Glossary of Marketing Terms by LinkedIn
Explore common marketing terms and definitions, in an easy-to-reference guide to all the marketing keywords and advertising terms you need to know.
From CTAs to KPIs, quickly discover the meanings of frequently used acronyms and marketing vocabulary to make your online advertising journey run smoothly from TOFU to BOFU.
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A/B testing, sometimes called split or bucket testing, is a technique that compares two variations of the same marketing asset to see which performs better. Using the example of a web landing page, 50% of visitors would get version A with a small call to action button, and the other 50% would get version B with a large call to action button. Comparing the results of which version gets more people to click the button is A/B testing.
Slightly different from an ad, a boosted post is a post from your brand’s social media account that you have chosen to widen the audience for by paying money. Known as post boosting, social media platforms make it easy for you to do this kind of paid post right from your page. While boosting may not have all the same customizable features as running an ad, it’s an easy way to increase brand awareness and engagement using content you already have.
In internet marketing, bounce rate is the measure of how many site visitors leave your website without visiting a second page or otherwise interacting with the site. More bounces mean a lower conversion rate (CVR), which is often used as a key performance indicator (KPI). When this web traffic is analyzed, it gives insight on website engagement that will help you understand the effectiveness of your marketing.
The term brand awareness means how much a potential customer recognizes your brand. This doesn't necessarily mean they know your company name, but rather that they recognize something about it, like a logo shape or packaging color, and that they understand what differentiates your brand from others offering similar products or services.
Business to Business (B2B)/Business to Consumer (B2C)
You’ll often see the acronyms B2B and B2C used when talking about online marketing. B2B is short for business to business, while B2C stands for business to consumer, and they're essentially what they sound like. The first means that a business markets what they are selling to another business, and the second means that the business markets directly to the consumer they want to sell to.
Created based on marketing research, a buyer persona is a profile of a fictional person who is, or is part of, your target audience. A buyer persona might include things like age, gender identity, education, job title, hobbies, and motivations. These profiles may also be called marketing personas, and serve to outline the ideal customers for your brand, helping to inform the strategy for your marketing campaigns.
Call to Action (CTA)
A call to action (CTA) is something that prompts a consumer to take a specific action. This can occur in any type of advertisement, whether it be a print ad, television spot, or a button on a web landing page, blog, or banner ad. A CTA might say something like “call now!” or “learn more,” directing the consumer to a phone line or form to encourage further interaction.
Conversion Rate (CVR)
“Converting” is what happens when your marketing does what it is designed to do, such as getting someone to purchase something from your company. Conversion rate (CVR) is the measurement of how much that happens. For example, if 100 people click on an ad for your patented Ultrawidget and 15 of them go on to buy the Ultrawidget, your conversion rate is 15%. You can then use this data to judge how effective your marketing is.
Cost per Click (CPC) / Pay per Click (PPC)
Cost per click (CPC) is a term specific to online advertising, referring to a model where advertisers are billed by a website based on how many times an ad is clicked. These ads can contain text, images, video, or a combination of all three, and might appear in a search engine, on a website, or on a social media platform. This model may also be referred to as pay per click (PPC).
Customer acquisition is, very simply, the act of acquiring new customers. This involves creating buyer personas and a strategy, creating a marketing campaign, following a customer through the marketing funnel, and ultimately results in conversion. Customer acquisition cost takes this whole process into account to come up with the total cost of acquiring a new customer.
Digital marketing, or online marketing, means any marketing effort that happens on the internet. That means this marketing occurs through digital channels like search engines, websites, email, social media platforms, and on mobile devices. Digital marketing tactics vary widely and include things like newsletters, landing pages, sponsored content, and banner ads.
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Email marketing is a specific marketing channel that falls under the umbrella of digital marketing. Used to promote a brand in general or specific products and services from that brand, email marketing campaigns may include things like special offers, newsletters, and new product announcements, often with a call to action (CTA).
TOFU/MOFU/BOFU may sound funny, but it’s actually a reference to what's known as a funnel, a term used in both sales and marketing. A marketing funnel or conversion funnel shows a consumer’s path from initial brand awareness to customer. TOFU means top of funnel, and is where a customer becomes aware of your brand. MOFU means middle of funnel, and is where the consumer considers your brand. BOFU means bottom of funnel, and is where conversion occurs.
Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
Similar to buyer persona, an ideal customer profile (ICP) is more frequently used in business-to-business marketing (B2B). Here, you outline the ideal characteristics of a company you would like to market to, such as type of business, location, employee numbers, and revenue. While your end goal may be to sell to specific buyer personas within an ICP, your planning would start with outlining the ideal customer profile before you lay out buyer personas.
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Key Performance Indicator (KPI)
A key performance indicator (KPI) is any measurement used to demonstrate how a key business objective is performing over time. This provides actionable insight that helps the business manage and achieve goals. Many terms in this glossary can be used as KPIs, including return on investment (ROI), conversion rate (CVR), bounce rate, and brand awareness data.
A landing page is very much what it sounds like—a web page that a visitor lands on. In the context of online marketing, this is often a standalone page that is part of a marketing campaign, and is focused around a call to action (CTA). This page may contain a free trial or other content that is traded in exchange for the visitor’s contact information. Landing pages are a key part of lead generation, the initial step toward turning visitors into customers.
A marketing lead is someone who shows interest in what is being sold, and information on leads may come in the form of direct contact info or demographic data that helps a company understand who their target audience is. Marketing lead generation, then, is the creation of leads by initiating consumer interest in the product or service that is being marketed. This is often done through website landing pages, web content and advertisements.
The practice of collecting and analyzing data about digital marketing efforts is known as marketing analytics. This involves measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) of marketing campaigns such as conversion rate (CVR) and bounce rate alongside data like customer acquisition cost to determine the return on investment (ROI). The interpretation of marketing analytics results in reports that help a business understand where their marketing efforts are succeeding and where they can improve.
The term marketing campaign refers to a cohesive approach to achieving a marketing goal. A campaign is a long-term plan that involves setting up a strategy, then implementing that strategy to promote your product or service. A combination of advertising methods is used, from print, web, radio, and TV ads to influencer marketing, product placement, and events.
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If you have ever seen an article in a magazine or section on a website that looks just like the content around it but is sponsored, that’s native advertising. This form of advertising straddles the line between content and ad, blending with the look and feel of the media it appears in while promoting the marketer’s product or service.
In marketing terminology, engagement means someone interacting with one of your marketing assets. Frequently used in the context of social media, this asset might be an ad or post from your brand, and post engagement is the measure of how many people like, comment, or otherwise interact with that asset. The ratio of number of followers to number of interactions is called the post engagement rate.
In online advertising, the term retargeting refers to serving ads for your product or service to consumers after they have visited your website. These ads may appear on other sites or social media platforms, and are designed to remind the potential customer of your brand. This increased brand awareness improves the chance that they will choose you when they are ready to buy.
Return on Investment (ROI)
A metric that provides a window into profitability, return on investment (ROI) measures the money made from an investment against the money put into that investment. ROI helps inform marketing decisions by giving a snapshot of what types of marketing spend have the best balance of cost and effectiveness. Think of it as the formal term for “bang for your buck.”
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In digital marketing language, a sponsored post is a post on social media or another platform that is paid for by a brand. This may occur in influencer marketing, where a social media personality receives compensation to talk about the brand in a post, and may also be called a sponsored ad. This can also apply to longer-form content like blogs in the context of native advertising, which is when a website publishes sponsored content that looks similar to their own content.