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Marketing Glossary: 150 Terms to Know

July 25, 2022

by Sydney Wess

Marketing may seem like a collection of acronyms and buzzwords. However, it’s important to understand the field to connect with potential customers.

Marketing research and workflows are core to business processes and directly help sales teams bring in new customers.

Looking to build a marketing communication foundation? We’ve collected a list of 150 marketing terms you must know in today’s landscape.

Find the perfect marketing agency on Clutch.

Top 150 Marketing Terms to Know


A/B Testing: the process of comparing the performance of two different versions of a marketing asset (email, web page, copy) to decide on which to utilize long-term.

Ad blocker: software designed to filter ads from a web browser or applications

Affiliate marketing: strategy involving a business paying third-party content creators to send traffic to the company through link placements (affiliate links). Content creators generally earn a commission for sales through these links.

Algorithm: a sequence of instructions with a determined end goal, logic often carried out by a computer.

Alt Tag: content tag that presents the audience with alternative text for visuals on websites. If the image cannot be displayed, alt text from the tag will appear instead.

Anchor text: the words or phrases online with a link attached to it, commonly identified by their blue color

ASO: app store optimization is when marketers develop app product pages strategically so they’re highly visible on app stores.


Backlink: a link on another site that brings traffic back to your site

Banner ad: a form of digital advertisement that appears prominently across the widthlength of a website

example of banner ad - DocuSign

Source: DocuSign

Bounce rate: percentage of website visitors that leave your site before making an engagement action

Brand awareness: a measure of how recognizable a company’s branding and messaging is for individuals in the target market

Brand characteristics: fundamental descriptors selected by brands with the goal of embodying desired traits

Brand identity: a collection of brand assets and elements that come together to give an audience an idea of your product, values, and goals.

Brand loyalty: occurs when customers repeatedly buy from, rely on, and trust a given company

Business-to-business (B2B) marketing: marketing efforts centered around companies serving other companies

Buyer persona: a profile containing characteristics of an ideal customer, often created following market research and data collection.


Call to action (CTA): a piece of content that directly asks the reader to take a desired action, often displayed boldly and prominently in copy

Cascading Style Sheet (CSS): stylesheet language used to dictate the visual presentation written in HTML.

Case study: a thorough piece of content on a group, company, or individual meant to describe and investigate particular qualities intensively

Chatbot: program that mimics a human discussion online, often used on websites for customer service purposes

Clickthrough rate (CTR): a metric to determine the quality of keywords and online ads — calculated by dividing clicks on your ad by the total number of impressions the ad received over the same time period.


Co-branding: marketing effort meant to unite two brands and sell a product or service together, sharing associated risk

Content management system (CMS): a software system that enables the creation, editing, and publishing of content online. Popular CMS options include WordPress and Joomla.

Content marketing: strategy involving the creation and distribution of relevant content to spread brand awareness and generate leads

Content syndication: the process of republishing content on external domains, expanding the impressions and audience base for the piece while directing traffic to the original site

Conversion rate: the percentage of those who convert (make a purchase or other desired action) of the total number of people who interacted with the ad

Cost per click (CPC): paid advertising metric that denotes the pricing of a single click on an ad for a given keyword

Cost Per Mille (CPM): the amount a marketer would spend on a given keyword per 1,000 impressions on average

Cost per action (CPA): marketing metric that states how much was spent on an ad per consumer action that results in a sale

Customer acquisition cost (CAC): total cost of marketing and operational efforts to generate a sale from a customer

Customer journey: describes the flow or series of interactions customers have with a brand before making a purchasing decision. Customer journeys are often displayed as maps or templates.

Customer relationship management (CRM): a software system that facilitates interactions with potential customers, allowing for a smooth customer journey

Customer retention rate: the percentage of customers that continue buying or engaging with a brand after a defined amount of time.


Data visualization: the process of using visuals (graphs, charts, etc.) to illustrate data or complex information with the aim of highlighting trends

Demographics: data highlighting broad characteristics of a population (age, location, income, etc.)

Demand generation: marketing tactic centered around messaging and brand awareness as a means of lead generation

Digital marketing: marketing processes and strategies specific to online spaces

Digital transformation: Adjusting or completely redefining internal operations and customer-facing journeys as a means of adapting to the market

Direct-to-consumer (D2C) marketing: a retail marketing approach that involves brands creating, promoting, and delivering a product directly to their buyers.

Display advertising: an online advertisement that contains words, visuals, and a URL that returns those who click to a brand’s website

Dofollow link: a link signals to search engines that the source of the link is authoritative on the topic at hand, boosting SEO performance

Domain Authority: a search engine ranking score aimed at determining how authoritative websites are (developed by Moz)


E-book: an electronic book published online containing text and visuals, often used by brands for marketing purposes

E-commerce: purchasing and sale of goods and services in the online space

EAT: part of Google’s algorithm for search results rankings, stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

Earned media: coverage and exposure from unpaid marketing efforts

Email marketing: marketing carried out over email, requiring the creation of email lists and segmenting an audience

Engagement rate: the percentage of those who interact with your content (like, comment, share) out of those who saw it

Evergreen content: content that will be relevant to readers for years after publishing

External link: link in a piece of content that is directed toward a site other than the domain it's on


FCC: stands for the Federal Communications Commission, which is a US government agency that’s responsible for overseeing communications and media in the United States.

Full-service marketing agency: a marketing agency that provides a broad range of services rather than specializing in a single area of marketing


GDPR: stands for General Data Protection Regulation, which is legislation protecting EU citizens’ personal data from companies

Gated content: a piece of content strategically placed behind a wall meant for lead capture, often requiring the user to provide an email address to access the content

Gamification: the practice of giving game-like qualities to an experience, such as giving customers points when they make a purchase

Geo-targeting: advertising practice that relies on a customer’s location to determine which messages to send them

Google Analytics: a Google product meant to help marketers track traffic and engagement on their websites

Graphic design: the creation of visual assets using computer software (or sometimes by hand) with the goal of interesting or informing potential customers

Growth marketing: a marketing strategy that relies on a team building relationships with customers through a series of touchpoints with the intention of creating loyal customers


Hashtag: metadata tag regularly used by social media platforms and denoted by the ‘pound sign’ (#)

Homepage: the front page of a website, introducing visitors to its various niche pages

HTML: stands for HyperText Markup Language), which is a type of code used to structure the content on a website. HTML can break a block of text into lists, paragraphs, and headings


Impressions: the total number of people that have been shown an ad or piece of content

Inbound marketing: a marketing tactic that relies on a team creating and publishing helpful content that’s accurately tailored to the intended audience. The content attracts customers rather than outreach or a cold call.

Influencers: individuals or groups with a large following within a certain niche (ex. lifestyle, beauty, parenting).

Influencer marketing: the process of brands collaborating with influencers to widen their reach, particularly on social media

Infographic: a visual intended to present data or a complex idea, making it easier to understand for viewers

infographic template examples from Canva

Source: Canva

Information architecture (IA): the way in which a website or platform is structured and organized, enabling navigation and search


Key performance indicator (KPI): A metric used by a company to define and quantify success on their team

Keyword research: the processes of finding phrases to focus on within content to rank in search engine results effectively


Landing page: the page consumers are led to after clicking on a marketing ad or email link. These pages directly relate to the marketing call to action that generated the click and are stand-alone, unlike other pages on a website.

Lead Generation: the process of discovering potential buyers through research and planning to reach out to them with aim of making a sale

Lead Nurturing: the process of maintaining contact with leads either before or after initial purchase with the intent to foster customer loyalty

Lifecycle marketing: marketing strategy focused on facilitating the customer journey for potential buyers. Lifecycle marketing roles are centered around messaging and buyer motivation

Link Exchange: an agreement between two or more unrelated parties to publish links to the other’s site within content to mutually boost SERP performance


MarTech: short for marketing technology, a software system that helps team perform against marketing goals such as real-time analytics

Marketing automation: tools that facilitate the creation and execution of marketing campaigns, allowing businesses to target audiences across channels

Marketing campaign: a series of promotional tasks across channels aimed at marketing a product or service

Marketing funnel: visualization of how marketing activities guide customers to making a purchasing decision — stages include awareness, interest, consideration, intent, evaluation, and purchase.

Marketing strategy: a series of tactics performing against a company’s short-term and long-term goals

Media buyer: a marketer responsible for the media buying process and maintaining alignment with overall company marketing goals

Media agency: companies dedicated to helping clients execute marketing strategies, especially in the paid media space

Meta description: a short HTML description of a piece of content that’s displayed by search engines on SERPs

Mobile ads: advertisements that are specific to mobile devices

Monetization: the action of making money off of a good or service


Native advertising: advertisements that are meant to match the look and feel of the website or type of media hosting them

Newsletter: marketing tool used to round up and share business insights and updates with customers and other subscribers — often delivered over email

Nofollow link: a link to an external website with HTML instructing crawlers not to attribute authority to the link’s source website — does not benefit SEO efforts as much as a dofollow link


Off-page SEO: SEO activities that occur outside of a brand’s website, including link earning efforts and social media marketing

Over The Top (OTT): a media service that delivers content directly to consumers via internet

Omnichannel marketing: the process of utilizing multiple channels to reach, engage, and guide customers down the marketing funnel

On-page SEO: SEO efforts taking place on a brand’s website, including technical SEO optimizations, blog content creation, and more

Online advertising: all advertising activity that takes place on the internet

Open rate: email marketing metric that measures the percentage of recipients who open a given email

Opt-in: action potential buyers take when they agree to receive emails or other messages from a brand

Organic traffic: the number of users that come to a brand’s site naturally through search engines rather than searching specifically for the brand

Out-of-home advertising: all advertising that consumers encounter outside of their homes, including billboards and public transportation ads


Packaging design: all elements that make up product packaging are accounted for in packaging design services: structure, color, visuals, text, brand materials, size, regulatory statements, and more

Page views: the number of times a page has been loaded in a browser over the course of a given timeframe

Paid search: ad placements that have been paid for on search results pages, denoted with “Ad” or “sponsored” tags accompanying the listing

Pay-per-click (PPC): a form of paid advertising that charges the advertiser a certain amount each time the ad is clicked

Personalization: the process of tailoring marketing messaging to individual consumers rather than relying on generalized messages — oftentimes, this involves stating the customer’s name in outreach

Podcast: a digital audio file that’s made for listeners to either download or stream online. Generally, podcasts are for storytelling and increasing brand awareness in a certain niche

Postproduction: video marketing term that refers to all video editing activities that occur after the video is shot (the production stage)

Pop-up ads: Advertisements that appear while users browse certain web pages, sometimes obscuring the page content or interrupting the user experience

Product marketing: the messaging, positioning, and demand generation activities that go into bringing a product to market

Production company: a video production team that’s responsible for helping clients shoot and produce video marketing content

Public relations (PR): type of marketing that works specifically on maintaining and improving a brand or individual’s public image

Public service announcement (PSA): short, simple radio or TV messages that are distributed for free in favor of raising awareness or shaping public opinion on certain topics


Qualified lead: a prospective customer that’s been defined as a good fit for a brand’s goods or services by the sales team

Qualitative research: Research and data that does not involve numeric information, rather focusing on anecdotes, descriptions, and more

Quantitative research: Research that results in numeric data and information


Reach: the number of different people your ads or content potentially comes in contact with

Rebrand: a strategic effort involving changes to brand elements such as colors or logos, oftentimes to refresh the brand image or merge multiple brands together following an acquisition

Referral: the act of recommending a brand or company to another based on a positive reputation or personal experience

Retargeting: the act of reaching out to past leads or website visitors through digital advertising placements or promotional emails

Review: feedback on a company’s services or products from a past or current customer on their experience

Return on investment (ROI): the amount of revenue generated by marketing activities after accounting for expenses of a campaign or effort


Schema Markup: code used by SEO professionals to describe content to search engines — also known as structured data

Search engine marketing (SEM): paid search marketing process, in which advertisers bid for ad placements from search engines such as Google or Bing

Search engine optimization (SEO): the process of organically improving SERP performance through content, link building, and technical site efforts

Search engine results pages (SERPs): pages that search engines return following a query being made by a user

Search intent: the reason behind a user making a given search engine query — what users are looking to find in SERPs

Segmentation: the process of splitting a brand’s desired audience into groups based on demographics, behaviors, interests, and more distinguishing traits

Small and Midsize Business (SMB): businesses with a smaller headcount than enterprise-level companies — SMBs have between 25–500 employees

Social media: platforms where users can create and share content within a certain network of other individuals; examples include LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Social listening: the process of determining what people are saying about a brand or company online, specifically on social media platforms

Social networking: the process of connecting and sharing information with users online via social media platforms

Specialized marketing agency: a marketing company that provides expert services within a given marketing niche rather than offering a broad range of services

Streaming: the act of viewing video or audio content directly over the internet, rather than downloading the content first

Structured data: also known as schema markup — the code used by marketers to detail the contents of a webpage to search engine crawlers as a means of improving SEO performance

Subscription model: a business model that requires that buyers pay a fee on a regular basis for access to a product or service — seen commonly with streaming services and subscription box services

Supply-side platform (SSP): adtech tools meant for advertising publishers to connect with advertisers and manage demand


Tagline: a slogan used by marketers and advertisers to promote brand awareness

Target audience: the ideal group of individuals a brand aims to connect with — discovered through market research

Targeted advertising: the process of creating and placing advertisements to be seen by a certain group or demographic with a higher likelihood to engage and make purchases

Technical SEO: the process of enhancing technical and UX components of a website’s structure and content in order to perform better in SERPs

Third-party data: information that is purchased by companies from an outside source that collects and distributes user data. Customers don’t have a direct connection with the company that ends up with their data, differentiating third-party data from first and second-party data.

Title tag: an HTML meta tag used by SEO teams and content marketers to indicate the correct title of the page

Traffic source: the origin of visitors to your site, including social media links, search engine results pages, and more


User experience (UX): the quality of a user’s interaction with a platform or website — UX includes site structure, readability, quality of visuals, usability, and more

User-generated content (UGC): content created by consumers for the use of brand marketing efforts

User testing: the process of experimenting with UX changes and new functionalities by allowing users to test new features in an otherwise normal environment


Vertical video: video content shot vertically rather than horizontally, popularized by and typically achieved through smartphone cameras

Video marketing: marketing strategy involving the use of video content on websites, social media platforms, and more

Vision Statement: a short description of a brand’s long-term goals, intended to motivate the team and shape processes


Wearables: tech products that can be worn by users and reached by marketers and advertisers

Web page: a single hypertext page online with a unique URL

Webinar: a seminar event that takes place online, allowing attendees to garner expert advice on niche topics from anywhere

Word-of-mouth marketing: process involving a series of customer referrals and recommendations as a means of lead generation and brand awareness

Looking for more marketing expertise? Connect with a team of marketing professionals on Clutch.

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