35 abbreviations and terms Marketers must know

January 2019 As a newly hatched student in the marketing world, the amount of terms and abbreviations can be overwhelming and confusing. In my first study-related employment in a marketing agency, I was surprised about this new marketing “language” that I had to cope with. My colleagues were tossing these different terms in the most natural way and perceived it as obvious that employees mastered this language.

In a new student position, you obviously don’t want to lose face. Therefore, I pretended that I knew exactly what people were talking about - even though I sometimes didn’t. Consequently, I started to list the different terms and google them myself.  

To save you for the same trouble I have gathered this small reference publication of marketing related abbreviations and terms. Hopefully, this will serve as a timesaving “dictionary” and give you an overview of the most commonly used terms at your first marketing related job.


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AI “Artificial Intelligence” is an area of computer science that describes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans, e.g. like Siri on your iPhone.

B2B “Business to Business” is when companies market or sell their products to other companies.

B2C “Business to Consumer” is when companies market or sell their product directly to consumers.

CSR “Corporate Social Responsibility” is the integration of social and environmental concerns in business activities. 

CTA “Call to Action” provides the audience with direction to your business, encouraging them to take a specific action (e.g. ‘Buy Now’).

CTR “Click-through rate”is a metric used to determine the success of an online ad, i.e. the ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who view a page, e-mail or ad.

FMCG “Fast Moving Consumer Good” are products that are sold quickly and at a relatively low cost. Many FMCG products have a short shelf life in the supermarket, either as a result of high consumer demand or as the result of fast deterioration. Examples are: meat, vegetables, dairy, soft drinks, candy etc. 

IoT ”Internet of Things” is the network of devices and home appliances that contain electronics, software and connectivity which allows them to connect, interact and exchange data.

KPI “Key Performance Indicator” is a measurable value used to demonstrate how successfully a company is achieving key business objectives.

NGO “Non-governmental organizations” are usually non-profit organizations that are active in humanitarian, educational, social, human rights, environmental, and other areas, e.g. like Red Cross. 

NPS ”Net Promoter Score” is a customer satisfaction parameter that measures how likely your customers are to recommend you to a friend.

ROI “Return on Investment” is a performance metric that considers profit in relations to the investment. I.e. the relationship between how much we spend on e.g. a marketing campaign versus our profit due to that campaign.

SEM “Search Engine Marketing” involves the improvement of a website visibility in search engine results through optimization and advertising. 

SEO “Search Engine Optimization” is the practice of maximizing the number of visitors to your website by ensuring that the site appears high on organic search engine results for instance by including strategic keywords in the website texts.

UGC “User Generated Content” is simply content created by users, like e.g. a post on any social media platform.

UI “User Interface” A type of interface that allows users to control a software application or hardware device

USP “Unique Selling Proposition” is the features or characteristics that differentiate a product from competitors.

UX “User Experience” refers to the users’ behavior, attitude and feelings about the use of a particular product, system, or service.

WOM “Word of Mouth” is the oral or written promotion of a product by a satisfied customer.



A/B Testing is a method of comparing a test-group exposed to one version of a message with another test groups exposed to the same communication, where some of the elements, for instance a text or an image, have been changed. The purpose is to find which version that performs better and is best to influence the recipients of the message to make the desired action.

Advertorials is a newspaper or magazine advertisement giving information about a product in the style of an editorial or objective journalistic article. The term is a blend of the words "advertisement" and "editorial”.

AdWords is a commonly used advertisement tool for businesses who wants to display ads on Google. The advertisement method is based on keywords, so when a user makes a Google search that matches your keyword, that ad will appear as one of the three top results. These results are paid, i.e. not organic, and marked ‘Ad’. Advertisers pay when users click on the ad. 

Agility is basically a smarter word of being adaptable and ready for change. 

Bounce Rate is a term used in web traffic analysis and represents the percentage of visitors who enter the site and then leave rather than continuing to view other pages within the same site.

Buyer Persona A summary of a business’ ideal buyer, based on market research, data and hypothesis. The representation helps marketers define their ideal audience and it helps salespeople determine lead quality.

Cold Calling is the marketing method where businesses through a phone call makes an attempt to convince potential customers, who have had no prior contact with the business. 

Holistic view is another term for approaching something as a whole.

Inbound Marketing is all marketing tactics that aim to attract the target group (pull marketing). This includes all kinds of content like webinars, guides, e-books, ‘how-to’ articles/videos, blogs etc.
Visualize it as a magnet.

Infographics are visual, creative presentations of information, data or knowledge.

Lead is an individual with an interest in what you are selling, i.e. a potential customer.

Marketing Automation is a technological platform that helps deliver the right content to the right recipient at the right time. A marketing automation platform includes a number of tools that makes it possible to design behavioral flows and build the necessary content elements. It provides a comprehensive toolbox for sending out e-mails, building landing pages, managing social media, and measuring the overall impact of marketing activities.

New Bizz is another term of acquiring new customers.

Organic is a term used in relations to search engines. Organic search results are free - these results rank high when searched words are found in your text.

Outbound Marketing can be described as commercial messages that are pushed to a broad audience (push marketing). This includes mass communication, TV spots, ads etc.
Visualize it as a megaphone.

Retargeting is a cookie-based technology. When a user visits a website, an advertisement from that particular website will afterwards appear in their Facebook feed, or as advertising banners on various websites. In that manner, the business keeps reminding customers who has already shown an interest.

In order to further develop the list, feel free to contact us if you have an important abbreviation or term that is missing :)

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