AI is short for Artificial Intelligence. AI refers to a computer, machine, software system or process able to mimic aspects of human intellect. AI is commonly used to track a user’s actions and choices, then make recommendations based on the user’s behavior.
B2B is short for Business to Business. B2B companies sell their services or products to other businesses.
B2C is short for Business to Consumer. B2C companies sell products or services to individual consumers (people), rather than to the government or to other businesses.
B2G is short for Business to Government. B2G companies sell their services or products predominantly or exclusively to government agencies and organizations.
A baseline is simply the starting point for analysis or change. A baseline may be zero, higher, or even lower.
Blog is a portmanteau (combination of two words to make a new word) of “web + log.” Although a Blog originally referred to a specific style of text or written content, it can now refer to video blogs (vlogs), social media sites like Tumblr, and photo-only blogs. Individuals, businesses, and even government agencies now all keep blogs as a standard medium for writing articles, sharing updates, and disseminating information.
Bounce Rate is a metric related to your website traffic. It calculates the number of people who land on a page of your website, but leave without clicking on anything before moving on to another page on your site.
Brand is the identity of a company, service, concept, or product to distinguish it in the marketplace and make it easily recognizable to potential customers. A business, person, or concept might have a brand.
Branding is the process of creating a Brand and coherent Brand identity, as well as the process of publicizing the Brand.
Brick and Mortar refers to a business with a physical location, as opposed to a completely virtual or digital business.
Business Development (often shortened to Biz Dev) means the creation of long-term value for a brand, business, or organization through ideas, initiatives, and activities. Biz Dev can include increasing revenues and profitability, business expansion, building strategic partnerships, or making strategic business decisions.
Although related, Business Development is distinct from both Sales and Marketing.
A Buyer Persona is a summary of your ideal buyer (or target customer) based on your market research, informed hypotheses, and data. A Buyer Persona is helpful both to marketers and salespeople:
CTA is short for Call to Action. A Call to Action is an instruction to the user to take a desired action; for example, “Click Now to Buy,” or “Register Now.”
CAN-SPAM stands for “Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing.”
The CAN-SPAM Act is a 2003 law in the United States of America (USA) that sets the rules for commercial (ie: business) email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have businesses stop emailing them, and spells out the penalties for violations.
CAN-SPAM is the reason all business emails are required to include an “Opt-Out” or “Unsubscribe” link or preferences page for consumers.
CASL stands for “Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation.” CASL is the 2013 Canadian law that covers the sending of “commercial electronic messages” (ie: email) that may be accessed by a computer in Canada. CASL covers email, texts, instant messages, and automated cell phone messages sent to computers and phones in Canada.
CTR is short for Clickthrough Rate. Clickthrough Rate is the percentage of your audience that moves (or clicks through) from one page of your website to the next step of your marketing campaign.
Put simply, CTR is the total number of clicks on your page or CTA divided by the number of opportunities that people had to click (ex: number of page views or emails).
Clubhouse is a fairly new (2020) audio-based social media platform through which users join live and interact in “Rooms” on various topics. Clubhouse is unique in its commitment to voice-only format, although several other platforms are developing similar options to add to their existing media.
Initially, Clubhouse was invitation-only and only for iPhone users. The app is now available on Android, as well.
Churn or the Churn Rate is the percentage of customers who cancel a product or service or leave within a specified time period. Churn is essentially customer turnover.
Collateral, in sales and marketing, refers to any piece of content designed to raise brand awareness, sell, or otherwise educate an audience on a company, brand, or products.
Collateral is typically divided into two categories: Print Collateral and Digital Collateral. Often, a single piece of collateral is used both as a print and digital tool.
Content is any piece of information created to be consumed, engaged with, and shared. Content can come in many media, including:
CMS is short for Content Management System. A CMS is a web program that manages all aspects of creating content–usually for a website–without making the process too technical.
WordPress is an example of a CMS.
Conversion refers to a prospect who successfully becomes–or converts–to a customer.
Conversion Rate is the number of prospects who were converted successfully to customers divided by the total number of prospects.
CRO stands for Conversation Rate Optimization. Conversion Rate Optimization is simply the process of improving your website to increase your conversion rate. These improvements might include design, content, testing (including A/B Testing), and personalization. CRO is typically applied to web pages and landing pages, but can certainly be applied to social media, ads, and other elements of your marketing program.
CPL stands for Cost-per-Lead. Cost-per-Lead refers to the amount it costs your company or marketing team to acquire a lead.
CPL is part of a business’ CAC (customer acquisition cost), and is a metric to track in both sales and marketing.
CAC is short for Customer Acquisition Cost. Customer Acquisition Cost refers to the total dollars spent in order to acquire a new customer. Broadly speaking, CAC includes a company’s total Sales and Marketing costs.
To calculate CAC, choose a time period (month, quarter, or year), then:
For example, if your business spent $100,000 on Sales and Marketing in a month and added 10 new customers during that same month, then your CAC was $1,000 for the month.
CRM is short-hand for Customer Relationship Management. CRM typically refers to a system or program a business uses to track interactions with and activities related to prospects and customers.
A basic CRM tracks all the contact information for prospects, leads, partners, and customers. CRM systems can perform many more complex functions, like:
Some CRMs also incorporate feeds from social media such as LinkedIn.
Hubspot and SalesForce are examples of CRMs.
Demographics are specific data points used to define or describe a target audience. Examples of demographics include:
Digital Marketing is a catch-all phrase to describe any and all marketing done exclusively online. Digital marketing includes everything from SEO and Paid Ads to Social Media and email marketing.
Direct Competitors (or direct competition) refer to businesses in the exact same line of work, providing the same services or products as your company.
Direct Mail or direct mail marketing refers to snail mail marketing sent directly to a consumer’s or business’ address. Direct mail includes everything from post cards to catalogues.
Direct Marketing refers to any marketing activities where your business interacts directly with your target audience (consumer or business) without going through a third party.
A Discovery Call is usually the first phone or video call between a prospective client and a service provider. During a Discovery Call, a service provider will try to learn everything they can about the prospect in order to provide the best service quote, estimate, or service package.
Ebook or e-book loosely defines an electronic text document or book. In marketing and sales, an ebook is usually shorter than a typical print book and is often used as a lead magnet (means of generating new prospective business).
E-commerce or ecommerce simply refers to selling products online. E-commerce includes massive vendors like Amazon, as well as small shops through WooCommerce or Shopify, or platform shopping through Etsy or social media.
An Editorial Calendar simply lays out the planned content for a brand. Content on an Editorial Calendar might include blogs, social media posts, and ebooks or other downloadable content.
A curated list of email contacts. Usually email lists are split into audiences based on key demographics or attributes, such as new prospects, newsletter sign-ups, or current clients.
Email marketing refers to promotional content or ads sent to your audience via email. Many digital marketing platforms include email marketing as a service, but there are still many email marketing-focused platforms, too.
Commonly used email marketing platforms include:
In marketing terms, engagement means keeping clients and prospects interested and interacting with your brand. The key to good engagement is to build in value for your target audience so their is mutual benefit.
Engagement can also refer specifically to interactions with content on social media platforms or with paid ads. In these cases, Engagement might be measured by clicks (click rate), comments, or shares. (See Engagement Rate)
Engagement Rate refers to audience interactions with content on social media platforms or with paid ads. Engagement Rate might be measured by clicks (click rate), comments, or shares.
Event Marketing simply refers to the planning, strategy, and activities related to promoting a future brand event.
Evergreen content is content that will remain perpetually relevant and valuable to your audience. Evergreen content is a great way to build the foundation of your content marketing.
Facebook is one of the most dominant social media platforms. It offers personal profiles and business/professional pages, Groups, Events, and Facebook Messenger (Messenger). Facebook allows nearly all media formats, including text, photo, URL, video, gif, and livestreaming. Facebook is an important social media tool for businesses, both for organic content and paid ads.
Facebook now owns Instagram, Whatsapp, Oculus VR (virtual reality gaming), and Giphy, as well as a number of other apps.
Forecasting is the business practice of predicting likely future marketing and sales trends. A Forecast is the report or summary of these predictions
A Form is simply a data collection tool on a website or landing page. Forms can be used to collect lead contact information, survey responses, registrations, etc.
Freemium is a portmanteau of Free + Premium and refers to a pricing strategy where a basic product or service is offered free, but customers must pay for additional features, time, or support that expand on the free product’s functionality and/or benefits.
Friction is any element or part of a website that is confusing, difficult to navigate, or frustrating for visitors, resulting in visitors to leave the page or site.
Examples of Friction include slow load times, too many ads, bad color combinations, distracting graphics or motions, or difficult-to-read fonts.
Funnel refers to the journey a prospective customer takes on their way to becoming a customer. Also known as a Sales Funnel or Lead Funnel, the structure of a Funnel is designed with top, middle, and bottom stages both to qualify and educate potential clients so those prospects who go through the entire Funnel and most qualified and most likely to conver to clients.
Geofencing, also known as Geofence Marketing, is a type of location-based (geographic segmentation) marketing where a geographic boundary is placed around a point of interest. From a technical standpoint, Geofencing generally relies on mobile devices: the geofence can trigger a preset event(s), such as delivering an advertisement, when a device enters this area.
Geographic Segmentation refers to the identification (segmentation) of members of an audience based on geographic location.
Google is the world’s most visited website and most popular search engine. Google also owns YouTube, as well as essential digital marketing platforms such as Google My Business, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Data Studio, Google Ads, and others.
Google Ads is an online advertising platform by Google. Google Ads include search-based, keywords-based, and location-based ads in a variety of formats, including text, dynamic ads (customized to the user or search), image, and video ads. Google Ads can place advertisments both on Google Search results pages and on partner or advertiser sites through Google AdSense.
Google Ads is accessed through ads.google.com.
Google AdSense is the partner advertising program by Google which allows third-parties to monetize their websites through display ads. Google Adsense ads are tailored to the third-party site’s audience and are completely administered, organized, and displayed by Google.
Google AdSense is accessed at google.com/adsense/login/.
Google Analytics is a web analytics service that tracks web site traffic and user behavior through an on-site tracking code. Google Analytics is part of Google Marketing Platform.
Google Analytics is accessed directly at analytics.google.com.
Google Data Studio is a web app for converting data into easy-to-share visual reports. Google Data Studio can be connected to a variety of data sources, including both all Google tools and third-party sources.
Google Data Studio is accessed through datastudio.google.com.
Google Marketing Platform is a single-location advertising and analytics brand by Google and includes:
Google Marketing Platform is accessed at marketingplatform.google.com.
Google My Business or GMB is Google’s free-to-use business profile listing. GMB listings appear both in Google searches and on Google Maps. In addition to contact information, GMB allows photo, video, text, event and product posts, as well as instant messaging and phone call tracking. GMB is particularly important for businesses with brick-and-mortar (physical) locations or location-specific service areas.
Google My Business is accessed through google.business.com.
Google Search Console was previously called Google Webmaster Tools. Google Search Console is a web service which allows webmasters to check the indexing status and optimize visibility of their websites.
Google Search Console is accessed through search.google.com.
Google Voice is a voice-over-Internet-protocol (VOIP) phone service, text message, and video conference meeting platform.
Hashtag refers to a keyword or phrase, written without spaces, prefaced by the pound–or hash–symbol (#). Hashtags are used on social media platforms to organize and identify content with similar posts or trends. Twitter and Instagram are the two social media platforms most commonly associated with hashtags, although nearly all social media platforms now use some version of hashtags.
Hootsuite is a social media planning, management, and analytics platform. Hootsuite offers both free and paid plans. Hootsuite allows a user or brand to manage multiple social media accounts, profiles, and platforms in a single dashboard. Hootsuite also allows integration with related third-party apps and platforms.
Hootsuite allows management of over 20 different social media platforms, including:
Html is short for HyperText Markup Language and is the coding language used to program and format webpages. Html is at the heart and structure of every website. Additional formatting is layered on top of html to customize and create unique features.
Inbound Marketing refers to organic marketing activities or content designed to draw visitors in to content, rather than a brand going out to reach prospects. Blogs and articles are a good example of commonly used Inbound Marketing content. Ebooks and webinars are also common parts of Inbound Marketing strategies.
Keywords and keyword phrases are the specific words or phrases that describe the contents of a webpage. Keywords are used by search engines like Google and Bing to index (sort and organize) webpages.
Keywords are an important aspect of SEO and SEM, as well as Google Ads content.
A Landing Page is a webpage containing a form to collect information from leads. A Landing Page might be hosted on your domain or through a third-party digital marketing platform. A key element of a Landing Page is an enticing Lead Magnet, such as a free ebook, to draw in leads, who then exchange their contact information for the content.
A Qualified Lead is a prospect that opted in to receive communication from a company, is educated about their product or service, and is interested in learning more. A Qualified Lead turns into an Opportunity when a Salesperson connects with them.
Businesses should set their definition of a Qualified Lead internally, with input from both the Sales and Marketing teams.
QR is short for Quick Response. A QR Code is an easy-to-scan square barcode used to send users to a specific webpage. All smartphones now have the ability to scan QR codes.
Many restaurants use QR codes to direct patrons to their online menus to minimize contact during and after the pandemic.
ROI is short for Return on Investment. ROI is an important metric for measuring the efficiency and profitability of a sales or marketing activity. High ROI means a brand spent less money on the activity, but reaped a higher profit (a larger Margin). Low ROI means a lower profit to spend ratio.
Low ROI is often a good indicator that a marketing activity or ad should be thrown out or overhauled.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.
There are tactics and tools you can use to improve where your website and webpages appear in search engine results. (Google and Bing are examples of search engines).
SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing.
Search Engine Marketing is a type of digital or Internet marketing using paid advertising to increase a website’s visibility online.
SME stands for: Subject Matter Expert
An SME is someone who is the expert on a particular subject or area. For example, a social media consultant might be an SME on a specific social media platform like TikTok or YouTube.
Social Media platforms are reliant on user-created content and interactions. Each platform has a unique style and some platforms only allow certain types of media (e.g. Snapchat and Tiktok are video-only platforms). Blogging platforms are typically included under the Social Media umbrella, as are review sites such as Yelp and Google My Business.
Social Media Influencers (Influencers) are individuals who have large audiences or followings on social media and use their platform to affect the purchasing decisions of others based on their relationship with their audience. Influencers typically carve out of a niche based on their authority, knowledge, position, or experience.
See also: Influencer Marketing
Squarespace is an all-in-one website builder and hosting platform. Squarespace differentiates itself by being simple to use–even for those with no technical knowledge–with drag-and-drop and prebuilt website template options.
SWOT stands for: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats
Businesses conduct a SWOT Analysis to gain insight into what they do best (and should invest in) and where they have opportunities for improvement.
Target Market describes the potential consumer, government, or business customer type for a product or brand.
Target Audience defines the group with which a given piece of content or collateral is intended to connect. A large Target Audience might be “Current Clients,” for example.
TikTok is a Chinese-owned social media platform characterized by its short vertical video lengths. TikTok also allows livestream (Live) video, as well a Duets–where one user splices another user’s video with their own. Sounds, challenges, video formats, and dances all trend on TikTok and often go viral when shared to other social media.
Touchpoint refers to any way a consumer or prospect interacts with a business or brand–whether in-person, through a website, on an app, or via another communication medium.
Top of the Funnel (sometimes called TOFU) is the very beginning of the buying process. Prospects at the Top of the Funnel are in the initial stages of making a purchase, having only recently identified a problem or need a product could solve.
Trending refers to a topic, hashtag, story, or other content that is growing in its reach on a social media or news platform. For example, a hashtag trending on Twitter is increasing its reach (audience) and engagement.
Tumblr is a blog-based social media platform. It is not commonly used by businesses or large brands.
Twitch is the leading livestreaming platform for gamers and live esports events, although it is now also used for a variety of livestreams. Twitch is owned by a subsidiary of Amazon.
Twitter is a social media platform best known for its character restriction short format. Initially, Twitter allowed text posts, called Tweets, of only 140 characters or less. Now, Twitter allows links, photos, videos, “story” style videos, and text posts up to 280 characters.
UI is short for User Interface. UI describes touchpoints of human-computer interaction and communication. In marketing, UI focuses on the way a user interacts with an application or a website.
USP is short for Unique Selling Proposition and refers to a factor that differentiates a product from its competitors, such as the quality, a unique feature, low cost, etc.
Unique Visitor refers to a person who has visited a website at least once and is counted only once in the reporting time period; sometimes called Unique User.
URL is short for Uniform Resource Locator, but simply means a web address. URLs are important for website navigation, ease of use (UI), and for SEO.
A User is anyone who interacts with a website, app, social media, or other digital platform.
UX is short for User Experience. UX means the entire experience a user has with a brand, website, or business from the moment they discover it, through the purchase and beyond.
A Value Statement describes the top priorities of a brand or company, including how those priorities translate into sales and marketing activities.
Values are the guiding principles, ethics, or core beliefs of a brand of company.
A Values-Based Business (or Values Based Business) establishes a core set of values that represent who the company is, guides how it does business, and acts as the guide on culture, behavior, business decisions, staffing, training, and development. Values-Based Business goes beyond simply publishing an “Our Values” statement on their website: it consistently integrates those values at every stage, in every part of the business.
Values-Based Marketing means appealing to a customer’s values and ethics. Rather than marketing from a product-centric (or service-centric) approach, values-based marketing is customer-centric. A values-based marketing approach builds content, advertising, and promotions to customers based on a company’s core brand values and message.
Viral Marketing refers to marketing that relies on customers or prospects marketing a product or service on their own. When content “goes viral,” it means it has been shared widely by individuals.
Virtue Signaling refers to the action or practice of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments meant to demonstrate a person’s, brand’s, or company’s good character or the moral correctness of their position on a particular issue. Virtue signaling generally has a negative connotation.
An example of corporate virtue signaling: a company is known for its poor maternity leave policies, but posts grandiose content praising the sacrifices and commitment of mothers on Mothers’ Day.
Another frequent example of corporate virtue signaling happens annually in June: brands will carry rainbow-themed merchandise or add a rainbow to their logo for Pride month, but remain silent on LGBTQIA+ issues and content the rest of the year. The most egregious version of this comes from companies with public records of donations to anti-LGBTQIA+ politicians, campaigns, or legislation.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) “covers a wide range of recommendations for making Web content more accessible. Following these guidelines will make content more accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including accommodations for blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity, and combinations of these, and some accommodation for learning disabilities and cognitive limitations; but will not address every user need for people with these disabilities. These guidelines address accessibility of web content on desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. Following these guidelines will also often make Web content more usable to users in general.”
The WCAG are developed and updated by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
A website is a series of connected webpages, typically including information about the website’s owner and purpose, as well as contact information. Website are both a necessary digital brochure for businesses today and a virtual marketplace for sales or leads.
Word-of-Mouth simply refers to information passed from one person to another. In marketing, Word-of-Mouth is a powerful referrals tool, as happy customers talk to people around them about the business who provided their product/service. Word-of-Mouth is still one of the most powerful kinds of referral for a business.
WooCommerce is a popular e-commerce and payment platform. WooCommerce integrates into a variety of websites, as well as with a number of payment processors.
WordPress is a user-friendly website building and blog platform. WordPress offers both free blog websites and paid (hosted) fully customizable websites. WordPress is a popular website builder because it supports integrations with numerous other tools, platforms, and applications.
Workflow describes an automated process, email campaign, or lead nurturing process. Many CRMs and email marketing platforms offer workflow to automate communication with contacts.
An XML Sitemap is a way of organizing a website into a document which lists all pages on a website to provide search engines such as Google and Bing with an overview of all the available content. XML Sitemaps are an important tool for strong SEO.
Yelp is a crowd-sourced user review site for businesses. Yelp is free for users, and offers limited profiles to businesses for free. Businesses must pay for increased exposure, advertisements, and other premium services. Yelp also offers a Reservations app for restaurants.
Yoast SEO is an industry favorite plug-in for WordPress website SEO optimization. It offers both free and paid options.
YouTube is a video hosting social media platform. YouTube is owned by Google (Alphabet) and is the second-most visited website in the world–Google.com is the first. YouTube offers both free and paid account options, but is free to use for individuals and businesses. YouTube offers Livestreaming and upload services.