26 Key Marketing Phrases that Every Business Owner Needs to Know

By Hector Cisneros
Courtesy of Pixabay

We live in a world that is filled with techie terms and acronyms – Why? It's because people get lazy and don’t want to write or say a long phrase, so they abbreviate it and create acronyms. However, once these acronyms are created, they become communications weapons that advertisers use to bedazzle their prospects and clients. In our business, I hear sales reps talking in tongues, using words like SERPS, PPC, CPA, KPI, and GDPR as they present their wares as if they were magicians offering up magic incantations that produce miraculous page one results. The truth be told is that rarely do their claims match their results and it is because of this that most advertisers have a bad reputation. In this episode of Working the Web to Win, we will explore the top 26 key marketing phrases plus another 76, (102 in total) that are used in acronym form to bedazzle prospects. Our intention is to remove the veil of mystery from these words so our audience can make intelligent decisions when an advertising sales rep says – we can provide great clicks or Impressions, you can ask them, "What kind of conversions can you guarantee and what is the cost of client acquisition?” So, break out your notebook and copy down the phrases and definitions, and arm yourself with these 26 key marketing phrases as your shield against any bedazzling advertising sales rep.


We love providing articles that teach our prospects and customers about marketing and advertising. It helps keep the competition honest, and it shows our audience that we care about being honest and fair in our marketing practices and that we love well-educated customers. In the past, we have written 300+ articles about marketing and advertising (plus two books on the subject). Type either of these terms in our blog search box, and you will retrieve a slew of articles to help you understand these subjects. To make it even easier, I have provided a list of articles that are well worth the read. Here is my short list of articles about advertising and marketing.
Courtesy of
WorkingTheWebToWin.com
  1. The Evolution of Internet Advertising
  2. The Four P's of Online Marketing Success
  3. The Three Phases of Successful Marketing
  4. The Guide to The Working the Web Universe
  5. What Every Business Needs When it Grows Up
  6. What Yogi-ism’s Can Teach You About Marketing
  7. Avoid Being Cheated by Online Advertising Companies
  8. The Ultimate Guide to Creating an Ideal Customer Profile
  9. An Irresistible Offer That Lets Small Businesses Compete
  10. The Physic's of Marketing - Analogies for the 21st Century
  11. Don't Pull the Trigger on Advertising with Your Eyes Closed
  12. 21 Common Marketing Mistakes That Lead to Advertising Failure
  13. Marketing 101 – What you need to Know before Buying Advertising
  14. What Every Business Owner Needs to Know About Online Marketing
  15. What Are the Most Cost-Effective Marketing Channels Available Today?
  16. Understanding the Difference Between Branding, Marketing, and Advertising
Also, to help you see that we are not trying to say we know it all, I have provided a list of 3rd Party Articles that provide hundreds of common business, marketing, and advertising acronyms, phrases, and definitions to help make your life easier. Here is the short list of articles I use to look up acronyms.
Our Top 26 Key Marketing phrases and Acronyms that every business owner needs to know.
  1. AIDA – Attention, Interest, Desire, Action – This is the buying funnel – from top to bottom.
    Courtesy of Flickr
  2. ADAAmericans for Disabilities Act – See our article about the ADA website compliance laws.
  3. GDPRGeneral Data Protection Regulation - See our article about the GDPR compliance laws and how it affects your website.
  4. B2B – Business to Business – A market segment for those who sell to businesses.
  5. B2C – Business to Consumer – A market segment for those who sell to consumers.
  6. BRBounce Rate – Email bounce rate and Website bounce rate. This is the ratio of undeliverable email addresses vs. deliverable email addresses for one mailing. When speaking about website traffic, this is the number of visitors who leave after only visiting the one page they initially linked to.  It’s important to note that a high bounce rate on a landing page is not a bad thing if the landing page provides everything a visitor needs to take the next step in the buying process.  
  7. CLV – Customer lifetime value – How much is a client worth if they buy from you for a year or more. Also, see LTV.
  8. CTA – Call to action – Your request that a prospect take the next step to click, call, fill out a form or buy your product/service.
  9. CAC –  Customer Acquisition Cost Aka COCA - Cost of Customer Acquisition and CPA – Cost per acquisition or action. This is the total money spent to acquire a new customer or to get a customer to buy. Example; you spent $1,000, and you closed ten customers, so your CPA is $100 each.
  10. CP”X” – Cost Per item X as in CPC – Cost per click, CPL – Cost per lead, CPM – Cost per thousand, CPV – Cost per view (see also PPV). The CP or “cost per” any item can be the actual cost you are paying for the desired action (as in an auctioned cost per click). It is also often listed as an average ACPC which show the average of all clicks for any keyword you bid on. The letter CP in front of an item tells you how much you are paying for each item listed.
    Courtesy of Flickr
  11. CR – Conversion rate. - The conversion rate is the ratio of clicks on an ad or link to the number of visitors who then took the next desired action, whether it was to click on another page, fill out a form, call you or buy something.
  12. CTR – Click-through rate. – The CTR is a measure of the number of clicks an advertiser received on their ads, per the number of impressions also received from that ad. This is a measure of ad effectiveness, its draw rate.
  13. EP”X” as in EPC – Earnings per click, and EPM – Earnings per thousand. Earnings Per “X” can be calculated by taking the total earnings generated over a given period and dividing that by the number of clicks you have generated for that same period. This gives you an estimate of what you can expect to earn in a given period.
  14. GA – Google Analytics – Google analytics is the most commonly used tracking tool to measure website performance. It provides a multitude of measurements, including the number of visits, unique visitors, time on page, bounce rate, referring sites and much more.
  15. Impressions – is the number of times an ad or web page is exposed to a potential customer. It is often referred to as the number of times seen (but not clicked on). This measurement does not actually count the number of times an ad was seen as it is possible that a person tuned out when your ad was at the top or on the side of a webpage.
  16. Inbound marketing – Inbound marketing is also called content marketing or pull marketing where a prospect comes to you based on something, they found that you provide, like a blog post, article, social feed, or video post that drew them to you.
  17. Outbound Marketing – In contrast to Inbound Marketing, Outbound Marketing can be equated with cold calling, pay per click ads and paid advertising in general.
    Courtesy of Flickr
  18. KPI – Key performance indicator – KPI’s are the indicators you pay attention to in your marketing campaign, like CPC (i.e., Cost Per Click), CR (Conversion rate), BR (bounce rate) etc.…
  19. LTV – Lifetime value and LTV/CAC - Ratio of Lifetime Value to Customer Acquisition Cost – This is the value of a new client when you keep them for at least a year or more. The ratio tells you if it's cost-effective to buy your advertising based on the Acquisition cost.
  20. PP”X” As with PPC – Pay per click, PPL – Pay per lead, PPV – Pay per view, – Pay Per X, tells you the cost per the item X purchased. You normally buy Adwords (aka Google Ads), Yahoo, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other online paid ads as a Pay per action where X is that action.
  21. PR – PageRank – This is the search page number, your listing shows up on, for any key search phrase you are listed under. If you are a moving company in Jacksonville and someone enters “mover Jacksonville” in Google search, and you show up on page one, your page rank is one. If you show up on page 10, its 10. However, if you show up on any page other than one, you are invisible to 90 percent of all shopper since most never look past page one of Search.
  22. PV – Pageviews – Pageviews refers to the number of times a browser went to your webpage or a webpage with your ad. The Pageview count is not a strong indicator of performance because a browser can visit a page multiple times by clicking backward or forward which does not indicate actionable traffic.
  23. RT”X – Real-time bidding and RTD – Real-time data – Most ad analytical measurement tools do not provide live data. Google Adwords (now Google Ads) does not provide real-time information. Neither do most other analytical tools. However, Google Analytics can show you the number of live visitors as it happens.
    Courtesy of Wikipedia
  24. TM – Target Market – Is the market segment that best fits your product or service. B2B and B2C target markets are broad market segments. You will also want to know the target age group, income, demographics, and psychographic info like political, social and religious affiliations, the books they read, music they like, etc.
  25. UV – Unique visitor – this is an important measure for websites and PPC/PPV ads because it is an indication of how many new potential prospects you are reaching. Your marketing for new prospects should be different for new customers verse existing customers.
  26. WOM – Word of mouth - as in Word of Mouth marketing – This is often referred to as the best-kept secret in marketing because most businesses don’t know how to replicate word of mouth. It is also often called networking, but either way, it requires a skill set to get other people or businesses to refer your business. The skill set needed for networking can be learned by joining a BNI chapter. The skills needed to create online referrals in social media is always evolving and could fill up a book.
As part of my daily work, I am often tasked to do lots of research on marketing techniques, advertising and determine which analytics are appropriate for a specific venue. So, I have to learn a lot of acronyms and other key phrases almost on a daily basis. I compiled a list of other useful business and marketing acronyms that I believe will be of use to you as well. I am not going to elaborate on them like I did on my top 26 key phrases, but I have provided what the letters of each acronym stands for. Here are 76 acronyms you might run into in your reading.

Other Useful Business Marketing Acronyms

AOV – Average order value
API – Application program interface
Courtesy of Pixabay
ASP – Application service provider
CAN-SPAM – Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing
CASL – Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation
CMO – Chief marketing Officer
CMS – Content management system
COS – Content Optimization System
CRM – Customer relationship management
CRO – Conversion rate optimization
CSO – Chief Security officer
CSS – Cascading Style Sheets
CX – Customer experience
DR – Direct response
DM – Direct mail (or ‘Direct message’, in Twitter circles)
DMP – Data management platform
DNS – Domain name system
ESP – Email service provider
ECOM – E-commerce aka Electronic Commerce
EDO – End of Day
EDW – End of Week
FB – Facebook
FBML – Facebook Markup Language
Courtesy of Pixabay
FTP – File transfer protocol
HTML – Hypertext Markup Language
HTTP – Hyper Text Transfer Protocol
HTTPS – Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure
IM – Instant Messaging
IMAP – Internet Message Access Protocol
IP – Internet Protocol
IP – Intellectual property
IPTV – Internet protocol television
ISP – Internet service provider
MLM – Multi-level marketing
MRR – Monthly Recurring Revenue
MVT – Multivariate testing
NPS – Net promoter Score
OEM – Original equipment manufacturer
OS – Operating system (sometimes this is used for ‘open source’)
PHP – PHP Hypertext Preprocessor
PR – Public Relations
POS – Point of sale
QR Code – Quick response code
QS – Quality score
RFI – Request for information
RFP – Request for proposal
ROI – Return on investment
RSS – Really Simple Syndication - aka Rich Site Summary
RT – Retweet
Courtesy of Pixabay
S2S – Server to server
SaaS – Software as a service
SEM – Search engine marketing
SEO – Search engine optimization
SERP – Search engine results page
SLA – Service level agreement
SM – Social media
SMB – Small-to-Medium Business
SME – Small / medium enterprise
SMM – Social media marketing
SMO – Social Media Optimization
SMP – Social media platform
SMS – Short message service
SSL – Secure Sockets Layer
SWOT – Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats
TLD – Top level domain
TOS – Terms of service
TM – Trade Mark
UI – User interface
UGC – User-generated content
Courtesy of Flickr
URL – Uniform resource locator
USP – Unique selling proposition
UX – User experience
VOD – Video on demand
VM – Viral marketing
WYSIWYG – What you see is what you get
XML – Extensible Markup Language

Whether you’re a new business owner, a mom and pop retailer, a business executive or the director of marketing at a large organization, advertising sales reps use acronyms and other unfamiliar marketing terms to bedazzle their prospects into buying their services. Don’t let this happen to you. Never be embarrassed to ask the meaning of an acronym or for the sales rep to explain the details of their services. We meet with many prospects on a daily basis and when we ask them what they are currently receiving they tell us that they are receiving SEO or Social Media Marketing. When we ask them to give us the details of what they are getting – most have not been able to lay out the details of what they are paying for. This is shameful on the part of the advertising sales rep and a travesty to the customer who was sold a bill of goods without knowing what they would actually be receiving. If you don’t want this to happen to you, make sure you are using a reputable marketing company as your outsourced vendor.

That's my opinion; I look forward to reading yours.

This article provides our top 26 must-know key marketing phrases and acronyms along with another 76 commonly used business and marketing acronyms (102 in total) along with their definitions and usages. Also provided are additional links to other comprehensive related articles, including a link to the BlogTalkRadio show notes page.

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Hector Cisneros is COO and Director of Social Media Marketing at Working the Web to Win, an award-winning Internet marketing company based in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly Internet radio show, "Working the Web to Win" on BlogTalkRadio.com, which airs every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern. Hector is a syndicated writer and published author of “60 Seconds to Success.”

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