Marketing Terms: A Complete Guide to All Those Acronyms

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Have you ever been in a discussion with someone who uses a lot of acronyms?

You may catch most of them, but others can leave you smiling and nodding while you think, “What the heck is this person talking about?”

And when it comes to the industry with the most acronyms, marketing pretty much holds the crown.

It’s easy to get lost in them.

Common Marketing Terms Explained

Below we’ll identify some common marketing terms. Many of these use abbreviations that marketing professionals use often.

Others aren’t acronyms but are nevertheless used consistently when talking about marketing. To get the most out of your online marketing efforts, understanding these terms is vital. 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

When you produce marketing content, whether it’s social media or blog posts, these assets obviously contain words. Many of those words are going to include keywords that your target audience and potential customers are using as search terms on the internet.

Making sure your content has plenty of these keywords is known as search engine optimization (SEO). When done right, SEO is a great tool to help attract organic internet traffic to your website or social media profiles. 

Inbound Marketing

As a business, you are likely to feel constant pressure to produce engaging and valuable content for your digital platforms. 

But have you ever thought about why? It’s because you want to use inbound marketing. 

Inbound marketing is the practice of producing content marketing materials that attract visitors to your site or social media profiles using inbound links. 

Your content can serve many purposes – it can educate, inform, and entertain – but the ultimate goal is to persuade people (or companies) to want to do business with your brand.

Inbound marketing helps get eyeballs on your content. 

Digital Marketing

Marketing is the practice of promoting your product or service in an attempt to fulfill a goal. Digital marketing is simply using tools online to do that.

Having a website, creating content like blogs or a podcast, using social media, and other digital strategies and tactics all fall under the category of digital marketing.

Marketing Automation

Effective marketing takes time. Luckily, your marketers can save time by setting up systems that perform functions for you.

This is known as marketing automation. An example of this is filling out a social media content calendar and pre-populating your content so it auto-posts on the recommended dates. 

Landing Page

Your website acts as the online face for your business. While your site may have several pages talking about you and your product or service, there’s one page in particular that serves as a gateway for the rest of your digital presence: your landing page. 

Your landing page is where visitors will likely first encounter your web page and where you’ll want most of your page views to be. They’ll have clicked on it from an ad or internet search.

It should clearly explain what it is you offer and also act as a source for collecting leads. For example, your email marketing sign-up form, where visitors can opt-in to your email list, will be on your landing page. 

Pay-per-click (PPC)

When it comes to online advertising, every dollar counts. Marketers want to be sure that when they spend ad dollars, they’re getting a solid return on investment.

One form of advertisement that marketers use is pay-per-click, or PPC advertising. It’s an online marketing method in which you pay each time one of your ads receives a click. 

Click-through Rate

Let’s say you’ve set up a PPC ad. To know how effective it is, you’ll need to know how many people are actually clicking on the ad.

In other words, how well has the ad compelled its viewers to take action? You can measure this with a simple number known as a click-through rate.

Calculating your click-through rate is simple. It’s the percentage of people who click on an ad (or another site you’ve set up to garner clicks). 

If you set up an ad seen by 100 people that 20 people click on, you have a click-through rate of 20%. 

Key Performance Indicators (KPI) 

Having a marketing plan is a great first step, but it does you no good if you don’t know what you want to accomplish. That’s where key performance indicators (KPI) come in.

Your KPI are the metrics by which you’ll measure your success. Without having KPI in place, you’ll have a harder time gauging how well you’re doing. 

Your KPI will vary depending on exactly what you’re trying to accomplish. For example, a company trying to spread awareness may have “gaining more social media followers” as a KPI.

Others may look for something more sophisticated that tells a different story such as time spent on a particular page of their website. It all depends on your organization’s goals and marketing strategy. 

Call to Action (CTA)

When you develop content, you’re doing so for a reason. You’re looking to give the reader value and establish authority to convince them to do business with you.

Your content should end with the desired action they should take. This is known as a call to action or CTA. 

A call to action is anchored by a simple, clear instruction given to the reader to get them to continue their engagement with them. For example, “Sign up for our email list,” could be a CTA. 

Content Management System (CMS)

Developing content must be done with a clear strategy in mind. It’s easier to do this when you can organize all your content under one platform.

A content management system, or CMS, allows you to do that. You can use it to develop, edit, and schedule content and assets you plan to use. Multiple members of your team will have access to this site, including creators, managers, and vendors you work with.

Ideally, they can use it to collaborate as well as produce content. 

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Your audience is made up of people at various stages of the sales process (or sales funnel but more on that later). 

Some have just learned about you. Others have had initial contact but still need to do more research. 

Others are just about ready to buy. 

The different groups of customers you engage with require different approaches. That’s where having a customer relationship management (CRM) tool is useful. A CRM allows you to store your customers’ contact information, segment them into different groups, and keep detailed records of your last interaction with them.

Having a CRM is crucial for effective customer engagement. It lets you develop the right message at the right time. 


One advantage that your CRM gives you is the ability to separate your customers into specific groups. This enables you to communicate with them differently depending on their demographic, place in the sales funnel, or some other differentiating factor.

Separating your customers into these groups is called segmentation. 

Top of the funnel

In marketing, the sales process (or sales lifecycle)is often described in terms of a funnel. People enter your funnel with a problem that needs to be solved.

As they move throughout the funnel, you use marketing materials to demonstrate understanding of their problem and how you’re going to provide the solution. 

Top of funnel refers to the portion of your audience who is engaging with you for the first time. They’re still in the discovery phase of solving their problem, trying to better understand the options available to them.

Alternately, at the bottom of the funnel are customers who have seen more of your material and are closer to making the final decision about buying from you and becoming new customers. 


E-commerce is the act of doing business or making transactions online. Do you use your website to sell your product?

If the answer is yes, you engage in e-commerce. As e-commerce grows in popularity, more businesses will optimize their websites to encourage and promote digital sales. 


HTML stands for hypertext markup language. HTML is the code you use to design your website.

Think of it in terms of your site’s DNA. Everything that appears on your site – from the banners to the pictures to the themes and colors – is part of your site’s HTML. 

Qualified Lead

Any individual that may be inclined to buy from you is known as a lead. Some people are more likely than others to join you as a customer.

These are known as qualified leads. Your marketing efforts exist to help appeal to your qualified leads and move them through the sales funnel. 

But Wait, There’s More

Knowing the meaning of these marketing terms is a great first step for customer acquisition, but what’s even more important is knowing how to execute them. That’s where partnering with a proven digital marketing provider such as Welcome can help. 

If you’re interested in leveling up your digital marketing profile, you can try our services for free to see if it’s a good fit. 

We think you’re going to like what we have to offer. Sign up for a free Welcome account today.

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