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Common Marketing Terms Every Entrepreneur Should Know

As an entrepreneur, you need to have a digital presence.

This isn’t 2001 and online marketing is no longer a luxury or a “nice to have.”

Not every business requires the same pieces, but people are looking online and if you aren’t there somebody else is.

However, the fact that it’s required to do business nowadays, hasn’t made understanding marketing any easier.

If anything, it’s more complicated now than it has ever been.

Why create a list of common marketing terms?

Whether you’re going to handle your marketing by yourself, get help or hire a marketing agency, it’s important that you understand some of the basic marketing terms.

As a savvy entrepreneur, you want to do more than nod along when people start talking about digital marketing.

Will reading this list of terms make you a marketing genius? Um, no.

It does, however, explain many of the terms that come up a lot and you can come back to it again and again.

Ready? Let’s get started.

Common marketing terms defined for non-marketer

You may want to bookmark this glossary for future reference or you can download the printable PDF version.

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A

A/B Test

Also referred to as a split test, an A/B test is used to compare two similar versions of something to see which performs better. For example, if you’re running Facebook ads, you would create two versions of the same ad. They would be identical aside from one element, such as the image. Once the ads have run, you’ll be able to look at which ad was successful and drop the one that isn’t.

Ad Copy

The text part of an ad. It applies online or in print. It should be clear, concise, engaging, and most importantly, relevant to the target audience.

Algorithm

The internal process the software and systems use to sort and serve up information. Google uses an algorithm to decide which results to show you when you do a search for example.

Analytics

The data you get about your website, social media accounts, and other marketing channels which tell you about their performance. A few examples are Google Analytics and Facebook Insights.

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B

Blog

A webpage or collection of webpages made up of posts or articles written to provide value for the reader and attract people to your website.

Brand

Seth Godin provides a great definition of brand, “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” Brand can apply to a company or a person.

Brand Awareness

How familiar people are with the individual qualities or visuals of a specific brand.

Bounce Rate

This is a measurement of the percentage of website visitors who go to a page on your website and then leave without clicking a single link or going to another page. Since we want visitors to hang around, a high bounce rate is a sign that something needs to be optimized.

Buyer Persona

A buyer persona represents your imaginary ideal customer. Some buyer persona(s) include a lot of detail including demographic information like age, profession, relationship status, income, background, challenges, goals, and even personality. The buyer persona(s) can then be used to craft your messaging and copy, plus help with creating your targeting for ads.

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C

Call to Action (CTA)

Any word, phrase, or line encouraging the reader to immediately take the desired action. They can be a “Click here to subscribe to the blog,” link at the bottom of a post or be on a button like “Buy Now.”

Content

Online and offline pieces of information that can be text or visual. A blog post is a type of content, but so is a physical brochure.

Content Marketing

Providing information, both written and/or visually to increase interest in a product or service, by providing value rather than directly promoting the product or service. Blog posts, email, videos, and infographics are a few examples.

Content Promotion

Once the content is created, anything that is done to promote it falls under this umbrella. An example would be a Twitter post about the newest article published on your blog.

Conversion

When a potential customer takes the desired action. For example, you might track how many people who visit a web page click a button that leads to a checkout.

Conversion Rate

This is the percentage of people who take the action you’ve identified as a conversion. To use our example above, if 1,000 people visit the web page, but only 100 click the checkout button, the conversion rate is 10%.

Copy

In advertising, on websites and in marketing, copy refers to the words written by a copywriter. It is specifically crafted to achieve a goal, such as encouraging a lead to call you or buy your service.

Copywriter

A person with a specialized skill set who writes copy for conversions. There are specialized copywriters that focus on one form of copywriting such as email copywriters.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

The average dollar amount required to acquire each new customer. It’s calculated by adding up your entire sales and marketing costs for a given period, then dividing that sum by the number of new customers you acquired in the same amount of time.

Cost Per Click (CPC)

This is how much you pay when someone clicks on your ad. Often a higher CPC reflects high competition.

Cost Per Impression

Ads can also be calculated based on impressions and if often calculated per 1000 impressions (CPM).  This means that each time an ad is displayed to a potential customer, you will be charged.

Customer Journey

Sometimes referred to as “buyer journey,” it’s the path a person takes to buy your product or service. It isn’t often a straight line and includes all touch points and engagements between first contact and purchase.

Customer Profile

Unlike a buyer persona, your customer/client profile(s) are based on research and data you have on your existing buyers, including testimonials, reviews, surveys, and interviews.

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E

Email Marketing

With this form of marketing, you collect email addresses (often via a lead magnet) and send content directly to them. The purpose is to connect with and nurture the relationship with your email subscribers and let them know about your offers.

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I

Influencer Marketing

Influencers are authorities, experts or have some sort of notoriety. Their opinions and tastes when harnessed by a brand can impact the opinions and actions of others. Influencer marketing is the intentional use of this influence to achieve marketing and sales goals.

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K

Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

Important date points or measurements that are tracked as a way of determining if marketing or business goals are being achieved. An example would be the number of new email subscribers.

Keywords

Any word or phrase that you use in your online content that you want the search engines to serve up your content for. For example, would be if you chose the keyword “red shoes,” you are working to have Google put your content in search results when people search for “red shoes.”

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L

Landing Page

A specialized page of a website specifically created for lead generation or to encourage visitors to take a particular action.

Lead

Someone who has expressed an interest in your product or service and is a potential buyer.

Lead Generation

This is the process of attracting potential buyers to your product or service. This is the first step in moving people from stranger to customer. An example would be a form that collects name and an email address in exchange for a resource like an e-book.

Lead Magnet

A piece of content created to attract leads and is provided in exchange for contact information. This is generally done with an opt-in form.

Lifetime Value (LTV)

The average lifetime value, or LTV, is how much revenue one customer generates from their first purchase to their last.

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M

Marketing Funnel

This is a way to illustrate the interaction of potential customers with your company. Leads are at the top of the funnel where they are just starting to investigate their need or solve a problem.  There are several stages and at the bottom of the funnel, people are buying.

Metric

Standard of measurement used for assessing, comparing, and tracking the performance of marketing efforts. The number of people that comment on an Instagram post is an example of a metric.

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O

Optimization

The process of making marketing efforts perform as well as possible. If you have a high bounce rate on a webpage, you might look for ways to optimize the webpage, so people don’t click off as quickly.

Opt-In Form

An online form often used with lead magnets to capture information, such as name and email address from someone who could be a potential lead.

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P

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ad

You are charged for this type of ad every time someone clicks it. PPC advertising is focused on driving traffic. There are often additional management fees if you have somebody else running your ads for you.

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R

Retargeting

When ads are shown to people based on their previous actions or expressed interest in your products or services. To give you an example, you might show Facebook ads to every user who has visited your website in the past month but didn’t become a customer.

Return on Investment (ROI)

The measure of how much you receive in relation to how much you spend. It is usually tied to a dollar amount, but it can sometimes be tricky to link revenue numbers to marketing efforts like videos and blogs.

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S

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The practices that work to bring traffic to a website by understanding what search engines are looking for and an understanding of what tactics will negatively impact your website.

Social Media Marketing

The use of social media platforms like Instagram to attract and engage potential customers.

Social Proof

People are influenced by others’ opinions so showcasing glowing reviews or testimonials is social proof that your products or services are high-quality, and that people are happy to work with you. Social proof helps you to gain trust and increase the desire to buy.

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V

Value Proposition

Your value proposition or “value prop” is a statement that answers ‘why’ someone should do business with your brand. It is the value you promise to deliver to your customers.

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Marketing terms – Next steps

With a better understanding of these terms, my hope is that you feel a little less confused about marketing.

The truth is that with marketing, you’re never done learning. However, with this list in your back pocket, you’ll have the basic understanding of key terms to help you wrap your head around marketing.

Wanna keep learning? Here is a BIGGER list of marketing terms from Hubspot.

If there is a marketing term you struggle with that isn’t on this list, let me know and I’ll add it and share the updated list with you.

Grab your copy of these need-to-know marketing terms

Experience less confusion with this printable PDF. 

Keep it handy in case of marketing jargon emergencies.

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Hi, I'm Mariana.

Hi, I'm Mariana.

As you’ve probably guessed already, I’m the heart and brains behind The Purposeful Entrepreneur.

I love supporting entrepreneurs and business owners, teaching and sharing lessons learned along the business growth journey.

I love family time and doing what I can to make the world a better place. I’m also fond of coffee and puns.

I try to live life to its fullest and grow a little bit every single day, plus inspire others along the way.

How I can help you…

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