Marketing 101 - 40 Acronyms To Grow Your Marketing Knowledge

Updated: Feb 6, 2021

The number of marketing acronyms out there are immense. After working in this field for 14 years, I thought I knew the majority of them (SEO, SMM, PPC, ABM, CRM, CTA, KPI, SMART are just a few of popular ones). But just the other day I learned a new one, PEARLS - have you heard of this one? I never did, but then I learned about it and man it is a good one and it's one I won't forget! (I'll go more into detail a little later in this post.) As my fellow marketers continue to find new creative ways to achieve their goals, objectives, strategies and tactics (GOST) new acronyms will continue to form.

Why are acronyms such a hit with Marketers? My only thought is because marketing departments can be a fast pace area of a business with many moving parts that connect to other departments to keep the projects moving forward. By merging a few words together to remember the task or type of a project can help you keep on task and on the road to success.


In the early days of my career I felt like I needed to take a class to learn all of these acronyms to be able to successfully implement them into my different parts of my job. But over time with lots of research and asking questions I quickly learned the background of the popular ones that were used in my industry. Lets dive into the popular ones and others that are just as important to know about in the industry - and as a bonus, I'll share what the new one PEARLS (click to go directly to the description) is all about.


  1. B2B: Business to Business B2B describes the task of marketing or selling to another business. Many retail stores and services cater to other businesses and most B2B transactions happen behind the scenes, before a product reaches consumers.

  2. B2C – Business to Consumer B2C is the traditional business model of businesses marketing directly to the consumer. B2C marketing services include, online banking, auctions and travel, not just retail.

  3. BANT: Budget, Authority, Need, Timeline The four criteria sales reps use to qualify prospects. A famous tool for sales reps and sales leaders to help them determine whether their prospects have the budget, authority, need, and right timeline to buy what they sell. B = Budget: Determines whether your prospect has a budget for what you're selling. A = Authority: Determines whether your prospect has the authority to make a purchasing decision. N = Need: Determines whether there's a business need for what you're selling. T = Timeline: Determines the time frame for implementation.

  4. BR: Bounce Rate A bounce rate refers to the action a user takes when on your website. If they land on a page, and leave to go to another site, they've bounced off of your page. It can also refer to email which refers to emails that don't reach an inbox. It is a KPI of the performance of your content and a high bounce rate can signify ineffective marketing content among other issues.

  5. CAN-SPAM: Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing This is the US law passed in 2003 that prohibits businesses from emailing without permission. You need to include an unsubscribe option is all emails and you should not add names to it without expressed permission.

  6. CMS: Content Management System A web application designed to make it easy for non-technical users to create, edit, and manage a website. Helps users with content editing and more "behind-the-scenes" work like making content searchable and indexable, automatically generating navigation elements, keeping track of users and permissions, and more.

  7. COS: Content Optimization System Take a CMS (Content Management System), and optimize it to deliver customers the most personalized web experience possible.

  8. CPC: Cost Per Click This is a method publishers use to charge for ad space on a website. Advertisers only pay for the ad when it is clicked, not for exposures. It can show up on hundreds of sites or pages, but unless it is acted upon, there is no charge.

  9. CPL: Cost Per Lead CPL considers all of the costs that go into generating a lead. Including advertising dollars spent, collateral creation, web hosting fees and various other costs, for example.

  10. CPM: Cost Per Thousand CPM is another method publishers use to charge for advertising. This method charges per 1000 impressions (M is the Roman numeral for 1000). Advertisers are charged for every time their ad is seen, not how many times it's clicked.

  11. CRM: Customer Relationship Management CRM is a type of software that allows companies to manage and analyze customer interactions throughout their relationship and lifecycle in order to enhance those relationships. CRM software can help you to convert leads, nurture sales and assist in retaining customers.

  12. CTA: Call to Action The aim of content marketing is to inform, educate or entertain readers, but ultimately the goal of any content is to get readers to take action on the content they've read. A CTA can be a link, button, image, or web-link that drives the reader to act by downloading, calling, registering or attending an event.

  13. CTR: Click Through Rate CTR is a KPI related to the CTA... how's that for a little alphabet soup! A web page, or email click through rate measures the percentage of readers who take the next action. For example, in the case of a landing page the CTR would be the total number of people who visit the page divided by the number who take action and move onto the next step.

  14. CR: Conversion Rate The number of people who act, divided by the number that could have. For example, if your email campaign reaches 100 prospects and 25 reply, your conversion rate is 25%

  15. CRO: Conversion Rate Optimization This acronym is shorthand for taking an objective look at at marketing strategy including websites, landing pages, social media and CTAs to improve the number of prospects that are converted into customers.

  16. CX/UX: Customer Experience/User Experience Every interaction a customers has with your brand throughout the buying process. Customer experience influences the buyers perception of your brand. A positive experience converts potential buyers into customers, and keeps current customer's loyal.

  17. DM: Direct Mail, or Direct Message (Twitter) Direct Mail: The delivery of advertising material to recipients of postal mail; also called "junk mail" by its recipients. Direct mail is a dubious investment for most businesses -- here's why. Direct Message: A message on Twitter used to get in touch with Twitter followers 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.

  18. GA: Google Analytics This is the Google tool that helps marketers better understand their audience, reach, activity and metrics.

  19. GDD: Growth Driven Design This is a redesign or development of a website in intentional increments making continuous data driven adjustments.

  20. HTML: Hypertext Markup Language HTML is a set of rules programmers use to create web pages. It describes the content, structure, text, images and objects used on a webpage. Today, most web construction software runs HTML in the background.

  21. KPI: Key Performance Indicators KPIs are used across all industries to gauge and evaluate the success of various marketing efforts and strategies. Marketers have a variety of KPIs they use to track and measure progress in campaign goals like lead generation, bounce rate, brand awareness or sales conversions.

  22. MAP: Marketing Automation Platform A technology that assists marketers to convert prospects into customers by removing high-touch, manually repetitive processes with automated solutions. MailChimp, and Marketo are examples of MAPs.

  23. PPC: Pay Per Click An internet advertising model where advertisers pay a publisher (usually a search engine, social media site, or website owner) a certain amount of money every time their ad is clicked. For search engines, PPC ads display an advertisement when someone searches for a keyword that matches the advertiser's keyword list, which they submit to the search engine ahead of time. There are two ways to pay for PPC ads: Flat rate, where the advertiser and publisher agree on a fixed amount that will be paid for each click. Typically this happens when publishers have a fixed rate for PPC in different areas on their website. Bid-based, where the advertiser competes against other advertisers in an advertising network. In this case, each advertiser sets a maximum spend to pay for a given ad spot, so the ad will stop appearing on a given website once that amount of money is spent. It also means that the more people click on your ad, the lower PPC you'll pay and vice versa.

  24. PR: Page Rank Page rank is determined by an algorithm used by Google that gives each website a numerical weight based on a number of different, confidential criteria. The scale used is 0 – 10 and this number is determined by a number of factors including inbound links, and the page rank of the linked sites. The higher your page rank, to more relevant and important your site is considered by Google.

  25. PR: Public Relations PR's goal is to gain free attention for your business. It strategically presents your business in a way that is newsworthy and interesting and is not a direct sales tactic.

  26. PV: Page View A request to load a single web page on the internet. Marketers use them to analyze their website and gauge how large their audience is.

  27. QR Code: Quick Response Barcode Scannable barcodes used by marketers to bridge offline and online marketing. When people see them, they can take out their smartphone and scan the QR code using a QR barcode scanner app. The information encoded by QR codes can include text, a URL, or other data.

  28. RFP: Request for Proposal When a company is seeking marketing representation they will issue an RFP. Marketing companies then prepare a proposal based on the guidelines set in the RFP and present it to the potential client.

  29. RSS: Really Simple Syndication RSS gives marketers and publishers a way to automatically deliver and syndicate their content. Subscribers receive automatic updates whenever new content is published.

  30. RT: Retweet A re-posting of a tweet posted by another user on Twitter. There are a few ways you can do this: You can retweet an entire tweet by clicking the retweet button, indicated below.You can post a "retweet with comment" that includes your own commentary in addition to the information you're retweeting. When you see "Please RT" in someone's tweet, it means they are requesting that their followers retweet that tweet to spread awareness.

  31. SaaS: Software as a Service SaaS is software hosted on the cloud by a third party company. Marketing firms will often use SaaS to allow for easier collaboration. It stores information on the cloud and examples include Google Apps, Salesforce and Dropbox.

  32. SEO: Search Engine Optimization The purpose of SEO is to help a website or piece of content “get found” on the internet. Search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo scan online content for relevance. Using relevant keywords and long-tail keywords can help them to properly index a site so when a user conducts a search, it is more easily found. There are many factors that influence SEO and the actual algorithmic variables are closely guarded proprietary information.

  33. SLA: Service Level Agreement For marketers, an SLA is an agreement between a company's sales and marketing teams that defines the expectations Sales has for Marketing and vice versa. The Marketing SLA defines expectations Sales has for Marketing with regards to lead quantity and lead quality, while the Sales SLA defines the expectations Marketing has for Sales on how deeply and frequently Sales will pursue each qualified lead. SLAs exist to align sales and marketing. If the two departments are managed as separate silos, the system fails. For companies to achieve growth and become leaders in their industries, it is critical that these two groups be properly integrated.

  34. SM: Social Media Examples are Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. SM sites are platforms which allow users to post content including video and audio. Platforms can be used for business or personal content and allow organic traffic as well as sponsored or paid posts.

  35. SMM: Social Media Marketing When people use social media to market their business to customers, potential customers, journalists, bloggers, employees, potential employees, and anyone else in the social universe.

  36. SMB: Small and Medium Sized Businesses Acronym that describes businesses with between 5 and 200M in revenues.Also refers to customers with 100 or fewer employees (small) up to 100 – 999 employees (medium sized)

  37. SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-Bound Acronym used to define the goal setting process. It helps you clearly define and set goals by outlining the active steps required to achieve them.

  38. SMM: Social Media Marketing Using the social media platforms as a way to promote businesses. You can use them to network, prospect for new business, post ads, spread the word about new content, testimonials, etc.

  39. UV: Unique Visitor A person who visits a website more than once within a defined period of time. Marketers use this term in contrast with overall site visits to track the amount of traffic on their website. If only one person visits a webpage 30 times, then that web page has one UV and 30 total site visits.

  40. WOM: Word-of-Mouth The passing of information from person to person. Technically, the term refers to oral communication, but today it refers to online communication, as well. WOM marketing is inexpensive, but it takes work and involves leveraging many components of inbound marketing like product marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing.

New Acronyms:


PEARLS: Post, Engage, Add, Reach Out, Live, Stay connected

Growing your social media page can be hard, but having a tracking tool to keep you moving forward will help you grow your page and business. The PEARLS method does just that.

P = 80% of your posts (3 out of every 5 posts) are NON business/product related, the other 20% are specifically a product or about the business side (80/20 Rule) E = The best place for effective Engagement are with Stories, Messenger, Commenting on Posts. Engage 15 - 50 times a day. A = Add (follow) 15 - 50 people new per DAY – Remember that Quality is greater than Quantity! New people in your network is SO IMPORTANT – you need new eyes seeing your posts constantly. R = Working to grow your Reach can be hard. But keeping up with the way you share content will help you get there. Focus on Retail Sale post 1-2 per DAY. Referral style posts 2-4 per WEEK. Recruit sign ups or membership 1-2 per WEEK. L = Make yourself and your business real by going 'Live' on your social media platforms. You can go Live these days on just about all platforms. Use that tool to your advantage to share insight into your business, new deals, and your story. Try to go live 1-5x per week. S = Stay connected with your audience and provide trainings and new ways for others to want to engage.


List of acronyms sourced from:

https://www.bluleadz.com/blog/60-marketing-sales-acronyms-everyone-needs-to-know-infographic

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/marketing-acronym-glossary

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