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Feb 1, 2020

Marketing School: Common Marketing Nomenclature


Here is a marketing vocabulary lesson for business leaders. Yes, business leaders, not just marketing professionals. If you are a higher-up in business, you need to know these terms too. Why? Because marketing permeates every business. From the pricing of your goods and services to the decision of what your company will sell, marketing is there for every step of the way. So how do you stay in-the-know? Know the nomenclature and you will always be included in the conversation!

Here are ten quick marketing terms and their definitions to equip you for the business world. The terms included in this marketing school blog are: A/B Testing, B-roll, Conversion Rate, Crowdsourcing, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Evergreen Content, Hashtag, Lead, Product Matrix, and Viral Content. And away…we…go!

  1. A/B Testing

A/B Testing refers to a common marketing experiment to test the effectiveness of variable “A” against variable “B.” Marketers frequently use A/B Testing for email subject lines. So frequently, most email automation programs (even the bare-bones ones), give the option to create two different subject lines for an email without having to create a duplicate email. So, how does it work? A marketer will create two different subject lines for the same email and send each to a random half of the audience. Then, after the email is sent, the marketer will check if one subject line had more opens and click-throughs than the other. In addition to email subject lines, A/B Testing can be used for copy, call-to-actions, design formatting, and more [1]. And email isn’t the only form; marketers might run A/B Testing on websites and social media advertising to name a few [1].

  1. B-roll

You can think of B-roll as filler video clips. Think about the last time you saw a video with a voice-over. It may have started with a headshot of an interviewee. This “talking head” shot introduced you, the audience, to the speaker. There may have even been a caption at the bottom corner of the screen with the speaker’s title and position. But in most videos, the camera doesn’t stay on the speaker. You may see moving images related to the topics covered by the speaker, or even other video shots of the speaker in a different setting or other people completing actions that the speaker discusses. This additional video is called B-roll. B-roll is important because otherwise your videos would be one long shot of someone speaking. Even if the speaker is the most interesting person in the world, let’s be honest, that video would be BORING! So, next time you finish a video interview and the marketer says they need some “B-roll shots,” make sure to help them out. Pretending to do a presentation or acting out a one-on-one with your coworker will likely help your video viewers stay engaged (despite how awkward it feels while filming!).

  1. Conversion Rate

Whether you draw individuals back to your website with a social media ad or an email, you probably have some action you want them to take. For example, you may want your website visitors to fill out a form or purchase a product. Getting an individual to complete your desired action can be thought of as a conversion [1]. Your Conversion Rate is the percentage of individuals (out of everyone that visited your page) that completed the desired action [1]. Therefore, high conversions rates are great; a low conversion rate means your page needs some work [1].

  1. Crowdsourcing

Do you ever wish you could leverage the awesome ideas of others outside of your company, even your customers? This is where Crowdsourcing comes into play. Crowdsourcing means gathering content and ideas from external participants: customers, freelancers, subject matter experts, etc. [1]. Your company takes that content and those ideas and builds on them in your business [1]. For example, a customer may present an idea for a new product flavor that you add to your product line. These ideas can be sourced through social media, contests, websites, and more. And the idea-generators may be rewarded with credit, giveaways, or other offers [1]. A company that has used Crowdsourcing to create an entire online community is LEGO.

  1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software allows firms to collect information on all of their current and potential customers, such as their contact information, data on their actions with the company (example: purchase records, social media engagement, etc.), and more [1]. CRM systems are great for marketers because they allow your marketing to get more personalized. CRM software can often be paired with other systems for marketing activities, for example, to send segmented and personalized emails through an email management system [1].

  1. Evergreen Content

Evergreen Content refers to material that is essentially always applicable and relevant. For a non-example, a blog article about January 2020 goals is super specific to that time and can only be used in that short period. However, an article about big data changing the marketing industry would essentially last forever (a.k.a. be Evergreen). Someone in one, five, ten years from now could read the content about the historical changes in marketing through big data.

  1. Hashtag

#youralmostdone #keepreading Hashtags are used on social media to connect conversations [1]. At a base level, they are simply a keyword or phrase typed with no spaces with a pound sign tacked on to the front [1]. What hashtags do is allow social media users to search and find all posts with the specific hashtag included in the caption or tweet [1]. Marketers use hashtags to help social media users find and connect to their profiles and pages.

  1. Lead

Though more of a sales term, “Lead” applies to marketing as well. A Lead is an individual who has shown interest in your firm that you probably want to target some marketing effort towards [1]. For example, a Lead could be all the people that have liked and commented on your business’ social media posts but have not purchased anything from your company. These individuals may be interested in working with you but have had something holding them back. Maybe they need more information, or the time has not been right. Either way, it is important that your business keeps an eye on these individuals as they could be future customers.

  1. Product Matrix

A product matrix is a chart used by businesses to organize all the product offerings and their features [1]. The product matrix can show which features are available for certain products by using a checkmark, dot, “x”, or other marking [1]. For example, a small online business that sells computer keyboards could have the following product matrix:

Plug-in Keyboard Wireless Keyboard (Regular) Wireless Keyboard (Large)
Black x x x
Gray x x x
Navy x
White x x


This shows that plug-in keyboards are only available in the following colors: black, gray, and navy. Both the wireless keyboards are not available in navy, but unlike the plug-in keyboard, they can be purchased in white.

  1. Viral Content

HubSpot defines viral content as “a piece of content that has become wildly popular across the web through sharing” [1]. Viral content is true to its namesake; it is like a disease. One minute, a person shakes the hand of another, and the disease is shared. The next minute, the new disease carrier is in the Chicago airport infecting hundreds of other people. Viral content starts out as regular content, then is shared so much that it is abnormal for a person to NOT have seen it. Viral content can be great and can be horrible, so consider everything your business shares on the web. Would your CEO be happy if the content went viral? Or would you fear for your job?

There you have it! Ten new terms to add to your marketing toolkit! Use them wisely.