Marketing Acronyms Glossary

Marketing Acronyms Glossary

Marketers use a variety of acronyms to make communicating faster and easier. As you navigate the world of marketing, you’ll quickly realize that these letters can be quite confusing and not very intuitive. To make matter even more confusing, there are new acronyms developed almost daily as new technology and innovations come about. This guide will help you understand the most common acronyms you’ll see.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G

H | I | K | L | M | N | O

P | Q | R | S | U | W | Y



Attention Interest Desire Action

Traditionally, marketers understood consumers as moving through these steps in the sales funnel during the buying process. You would first need to grab the consumer’s attention, then gain their interest. Once you’ve captured their attention, you’ll want to cultivate their desire for your product or service. The final stage is to encourage action by the consumer to purchase. The goal is that your marketing efforts encourage more people to move completely through the four stages. Keep in mind that in a digital age, these steps have developed somewhat.


Application Program Interface

When you use an API you have two software systems communicate with each other. Typically, one software will communicate with the other so that you can have the functionality of both when using one.


Application Service Provider

These are service providers that will provide your business with a computer based service over your network. This could be giving you access to software or helping you send communications to your customers.



Business to Business

This refers to businesses whose customers are other businesses. Your business would either buy or sell to another business.


Business to Consumer

This refers to businesses whose customers are consumers. Your business would sell to individual consumers.


Bounce Rate

When looking at your website traffic, the bounce rate is the number of people who view only one page of your website before navigating away. This data is expressed as a percentage.


Budget, Authority, Need, Timeline

This acronym refers to how sales representatives determine whether a potential customer is ready to purchase. They will determine if the lead can afford the price, has the authority to authorize a purchase, need to make the purchase, and are they ready to buy.

Budget: Can they afford it?

Authority: Are they the decision maker to be able to buy this?

Need: Do they actually need what you are selling?

Timeline: What’s the time frame to implementation?



Customer Acquisition Cost

This is the total cost to your company for each customer that you gain. The cost will include everything from research and development, marketing, and any other costs. Knowing these costs help you to budget your projected costs for gained customers.


Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation

A Canadian law passed in 2013 that regulates the sending of “commercial electronic messages.” CASL covers email, texts, instant messages, and automated cell phone messages sent to computers and phones in Canada.


Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing

In 2003 the US passed a law that defines the rules you must follow when sending commercial emails and messages. If you fail to follow these guidelines you could face steep penalties.


Chief Marketing Officer

A CMO wears many hats but their specialty is in-depth knowledge of marketing fundamentals. They may also be involved in data analysis and strategic thinking.


Cost Per Action

Let’s say you have a website and get some product advertising banners on it. Every time someone clicks the banner, buys something, or views the banner- you get money. Every advertiser and arrangement is different, for example you may just get paid when someone actually purchases something. However you make the arrangement, the amount you get paid is called “cost per action.”


Customer Relationship Management

This is when a company looks at the history of interactions it’s had with its customers and determines how it wants to interact with them in the future. In a simplified example, a company can see that a consumer opened all the emails about a particular product and clicked links to look at it, but didn’t purchase. So the company can send them a follow up email with a special promotion for that particular item.


Cascading Style Sheet

When you build a website using traditional coding like HTML, you use CSS code on top of it to make it look visually appealing. HTML is like the building blocks and CSS is the decoration. So if you were to add a snippet of HTML code to your website from your email service provider to try to collect email addresses, it likely has a very static look from the email company that doesn’t match your website’s branding at all. You would then use CSS to change the button color, the font, etc to make it look like it’s a matching part of your website.


Call to Action

Words like “click here!” “Subscribe now” “buy now” etc are all considered to be CTAs. It’s a specific instruction to users encouraging them to take a desired action. When done right, they provoke an immediate response.


Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart

These tests ask users to perform a task that could not be performed by a computer to prevent fake interactions.


Content Management System

Any kind of software application that manages the vast amount of content you have related to your brand. It may support your images, content editing, organizing, and publishing. Think: blog and social media content. Some applications do more than others but they are all considered to be a CMS if they are within the content management realm.


Click-Through Rate

The number of times someone clicks on a link based upon the number of times it was seen. If 100 people saw the link and 10 people clicked on it, then the CTR would be 10 percent.


Cost Per Click

Another online advertising model, in this instance with the web banner example, you’d just get paid a pre-set amount whenever the Ad is clicked. Another acronym you may see for this is PPC (pay per click).


Cost Per Thousand

If you are doing a large marketing campaign, the amount it costs to reach one thousand people via a particular advertising type or medium.


Conversion Rate Optimization

A strategy to try to increase the amount of users that take action on something and convert into customers. E.g. Increase the conversion rate of users who visit a website and end up purchasing


Conversion Rate

Conversion rates give you an idea of how good you are (or how good your content is) at converting visitors into leads, or leads into customers. 


Chief Technology Officer

The CTO is the most senior executive responsible for focusing on the science and technology within an organization. This role is most common in companies within technology-based industries such as software or eCommerce.


Click Through Rate

How many users clicked on something specific vs. the total number of users that saw the link. E.g. out of everyone who opened an email and saw the link, how many actually clicked?


Customer Experience

This is what we call the entire process a consumer goes through from knowing about your brand through to purchasing, purchasing again, interacting with staff, with the website, etc. Every little piece is part of a customer’s experience.



Domain Authority

Domain Authority is a search engine rating metric created by Moz. DA rating is a score between 0 and 100 and this score calculated by evaluating a ton of different metrics some of which are; Moz’s very own MozRank, MozTrust, linking root domains, number of total links (similar to Trust Flow and Citation Flow). All of these factors and more make up a site’s DA score. The higher the score the more authority that domain has (higher = better). DA is a predictor on how likely a website will rank. Now websites have a single score to compare themselves against other websites.


Domain Name Server

A system that controls your domain name’s website and email settings.


Direct Message

A message on a social media platform used to get in touch with followers of an account directly and in private. DMs can be sent from one person to another, or within a group. Most accounts only allow DMs from their followers, but many businesses allow DMs from anyone.



End Of Day

Can be used less formally such as “I’ll have this report to you by EOD” which means the end of the business day or more formally with regards to market closing if you are in the financial industry.


End Of Week

Similarly to EOD, EOW simply means end of the week. This means around the end of the business day on Friday.


Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness

It’s a component of Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines (SQEG). Google uses E-E-A-T to evaluate the credibility and relevance of web pages and websites.


Email Service Provider

A company that offers email marketing or bulk mail. Keeping track of everyone and various campaigns in a personal email is impossible. These companies make it easy and well organized. They also take precautions to ensure you do not get flagged as spam when sending emails.



File Transfer Protocol

If you have a large amount of files to send (think an entire website of files, a ton of videos, etc) you can use FTP to transfer the files from one host to another over the internet.



Google Analytics

Google provides a service for users’ websites that generates detailed statistics about a website’s traffic and where the site visits are coming from. It can also measure conversions and sales. This is added to your website and then presented to you on a private dashboard



Hyper Text Markup Language

This is the basic code used to make websites. If your website was a house then HTML would just be the foundation, walls, holes for doors and windows. But that’s all. See CSS definition for how to decorate your house / website.



Inbound Link

A link back to your site from another website.


Instant Messaging

When you send a typed message to another person in real time. E.g. text message, Facebook message, Skype chat, iMessage


Internet Protocol Address

There’s a number assigned to every device that uses the internet. E.g. phone, laptop. This number is called an IP Address. An example IP address looks like this:



Key Performance Indicator

A metric is chosen by an organization to help define success. KPIs will differ from business to business (new customer acquisition or customer loyalty) and can even differ from department to department.



Lifetime Value

This is a monetary amount associated with a customer that estimates how much money they are going to ever spend with the company based on their actions, demographics, purchases, etc.




This is used when you are comparing a month of a certain year with the same month of the previous year. When you compare the average of what you are trying to track changes in for each month, you end up with the MoM. To calculate percentage growth: Subtract Month Y number from Month X number, divide the result by Month X number, then multiply the final result by 100.



A time period starting at the beginning of the current month and ending at the current date.


Monthly Recurring Revenue

This is used to track the amount of revenue a subscription-based business receives every month. The formula averages the number of lost customers with the rate new customers subscribe.



Net Promoter Score

This is a number from 0-10 that the measures the degree to which people would recommend your company to others. This number can be used to determine how to improve a company’s product or service. To calculate NPS, subtract the percentage of customers who would not recommend you (detractors, or 0-6) from the percent of customers who would (promoters, or 9-10).



Outbound Link

Links that take you away from your current website.


Out of Office

Used to explain if you are going to be out of the office physically for a specific time.



Page Authority

Page Authority is calculated the same as Domain Authority and has the same rating system (0-100). The difference is that Page Authority is a score for a single page on a website. Thus predicting the likelihood that that specific page will rank. This score can also be used to compare specific pages of a website to other specific pages on other websites.


Project Manager

Project managers manage the various aspects of a project, but do not actual contribute to the project elements itself. They are responsible for increasing productivity, reducing risk, maximizing benefits, and minimizing costs. They are the point person for any issues that arise inside or outside the project team.



How Google ranks software and calculates how well your page connects with the search words entered.


Public Relations

The act of getting a company, brand, product or person in front of the right audiences at the right time. Ideally, consumers watch it and it sounds like genuine recommendations or information vs. an advertisement that would turn them off. Examples of good PR:, being featured in a magazine, TV show, special event, celebrity, news article, podcast, etc.


Page View

How many people viewed a specific web page. This isn’t general to the entire website, it’s for a particular page within a website


QR Code

Quick Response Barcode

Have you ever seen those squares with a bunch of dots on them on products or signs? These are called QR codes and they store website URLs or other information. You can scan them with your Smartphone’s camera and be taken to the information directly.



This is used when you are comparing a quarter of a certain year with the same quarter of the precious year



The time period starting from the beginning of the current quarter and ending at the current date.



Return on Investment

If you invested $100 into a marketing campaign and made $1000, you had a $900 return on investment. This amount is just how much you got back on an investment you made of any kind.


Rich Site Summary

An RSS is a list AKA “ feed” or “channel” with a summary of a bunch of different websites



Re-posting (or sharing) a tweet posted by another user on Twitter. This can be done by simply using the “retweet” button.




If you’ve ever used an online software or downloaded it onto your computer, you’ve used SaaS. For example, if you use an accounting software that’s SaaS. These are typically on subscription.


Search Engine Marketing

When you search on a search engine and the top results are sponsored results, i.e. companies pay to have their related site come up above the rest to increase the likeliness you’ll click them vs scrolling down to the nonsponsored posts.


Service Level Agreement

An agreement between a company’s sales and marketing teams that defines the expectations sales has for marketing and vice versa. The idea is to align the sales and marketing teams so they are integrated and can work toward goals cohesively


Social Media Optimization

Leveraging various social media communities to increase publicity around a brand.


Search Engine Results Page

When you search for keywords in a search engine and the list of results appears, this page is called the SERP


Search Engine Optimization

This is when you optimize your website and content in order to appear in search engine results for keywords you want to be associated with. This is organic (free) to implement whereas SEM (see above) is the paid version.


Small-to-Medium Business

Companies that have between 10 and 500 employees


Social Media Marketing

Marketing throughout various social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin) strategically for a brand.


Share of Voice

An online advertising ad revenue model that focuses on weight or percentage among other advertisers.


Search Experience Optimization

This is a concept which goes beyond SEO by taking a visitor’s experience of using a website into account in order to plan pages that maximize conversion rates.



User Interface

The part a user sees on a web application. E.g. when you interact with a website, that’s the UI. There are various code, databases, servers, etc that goes into a website. But the part users SEE is the UI.


Unique Visitor

This is used to count the number of individuals visiting web pages during a given time. It counts each person individually, so if someone leaves the site and comes back they are still only counted as 1.


User Generated Content

When users of a particular online system or service create content related to that business. E.g. a website about men’s health that accepts and features content from various contributors, paid or unpaid.


Uniform Resource Locator

An address to a website or resource on the internet. It’s what you type into the top bar of a web browser so you can locate the site you want.



Word of Mouth

A person shares their experience with a product or brand in writing or verbally with someone else.


World Wide Web

How the internet organizes its web pages. This prefaces all URL’s (see URL definition).




Changes in levels expressed with respect to the previous year. YoY incorporates more data than MoM or QoQ, so it gives you a better long-term view.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G

H | I | K | L | M | N | O

P | Q | R | S | U | W | Y

Did We Miss a Term?

While we tried to include every term possible that has to do with content marketing, there are a lot of them. If you still have questions, feel free to reach out! We’re happy to explain the terms and processes.

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