Marketing might just be the most jargon-heavy industry. Not only does Marketing include sales and business terminology, but it also has its own set of terms. Never fear! We’ve put together this Ultimate Marketing Terms Glossary just for you. We keep it bookmarked in our browser and pinned it for easy reference, but we won’t tell you what to do.
A/B Testing refers to the practice of creating and testing two versions of a webpage, email subject line, landing page, CTA (Call to Action), etc. to measure which version performs better.
Accessibility means ensuring everyone has the ability to access and use locations, services, and products. It particularly refers to ensuring accommodations for people with disabilities, such as hearing or visual impairment, mobility limitations, or sensory issues.
For example, including alt-text to photos on websites and social media posts supports accessibility for users with visual impairments and/or those using screen readers to turn text into audio.
See also: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
Advertising refers to any paid promotion for a business, service, or product. Ad is short for advertisement. Advertising can take many forms, including:
Affiliate Marketing means a partner, or affiliate, makes a commission for selling another brand’s products or services. Some large companies, such as Amazon, offer their own affiliate programs, while most use affiliate marketing marketplaces to connect brands with affiliates with matching audiences.
Many bloggers make the bulk of their profits from the commissions they earn from Affiliate Links: when a visitor clicks through an Affiliate Link to make a purchase, the blogger (the affiliate) earns a commission.
An Algorithm is a process or set of rules followed by a computer or AI to make calculations or run problem-solving operations. Social Media platforms each have unique algorithms to determine what content is shown, to whom, when, and where.
Alt Text is short for alternative text. Alt Text is a short written description of an image, which should make sense of the image when it cannot be viewed for some reason. Alt Text is important both for a website’s accessibility and SEO. Most social media platforms now offer space to include Alt Text on images or videos for those using Screen Readers.
Analytics is a catch-all term both for data collected and for the evaluation of the data. Analytics offer insight into how and how well something is working, as well as give solid data on which to base decisions. Examples of analytics include:
Application (or App for short) refers to a computer program designed to perform a specific task, typically to be used by end-users. The term App can be used to describe a program on a smart phone, tablet or computer, as well as a program that runs exclusively in a web browser–these are called web apps.
API is short for Application Programming Interface.
An API is a set of rules in computer programming. These rules allow an application or platform to extract information from one service and use the info either on its own service or for analytics.
APIs are commonly used to connect different marketing technology platforms, such as to connect an email marketing platform to a website for newsletter signups.
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.
Assistive Technology (AT) describes any item, piece of equipment, software, or system sed to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capability and accessibility of people with disabilities. AT includes both software, such as Screen Readers, and hardware like prosthetics and positioning devices.
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.
Brand Identity is defined by the visible elements of a brand, such as color, design, and logo, that identify and distinguish the brand for consumers (Target Market).
Brand Identity is the result of the intent behind the visual branding and the way an organization cultivates a certain image.
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.”
A Sales or Marketing Campaign is a set of strategies and tactics used to achieve a specific goal, such as building brand awareness, sharing information with customers, or launching a new service or product.
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.
See also: Spam
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.
See also: Spam
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.
Put simply, CTR is the total number of clicks on your page or Call to Action (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.
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.
Competitive Analysis (or Competitor Analysis) in both marketing and strategic management is an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of a brand’s current and potential competitors. A Competitive Analysis results in both offensive and defensive strategic contexts to identify opportunities and threats.
See also: SWOT.
Content is any piece of information created to be consumed, engaged with, and shared. Content can come in many media, including:
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.
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.
A Customer Profile, sometimes used interchangeably with Consumer Profile or Buyer Persona, is a more detailed breakdown of your ideal buyer (or target customer) based on your market research, informed hypotheses, and data.
A Customer Profile typically includes an example of someone who fits all the criteria of your target customer, as well as data from your existing customer base. The idea is to match a product or service (rather than your entire offering) to a Chris or Cassie Customer who needs to buy exactly that to meet a need or overcome a pain point.
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.
A Dark Prospect is a prospect who no longer responds to any type of communication. A Dark Prospect might also be called a Dead Lead.
A Decision-Maker is a person in a position to make the final choice about buying a product or service.
Demographics are specific data points used to define or describe a target audience. Examples of demographics include:
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.
Dribbble is a self-promotion and social network platform for digital designers and creatives. Dribble serves as an all-in-one design portfolio, jobs, and recruiting site and is one of the largest online platforms for designers to share their work.
Dynamic Content refers to a means of displaying different messages on your website based on information you already know about the user. For example, you could use Smart CTAs so first-time visitors will see a personalized CTA (maybe with a special top-of-the-funnel offer) and those already in your CRM see a different CTA for content with more information about your product/service.
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 convert to clients.
Here’s an example of a generic digital marketing Lead Funnel:
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 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 advertisements 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 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.
A Handle (social media handle) is a username. Many platforms use the @username format both to identify an account (you can search for a user by their handle) and to tag another user in a post. Brands and businesses, much like individual consumers, try to create consistent handles across social media platforms for increased brand recognition.
Examples of My Marketing University’s handles:
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 historically most associated with hashtags, although nearly all social media platforms now use some version of hashtags.
A Header Image is the horizontal picture at the top of a social media profile. A Header Image can also be called the cover image or cover photo. The Header Image is an ideal place to showcase your products, upcoming events, or any other interesting aspect of your brand to inspire other users to explore your profile.
The homepage of a website is the first page typically encountered on a website and which usually contains a menu or links to the other pages of the site.
Hootsuite is a social media planning and editorial calendar, 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.
An Influencer is someone in a field, niche, or industry with sway over a Target Audience. While an Influencer may have credentials or experience that makes them a Subject Matter Expert, increasingly, Influencers are simply leveraging social capital they’ve built. From a persuasion standpoint, most Social Media Influencers use ethos (identity), rather than logos (logic and facts) to influence their followers. That is not to say that no Influencers are SEM
Influencer Marketing is a form of social media marketing involving endorsements and product placement from influencers, people and/or organizations who have a publicly-accepted expert level of knowledge or social influence in their field. Influencer Marketing largely refers only to social media marketing now, although it may also be used in traditional media like tv or radio spots.
See Also: Social Media Influencer
An Infographic is piece of graphic content that relays complex concepts in a simple and visual way. Infographics are commonly used to display data, as well as processes or related concepts.
Here is an example of an Infographic with an overview of a simple Lead Funnel:
Instagram is a visual social media platform launched in 2010 and now owned by Facebook (acquired in 2012). Initially, Instagram only allowed photo posts and it was primarily popular with younger users (Millennials). The platform now permits photos, videos of varying lengths, IG TV for long videos, and sharing of Stories directly to Facebook.
Instagram is now integrated with the Facebook Business Suite, which allows for near-seamless management of a Page’s and Instagram account’s messages, content, and ads. Instagram is a prime platform for advertising, as well as targeted content, thanks to its reliance on hashtags and multimedia formats.
Imgur is an online image hosting and sharing service for photos, graphics, gifs, and videos. Imgur tends toward gossip content and is known for the number of images it hosts which originated from reddit. Imgur is American and was founded in 2009.
Imgur is not a popular social media platform for businesses.
Key Performance Indicators or KPIs are a predetermined set of criteria to measure the performance of any number of business activities, including marketing tactics, sales, and employee output. It’s important to set KPIs specific to your business so you can objectively track the success of different activities, as well as ROI on marketing and business development strategies.
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 Lead is an individual consumer or a company that has shown interest in one of your products or services. A lead can be either a MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) or an SQL (Sales Qualified Lead). An MQL might have filled out a form on your website or subscribed to your blog. A Sales Qualified Lead might be a prospect a Sales team member met and talked with during an event or trade show, or who was receptive in response to a cold call.
Lead Generation refers to any activity with the goal of creating interest in a product or service. Lead Generating activities might include content marketing, partnerships, affiliate marketing, or advertising.
Lead Nurturing refers to the activity following Lead Generation designed to engage and build relationships with prospective customers. Lead Nurturing is also commonly called “Drip Marketing” and usually involves a series of communication Touchpoints (emails, social media messages, etc.) with the purposes of: qualifying a lead, keeping it engaged, and moving it through the sales Funnel.
Lead Qualification is the process of determining whether a Lead fits the criteria for your organization’s ideal customer and is therefore a Qualified Lead. Lead qualification is an important element of a Funnel, as it filters out leads who aren’t ready to buy (in which case, they should be including in a Lead Nurturing campaign) or for whom your product simply isn’t the right solution.
Lifetime Value (LTV) is sometimes referred to as Lifetime Customer Value and predicts the Net profit projected for the entire future relationship with a customer.
To calculate LTV:
Lifecycle Stages are useful for describing the relationship your brand has with your audience, and can generally be broken down into three stages: awareness, evaluation, and purchase.
Leads in each of the three stages should be nurtured accordingly, with appropriate content for each.
LinkedIn is a business professional-oriented social networking site launched in 2003. LinkedIn is primarily used for professional networking, but LinkedIn has added significant functionality over the last five years in order to compete with more general platforms like Facebook. It’s now one of the top content, networking, and employment sites.
LinkedIn now has over 774 million registered members globally in over 200 countries and territories.
Long-Tail Keywords are highly targeted search phrases (for SEO) which contain three or more words. A long-tail keyword usually includes a head term (a more generic search term), as well as one or two keywords to refine the overall search term.
Because Long-Tail Keywords are more specific, the visitors that land on your website as a result of a long-tail search term are more qualified, and consequently, more likely to convert.
Loss Aversion refers to the basic psychological idea that people feel more negatively about the prospect of losing money than about the potential for gaining money.
A Magnet or Lead Magnet is a free resource or service given in order to collect contact information from leads, usually by requiring a user to complete a form with key contact details (email address at a minimum). A Lead Magnet could be anything from a free guide or template to an ebook, a product demo, or even free trial period.
Mailchimp is an All-In-One integrated marketing platform targeted toward small businesses. Mailchimp began as an email marketing platform and has since expanded its offerings to include landing pages, email sequences, Marketing Automation, surveys, and other digital marketing tools.
Mailchimp uses a freemium model; Mailchimp includes a generous number of contacts, emails, and features in its free tier, and has adjusted its pricing model in the last few years to scale with its users’ business growth and needs. Even the paid tiers tend to be more affordable and include more features than competitor platforms. (We’re admittedly big fans of Mailchimp).
Margin, or Profit Margin, is the net profit gained from a product or service after covering all expenses for selling that product or service.
Market-Based Pricing is similar to competitive pricing: it is determined by comparing with the current pricing for similar products/services within an industry.
Market Development is the process of bringing an existing product or service to a new market. Market Development is a kind of go-to-market process.
Market Penetration may be used to describe how popular a product or service is in a given market. Market Penetration can also describe a strategy to increase sales an existing product within an existing market.
See Also: Market Saturation
Market Research is intelligence research into and about a specific industry or market (for example, a geographic market for a brick-and-mortar business) in order to make more informed, better business decisions. Market Research is essential in nearly every stage of Product Development and Product Launch.
Market Saturation occurs when a certain product or service have reached maximum sales in a given market. When a market is Saturated (over full), a company cannot achieve further growth with the same product or service; instead, it will need to introduce a new product or product improvements, or take existing market share from competitors, or increase overall consumer demand for the product/service.
To determine market share for a business, divide a company’s total sales or revenue by the industry’s total sales or revenue over a set time period. Market Share gives a basic picture of a company’s size and Market Penetration relative to the industry as a whole and can also be a useful tool for competitive analysis.
Marketing is the process of identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer needs for profitable ROI. Marketing has three primary goals:
1. Capture attention of potential leads.
2. Educate prospects on the benefits of a given product or solution.
3. Convert prospects to ready buyers.
A Marketing Audit is an exploratory process that examines a brand‘s or business’ existing marketing and promotional programs and materials, including everything from direct mail and e-newsletters to social media campaigns, brochures, White Papers, and print and digital collateral.
The purpose of a Marketing Audit is to examine and catalogue marketing resources and assets, then determine which are most effective in terms of budget and ROI.
Marketing Automation is the tool or system that automates aspects of your marketing campaigns. Marketing Automation is a key element of Lead Nurturing.Marketing Automation refers to the tool (or MarTech), while Lead Nurturing is the strategy and execution.
Marketing Automation minimizes the manual work that goes into executing emails, communication, surveys, and other touchpoints with prospects and customers. For example, an automated email sequence might include a thank you email to current clients with a special offer, followed by a customer experience survey.
This is the tool that lets you “automate” your marketing campaigns. Through lead nurturing, behavior-based strategies and more, you can use Marketing Automation to send the right marketing messages to the right people at the right time.
A Marketing Plan is often part of a more comprehensive Business Plan and generally includes 7 key elements:
A good Marketing Plan should be as comprehensive as it needs to be, but not so exhaustive that it becomes overwhelming (and therefore won’t be used). The Marketing Plan should be reviewed and updated at least annually. Sometimes a mini Marketing Plan is also developed for a specific product, service, or event.
A Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) is a lead that is ready, or qualified, to be handed off to the sales team for the next steps. Every Marketing Department should set its own criteria (in conjunction with the Sales Team) for an MQL, but it should include a positive interaction with the organization, such as engagement with a Lead Magnet, that signals the lead is warm enough to be considered a prospect and is ready to move to the next stage of the sales funnel.
A Marketing Strategy lays out a business’s overall plan for reaching prospective clients and converting them to customers. The Marketing Strategy details how the Marketing Plan will be executed and commonly includes the brand’s value proposition, key messaging, brand voice, data on target market demographics, events, and even approaches to different social media.
Sometimes the Marketing Strategy is boiled down to “The 5 Ps of Marketing:”
In Marketing terms, the medium of a piece of content or collateral simply means the intended platform or format for distribution. Most content is intended for either digital or print, but the Medium can be further broken down by types like text, video, audio, graphic, etc.
Note: The plural of medium is technically media (because it comes from Latin), but mediums has been so used colloquially that it has become an acceptable plural as well. Our founder is an annoying stickler for linguistics, so you’ll probably always see us use media.
Medium is an American-owned open blogging and content publishing platform favored by SMEs, industry leaders, and journalists, but it is open to anyone. Medium operates on a freemium model with both free and paid user access. Authors on Medium can earn money on well-performing and widely-read content as a result of the fees Medium collects from paid users.
A Meme is an idea, behavior, or style spread primarily through digital media via imitation. Memes become popular or go viral as a result of spreading from person to person within a culture or community. Some Memes hold symbolic meaning representing a particular phenomenon or theme, while others are intentionally nihilistic or nonsensical.
Memes predate the Internet by…well, ever. Memes are most commonly recognized as images, but can also be text posts, copycat formatting of a Tweet, TikTok dances or trends, gifs, or even songs. Honestly, meme essentially means “an idea people share,” so the format can be anything so long as it is easily recognizable and imitable.
Here’s an example of a simple text-over-an-image meme featuring Laurence Fishburne’s character Morpheus from The Matrix films:
A Micro Influencer (or Micro-Influencer) is someone with a larger social media following than a normal person, but smaller than a celebrity’s. Like an Influencer, Micro Influencers use their following to promote products.
The Mission Statement of a business is its soul. It’s a clear, concise declaration about your business strategy–it should embody the very essence of your business goals and philosophy.
Your Mission Statement should answer four basic questions:
1. What does your business do?
2. How does it do it?
3. For whom does it do it?
4. What value does it bring?
Read My Marketing University’s Mission Statement
Mobile Marketing is the practice and process of optimizing marketing content for mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) in order to provider users with geotargeted, location-sensitive, and/or time-sensitive personalized content or offers.
Mobile Marketing is not something to dismiss lightly: over 56% of all web traffic is on mobile devices.
Mobile Optimization is the process of designing and formatting a website to be user-friendly on a mobile device. Until the last few years, this was usually accomplished by building a second Mobile Optimized website. Now, responsive design is the standard so sites adjust automatically based on a user‘s device.
See Also: Mobile Marketing and Mobile-First Indexing
Mobile-First Indexing means a search engine authority uses the mobile version of website content for indexing and ranking websites in search results. A Mobile-Optimized website is a nonnegotiable element for good SEO results.
Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) is the monthly revenue earned from a subscription-based business. MRR includes: revenue gained by new accounts (net new) and from upsells (net positive), as well as MRR lost from downsells/downgrades (net negative) and from cancellations (net loss).
Moz is a MarTech company offering SEO tools and SaaS for marketers. Moz boasts tools that make SEO, inbound marketing, link building, and content marketing easier. Moz offers a generous set of free SEO tools, as well as resources for learning more about SEO.
Moz was co-founded by a Seattle local we stan, Gillian Muessig.
Multi-level Marketing (MLM) is a business model and direct sales strategy where the revenue of the MLM company comes from its non-salaried representatives (independent contractors) who sell the brand’s products or services directly to consumers. MLM representatives earn small commissions on the sale of the products themselves, but increase their overall earnings by earning a percent of the sales of each representative they add to their “team” under them.
MLMs are sometimes called network marketing or pyramid selling. Some MLMs are demonstrably illegal pyramid schemes, while others manage to maintain a semblance of legitimacy. Thanks in part to recent exposé documentaries like LuLaRich, (Un)Well, and Betting on Zero, MLMs have a widespread negative reputation. However, any number of apparently above-board MLMs still boast large numbers of representatives and high gross revenues.
Note: We are not fans of MLMs because they are predatory and rarely generate profits for independent reps based solely on sales.
Related Resources: The Anti-MLM Coalition and John Oliver’s thorough breakdown of MLMs on Last Week Tonight
Native Advertising refers to online advertisements that take on the form and function of the platform on which the ads appear. The point is to make ads less invasive and more like an organic part of the feed or content. reddit and Pinterest both offer great examples of Native Advertising as the standard.
Aside from digital platforms, radio DJ product endorsements are another familiar example of Native Advertisements.
Niche refers to a highly specialized or specific area of expertise or market.
Net Promoter Score, or NPS for short, is a customer satisfaction metric which measures how likely a customer is to recommend your business to someone else. NPS is measured on a scale of 0-10 and is collected through surveys sent to existing customers or clients.
NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of survey respondents who do not or would not recommend (detractors) your organization from the percentage of customers who would (promoters). Detractors, or those who would not recommend, are those who answered 0-6 on their likeliness to recommend. Promoters respond 9-10.
NPS is a powerful tool for identifying problems with customer support, product or service quality, and other issues leading to poor customer satisfaction. Results should always be taken seriously and approached with the question of “How can we improve?”
Network Marketing is a business model reliant on person-to-person sales by independent representatives who often work from home.
FYI: Most people consider Network Marketing to be a synonym for Multi-Level Marketing.
In more casual terms, Network Marketing may simply refer to the practice of making Referrals to other professionals and businesses in one’s network, whether as part of a formal networking group or Chamber of Commerce, or a looser affiliation.
Networking is loosely defined as any activity people do to form relationships and connections. Business Networking is specifically focused on cultivating mutually beneficial relationships for business owners, professionals, and entrepreneurs, such as referrals, funding, or partnerships. Networking events vary in size and price. Some are open to anyone, while others are members-only.
New Product Development is a catch-all phrase to describe the creation of a new product, which typically involves research and development, product testing, and product launch.
Newsfeed, or “feed” for short, is a function of the social media platform Facebook, but the term is used to describe the personalized social media content on a user’s “home” view. A Newsfeed might include posts from other users with whom someone is connected, pages or profiles they have liked or followed, and sponsored content or ads. Newsfeed is sometimes used interchangeably with “timeline.”
See also: Native Advertising
A No-Follow Link is a function by which a website tells search engines it does not want to pass credit to another webpage. A No-Follow Link tells a search engine authority (like Google or Bing) not to follow or send traffic to a linked website, usually to protect the origin site from a negative association with spammy or questionable content. Search engines all respect No-Follow Links to varying degrees, and a No-Follow Link is not a guarantee.
Onboarding refers to the process of introducing a new customer or client to a company’s services or products. Onboarding can also describe the process of assimilating a new employee into an organization.
A Pain Point is a persistent or recurring problem or challenge that inconveniences, frustrates or annoys customers (or prospects). A pain point is the problem for which your product or service is the solution. If you’re in an established market, you can find customer pain points simply by reading competitors’ reviews and picking out the negative reviews.
Pay per Click, often referred to simply as PPC, refers to digital/online advertising for which you only pay when someone “clicks” your ad.
A Personal Development Plan is an action plan for someone who wants to evaluate their S.W.O.T. analysis to plan future growth and success.
Pinterest is a visual social media network that exploded in growth thanks to ecommerce brands and bloggers. It’s essentially a digital bulletin board where users can “pin” links to pretty much anything with a URL and visual element. Pinterest is now popular with larger B2C and B2B brands and content marketers. Pinterest also offers an effective ad platform. Pinterest has the added benefit of remaining independent from Google or Facebook, so it yields surprisingly effective SEO results.
Pinterest is a visual social network typically used by ecommerce marketers, but not without its fair share of top-notch B2B and B2C content marketers. Businesses and consumers alike use the website to post images and photos they like so fellow users can repin (share) that content.
A Plugin (or Plug-in) is a software component that adds a specific feature or set of features to an existing program, enabling customization and expanded functionality. Web browsers like Google Chrome support Plugins, as does WordPress for expanded website functionality.
A Podcast is a series of episodes of spoken-word digital audio files that a user can download for easy listening. Podcast topics can focus on almost anything. Podcasts are a popular lead generation tool, as well as content marketing.
Users can listen to and download Podcasts on a variety of platforms, including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts. Podcasts are typically free—sometimes with ads or commercials, but some are pay-to-access.
Point of Contact (POC) is the decision-maker or facilitator for their organization’s marketing and sales.
A Product Matrix is a chart with the various products or services a business offers alongside the applicable features of each product. Product matrices typically include each version of a product its own column along the top, with the included features of each variation listed in rows down the lefthand side.
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.
reddit is an American social media-blog hybrid platform known for its protection of users against outside advertising and commercialization. reddit includes social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion type posts. Registered members post their content to topical communities known as subreddits or “subs.” Content can be links, text posts, images, gifs, or videos, and are then voted up or down by other members.
reddit allows minimal advertising by businesses and is fiercely protective of its users’ rights to interact with their chosen subs and communities without being overwhelmed by ads. We cannot emphasize enough: reddit is not an easy platform for businesses to establish a presence, let alone effective advertising campaigns: users can downvote and hide ads just as they would user-created content.
A Referral is a lead or prospect introduced to your company by someone who knows your products or services and believes both that they would benefit the prospect and that the prospect is a Qualified Lead. Referrals are a strong source of new business because referred leads are generally more qualified.
Many brands and businesses offer Referral incentives through established Referral or Affiliate programs.
A Referral Network is a group of peers or professionals who send one another referrals for clients/customers/patients to help one another build their businesses. Referral Networks can be informal or established paid-membership purpose-focused groups like Business Network International or Network in Action.
Chambers of Commerce are loosely considered Referral Networks, although this is not their primary purpose.
Relationship Marketing is the strategy of establishing prospect or potential customer relationships with the intent of developing a long-term connection. As a strategy, Relationship Marketing is significantly less expensive than acquiring new customers and more likely to produce Referrals.
R&D is the common nomenclature for Research and Development: the process of identifying, discovering, and developing new products.
Responsive Design is the practice of website design that adapts the site and its content to how a user views it. Rather than build a separate site for a smartphone browser, for example, Responsive Design automatically detects the device and browser type of a user and adjusts to optimize the experience for that user.
There are three ways to retweet:
SaaS stands for Software as a Service and includes any software hosted by another company, which, in turn, stores your data in the cloud.
Some examples of marketing SaaS include Hubspot, MailChimp, Dropbox, and Hootsuite.
A Search Engine is a software system that carries out web searches. Google and Bing are both search engines, but they’re far from the only ones.
Learn More from Search Engine Journal:
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). Many of these tactics use Keywords, Long-Tail Keywords, and Content Marketing.
How do you improve your site’s SEO?
SEO is multifaceted and somewhat complicated. Search engines look for elements including title tags, keywords, image tags, internal link structure, and inbound links—and that’s only a few of the aspects. Search engines also examine site design and structure, visitor behavior, and other external, off-site factors to determine where your site should rank in search engine results.
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.
Segmentation or Market Segmentation is the process of dividing up a broad market, (B2B or B2C) consisting of existing and potential customers, into smaller sub-groups of consumers (segments) based on a set of shared characteristics. There are numerous approaches to Market Segmentation, depending on an organization’s campaign goal and products/services.
Sender Score is an email marketing term that refers to a reputation rating from 0-100 for every outgoing mail server IP address. Mail servers will check your Sender Score before deciding what to do with your emails. A score 90 or higher is good.
A Service Level Agreement or SLA is an agreement between a company’s sales and marketing teams to define the expectations Marketing has for the Sales team and vice versa.
The Marketing SLA should set the Sales Team’s expectations for lead quantity and quality.
The Sales SLA should establish the Marketing Team’s expectations for how long, deeply, and frequently Sales will pursue a qualified lead.
It’s important to sit down and develop clear SLAs between Sales and Marketing in order to create a coherent and collaborative environment between both teams. When Sales and Marketing operate as isolated, divided (or even opposing) departments, the division will have significant negative impact on the company’s overall growth and success. Sales and Marketing are not the same, but they must be integrated and have a strong positive relationship in order to generate the best outcomes for both.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), a small business is defined by firm revenue (ranging from $1 million to over $40 million) and by employment (from 100 to over 1,500 employees).
The SBA provides a table of size standards that establish the criteria in the U.S.
Small to Medium Business is a wide category typically defined as companies with between 10 and 500 employees.
Smarketing (not a typo!) is a portmanteau of Sales + Marketing and refers to the business practice of aligning Sales and Marketing efforts. When Sales and Marketing are aligned and work collaboratively, the entire company benefits.
See also: Service Level Agreement
Snapchat is generally considered a social media platform. Snapchat is an American multimedia instant messaging app and service developed by Snap Inc. (originally Snapchat Inc.) One of the main—and distinguishing— features of Snapchat is the limited timeframe pictures and messages are available before they become inaccessible to the recipient.
Snapchat is primarily used on smartphones through the app. While Snapchat was initially ad-free and largely consumer-dominated, it is now a fairly common platform. for B2C social media marketing and advertising.
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 and directory 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.
An Influencer has a small following (a few thousand as opposed to hundreds of thousands or millions), perhaps in a niche market, might refer to themselves as a “Microinfluencer.”
Social Proof is a psychological phenomenon by which people take cues or seek direction from those around them to figure out how they are supposed to act or think in a given situation. Social Proof is why you assume a restaurant is good because it always has a wait.
In the context of social media, social proof is defined by the number of interactions or engagements with a post, or the number of followers of a person or brand. Social Proof is at the heart of why Social Media Influencers are so effective: if someone trusted or well-known is sharing a product or following a brand, it must be good. In persuasive terms, Social Proof relies on ethos.
Solopreneur is a portmanteau (combination of two words to make a new word) of Solo + Entrepreneur. A solopreneur is a business owner or entrepreneur working as an individual. The term has gained popularity in large part because of its use in hashtags on social media.
Wildly unrelated, but did you know that Lewis Carroll–the author who wrote Alice through the Looking Glass—invented the portmanteau? (His real name was Charles Dodgson).
Email Spam refers to unsolicited email messages sent in bulk and is often simply referred to as Junk Mail. Spamming is the practice of emailing these bulk unsolicited messages.
Spam has evolved to include any type of unsolicited, unwanted bulk communication such as robo-calls or automated text messages.
Spam is annoying, but it’s also illegal most places. Spammers buy lists of emails or scrape data from unsecured website, chat rooms, and other media. Spam messages have a high likelihood of being scams or including links to invasive or destructive viruses.
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.
Spotify is the world’s largest music streaming service provider and audio media (podcasts) provider platform. Spotify includes both a web app and apps for mobile devices, as well as a desktop/laptop app. Spotify operates on a freemium model: free users hear ads and cannot always go directly the song they wish to hear, whereas paid subscribers avoid commercials, are able to download their music and podcasts to listen to offline, and can treat the platform as essentially a personal music library.
We include Spotify as a social media platform because users can create shared, private, and public playlists. In 2021, Spotify became the source of a meme trend: users would curate the titles of songs in a themed playlist in order to write out funny messages.
A Tagline is a short, memorable catch phrase or slogan associated with a brand or company. Generally, a strong tagline immediately brings to mind both the brand and gives a clear snapshot of exactly what the brand or business does.
This is not always true, however—particularly for global brands with established brand identities who may change taglines over time: McDonald’s “I’m lovin’ it” is a good example of a tagline that’s memorable, but doesn’t really identify the product. (McDonald’s is so well known and well established worldwide, it can do whatever it wants.)
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 Target Audience for an email announcing a new product or service 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, (a short-lived “story” style video), videos, and text posts up to 280 characters.
See also: Retweet
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.
A Value Statement describes the top priorities of a brand or company, including how those priorities translate into sales and marketing activities.
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 recurrent 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.
The Vision Statement of a business is the heart of a company. It describes the broad view of how a company will leave an impact on clients/customers and its greater community.
The Voice of a brand (also called Brand Voice) is the distinctive personality of a Brand in its communications–including social media.
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. Websites are both a necessary digital brochure for businesses today and a virtual marketplace for sales or leads.
A White Paper is a report or guide that succinctly informs users or leads about a complicated issue and presents the authoring organization’s approach to the solution. Business White Papers are often more like extended testimonials or case studies exploring how a client succeeded using the business’ service(s) or product(s). White Papers can be used as a Lead Magnet or in a Lead Nurturing campaign.
Word-of-Mouth (WOM) simply refers to information passed from one person to another. In marketing, Word-of-Mouth is a powerful referral 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.
Yelp is a crowd-sourced user review site for businesses operating on a freemium model. 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.
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.