style Sheets
This is the language used, in conjunction with html, to style websites, newsletters and other online applications. It’s how I put the ‘magic’ in ‘Meg Magic’ online.

CMS = Content Management System
In terms of websites, this allows users to be able to create, edit and change the content (copy and images) of their website themselves via a password protected administrator area. Examples are WordPress, Squarespace, Wix and Zoho, to name a few.

UI = User Interface
This is the space where humans and machines interact. So for websites, it’s the navigation that enables the user to go from page to page (or section to section). Website UI should be intuitive, efficient, user-friendly and accessible.

UX = User Experience
This is the art of giving the people who are looking to use your products what they really want to see (rather than what you or they, think they want). It’s about designing for humans. Read more about UX in a previous blog post HERE.

SMO = Social Media Optimisation
Similar to SEO, this is a long term strategy using social media channels and communities to increase the awareness of your brand, products, services and events.

SaaS = Software as a Service
This refers specifically to cloud-based applications and services and is often a catch-all term for downloadable and browser based apps such as Dropbox, Office 365 and Slack.

API = Application Programming Interface
This is what enables applications to send, receive, interpret and present information in an understandable way through devices/websites. For example, it’s how you can take payment via PayPal or Stripe on your website and how you can integrate your Mailchimp sign up form onto your website or as a tab within your Facebook page. They are very clever and immensely useful!

RT = Retweet
This is a re-posting of a tweet on Twitter which helps your original tweet to be seen by a wider audience (not just by your own followers). Your tweets can be Retweeted and you can RT any tweets in your feed to show support and/or alignment with that particular message.

DM = Direct Message (or Direct Mail)
This is a one-to-one conversation with another user on social media most commonly used for describing messages on Twitter and Instagram but can also be used for Facebook and LinkedIn too. They can be useful but they are also sometimes considered to be spam.  It also stands for Direct Mail – email or postal marketing campaigns sent out to individual people or businesses.

Leave us a comment below if you think something should be added – we are happy to add to this glossary of marketing terms post – or if you have any questions at all.

Rachael Dines, Directors of Shake It Up Creative

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