The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Terminology

Beth Comstock, former CMO & Vice Chair of GE, said, “Marketing’s job is never done. It’s about perpetual motion. We must continue to innovate every day.” She’s right. Effective marketing is difficult.

For the consumer, content is produced every day, and information is instantaneously accessible. In fact, 35% of product searches start on Google and the volume of Google searches grows by roughly 10% every year. We’re constantly bombarded with brand messages, so creative marketers must discover a way to stand out among all the digital noise.

Marketing departments can appear busy with lots of activity, but effective marketing is more than just busy work — it begins with a great strategy. While being able to recite definitions doesn’t count as a key step in any marketing strategy implementation, there are some terms that anyone interested in marketing and sales should familiarize themselves with.

We’ve covered in a previous blog post the top branding terms (hyperlink) to know — let’s take a look at our top marketing terms.

A/B Testing

The process of comparing two versions of a web page, email, or other marketing asset with just one varying element. (The Daily Egg)

Pro Tip: A/B testing takes the guesswork out of optimization strategies. Perhaps you’ve always wondered if the text you’re using on a web button is impacting clicks and subsequent web traffic to a landing page. By implementing A/B testing, you can test your hypothesis in real-time to determine and quantify desired results and the impact of a change.

When thinking about A/B testing in web design, there are multiple things that can impact a desired action — text or color on a button, layout, presence or absence of graphics, headline, etc. It’s important to only A/B test one change at a time to accurately measure the impact.

B2B (Business-to-Business)

A type of commercial transaction where the purchasing and selling of merchandise are performed between two businesses, such as an entity providing services to another. (Key Differences)

B2C (Business-to-Consumer)

A business model where the business sells its goods and services to the final consumer. Those companies whose products and services are consumed directly by the end-user are known as B2C companies. (Key Differences)

Bounce Rate

A “bounce” occurs when someone visits your website and leaves without interacting further with your site. Your bounce rate shows you the percentage of your visitors who bounce off of your site. (Neil Patel)


A prompt that tells the user to take some specified action. A call-to-action is typically written as a command or action phrase. (Optimizely)

Pro Tip: A call-to-action can exist in many places including on your website, in social media posts, and in display advertising. This marketing tool directs your audience on what they should be doing next.

Simple and straight to the point is essential when building your calls-to-action. Typically, there’s not a lot of space available — use strong action verbs to leave no doubt in your audience’s mind of what they should do. Use words that create enthusiasm and answer the question, “what’s in it for me.”


The collection of media used to promote the brand and support the sales and marketing of a product or service. It’s the tangible evidence of the brand, designed congruent with the brands core values and personality. (Persona Design)


In relation to inbound marketing, content is a piece of information that exists for the purpose of being consumed, engaged with, and shared. Content typically comes in the form of a blog, video, social media post, photo, slideshow, or podcast, although there are plenty of other types out there. (HubSpot)

Conversion Rate

The percentage of visitors to your website that complete a desired goal (a conversion) out of the total number of visitors. (WordStream)

CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

A technology for managing all your company’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. (Salesforce)

Pro Tip: Often, customer data and contact information are stored in spreadsheets and inboxes. Companies focused on growth can get by like this for a while, but at some point, inefficiencies start to creep in, items get dropped, and things start to break. A CRM centralizes all customer information into an easy to use system that is accessible to both sales and marketing.

A CRM will not fix inefficient or missing processes and it won’t hand-deliver you leads. However, a CRM does provide a solid and consistent framework for your growth.

CTR (Clickthrough Rate)

An advertising metric that is used to measure how many users clicked an advertisement, link, or call to action and went on to the landing page or website that was liked to that ad, link, or CTA. (Lyfe Marketing)


Words or multi-word phrases that categorize content and track topics on social media (The Balance Everyday)

Inbound Marketing

A strategy that utilizes many forms of pull marketing — content marketing, blogs, events, SEO, social media and more — to create brand awareness and attract new business. (Marketo)

Pro Tip: Outbound marketing is seller-centric, while inbound marketing is buyer-centric. If you think about outbound marketing techniques like cold calling, SPAM and advertising, consumers have figured out ways to block these interruptions whereas inbound marketing techniques are geared toward attraction and providing value to your audience.

Inbound marketers create and distribute content that solves prospects’ needs. These prospects are then nurtured along the buyers’ journey to ultimately become promoters of your company.

Landing Page

A standalone web page, created specifically for the purposes of a marketing or advertising campaign. (Unbounce)


An individual or organization with an interest in what you’re selling. The interest is expressed by sharing contact information, like an email address, a phone number, or even a social media handle. (LeadSquared)

Long-Tail Keyword

A type of keyword phrase that has at least three (sometimes as many as five) words in the phrase. (Brick Marketing)


The activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. (American Marketing Association)

PPC (Pay-per-click)

An advertising channel where marketers don’t pay by the impression or purely for ad placement. The bid amount may affect placement, but the advertiser only pays when their ad is clicked by an online user. (Portent)

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

The practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. (Moz)

Pro Tip: Venturing into the world of SEO is constantly evolving and can be quite complex; yet understanding the basics and implementing some simple SEO strategies can make a world of difference for your marketing efforts.

In the blue corner of the SEO ring is your audience. You need to first understand what they are searching for, what keywords they are using, and how they’re behaving online. In the red corner of the SEO ring is the search engine. Through a process of crawling and indexing, search engines discover and catalogue all available web content. Search engines then rank the web content and deliver results to a user’s search query based on how well the content matches.

SEO in marketing is important because the majority of online traffic is driven by search engines. Optimizing your website will help deliver better data to search engines which in turn can increase the amount of traffic driven to your website by search queries.

UI (User Interface)

A conduit between human and computer interaction — the space where a user will interact with a computer or machine to complete tasks. (Every Interaction)

UX (User Experience) Design

The process design teams use to create products that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to users. This involves the design of the entire process of acquiring and integrating the product, including aspects of branding, design, usability and function. (Interaction Design Foundation)

If you’re interested in growing you brand, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with these marketing terms. Techniques are constantly emerging, and you definitely need to stay up-to-date with the latest trends. Just be careful to not get lost in the what and forget about the most important piece of marketing — the why. Best-selling author and marketing consulting Simon Sinek says it best, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”


Chris Skaggs is the co-founder of BODDHI Branding, a creative agency with a vision to authentically and creatively construct stories to help your brand grow. Digital and social media, branding, recruitment and content strategy are all functions Chris has developed building teams, processes and strategies from the ground-up. Dedicated to giving back Chris also co-founded Leighton’s Gift, a non-profit with a mission of turning a tragedy into something positive. He also serves on the boards of a variety of different organizations. A natural storyteller, Chris’ work and experiences have been featured on CNN, Marketing Sherpa, Thrive Global, CBS Radio, and Glassdoor. Get connected online, @chrislskaggs.




Dad • Storyteller • Brand Builder ∙ Nonprofit Leader • Co-founder of #BODDHIbranding and #LeightonsGift • Head of Brand #TSProckstars

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Chris Skaggs

Chris Skaggs

Dad • Storyteller • Brand Builder ∙ Nonprofit Leader • Co-founder of #BODDHIbranding and #LeightonsGift • Head of Brand #TSProckstars

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