Sometimes, talking to your CMO can be like talking to a foreigner: you don’t understand much. However, as a business owner, it’s important that you have a basic knowledge of marketing terminology so you’ll better understand the decisions your CMO is making and how they will impact your business.

So below you will find 22 frequently used marketing terms explained in simple words.

Do you want:

Weekly Product Marketing lessons?

Guides on how to get traction for your product?

FREE Product Marketing consultations?

Get them in your inbox now!

1. Call to action (CTA)

The call to action is a message that prompts a user to take action, something like “Sign up”, “Buy now”, “Add to wishlist”, etc.

Users need to be presented with a clear call to action. Otherwise even the most interested ones will leave your website without making a purchase. Experimenting with different CTAs and finding out which ones perform best is a common practice for any online business.

2. Conversion

When a user performs a desired action we say that he has converted. Although all businesses want their users to buy something from them (a product, a service, a subscription, etc.), conversions don’t always mean purchases.

Depending on your marketing campaign’s goal, a conversion can be a sign up on your website, a response to a questionnaire, a newsletter subscription, etc.

3. Conversion rate

The conversion rate can be determined when you measure the drop off from one step to another. For example, the percentage of people who created an account from the total number of mobile app downloads, or the percentage of people who bought something from the total number of people who clicked on the button. That’s your conversion rate.

4. Conversion rate optimization (CRO)

Obviously, we want to convert as many users as possible. And that’s what conversion rate optimization helps us with.

Through conversion rate optimization techniques business owners can find out about the roadblocks in users’ way and can eliminate them to create a smoother process that will lead to more conversions. Conversion rate optimization techniques involve text changes, color changes, different CTA buttons, landing page changes, etc. The entire process of finding the right combination of elements is called conversion rate optimization.

5. Remarketing

Most users don’t convert on their first visit. But that doesn’t mean they are lost. If a user shows interest in a product/service you’re offering, you can retarget them with special offers.

Ever browsed through a website’s products only to be presented with the same exact products you have checked out in your Facebook or Instagram feed just hours later? That’s called remarketing!  

6. Referral

Word of mouth can be even more effective than advertising. That’s why we see so many “influencers” nowadays, in any industry, not just fashion, beauty, and lifestyle.

Referral is basically the online version of word of mouth. Customers who enjoy using your products/services will recommend you to their friends who are now more likely to buy from you than if they just saw an ad.

7. Customer acquisition cost (CAC)

The customer acquisition cost is the amount of money you have spent to convert a user. For example, if your total marketing campaign budget was $1000 and you got 100 customers, each customer cost you $10 to get.

The customer acquisition cost greatly depends on the marketing channel you used and the action users were required to complete. So acquiring one customer can cost you anywhere from $0.1 to $200 or even more. Although the amount itself is also important, business owners should focus more on spending their budget more efficiently and lowering the customer acquisition cost as much as possible.   

8. Customer lifetime value (CLTV)

Some customers will only buy from you once, some customers will keep coming back. Some customers will spend lots of money on your website, while others will only buy the cheapest products. The CLTV is the total amount of money a customer has spent on your website since he became your customer.

Determining the customer lifetime value for each customer is important because that’s how you will find out who your most loyal customers are. Then you can reward them with a special discount that will incentivize them to buy even more from you.

9. Bidding

When you are using Facebook or Google paid campaigns you are bidding against other businesses that want to advertise their products to the same users. Bid management tools (or bid optimization platforms), will enable you to automate your cost per click for different campaigns so you’ll get the best results with as little money as possible. Basically, it’s like in a licitation process: the one who pays more gets the best results.

10. Pay per click (PPC)

Pay per click is an online marketing method in which businesses pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. PPC marketing is extremely effective compared to offline marketing and, most of the time, a whole lot cheaper. That’s because businesses can target their audience more accurately. Compared to investing in a billboard downtown where thousands of people can see it every day but only some of them will convert, it’s more convenient to show your offer only to those people who meet certain criteria.

You might have noticed that when you’re searching something on Google the first results look different from the others. That’s because they are ads. Search engine advertising is one of the most popular forms of PPC. It allows advertisers to bid for ad placement in a search engine’s sponsored links when someone searches on a keyword that is related to their business offering.


11. Landing page

The first page a user sees after he clicked on your ad is a landing page. Basically, any of your website’s pages can be a landing page.

However, you’ll want your users to convert after they have arrived on your website. Therefore, your landing page must be optimized for conversions, meaning it should follow a certain structure, the information should be very clear, the CTA button should stand out, etc. So, even if technically any page could be a landing page, not all of them are high-converting landing pages.

12. Search engine optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of the traffic coming to your website through organic search engine results. In simple terms, through SEO techniques businesses can rank among the first results on Google.

13. Buyer persona

A buyer persona is a representation of your ideal customer. A buyer persona is not merely a description of your buyer, but the result of market research and real data about your existing customers (like demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals).

14. Inbound marketing

Inbound marketing represents all unpaid efforts that drive traffic to your website: blog posts, referral links, PR, word of mouth, etc.

These techniques provide information, an improved customer experience, and builds trust by offering potential customers information they value. Compared to outbound marketing, inbound reverses the relationship between company and customer.

15. Direct marketing

Direct marketing is an advertising technique that involves presenting your products to your target customer without the use of an advertising middleman.

To make this easier to understand, let’s look at an example from Canva. Whenever they create a new template, they advertise it to all their subscribers via email so they can start applying the new template in their designs right away.

16. Content marketing

Content marketing is a process for creating and distributing content to attract, acquire, and engage customers and prospects.

Although blog articles pioneered content marketing, there are many other forms of content out there: newsletters, videos, e-books, etc.

17. Marketing automation

Marketing automation refers to the technology that manages marketing processes and multifunctional campaigns, across multiple channels, automatically.

With marketing automation, businesses can target customers with automated messages across email, web, social, and text. Both marketing and sales departments use this technology to automate activities to increase revenue and maximize efficiency.

18. Lead magnet / Incentive

Sometimes, users need to be incentivized to perform the desired action (like subscribe to your newsletter, download your app, recommend you to a friend, etc.). So you’ll need to offer them something in return, something that they really want to get, an incentive. A lead magnet/incentive can be pretty much anything: an ebook, a downloadable template, a webinar, online courses, free consultations, etc.

19. Evergreen content

Any piece of content that is not considered timely, that provides value any time of the year and for many years is evergreen content. Most of the time evergreen content will refer to blog articles.

Evergreen content is especially important for SEO because, if done right, it will continue to bring organic traffic to your website for many years to come. It also helps businesses build brand trust in the long run, especially when researched properly.

20. Heatmap

A heatmap is the result of a data analysis software that uses color to show marketers which are the areas of the page where users focus most. A heatmap can tell you which areas of your web pages get the most attention in a visual way that’s easy to assimilate and make decisions from.

21. Goal (specific to analytics)

Although knowing how much traffic your site is getting is important, it’s much more important to know whether your website is helping your customers. To find out how many users have created an account, signed up to your newsletter, have activated their free trial, etc. you need to set up goals on your webpages. A goal is basically a notification that tells your tracking software that a user performed a desired action.

22. Funnel (specific to analytics)

A funnel outlines the journey a customer takes before completing a purchase. Marketing funnels are made up of emails, landing pages, and content offers and they’re used to channel traffic into leads and leads into sales.

It’s essential for a business to understand how their customers are making purchase decisions because this way marketers can identify the things that are not working and optimize them to obtain the best results.

Got any other marketing terms you’re not familiar with? Comment below and we’ll add them to the list!