Marketing Terms: 55 of Our Favs



Have you ever tried reading a blog about the latest and greatest in digital marketing, only to think, “... huh?!” We love the industry we’re in but man are there a lot of marketing terms used to get our point across!


To someone new in the world of marketing, it can feel like you’re learning a second language. Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Check out what some of our favorite marketing terms mean below!



Marketing Terms & Marketing Abbreviations


4 Ps of Marketing: The most important factors when marketing - Product, Price, Place, Promotion.


A/B Testing: This process is putting two versions of something against each other to see what performs better. Best practice is to have only one variable in each A/B test. For example, I could A/B test my ad image. In my A ad, I would include one of the images I want to test. In my B ad I would have the same headline, caption, and CTA but change the image to something different. From the results I can hopefully consult with image resonates with my target market more.


ABM: A marketing abbreviation for “account based marketing.” This type of marketing is a highly personalized approach where specific target customers are identified and marketing is developed to attract each one. ABM has increased in popularity over the years as consumers are demanding their marketing be personalized to them.


Ads: Short for “advertisement.” Brands pay to show ads to their target market to increase sales, grow brand awareness, generate leads, and more. Ads are a form of pay-to-play marketing, the opposite of organic marketing, where you pay to get results or better visibility, especially in places like social media and search engines.


Affiliate Marketing: A form of marketing where third parties promote a brands' products to their friends, family, and followers and earn commissions on any sales generated on their unique URL.


Anchor Text: The clickable text you see in a blog post or article that opens a related page to give more context or resource that is quoted.


Backlinks: Links to a website from other websites. It is thought that backlinks signal to search engines like Google that a website is of value so the more you have, the better.


Brand Awareness: Marketing tactics that introduce a brand to their target market and are at the top of the marketing funnel. This usually includes tactics like organic social media, social media influencers, Google Display ads.


Buyer’s Journey: The process people go through before converting.

Awareness stage - when a potential customer is first hearing about your company after looking for a solution to their need.

Consideration stage - when a potential customer has identified a solution to their need but hasn’t decided where they will purchase it from.

Decision stage - when a potential customer has a list of where they can purchase the solution to their need and are closing in on the conversion.


Buyer Persona: A mostly fictitious, detailed look at the types of people in your target market. You should use your buyer personas to develop then fine-tune your marketing tactics to appeal to every person, at every stage of the marketing funnel.

A buyer persona includes things like:

  • Demographics: Gender, age, location, household income

  • Occupation

  • Hobbies

  • Buying behaviors

  • Goals

  • Pain points


CMS: A marketing abbreviation for “content management system.” This is where all your website content is housed and managed. The big platforms are WordPress, Squarespace, Shopify, and Wix.


Content Marketing: Tactics that use content like blogs, whitepapers, videos, and podcasts to educate your audience and provide them value.


Conversion: Closing the deal. This is the ultimate goal of any marketing and is specific to what the business wants people to do - purchase, sign up for their newsletter, submit their information, etc.


CPL: A marketing abbreviation for “cost per lead.” This is how much money it costs you to acquire one lead.

CPL = Total Marketing Spend➗ Total Leads


CRM: A marketing abbreviation for “customer relationship management.” A CRM is a one-stop-shop for customer information and includes things like names, address, emails, and where they are in the process. Some of the big players are Salesforce, Hubspot, Zoho, and Insightly.


CRO: A marketing abbreviation for “conversion rate optimization.” This is the process of looking at your website or marketing and finding reasons why people are not purchasing and fixing them. We’ll look at colors, clear CTAs, white space, mobile friendly website, copy, images, and more.


CTA: A marketing abbreviation for “call to action.” This is the ONE thing you want someone to do. Usually a marketing tactic will have a graphical CTA button that shows what the brand wants you to do like Shop Now or Learn More.


CTR: A marketing abbreviation for “click-through rate.” This shows how many times people saw something you posted and clicked on it. The CTR gives you an idea how well your ad is resonating with your target market.

CTR = Ad Clicks ➗ Total Impressions


Customer Retention: The process of keeping customers purchasing from you.


Demand Generation (demand gen): Tactics used to increase the demand of a product. This is a pretty broad term and encompasses all marketing activities.


Digital Marketing: Any type of marketing that happens online. This includes paid ads, organic social media, influencers, SEO, blogs, newsletters, etc.


Drip Campaigns: Automated email marketing that is tailored to where the person is in the buyer’s journey, designed to guide them toward conversion.


Earned Media: Another type of organic marketing, this is a type of content that someone else creates about your brand (without you spending a dime). PR features and customer reviews are types of earned media.


Engagement Rate: With social media influencers, one of the gauges of success is their engagement rate. Interactions are things you can see publicly including likes and comments.

Engagement Rate = (Interactions ➗ Followers) x 100


Evangelist: The highest level of loyalty for a brand, when people promote it without being asked or paid. They fall into the Advocacy phase of the marketing funnel.


FBM: A marketing abbreviation for “Facebook Business Manager,” which is a platform that is used by businesses to manage their page and ads on Facebook and Instagram. That’s where you give partners (marketing consultants like us!) access to run and manage your paid social ads.


GTM: A marketing abbreviation for “go-to-market.” A GTM strategy is the marketing plan put in place for a brand new product or service.


Impressions: How many times something is displayed to a user. Impressions are metrics available for social media and paid ads.


Inbound Marketing: The process of attracting your target market to your products with content that solves a problem for them. This includes marketing tactics like blogging and social media.


Influencers: People on social media with a lot of followers (usually over 10k) and strong engagement (usually over 2%).


KPIs: A marketing abbreviation for “key performance indicators.” This is a fancy way of saying metrics or the numbers you hope to see from each marketing campaign. Typically KPIs are defined before launch and tracked throughout to ensure you’re on the right track.


Landing Page: A page on your website that is not linked in the navigation that has one sole message and goal. Typically landing pages are designed to be linked to ads and show only what the ad is promoting with as few distractions as possible.


Lead Generation (lead gen): The process of generating leads of potential customers for a business. Often tactics include paid ads, blog subscriptions, and email marketing.


Lead Nurturing: After you have the lead, the activities that take place to get them farther in the marketing funnel and eventually making the purchase. This includes drip email marketing, webinars, and free trials.


Marketing Funnel: A series of phases someone goes through during the buyer's journey.

Awareness phase - When they first encounter your business they start at the top of the marketing funnel. This could take place after someone gets a Facebook ad or sees your product in a social media influencer’s post.

Consideration phase - If they are interested in your products and start to dig into your website, they enter into this phase. Now’s the time to show your value and launch a remarketing social media ad to spur action!

Conversion phase - After the purchase is made.

Advocacy phase - The final step, which is very important, where the goal is to turn them into brand advocates and tell all their friends how awesome you are. This step is often ignored but can be accomplished by offering loyalty or referral programs.


MQL: A marketing abbreviation for “marketing qualified lead.” Once the lead has been vetted and deemed as a good fit, it becomes and MQL and is put into the marketing funnel.


Organic Marketing: A type of marketing where you promote your products without paying for them to be marketed. Many tactics fall under this umbrella, including blogging, social media, and search engine optimization (SEO) for example.


Outbound Marketing: The “push” side of marketing where we show them what we think the person wants. The most common tactics are paid social ads, paid search ads, TV commercials, and tradeshows.


Paid Search Ads: Text ads on search engines like Google where you bid on specific keywords to be placed at the top of the first page. Typically this is considered a warmer sell than a paid social ad because people are actively searching to buy or learn more about your products.


Paid Social Ads: Visual ads that use static images, image carousels, gifs, or videos and a caption that is displayed on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. These ads should be segmented to people with interests that match up to your brand/product but they might not know they need the product.


Pods: Influencers and businesses sometimes join pods to increase their following and engagement. When they post, they share it with their pod so more accounts engage with the content.


PPC: A marketing abbreviation for “pay-per-click” advertising, which means you only pay when a customer actually clicks on your ad, instead of when it’s viewed. Google ads (paid search ads) are the most common types of PPC ads but paying per click is an option on Facebook ads and Instagram ads (paid social) too.


Remarketing or retargeting: The act of targeting people that have visited your website with an ad after they exit your website. The goal is to remind them of your brand and get them to come back. Typically remarketing costs more but has a higher conversion rate because the audience has already shown interest in your products or services.


Reach: The amount of unique people that your content is displayed. Similar to impressions, this does not show if any action is taken.


ROAS: A marketing abbreviation for “return on ad spend.” This is a version of ROI that just looks at ad spend versus direct sales from your ads.

ROAS = Revenue from Ads➗ Cost of Ads


ROI: A marketing abbreviation for “return on investment.” ROI looks at the monetary benefit you got from spending money on marketing. The higher, the better!

ROI = ((Total Revenue - Cost) ➗ Cost) x 100


SEM: A marketing abbreviation for “search engine marketing.” This is the act of increasing your exposure in search engines like Google. Things that fall under this are search engine optimization, paid search ads, and backlinking strategies.


SEO: A marketing abbreviation for ”search engine optimization.” This is the process of making changes to your website based on what people actually search for and adding it naturally, but strategically, throughout the site.


SERP: A marketing abbreviation for “search engine results pages.” After you search for something on Google, a list of relevant websites are displayed. This is the SERP.


Social Media: A place to connect with people and businesses through posts of images, videos, audio and/and text. Platforms include Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and Clubhouse.


TAM: A marketing abbreviation for “total addressable market.” This is if everyone who had a need for your product/service, actually purchased it.


Target Market: Everything in marketing should start with the people you’re trying to reach with your marketing efforts. In other words, your target market is the perfect person to need and eventually purchase your products.


Vanity Metrics: Numbers that make your campaign look successful but don't really help understand it's performance or guide future campaigns. For example, impressions and reach are a vanity metrics.


Wireframes: Sketches or mockups of how something new will look on the website. Wireframes show stakeholders what will be included and where so they have a visual for approval.


WOM: A marketing abbreviation for “word-of-mouth.” This type of marketing takes the form of testimonials and referrals where evangelists tell others about how amazing your business is.




The bottom line

Every industry has its own insider language. Speed up your understanding of the marketing industry by reading the definitions to some of our favorite marketing terms.


Phew. That was exhausting, amiright?! Now that we got that out of the way, let’s kick off your marketing campaign! Whether you’re interested in Facebook ads or Instagram ads, Google ads, social media influencers, SEO services, or a combination of all of them, contact Thrive Marketing Consultants to get started today!