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Marketing Dictionary 101 - All the Terms You Need To Know

by Momina Asif
Read Time: 11 minutes
digital marketing dictionary (1)

Are you overwhelmed with all the marketing mumbo jumbo and acronyms like PPC, ROI, CTR, or CTA? 

Well, so was I. 

To make it easier for you, I came up with this glossary of all the terms and acronyms that were a little (or a lot) confusing to me when I first started doing marketing. 

40 Digital Marketing Terms You Need to Know 

When it comes to digital marketing, there is so much to cover. So, instead of adding all the terms I could find and making this article as overwhelming as the acronyms you are running away from, I selected 40 essential terms that you have to know! 

Let's dig in! 

A/B Testing

A/B testing means creating two variations of a variable to see which one your audience responds better to. You can do A/B testing in email marketing (subject lines, pre-header, copy), call-to-action (CTA) buttons (colors, content, size), or landing pages (content, headings, CTA copy, and placements).


Analytics is looking at the data gathered and discovering meaningful patterns in it. You can get data from your marketing initiatives (website visitor reports, social media reports, PPC, etc.), analyze the trends, see what's working and what's not, and develop actionable insights (more on this later) to make better data-backed marketing decisions. 


B2B, an acronym for Business to Business, is used to categorize companies that sell to other businesses. 


B2C — Business to Consumer — refers to companies that sell directly to other consumers. 

Bounce Rate 

Bounce rate shows the percentage of people who land on a website and then leave after only viewing one page instead of clicking on links or navigating to other pages. 

Bounce rate tells you if users are interested in what you have to say or offer and helps you decide which parts of the website you need to optimize to spark interest. 

Brand Awareness

In simple terms, brand awareness measures how recognizable and memorable a brand is to its target audience. It describes the degree of recognition of a business by its name, logo, colors, tone of voice, or mascots. 

Buyer Persona 

Based on market research and real data from your existing customers, you can create a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer, which is your buyer persona. It helps you market better by defining who you are marketing to. 


A call-to-action (CTA) is a word or phrase that gets your audience to take the desired action. CTA can be in the form of a text link, a button, an image, or a video. Some common examples include "Request a Demo," "Subscribe Today," or "Free Download."   


Channels are the avenues through which you communicate and connect with your audience. You can use digital channels to deliver your message, provide value to your audience, and help them with their pain points. Digital channels include web, social media, email, podcasts, among many others.  

Churn Rate 

Churn rate, or attrition rate, measures the rate at which customers stop doing business with you over a given period of time. Churn rate also applies to the number of subscribers who cancel or don't renew their subscription. 

You can calculate it by taking the number of customers you lost during a specific time frame and dividing that by the total number of customers you had at the beginning of that time frame. 

Click-through Rate (CTR) 

Click-through rate is the ratio of the audience who clicks on a specific link or CTA to the number of total audiences who view a page, email, or advertisement. You can use it to measure the success of an online advertising campaign or email campaign. 


In marketing, content is everything — words, images, videos to audio — that exist to be consumed, engaged with, and shared. Content can be blogs, email, social media posts, videos, slideshows, podcasts, among others. 

Content Management System (CMS) 

Your Content Management System (CMS) helps you create, edit, publish and manage a website and all the content on it. CMS allows all the behind-the-scenes related to the content, including content editing, making content searchable and indexable, generating navigation elements, managing users and permissions, and much more. 

Conversion Rate 

Conversion rate shows the percentage of people who complete the desired action on the CTA. It can be filling out a form, downloading an eBook, requesting a demo, etc. If you have a high conversion rate, it means your campaign is doing well. 

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) 

CRM helps you keep track of all the past, existing, and potential customers. It helps you with their contact information, tracks communication, and logs every customer support instance. 

CRMs can do many other things like tracking emails and phone calls, sending personalized emails, and scheduling appointments. 

Oh, and did you know that DirectLync also offers you a CRM specially made for small business owners and small marketing teams? Check it out here.


Data in marketing is the collection of information extracted from different interactions between a customer and a brand. Data helps you evaluate and justify the ROI of your campaigns. Data can be customer-related, competitive intelligence, market research, customer feedback, transactions, preferences and interests, and other marketing metrics. 

Digital marketing

Promoting a business to connect with potential customers and grow your brand using the internet and other forms of digital communication is called digital marketing. It involves website, email, social media, web-based advertising, text and multimedia messages as marketing channels.

We have created a short guide on what digital marketing is. Check it out here.  

Engagement Rate 

Engagement rate is a popular metric for social media that describes the number of interactions (likes, comments, shares) a post receives. A higher engagement rate shows that your audience likes what you are posting. 


A marketing funnel describes a customer's journey with your brand. It defines the initial stages when someone learns about your business to the decision stage when they make a purchase. 

A marketing funnel helps you create content to influence customers at every stage. 


Impression or view-through is a measure of how many people see an advertisement or a social media post. An impression occurs whenever a user opens an app or a website and sees an ad, and it shouldn't be confused with an engagement. 

Inbound Marketing 

Inbound marketing involves all those marketing activities that help draw visitors in rather than actively going out and getting your prospects' attention. Inbound marketing involves earning your customers' attention through engaging and valuable content. By publishing content that's helpful and is exactly what your target audience is looking for, you can attract inbound traffic and can convert it into leads, prospects, and then customers.  


Marketing insight is the discovery of relevant and actionable knowledge resulting from deep and subjective analysis of a given data. 

So, in short, data is the collected information; analytics understands that information and insights are what you gain after understanding what it means for your business.

Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

KPI is a quantifiable measure of performance for a specific objective over time. With KPIs, you can determine targets for your teams and define milestones to strive for. KPIs are used to track progress towards marketing goals, and successful teams constantly evaluate their progress against industry-standard metrics. 


A keyword is any word or phrase that web pages get indexed for in search engines and helps describe what the content is about. 

You have to pick a keyword strategically by ensuring that it aligns with your target audience and has a high search volume and low difficulty to rank. 

Landing Page 

A landing page is a website page with a form used to capture leads. Landing pages typically revolve around an offer, such as an eBook or a webinar, and capture visitor information in return for the valuable offer. 

Lead Nurturing 

Lead is a visitor who has shown interest in your company in some way, shape, or form. They might have filled out a form, subscribed to a blog, shared their contact information in exchange for an offer. 

Lead nurturing is a series of communications (emails, social media messages, calls) to qualify a lead, keep it engaged and gradually convert it into a paying customer. 

Marketing Automation 

Marketing automation refers to software and platforms that automate monotonous marketing work like sending emails, social media posting, or even ad campaigns. Automation is done not only to increase efficiency but also to provide the right message to your audience at the right time. 

DirectLync offers marketing automation to help scale your email and social media marketing efforts. Sign up today and get a 14-day free trial. 

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)

If your business has a subscription-based service, then the amount of revenue it generates per month is your MRR. It includes revenue generated by new account (net new), gained from upsells (net positive), lost from downsells (net negative), and lost from cancellations (net loss).

Pay-per-Click (PPC) 

PPC is the type of advertising in which you only pay if your ad is actually clicked on. You can do PPC advertising on a website, social media, or a search engine.


Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is a way of delivering services over the internet. Any software hosted by another company you use as a service is a SaaS. 

One example is DirectLync — a digital marketing software for small businesses that you use as a service to achieve goals for your brand.  


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves practices to increase your chances of appearing higher on search results. SEO includes on-page and off-page optimization. 

On-page optimization is based on a webpage and various elements within the HTML. You can do on-page optimization by ensuring that the key pieces of the page (content, title tag, URL, and image tags) have the desired keyword. 

Off-page optimization involves factors like incoming links, linking domains, and even social media that impact how a webpage is indexed in search results. To rank higher on search results, you should create valuable, unique, and remarkable content that more people will share and link to. 


According to CoSchedule, marketers who set goals are 376% more likely to report success than those who don't. So, it's important to set SMART goals for your marketing. 

Specific: focus on one clearly defined metric

Measurable: have a way to measure your campaign against that metric

Attainable: must be within your scope and possible to accomplish 

Realistic: must be a goal you can achieve with the resources available to you

Time-bound: must have an end date upon which you will reach that goal


A marketing strategy is your overall plan to achieve and maintain a competitive advantage of your product or service. Your strategy contains the company's value propositions, key brand messaging, and demographics. 


Return on investment (ROI) is used to evaluate the profitability of an investment or to compare the profitability of multiple investments. 

You can calculate ROI by subtracting the cost of investment from gain from investment and dividing it by the total cost of investment. If ROI comes out to be negative, your initiative is losing the company money. 

Target Audience

Your target audience involves all the groups of people interested in your business. It's essential to define your target audience before your marketing campaigns so you can tailor the content according to their pain points. 

Target audience can be determined by age, gender, demographics, location, job, social media platforms, interests, and several other factors. 

Unique Visitor

A unique visitor is a person who comes to your website at least once during a period of time. The number of unique visitors doesn't increase if a previous visitor repeatedly returns to a page. 


Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is the address of any content that can be found on the web like a website, webpage, a document, an image, or a video. 

User Experience (UX)

UX refers to the overall experience a customer has with a business — from discovery and awareness of the brand to interaction, purchase, use, and even brand advocacy. 

User Interface (UI) 

UI) is the point of human-computer interaction and communication in a device or an application. This can include display screens, keyboards, software applications, or websites. 

Word of Mouth

Word of mouth (WOM) marketing is when a customer loves your business, which is reflected in their daily dialogues. Basically, WOM marketing is free advertising triggered because of exceptional service. 


Yay! You made it till the end. 

And now, with this new knowledge of all things marketing, go forth and conquer your digital marketing campaigns. 

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