Essential Marketing Terms and Acronyms

by Jun 11, 2020

Communicating Marketing

Humans tend to remember things in groups of three, so we use this theory as the explanation of the proliferation of three-letter acronyms (TLAs) in marketing. An important consideration in your conversations with mere mortals (people outside of the marketing profession), is that TLAs will confuse and impede your communications. As marketers, our job is to provide clear messaging, especially when explaining our strategies, campaigns and requirements, so TLAs, jargon, and “marketing speak” should be used sparingly, unless there is a common understanding.

To help our readers and clients, we’ve compiled and defined some common marketing terms.

Digital Terms

API or Application Programming Interface – a software application interface that enables a remote server to communicate with other applications or requests for information.

Bounce Rate – A measure of website visitors who do not interact beyond a single page view. The lower the bounce rate, the better. To improve bounce rate performance, review the content and page layout.

Conversion – A marketing term which is mentioned often as a metric of webpage or campaign performance. Basically, a conversion is any response from your audience to your call to action.

CMS or Content Management System – The behind the scenes system which allows users to manage the content on their website. Examples include Drupal, WordPress, and Joomla. –

CPL or Cost Per Lead – The cost of a sales lead typically measured as the number of leads generated in a campaign, divided by the total cost of the campaign. When the average order value is used in the calculation, the true cost per lead can be determined.

CR or Conversion Rate – The number of responses (conversions) divided by the total number of site or landing page visitors during a specific time period. A measure of content effectiveness.

CTA or Call to Action – A request for the recipient of your message to do something such as “Click Here to Download the Whitepaper, or Call us Now…” The ultimate conversion goal is a sale.

CTR or Click-through Rate – The number of clicks a specific digital ad generates as a percentage based on the number of times the ad is presented divided by the number of times someone clicks on it. A measure of how well your keywords are performing.

Google Analytics – Web analytics services for website insight to determine the effectiveness of digital marketing campaigns.

Google Analytics dashboard

Keyword – A word (or words) used to find information in web searches. The essence of a query. The building block of internet research.

Metadata – Literally, “data about data.” It is the data residing behind web pages which enables tracking and searching of visible data or information.

Open Rate – The percentage of contacts who opened an email over the total number of emails delivered. Emails delivered (versus total sent), will exclude bounces from your calculation.

PPC or Pay Per Click – The pricing model used for digital advertising. Advertisers pay when a person clicks on their ad. The cost of the click is based on keyword demand.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization – Periodic efforts made to increase site visitors by improving search engine recognition of a website, landing page, or piece of web-posted content.

Unique Opens – The number of individuals who read an email for the first time.

URL or Universal Resource Locator – A web address that specifies the location of a website on a server.

UX or User Experience – The feel of your website, the responsiveness of your organization; the distillation of your corporate identity, and culture, as viewed through the eyes of your audience or customers.

Views or Pageviews – The number of times an ad or page is looked at by a person. Unique page views are pages viewed by individuals for the first time. .

General Terms

CIO or Chief Information Officer – The leader of a company’s IT department, and the stakeholder in marketing platform integration efforts.

CMO or Chief Marketing Officer – The leader of a company’s marketing efforts.

CRM or Customer Relationship Management (system) – A database of customer or prospect data used to manage business relationships. Salesforce, Dynamics 365 and Hubspot are examples of CRM systems.

KPI(s) or Key Performance Indicators – These metrics are found throughout organizations in the form of business and quality objectives, and are now applied to marketing departments as well. They are defined among stakeholders to measure the performance of strategy, campaigns, and departments.

MAS or Marketing Automation System – A business-process system programmed to provide content and direction to guide a prospect or customer through the buyer’s journey, typically through email or messaging.

MQL or Marketing Qualified Lead – A sales lead that has been qualified by a marketing automation system as a high-quality prospect and then passed over to sales.

ROI or Return on Investment – A financial term used to describe the percentage of profit made on an investment. As applied to marketing, it means sales dollars returned for marketing expenditures.

SaaS or Software as a Service – The method by which software platforms (such as CRM and MAS systems) are marketed and licensed as part of a Martech stack. Software is hosted, maintained, and secured by the provider for a fee. The user “owns” the data in the platform, but not the software itself.

SQL or Sales Qualified Lead – A sales lead which has been validated by Sales, and will lead to a sale.

USP or Unique Selling Proposition – A succinct thought or sentence which quantifies why your product is special, better than competitors’ offerings, and the best choice a person could make!

UQL or Unqualified Lead – A sales lead which is basically contact information. The customer need has not been verified.

If you need help with your marketing efforts, contact us for a 30-minute consultation.

<a href="" target="_self">Gerry Broski</a>

Gerry Broski

Born in Cleveland Ohio, Gerry has a long and colorful career working in marketing, sales and product management for tech-driven companies. He’s worked with teams and managed projects and people to successfully develop new products, penetrate new markets and generate positive results. Creative, inquisitive, and an avid reader, Gerry is now focused on using his skills and experience to help others navigate the wild world of digital marketing as a member of the FounderTraction Team.

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