The Definitive Marketing Jargon Guide

The expansion of digital marketing over the last few years has introduced us to some new, weird and wonderful words and acronyms that are now used on a daily basis around the world within numerous marketing offices and agencies.

Instead of sitting there glancing at your marketeer as if they were some sort of alien, learn to speak their language with our top marketing expressions and acronyms.

A / B Testing or test marketing

A/B testing in its simplest form means testing two different types of advert at the same time. For example, if you created a still image and a short video, you would run them side by side with the same messaging, for the same amount of time, to the same audience.

Above the fold

Above the fold refers to the area of the web page that is visible upon page load. Naturally, users interact with this area of the page more than the lower part of the page. For this reason, a website's important copy should be placed above the fold, to ensure that users will view and engage with it.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business will reward one of more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought through the affiliates own marketing efforts. These affiliates will earn a commission on each sale they generate for the business in question.

Agile Marketing

Agile marketing is a relatively new development in the marketing world, largely brought about through advancements in social media. It’s the practice of creating unique, well-timed content, normally shared through social media channels in order to capitalise on a currently trending topic or news story.

Recently, a number of brands were quick to exploit the Super Bowl power outage. Oreo, Calvin Klein and Audi were three of several brands who launched tactical social media campaigns back in February.

Oreo superbowl halftime tweet


Marketing attribution refers to the practice of assigning credit between any channel (social media, paid search or email marketing) involved in the customer journey that resulted in a conversion. There are a number of attribution models in the marketing arena, with linear attribution modelling being the most favoured due to its equal distribution of credit amongst all channels.

Google analytics attribution model


Google search console analytics

Analytics refers to the process of deriving meaningful patterns within data. These patterns can then influence decision making and strategy. When marketers talk about ‘using analytics’, we are often referring to a particular platform; Google Analytics. This platform was built to measure and analyse website traffic. It can inform us of overall website traffic levels, where this traffic has originated from, how long visitors spend on specific pages of the website and whether they leave (bounce) immediately, amongst other meaningful insights.


Marketing automation refers to the use of software or technology put in place to automatically serve people online marketing communications through a plethora of digital channels in order to save time and valuable resources. There are a number of examples of marketing automation that you’ve likely come across, but here are just a few:

  • Basket abandonment emails sent automatically after you leave a website within purchasing, designed to remind you of their products.
  • Amazon’s tailored homepages to each individual user, creating a unique and more engaging experience based on products they’ve shown an active interest in.
  • Scheduling social media posts through software such as Hootsuite. This negates the need for someone to physically click to send posts every time – particularly useful for those of you who target multiple localities with varying time-zones.

Big Data

Big data denotes extremely large data sets that can be analysed computationally, which seeks to highlight patterns, trends and associations, especially those of which relate to human behaviour.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate refers to the percentage of single-page sessions in which there was no interaction with the page. A bounced session has a duration of 0 seconds.

Brand Awareness

Brand awareness seeks to represent how familiar your target audience is with your brand and how well they recognise it. Establishing brand awareness is valuable when marketing your company and products, especially in the infant stages of a business. Brand awareness may seem like a vague concept. In truth, it is. For those analytical marketers and business owners who like to gauge success with neat, tidy numbers and ROI metrics, brand awareness will likely ruffle your feathers.

However, as Apple proves, brand awareness is crucial to business success. It’s brand value was recently estimated at $205.5bn by Forbes.

Content Marketing

Content marketing has become the backbone of marketing strategies. It’s a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to engage a targeted audience.

Content can be anything from videos, blog posts, how-to-guides, images, photography, infographics, podcasts… anything produced via any media that isn’t a simple press release or mission statement, that is subsequently seeded around the internet and hopefully shared by the fans or followers of your brand.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

Cascading Style Sheets, or CSS, describe how HTML elements are to be displayed on screen. CSS handles the look and feel of a webpage. Using CSS, you can control the colour of text, the style of fonts, the spacing between paragraphs and what background images are displayed.

Call to Action (CTA)

A call to action is a prompt on a website that influences the user to take a specified action. You’ll usually find CTAs written as commands, such as ‘Sign Up Now’. These CTAs are generally in the form of a button.

Conversion/Conversion Rate

A conversion refers to the successful completion of a wanted action. For example, this may be purchasing products, signing up for your newsletter or making an enquiry. These are all actions you wish customers to make whilst interacting with your website.

Conversion rate (CR) is a critical metric to measure, as it reveals the percentage of your total website traffic completing a specific goal. For this reason, the higher the conversion rate the better.

Conversion rate optimisation (CRO)

Linked to the aforementioned is the process of conversion rate optimisation. If visitors to your website aren’t carrying out the goals you wish to achieve, conversion rate optimisation is often required. It’s the process of enabling website visitors to take a certain action when they visit a website. Through altering the design and structure of a webpage, a business can improve the chances of website visitors ‘converting’ before they exit the page.

Some common practices for CRO may be experimenting with varying call-to-actions (CTAs) or positioning the CTA in a more prominent position.


A cookie is a small amount of data generated by a website and stored by a web browser. The main purpose of cookies is to store user preferences, identify users and sometimes provide a personalised website experience.

Cost Per Action (CPA)

Cost per action (CPA), sometimes misconstrued as cost per acquisition, is a calculation referring to a specified action – for example a sale, click or newsletter sign-up.

Cost per Click (CPC)

Cost per click (CPC) refers to the amount paid by an advertiser for a click on their display or search ad.

Cost per thousand (CPM)

Cost per thousand (CPM) is an alternative model of pricing for online advertisement. It refers to the cost of delivering one thousand impressions. Google uses this pricing model for their display network advertisements, with YouTube also using the model for a number of advertisement options on their platform.

Customer lifetime value (CLV)

In its simplest form, customer lifetime value refers to the total value of a customer to a business over the entirety of the relationship. Measuring CLV will aid in providing meaningful insights into how you can improve future customer interactions.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

CRM is the name for any software used to manage a company’s relationships with its current or future clients. From a company’s point of view, this entire relationship encompasses direct engagements with customers, such as sales and customer services, as well as the forecasting and analysis of customer trends and behaviour. Ultimately, CRM seeks to improve customer experience, often by making interactions more personal and engaging.

Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies to create new — or modify existing — business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements. This reimagining of business in the digital age is digital transformation. Digital transformation begins and ends with the customer.


Ecommerce, also known as internet commerce, refers to the activity of buying and selling products/goods/services over the internet, and the transfer of money and data to execute these transactions. Global retail ecommerce sales are projected to reach over $30 trillion in 2020.

Email Marketing

At the most basic level, email marketing or e-marketing refers to the use of email to promote your business. It may be used to acquire new business, keep current customers informed and updated of brand updates or promote customer loyalty through reward schemes. Email marketing is a form of direct marketing and remains one of, if not the, most effective marketing channel available to marketers today.


HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language. It’s a language used by web developers to create websites.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing refers to any marketing activity that attracts new visitors or customers to a company, through the use of multiple online channels.

Internal Link

Internal linking refers to links within a website, ling one webpage with another. For instance, a link which takes a user from one service page to another service page or perhaps a link that takes a user from a service page to a relevant case study.


In SEO, keywords are the words and phrases users are entering into search engines. When keyword research is carried out, businesses can target specific keywords, subsequently producing relevant content.

Landing Page

A landing page is the first page on a website that a user views or interacts with. A common misconception is that this page must be the homepage. However, any webpage can be a ‘landing page’.

Link Building

Link building refers to the process of acquiring hyperlinks (backlinks) from other websites to your own. Google views these links as ‘votes of confidence’, supposedly acknowledging high quality content worth ranking highly.


Multichannel marketing is the ability to communicate with your audience and potential customers on various platforms and channels. These channels may be website content, email newsletters or social media.

Off-page SEO

Offpage SEO refers to the various off-page factors that impact page ranking, such as the number and quality of backlinks, social signals and keyword research.

On-page SEO

Onpage SEO refers to the optimisation of a site, utilising on-page impactors. These factors may be keyword density, technical SEO and keyword research.

Organic Listings

A search engine ‘organic listing’ refers to the natural or unpaid listing of a website on a search engine results page. These listings usually sit beneath paid positions.

SEO is focused on meeting user’s search needs, obtaining these top ‘organic listings’ and generating increased organic traffic to the website.

Paid, earned and owned media

  • Paid Media is the advertising that a company pays for. This may be paid social ads, paid search or TV Ads.
  • Owned media are the assets that belong to your company brand which you control. For instance, your company website, company blog and company social media channels.
  • Earned media refers to the free publicity generated by your loyal fans and supporters. This may be in the form of social media likes, shares, retweets, online reviews and word of mouth.

Paid Search

Paid search is a form of digital marketing whereby search engines such as Google and Bing allow businesses to show ads on their search engine results pages (SERPS).

When a user searches for a specific search query, paid-for-ads will show up amongst organic listings. These paid-for-ads generally appear at the top of SERP and therefore achieve greater visibility and click through rates.

Pay-per-click (PPC)

PPC is linked to the aforementioned. If you want your advert to appear in search engine results pages (SERPs) for a particular search term, then you will have to bid against other marketers for the same phrase. PPC is how much you’re willing to pay the ad network every time a searcher clicks on your ad. The more you pay per click the more likely your ad will appear in the search results.

Responsive web design

Responsive website design refers to providing an optimal user experience across a wide range of devices such as tables, desktop and mobile. Website page content will automatically adapt to the device in question, ensuring that website users, no matter their device, experience a positive interaction.


Remarketing is a re-engagement practise, often evolving around email marketing campaigns. For example, marketers often seek to re-engage users who abandoned their shopping cart or added an item to their wish list. They do this through a targeted email campaign, reminding the individual about these products.

Referral Traffic

Referral traffic describes uses who have come to your domain from other sites, without searching for you on Google. For example, when someone visits a link from a social platform and ends up on another site, Google’s tracking systems will recognise the visitor as a referral.


Retargeting is a re-engagement practise that involves implementing online ad or display ad, campaigns that work to target users who have already interacted in some way with your company’s website.

For example, let’s take an eCommerce website. The eCommerce business in question may decide to ‘retarget’ website visitors that abandon their shopping basket and leave the website. This is in the hope of displaying products this user has shown a previous interest in, persuading them to follow through with their purchase this time.


Customer retention refers to the activities and actions companies may take to reduce the number of customer defections – that is, switching to another brand. The goal of customer retention tactics is to help companies retain as many customers as possible, often through customer loyalty and brand loyalty schemes. In short, customer retention is focused on making your customers come back again and again.

Search engine marketing (SEM)

Search engine marketing involves improving website visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs) by either using search engine optimisation (SEO), which focus on improving your organic rankings, or by using pay-per-click (PPC) techniques, which display adverts on the SERP.

Search engine optimisation (SEO)

Search engine optimisation refers to the practise of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through increasing organic search engine rankings.

Search engine optimisation is a vital part of online marketing because search is one of the primary ways that users carry out purchasing decisions. For most websites, traffic that comes from search engines (known as organic traffic) accounts for the largest portion of their total traffic. For this reason, SEO is paramount to increasing this portion of traffic.

There are many different areas within SEO. They can be split into the following categories: on-page SEO; Off-page SEO; Local SEO and International SEO.

Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

The search listings that appear in a search engine given a user’s specific search query.

Search volume

The number of searches a targeted keyword is estimated to receive. Search volume generally is an indicator of competition, with a high search volume keyword being harder to ‘rank’ for.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

SSL is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. SSL ensures that any data transferred between the website and the server remains private, protecting your information.

Social Media

Social media is the blanket term for the plethora of platforms on which users can create personal profiles and interact with their peers and other members of the network. The most popular social media platforms currently are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest and TikTok.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing refers to the use of social media platforms to connect with your customer/target audience to build your brand, increase sales, and drive website traffic – amongst other objectives. This involves the publication of content to engage and provoke conversations with your community, facilitating trust and building relationships.

The major social media platforms you should be aware of are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest and TikTok.

User Experience (UX)

User experience, as a formal definition, refers to the singular and accumulated experiences that occur for users as a consequence of them interfacing with a given service or product.

There are many factors that comprise user experience, ranging from the visual design, the way we interact with the product (website/software) and how users interact with it.

In general, ‘good’ user experience is one in which aids a user to accomplish a task in the most efficient, effective and enjoyable way possible; positive interaction with your website.

User-generated Content (USG)

User-generated content refers to content that has been created and published by unpaid contributors. In this sense, the brand is promoted by its fans instead of the brand promoting itself – effectively free publicity.

User Interface (UI)

A user interface also called a “UI” or simply an “interface,” is the means in which a person controls a software application or hardware device. A ‘good’ user interface provides a “user-friendly” experience, ensuring the user is able to interact with the software or hardware in a natural and intuitive way.

Web Hosting

Web hosting is a service that enables companies and individuals to publish a website or web page onto the internet. A web hosting service provider is a business that provides the services needed for the website or webpage to be viewed on the internet.

Start a conversation with us

We understand, this is a lot of information. However, it’s all in one place! Hopefully, with the information you’ve digested from this guide, you’ll no longer view your marketeers as aliens! But, if this guide has led you to even more questions, get in contact with us! We’d be happy to have a conversation about your marketing needs.