Marketing Jargon Explained

Marketing Jargon Explained

As professionals we are usually very good at understanding the specialist language that comes with our industry, but are seldom all that great at understanding the Jargon that comes from other industries. As a general rule, we don’t know the meaning of these terms because we have no real need to; I can’t speak a word of Latin, so I don’t expect a doctor in Private Practice to automatically know what UX, CRO or CLV is.

The issue with this lack of understanding is that you don’t need it until you do. When you make a move into the business world and go it alone, you need to wear a lot of hats and you don’t usually get to just stick to what you are good at; this may mean that you either need to perform marketing activities yourself, or get someone to do them for you. Either way, knowing what the Jargon means will enable you to either get a greater understanding of what you are trying to achieve, or have you not get confused by your provider.

Because of this, what we have done is put together a guide to marketing jargon, so you never get tripped up by it.

Agile Marketing

Agile marketing is a form of marketing that has really found its feet now that online has granted us speed. This form of marketing is reactionary, and is the process of capitalising on trending topics or news stories by creating a piece of content related to it, and getting it out while the topic is still relevant. Agile Marketing is perfect for social media exposure, and can be a great way to get your brand voice heard.


Analytics is all to do with the measuring of data. All of our social medias have analytical tools to give an understanding of how we are performing, and we can use Google Analytics to measure website traffic, where they are coming from, what they’re looking at, for how long, and when they leave. We can use these analytics to analyse (derivative I know) the behaviour of our audience, what works well, what doesn’t work well, and where our focus needs to go.


Automation is the process of having marketing communications perform on their own, without your immediate input. Automated scheduling tools like Hootsuite allow you to create all of your social media posts for the following week, month or even year if you want to, and have them go out whenever you want them to. Some companies have their homepages configured so that you see a bespoke page based on what you have browsed before. Another example of marketing automation would be when automatic emails are sent out when you abandon a basket on an ecommerce site before you actually buy.

NFC (Near Field Communications) & Beacons

NFC and beacons are transmitters that emit targeted information to and from a mobile device. This information emitting is often enabled through the use of an app. NFC is the technology that enables you to make contactless payments, the NFC technology allows your device to ‘talk to’ the payment terminal when they get close to one another. Beacons will send out information and digital options to specific devices when they are close enough to encounter them.

Big Data

Big data is a large amount of data collected together to be analysed. These data sets are so large that they must be analysed using technological means, but due to the size of them, can reveal trends, patterns and behaviours to a reasonable degree of accuracy. Big data is a term that has been birthed of the digital age, in which an increase in online traffic and availability of information has made the analysis necessary and achievable.

Content Marketing

When people talk about marketing, one word is used a lot and that would be content. Marketing content is any form of media that you produce to do with your business, this can be in the form of a video, animation, pictures, graphics, podcasts, infographics or blog posts. Content marketing has seen a boom in the social media age, where the hard sell has completely lost all effectiveness, and brand awareness and relationships have become key success drivers. Content can fuel a social media strategy, enabling you to provide your audience with value, driving engagement and shares.

CR (Conversion Rate)

To convert is to have a customer/client complete a specific action to do with your business, whether that be purchase a product, book an appointment, sign up to your mailing list or enquire about your services. CR (conversion rate) is a metric in which your website traffic is measured upon how many of them convert, with the aim to have as higher CR as possible.

CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation)

With a set idea of what ‘conversion’ is, and understanding that we can measure it, what happens when we don’t like the results of the conversion rates that we are getting back? This is where CRO (conversion rate optimisation) comes into play. CRO involves working out what parts of the website may not be helping with conversion rates, so we can then change it to improve usability and persuasiveness. By doing this we can attempt to increase the conversion rate; this is an ongoing process that involves a lot of trial and error.

CX (Customer Experience)

CX (Customer Experience) can be considered one of two things. Obviously it always means the experience that a customer has with your business, it would be very strange if it didn’t, but it can be considered within two different types of interaction. Some see CX as as the quality of one sole experience over the course of a single transaction, where as others see it as something much bigger than that. Some see CX to be the quality of all the experiences that a customer/client has during the entire duration of the relationship, taking into account not just key touchpoint interactions such as product awareness, social engagement, the transaction and then the feedback post conversion, but how they felt towards the business during the experience, how personal it was, and how memorable.

CEM (Customer Experience Management)

I know what you’re thinking, why is customer experience CX, but customer experience management CEM? To be honest, I have no clue, but clearly all of the people that come up with these acronyms don’t get together to talk through their ideas to make sure they’re on the same page. It is sometimes referred to as CXM, and this makes a lot more sense to me. Anyway, customer experience management is the process of tracking, overseeing and organising customer/client interactions with a business. This is used to build deeper and more meaningful relationships to drive brand loyalty and advocacy.

CLV (Customer Lifetime Value)

CLV (Customer Lifetime Value) is the overall worth that a customer/client has to a business over the full duration of their relationship. Through the measuring and analysis of CLV, a business is able to attain deep insights into its relationships, and can help fuel future marketing strategies. CLV can also help a business to understand how much resource should be put into retention, and what the potential returns on that will be, helping to facilitate long-term health and stability for the business.

CRM (Customer/Client Relationship Management)

CRM (Customer/Client Relationship Management) is any software or system used to manage the interactions of a company with its clients or customers. The CRM is a piece of technology that is used to synchronise, automate and and overall just organise all customer facing elements of your business (marketing, sales, customer service, technical support etc.). The CRM introduces a more enhanced level of efficiency to your business.

Data Visualisation

Exactly what it says on the tin, data visualisation is the visualised form of your data, whether that be through tables, charts, diagrams or infographics. Data visualisation makes your data more consumable, and should it be relevant or interesting to your audience, can transform it into shareable content.

Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is the evolutionary process that a business goes through to to be able to operate and succeed within the digital world. This transformation is an ongoing process, with the business continuing to change as the technology does. These changes can occur within many segments of the business, from how it operates and its infrastructure, through to how it communicates both internally and externally.


Disruption (aka Disruptive Innovation) is the concept of making a product or service that is considered inaccessible (too complicated, unrefined or too expensive) accessible to the masses by making it more straightforward, usable and affordable, generating a brand new market.


Ecommerce is selling stuff online. Easy.

Email Marketing

Email Marketing is a communication tool in which a company is able to utilise technology in the form of email to market to their current or potential customers/clients. Email marketing can be used for multiple purposes, from content distribution for relationship development and retention, to customer service updates for current customers/clients. Email tools like Mailchimp enable you to send designed, automated emails to your mailing list, to generate the best possible impact.

Experiential Marketing

Experiential marketing is the concept of using experiences to develop deeper relationships with your clients/customers. These experiences are usually fun, memorable and immersive, that leaves the client/customer with a lasting positive memory of you and your business.

Growth Hacking

Growth hacking is considered a relatively new concept in which companies on a shoestring budget use creative and innovative ideas to maximise the effectiveness of their marketing activities, aiming for mass exposure to drive growth.

Inbound Marketing

Now, Inbound Marketing is, as you’ll see in the coming seconds, a very broad term. Inbound marketing is any marketing activity that sends new customers/clients to your business through any form of either online or offline channel, using any form of content (if you need to use the word ‘any’ that many times, the term is too broad).

Link Building

When it comes to being seen more favourably when it comes to being easier to find on Google, link building is a useful tool. When there is a link to your website from another website, Google looks on this favourably, almost as if the other website is championing you. By building the amount of links you have, you will be seen by the Google algorithms as being of higher value and authority. When it comes to the links though, the higher quality the better; links from sites with higher authority will be worth more than those with less.

Multi-Channel Marketing

Multi-channel marketing is the process of communicating to your audience over a wide range of channels (different social media platforms, email, television, print), this enables you to cement a brand image and voice across multiple different outlets, and reach as many people as possible.

Native Advertising

Native advertising is a concept that is often seen on publisher websites (websites that publish articles). What happens is, the advertiser will create an advert and pay for it to be on these websites, they are usually informational articles about the brand or its products, that will be made specifically to look similar to the content that the website already publishes. By blending in too much, it can appear like the website has published the article itself and therefore advocates for the brand. Generating an advert that is supposed to fit in to another web style and actually advertise can be difficult, and sometimes a waste if not done well.

Paid, Earned and Owned Media

Paid media is any advertising you pay for. Earned media is the free awareness that comes from your customers/clients and followers when they speak to their network about you or share your content. Owned media is the properties that your brand owns.

Paid Search & PPC (Pay-Per-Click)

Paid search is the process of paying to advertise within the listings of a search engine. When someone searches for a specific word or phrase, a mixture of naturally occurring (organic) results and paid ads will be listed on a search engine results page (SERP). The paid ads will appear at the top or side of the SERP, making them generally the first results the person sees. These ads look very similar to the organic results, but have a small ad label on them to allow the searcher to differentiate. Due to the competition for paid search, advertisers have to bid against other marketers for the search term they want to appear for. The bid is how much it will cost per time the advertisement is clicked on (pay-per-click, aka PPC); the more you bid for the search term, the more likely you are to appear on the SERP. PPC is considered a highly effective form of marketing as the searcher is already looking for services related to yours, meaning they are more likely to convert.

Programmatic Buying

Programmatic Buying is the process of automatically buying ad space on a page that is set to show them. There are two forms of programmatic buying: Programmatic RTB and Programmatic Direct. RTB stands for real-time-bidding and is an automatic process that bids on an available ad as a web page loads, whoever wins the auction will appear in the space when the page finishes loading. Programmatic Direct is where there is no action, and the ad space is bought at a set price; the space is considered guaranteed.

 RWD (Responsive Web Design) & AWD (Adaptive Web Design)

Responsive Web Design refers to a website that is designed to be viewed across any sized screen, that will automatically resize to be more usable and appropriate. Adaptive Web Design is where there will be different template designs for different devices; typically there will be a desktop design, as well as a separate mobile and tablet design.


Retargeting is a marketing process that uses cookies to target previous visitors to your website, by essentially having advertising follow them once they leave your site. A JavaScript tag at the bottom of your web page leaves a cookie in the browser of every visitor, they will then be targeted with relevant ads when they visit other sites that have ad space.


Retaining customers/clients is the act of proactively trying to enhance current relationships, to drive return custom and advocacy. Retained customers are cheaper than new ones, and can be cross-sold and up-sold your products/services with greater ease. Retained customers are also the ones that provide you with earned media, driving brand awareness and word of mouth referrals.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

Search Engine Optimisation is the process of making your website more easily indexed by search engines, through optimising the website’s information. This indexed information shows the search engine the relevance of your website for specific search terms, so when the user searches, the website is more likely to show up in their search results. These are classed as ‘organic’ results, and show up under the paid search results. The more effective the website’s SEO, the more likely to rank highly on search engine.

SCV (Single Customer View)

Single Customer View gives a business the ability to follow and understand customers and how they communicate across all channels. The aim is to use this information to increase retention and conversion rates, leading to an elevated CSV (customer lifetime value).

Social Media

Now I know that some of these terms may be new to you, but I really hope that this one isn’t. Knowing what social media is isn’t the important teaching point in this section though, what comes next is. It is important to not just post your marketing communications on social media and leave it at that, you need to be looking to interact with your followers, develop relationships and provide value. Doing this can drive a lot of interaction with your business, especially if you can get your followers to share your content and generate content for you.

Social Video

Video is becoming increasingly popular as time goes on for driving follower engagement. Video gives clients/customers a deeper understanding of your business, your services and if you decide it’s relevant, your personal brand. Video drives high levels of engagement, from likes and comments to shares, which drives exposure and awareness. Social video is prevalent on most social platforms now, especially Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.


When marketers talk about storytelling, they are very seldom talking about using just one video or piece of content to tell a story. The customer is taken on a journey using different types of content and different channels, feeding into the overall brand narrative. If done well, storytelling can be highly effective for relationship development and loyalty.

UX (User Experience)

Here we have it, the last marketing term, and more importantly, the last acronym! User Experience is a term that is to do with digital experience, with focuses on efficiency, effectiveness and enjoyability. There are many elements that make up user experience, from the visual design, how the user interacts with the product (website/software) and how we interact with it in general.

And so concludes the extensive list of marketing jargon; if you have made it this far, I commend the dedication and hope that you have learned something. By having a greater understanding of marketing terms and concepts, it will promote you to think more about your own marketing activities, and hopefully start to see better outputs for your marketing operations.

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