Marketing, like any field, has it’s own lingo and acronyms.  For those of you who are new to the space- don’t get left behind or waste time looking it up again and again.  Try to remember these useful and common acronyms. Chances are you know several already!

SEO: Search Engine Optimization

Either the person (Search engine optimizer), or the job (search engine optimization) of working to increase your ranking on Google or other search engines.


SERP: Search Engine Results Page

The page displaying all the search results when using a search engine.


CTA: Call to Action

The brand’s goal of a web page, email, pay-per-click advertisement, etc. If someone does this, you’d consider the marketing campaign a success. It may be a button on a link, it may be filling out a form for a free pdf guide, it may be visiting your business to redeem a coupon.


CRM: Customer Relationship Management

This is place you keep all your information about customers, sales interactions, their purchases, and (possibly) what marketing campaigns they’ve engaged with. You’re good to put in all their contact information as well, and use this as a hub of your business data.


MAP (or sometimes just MA): Marketing Automation Platform

While the CRM is the hub of your data and overall sales efforts, your marketing automation platform is where you orchestrate and execute on all your marketing campaigns (specifically your digital campaigns— however some marketing automation platforms also offer some tools for more traditional advertising channels).


PPC: Pay Per Click

Any type of online digital advertising where you pay based on the number of clicks to the ad. Both search and display advertising (paying to get in the search results, or paying to get on pages with banner ads) are considered types of pay per click advertising.


B2B: Business to Business

Companies that sell their product primarily to other businesses.


B2C: Business to Consumer

Companies that sell their product primarily to consumers.


SEM: Search Engine Marketing

A subset of pay per click advertising that focuses primarily on placement in the search results page. Ads of this type are always text, as opposed to other types of ppc advertising that can include graphics displayed in other places around the internet.


CPA: Cost Per Acquisition

The measurement of how much it costs on average to acquire a customer. This metric may bqef7oijgiituç≥.yjje difficult to calculate precisely, especially for specific channels, but can be extremely valuable from a budgeting and planning perspective.


CLV: Customer Lifetime Value

A very important metric is figuring out just how much a customer is worth over the lifetime of their interaction with your brand. If you sell a product that no one would ever purchase more than one, the CLV is simply the purchase price; but a lot of businesses rely on repeat-customers. It may be in the form of a monthly subscription, or something as simply as coming by your store every time they need your product. While it can be difficult to calculate, knowing roughly what a customer is worth will help you effectively budget how much you can spend to acquire and service the customer over time. This article by Qualtrics gives a good starting point.


ESP: Email Service Provider

The company or service that acts as the intermediary between the sender and the recipient of an email. While the specifics of what happens between sending emails can get complicated, this is the main link in the chain you need to consider from a marketing perspective. Email service provided will decide if an email you send actually ends in a recipient’s inbox or not.


BI: Business Intelligence

The study (or set of tools) that help measure your business activities (usually tracking marketing and sales figures). A very broad term that can encompass and data, metrics, or reports that provide information that enables data-backed businesses decisions.


BR: Bounce Rate

There are two primary ways this term is used in marketing. The first usage is describing the rate of emails that get returned as without being delivered when you attempt to send them. It can also refer to the rate at which people end their time on your website after viewing a single page. In both cases, a lower bounce rate is considered better.


CPL: Cost Per Lead

The cost to get a new prospective customers contact information. This may be the cost to generate an email subscriber to your newsletter, or the amount you pay to a referral service to send you a lead. This metric is usually measured against a specific channel because the cost (and the value) of a lead will vary widely depending on the channel.


CR: Conversion Rate

The way this term is used depends on the context. When referring to a sales pipeline, it means the odds that a prospect will pass from a higher stage to a further stage; e.g. the odds that a given prospect will convert from a free demo, to a sales opportunity. In pay per click advertising this refers to the odds that someone who see the add completes the call to action of the ad. In website work, this refers to the rate at which people viewing a webpage ultimately go the “next step” usually clicking a certain link/button on the page, or filling out a form.


CRO: Conversion Rate Optimization

The art/science of increasing the conversion rate of an email, web page, or advertisement, by making small incremental changes. Usually it involves a careful measuring of a before and after state after every change.


CMS: Content Management System

A tool or platform that stores content you’re company has created for sales and marketing, and enables marketing and sales campaigns that use it. Most often, this refers to tools that store content for a webpage, such as a blogging platform.



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