Marketing School: Common Marketing Nomenclature

You sit at a long conference room table full of people. The discussion begins and bounces from person to person around you. Your stomach stinks. It is almost as if the entire room is speaking in another language; they might as well be for you do not understand the words they toss around. KPI? PPC? What do these acronyms mean? Isn’t this JUST a marketing meeting? You thought marketing was simple…

Though marketing involves logic, the industry is anything but simple. Fortunately, we have some marketing term definitions to help you get through those gibberish-filled marketing meetings that have you tongue-tied. Here are 15 frequently used marketing terms and their definitions (listed alphabetically):

  1. Bounce Rate

You likely hear the term bounce rate in reference to two contexts: websites and emails. Website bounce rate refers to the percentage of website visitors that land on your site, but avoid any further action, such as submitting a form, clicking a button, or navigating to another page on the site [1]. Marketers’ goal is to decrease the bounce number. Lower bounces = more multi-page views from individuals. More bounces = more people do not engage with the content on your website. Email bounce rate refers to the rate that emails did not land in recipients’ inboxes [1]. If your marketing emails have a high bounce rate, you may need to check your lists; old email lists may include deleted or otherwise undeliverable email addresses [1].

  1. Call-to-Action (CTA)

Call-to-Action or CTA means the specific request for an action or actions you give to your clients or prospects in your marketing deliverable. A CTA could be a phrase such as “to Learn more about this topic, visit our website” or “call a representative for a quote today.” CTAs prove important since they guide clients and prospects to the next step you would like them to take. If you do not give the recipient a CTA, they may be motivated to “bounce” (see website bounce rate definition above) a.k.a. disengage without taking any action.

  1. Content

HubSpot defines content as “a piece of information that exists for the purpose of being digested (not literally), engaged with, and shared” [1]. When marketers refer to content, they could be talking about a blog, podcast, photograph, graphic, video, or other material produced and shared by a firm for clients and/or prospects to consume. Oftentimes, content is used to establish rapport with potential customers before making a direct sell.

  1. Clickthrough Rate (CTR)

Clickthrough rates or CTRs involve measuring the percentage of viewers that saw your link AND clicked on it [2]. For example, if you sent out an email newsletter to 100 people and 30 people clicked on the link in the email, your CTR would be 30%.

  1. Engagement Rate

Engagement rates on social media tell you how much your audience interacted with your content; engagement rate is the amount of likes, comments, and shares that an individual post receives [1]. If your posts get high engagement, your content will be seen by more people. Engagement rate helps businesses weed out which of their posts were successful and which were not.

  1. Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

According to the Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MASB), a KPI is “a marketing metric that reflects what is important to the organization and is used to monitor the health performance of a business, brand or service” [3]. To simplify, KPIs are success measures [1]. Since KPIs vary by company, your KPIs will differ from your neighbor’s, but these indicators are often based on trends and historical performance [3].

  1. Lifetime Value (LTV)

Businesses often struggle with time management, specifically determining which customers should receive the most time and attention. In theory, the customers that bring in the most sales for the firm should get the most attention. However, sometimes your big spender customers aren’t with you for the long haul. And sometimes the cost to retain the client outweighs the revenue benefit. This is where LTV comes in handy. LTV predicts the total profit that a customer will bring to your company in their lifetime by subtracting gross margin from the revenue that customer paid in a specified time period and dividing by the customer’s estimated cancellation rate [1].

  1. Long-Tail Keyword

Long-tail keywords refer to longer, more specific search phrases [1]. These phrases have a “head term” which can be searched alone, added to two or more terms to narrow the search as a long-tail keyword. Perhaps you are a veterinarian. Your potential clients may search the generic term “veterinarian.” But, your target clients, that are more likely to engage in business with you, will search a more specific long-tail keyword, such as “Tampa veterinarian for exotic pets” [1].

  1. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

An NPS is a customer survey metric that measures a client’s willingness to recommend your company, product, or service to another person [4]. Marketers love NPSs because they provide an indicative measure of customer loyalty and potential growth. A company that has customers recommending the brand to their friends and family has access to free, effective, trusted advertising. The higher your NPS, the better!

  1. Pay-per-Click (PPC)

In digital advertisements, such as on websites, social media, and search engines, marketers will pay each time the advertisement is clicked on [1]. In PPC structures, there is either a flat rate, a specific cost per click for any advertisement, or a bidding system where companies bid against one another for a price per click [1].

  1. Return on Investment (ROI)

Return on investment is a general business term used in many instances. In marketing, ROI is a measure of the effectiveness of your company’s marketing, usually measured in the effects of a marketing campaign. ROI is difficult to measure due to external factors. For example, let’s say you are selling tickets to an event. You send out a mailer to your target client group with a link to your website to purchase tickets. Then, after some time has passed, you gather the ticket sales and compare to the amount spent on the mailer. The ROI may be inflated due to external factors such as a blog post that drew customers back to your website or sales initiatives running simultaneously. Also, some ticket-buyers might be fans of your business from previous marketing materials or interactions with your firm.

  1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is a common marketing practice of improving a webpage so that it appears higher in search results [1]. There are many factors that go into this practice, but overall the goal is to be as close to the top as possible. As they say, “the best place to hide a dead body is on page 2 of Google,” meaning, if your business page doesn’t come up close to the top of a search, it probably will not be found at all.

  1. Service Level Agreement (SLA)

SLAs are used by marketing associates to establish appropriate expectations, often time-based. For example, your marketing department may need a certain number of hours, days, weeks, or months to execute a project. Certain materials or information may be needed to complete it. A service level agreement sets the standard for what can be expected and what is simply not possible. For example, asking for an intricately designed 50-slide PowerPoint two hours before your presentation is likely not in the realm of possibility for your marketing team, unless perhaps they drop all other marketing projects to complete it (which likely is not desirable). SLAs should be used to help you plan ahead and coordinate effectively with your marketing department.

  1. Word of Mouth (WOM)

WOM in marketing is person-to-person advertising [1]. For example, you love a product, so you tell your mom about it. Influencer marketing is another form of WOM. WOM is highly effective since people tend to trust their friends, family, acquaintances, even online reviewers, over businesses.

  1. Unique Visitor

Unique visitor refers to an individual who visits your website. If your website receives 100 visits from 50 people, your website had 50 unique visitors. Reviewing unique visits (over total visits) helps you to better gauge how many people are actually viewing your content.

That’s a wrap. Fifteen new words for your marketing meeting toolkit. Now you can join the conversation!

 

[1] https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/inbound-marketing-glossary-list

[2] https://marketing-dictionary.org/c/clickthrough-rate/

[3] https://marketing-dictionary.org/k/key-performance-indicator/

[4] https://marketing-dictionary.org/wxyz/willingness-to-recommend/#net-promoter-score

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