Bookmark Amsive's comprehensive glossary of marketing terms and always be in the know.


A/B Testing

A/B testing is a method of comparing two different variables to see which one performs better when randomly shown to an audience. While commonly used by the modern marketer, the practice of A/B testing has been used for over 100 years according to Kaiser Fung, founder of Columbia University Applied Analytics Program. There are many applications for A/B testing to compare two different versions of content to see which one is more successful at achieving your desired goal. Maybe a blog post with ‘headline A’ generated twice as many clicks as the same blog with ‘headline B’, which would indicate ‘headline A’ was more successful. This method can be used with everything from website copy to images, designs, colors, subject lines, and even calls to action. A/B testing allows you to understand which image/color/headline/button yielded the highest number of conversions, opens, clicks, registration, or any other desired action.


In marketing, abandonment refers to a customer leaving a site before completing an in-progress transaction. For example, an online shopper might select items to add to their shopping cart. Abandonment refers to the consumer leaving the site with unpurchased items in their cart. You probably wouldn't be inclined to walk out of Target and leave a buggy full of items you had collected, but online it's much easier to do. Common causes of abandonment can be shipping costs or delays, but brands have to ensure they work to minimize abandonment and the loss of revenue that goes along with it.

Acquisition Cost

Acquisition cost is the amount of money a company or brand spends to attain a new customer. Determining your customer acquisition cost can be done by dividing the cost of a marketing campaign by the actual number of customers you aquired. Knowing this number can help brands determine proper marketing spending habits and ultimately increase ROI.

Active Subscribers

Active subscribers are consumers who have agreed to receive regular delivery of content, either printed or digital, for a period of time that is still in effect. Active subscribers often refers to a company's email database and if a user is active, their emails bounce or return as undeliverable, but are delivered and often opened. Active subscribers are important because the represent a committed audeince who has agreed to receive your marketing messages. They are also potential customers and even advocates for your brand who can provide a company with useful information about the habits of their target audience.

Addressable Market

Addressable market, also sometimes referred to as available market, represents the total revenue opportunity (or market demand) for a product or service. The total addressable market serves as a measurement of underlying potential in the marketplace that companies can use to prioritize business opportunities. Understanding your total addressable market helps when estimating the size of a potential market and helps you know where the areas of greatest opportunity really are.


Advertising is digital or printed communication paid for by a business or industry that is directed toward a consumer with the intention of promoting or selling a product, service or idea or influencing purchasing decisions. Advertising is important because if done well, ads can have a direct and lasting impact on brand recognition and ultimately a company's bottom line.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is an advertising model where a company pays someone else to advertise their products or services and generate sales. An affiliate, which could be a publication, website, app or blogger, places ads to market the products and are then paid a commission on any sales that originated with that affiliate. According to 81% of brands and 84% of publishers utilize affiliate marketing. It's a method that has become more and more popular with the rise of digital technology and ease of tracking purchases made online.

Affiliate Program

Affiliate programs are advertising models where partner websites are paid for hosting advertisments at a rate calculated by sales volume generated, not per-click like more traditional digital advertising. Affiliate programs are a great way for a web site that isn't set up to deal in e-commerce to participate in online sales. Affiliate programs were popularized by Amazon in the late '90s as an internet marketing strategy according to

Affinity Analysis

Affinity analysis uses complex algorhythms and data mining to identify patterns in purchasing habits. The method is used to extract valuable insights from transaction data and can be used to help identify undiscovered affinities or associations among certain items. Simply put, an affinity analysis can tell a retailer they need to put strawberries next to dark chocolate in their store because affinity analysis data shows the two are often purchased together.

Affinity Marketing

Affinity marketing is when one business partners with another to provide products or services in exchange for access to a new market. The two brands work together to promote this mutually beneficial campaign that if executed properly, can expose both entities to new audiences. Simply put, it's the opposite of competitive marketing, so instead of positioning your brand as better than another, you position your brand as a great partner with another trusted brand. For example, Target partners with Visa to offer a Target Visa card. Both parties win. Target gets its own credit card and Visa gets more customers.


Age-ins are people who have turned 65 and are eligible for Medicare, but choose not to retire at 65 and remain in the workforce. This group represents a huge opportunity for insurers who should be marketing to this segment of the population. Insurers are challenged with identifying late-to-retire prospects when they are preparing to retire to be able to market to them before they make a Medicare decision.


Analytics is the analysis of raw data to extract meaningful patterns or information. In the marketing world, analytics tell us a lot about consumer behaviors, which can affect how we market to those consumers. If analytics show a consumer only eats healthy food based on their online shopping and searching history, they are probably not the best target for communication from a fast food chain. In its simplest form, analytics in marketing helps companies optimize their business decisions based on additional data such as consumer trends and satisfaction.

Annual Recurring Revenue

Annual Recurring Revenue (or ARR) is predictable revenue that can be counted on every year thanks to a subscription or contract commitment. It is predictable and recurring revenue generated by customers within a year. If a subscriber commits to a two-year membership for a total of $5,000, then the ARR would be $2,500. ARR is a great measuring gauge for subscription-based businesses because of the clear year-over-year information it provides.

Artificial Intelligence

Have you ever asked Siri what time it is? Or called out to Alexa across the kitchen to see if your Amazon package has arrived yet? Then you have utilized artificial intelligence, or AI as it is commonly referred. By definition, AI is the use of computers to simulate human intelligence. Siri and Alexa aren't real people, rather computer programs that know how to answer certain questions. AI is widely used to solve consumer problems and make life easier.


Simply put, marketing attribution is identifying how a customer became familiar with and/or purchased your product or service. The goal of attribution is to enable marketers to understand which messages and channels had the greatest impact on the consumer's next step. A good example is a consumer gets information about a product in an email blast, but doesn't make a purchase until they see it again on Instagram. This can mean that marketing dollars for this consumer are better spent on Instagram than on email marketing. Employing attribution can emable marketers to optimize their marketing spend, drive increased ROI and produce more effective creative.

Attrition Rate

Attrition rate is a term often used as a staffing measurment tool that assesses the rate at which employees are leaving a company. But it is also a term commonly used in marketing used to measure a company's customer base and assess the number of returning customers vs. those who are not recurring. Also referred to as "churn", customer attrition can indicate a problem that can lead to decreased revenue. If a company or brand notices significant attrition in its customer base, changes may be needed. One cause of attrition can be brands failing to adapt as their audience changes. If the car you manufacture has no connectivity, you will probably see attrition among a younger, savvier demographic of automotive buyers, for example.

Audience Segmentation

The process of dividing a larger group into smaller subgroups (segments) according to a set of shared characteristics. In marketing segmentation examples of shared characteristics could be similar interests, habits, purchase patterns, geography, age, or other demographics. By focusing on smaller segments with like characteristics, you are able to tailor marketing messages to each group specifically. Think of it as a Facebook group. “Women Who Love Scrapbooking” would get a different marketing message from you than, say, “Women Who Love Cliff Diving.” Segmenting audiences and subsequent messages to those subgroups provide a goldmine of marketing analysis, testing, and personalization efforts that keep your overall “blanket” message from getting lost and maximize opportunities for a certain desired action from your market.

Audience Strategy

By focusing on identifying your ideal audience instead of looking at your entire audience, you can speak to that perfect customer group at the perfect time and generate greater results. A well- researched audience strategy helps arm you to reach the best consumer with your message who is going to have a higher propensity to buy your product, click your link or sign up for your service. Using existing customer analytics can help you determine what your audience segments want or need so that you can reach them with a more effective message at a more effective time.


Authentication is how a user's identity is proven in a digital environment, allowing a consumer to access protected information. A user is typically authenticated (or verified) with credentials such as a username and password to prevent unauthorized access online.


A banner ad, or digital display ad, is essentially an online billboard placed in areas of high visibility on a web site with the goal of driving traffic to the advertiser's web page -- ultimately resulting in sales. Banner ads were one of the first types of internet advertisements, dating back to 1994 according to and since then have become a leading form of internet advertising credited with helping advertisers create brand awareness, generate leads and re-target audiences.

Base Price

A product's base price is the initial price before added charges are applied such as taxes, shipping or handling and any other added extras. A good way to illustrate base price is with a vehicle. The window sticker on a new car will have a base price, but the actual price a buyer will pay will include any and all extras and will be more than the base price.


A baseline in marketing is a fixed point of reference used for comparison. Establishing a baseline prior to a launching a new marketing campaign can help establish a way to measure the efficacy of that campaign. The baseline represents sales or clicks that would have happened anyway, so that the additional traction caused by marketing efforts can be measured.


A blog is a web site or page containing information or content in the form of blog posts, which are individual stories posted in reverse chronological order so the newest post shows up first. They originated for personal use, but evolved into quite the marketing tool because of their ability to rank on search engines thanks to keywords. According to HubSpot, B2B marketers with blogs receive 67% more leads than those who do not. Blogs have been rated the fifth-most trusted source for accurate online information.


Blogging is the act of creating a blog geared at a target audience and continually writing and posting blog posts to a web site or page that shares and links content. Blogs have become a trusted source of information and are commonly used in a company's marketing strategy to keep customers updated on new information. Through blogging, businesses have established a positive way to improve a customer’s level of satisfaction.

Bottom of the Funnel

In the marketing or sales funnel that illustrates the customer journey, the bottom of that funnel is where a company wants its leads to be. This is the action-taking step where leads are converted to customers. As a prospect completes their journey from awareness to interest and finally down to consideration, this is where you engage in action-based activity and drive home a purchase.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is a term used to track web traffic. A 'bounce' is a visitor who comes to one page of a web site, but leaves before clicking on any other pages or taking any type of action. The Bounce Rate is the number of single-page visits divided by all visits to a site, which results in a percentage of bounces to non-bounces. Bounce rates matter most for multi-page web sites where key information is not located on one page. In the case of a blog or micro-site which may only be one page, the bounce rate isn't a good indicator of success. Bounce rates can be an indicator of lack of conversions and can also affect Google rankings.


A strong brand is considered to be one of the valuable assets a company has because it helps identify a company or product and set it apart from competitors. It is an intangible quality enhanced by logos, slogans and specific colors which dates back to the late 1880s wehen it became a way to differentiate a product from other similar, generic products. A car is an automobile, but a Tesla is seen in the marketplace as way more than just a car. It is high-end, cutting-edge and of course, electric. It's also a name that no other car company can use. Branding at its best happens when a product is wideley referred to by a specific brand name, such as Scotch tape, Q-Tip or Coca-Cola.

Brick and Mortar

Brick and mortar is a term that evolved as online shopping gained prominence to differentiate between a company's physical store and it's virtual, online presence. If a customer shops for shoes at Nordstrom, it could mean they visited the company's web site and purchased shoes online, or they drove to the mall and physically walked into the store -- or the brick-and-mortar location. Online-only companies would be classified as having no brick-and-mortar locations. Many retailers compare their own online sales volumes to their brick-and-mortar counterpart.

Bulk Mail

Bulk mail is when a business or company takes advantage of a lower postal rate by mailing the same letter or postcard to thousands of people at once. Bulk mailing is often targeted to one or more demographic ranging from age, income level, geographic location or marital status. Bulk mailing is most often used by companies to announce promotions, promote brand awareness or even introduce a new product. Bulk mailing's discounted postal rates vary depending on the type of mail being sent, but most require a minimum of 300 to 500 pieces.


Business-to-business, or B2B marketing refers to any marketing efforts focused on a business or organization versus a consumer. The goals and motivation behind marketing to a business are very different from marketing to a consumer. B2B marketing is often more focused on improving a company's return on investment (ROI) whereas marketing to a consumer might be more action-oriented, such as promoting a sale on handbags at a department store.


Business-to-consumer, or B2C marketing, focuses solely on a consumer or target audience of potential customers, versus a business or organization that is making purchasing decisions based on a different set of criteria than a consumer. A retailer such as Target would do business-to-consumer marketing to drive shoppers to their stores and websites. B2C marketing is often more emotion-based and less focused on ROI or the bottom line.

Buyer Persona

A buyer persona is like an avatar of a company's typical customer that has been designed using real data about existing customers. It is a simulated target customer profile created with research and existing customer information that can be used to determine where to focus time and marketing efforts. When done properly, using a buyer persona should help a company attract leads that have the most potential of being coverted into customers and even lifelong brand advocates.


Call to Action

The call to action is exactly that you want your target consumer to do. You have their attention. Now what do you want them to do? The call to action in marketing is the same as “the ask” in sales. If someone visits a new car showroom and expresses interest in the shiny red sports car, any good salesman will ask if they’d like to take it for a test drive. Maybe even buy it on the spot. In marketing, the call to action indicates the next step you want a person to take such as “Sign Up” or “Buy Now”. An effective call to action, just like the ask in sales, is obvious and clear so the consumer knows your desired next step.

Campaign Management

Campaign management is the act of overseeing, tracking and reporting on the efficacy of a multi-channel marketing campaign. Because modern marketing campaigns span multiple outlets across digital and print and often include multiple efforts, tracking and analyzing the results can be quite an endeavor -- although a necessary one to determine the success or failure of a campaign.


Yes, a can of Spam can be purchased at the local grocery store, but in marketing terms, CAN-SPAM is not a lunch meat, but an acronym for Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing. CAN-SPAM is the law that establishes the laws governing commercial email messaging that also gives recipients a right to have a business stop sending them email communication and outlines penalties for noncompliance. The main guidelines for compliance include clear and non-misleading messaging in subject lines and body copy, providing a clear opportunity for recipients to opt out of future communications and honoring those requests.


A CDP is a centralized customer relationship management hub for clients to gather data on known customers in real-time — this encapsulates sources like e-commerce and P.O.S. transactions, CRM data, email response, social interactions, and more. They’re becoming more important as a single point of data accumulation that allows CMOs and brands to understand the impact each of their mediums is having on their business’s bottom line.


Churn is the number or percentage of customers or subscribers who stop using a product or unsubscribe from a recurring purchase. While no company wants to think about how many customers it lost over a period of time, it is a good metric to survey customer retention. If a company had 500 customers in the first quarter and only 250 in the second quarter, the churn rate would be 50%. Churn rates can be reduced by analyzing the trends of the churn and identifying any common threads that could be addressed.

Click Fraud

Click fraud happens when a pay-per-click ad online is fraudulently clicked to either falsify ad revenue or exhaust a max budget and remove the ad, which could be beneficial to a competitor. Fraudulent clicks can happen when a person repeatedly clicks on an ad or a computer program is designed to do it -- neither having any intention of visiting the advertiser's site or making a purchase. Click fraud is intentional, malicious -- and illegal.

Click-Through Rate

Click-through rate is the number of clicks an online ad receives divided by how many times the ad is shown. CTR, as it is often referred to, is a measurement showing how many impressions an ad got versus how many of those took action and clicked it. A successful click-through rate is debatable and varies depending on the campaign. says a high CTR is typically a good indicator that users find your ads helpful and relevant.

Co-Op Database

A co-op, or cooperative database, is a bank of information on consumers along with their transaction history compiled from multiple sources who contribute information in excahnge for the information provided by other companies. These databases are considered a valuable source for customer information because it contains not only contact information, but details on everything from shopping habits to lifestyle information and details on the customer journey.

Co-Op Mailing

A co-op, or cooperative mailing, is often a direct mail piece shared by multiple, non-competitive advertisers targeting business from the same select group of consumers. A great example is a mailing to a new homeowner that might include advertisements and even editorial or advertorial from lawn maintenance companies, gutter cleaning companies, lighting businesses and carpet cleaning services. Each business wants to get their service or product in the hands of a new homeowner, so the companies band togeher to share a mailing making it more cost-effective than if each company did a mailer of their own.

Coefficient of Variation

The coeffecient of variation is statistical measurement of variability that is an indicator of deviation from the standard. In branding, too much variability can be interpreted as inconsistency, whereas minimal variability can indicate consistency in branding or marketing.

Cold Calling

Cold calling is the act of placing an un-solicited phone call to a prospective customer or client who has had no prior indication the call might be coming. While reports that fewer than 2% of cold calls result in a meeting and fewer than 1% of cold calls lead to a sale, some believe -- especially in the B2B world -- that cold calling can actually add a personal touch to a marketing or sales initiative.

Cold email

Cold emailing in marketing is sending an unsolicited email to a prospective customer or client who had no prior contact with the sender of the email. It's really the email equivalent of a cold call, although widely seen as less intrusive since the email can be read or deleted at the recipient's choice. Cold emails could be considered spam, but typically don't contain any false information and aren't sent in bulk, so in those terms cold emails are not necessarily spam. Cold emailing can be a lucrative tool for lead generation, market research and even hiring.

Comma Delimited

Comma delimited simply means separated by commas. A common file format is a CSV file, or comma separated value, which is text data where different fields are separated by commas. This format allows large amounts of information to be stored and organized. The advantage for marketers is that CSV files enable raw data to be collected and analyzed.

Comparative Advertising

Comparative advertising is a marketing technique where a company's product or service is compared to that of a competitor and is depicted as being better. A good example is a commercial where Wendy's might tout that their hamburger contains more meat than the McDonald's equivalent. This can be slippery territory because legally, the advertiser must have the ability to back up any claims made against a competitor. In other words, they have to have proof that their statement is true. So Wendy's would need to have data showing its burger contains more meat than McDonald's burger. If the proof is there, comparative advertising can be a highly successful method.

Compiled List

A Compiled List consists of data or information gathered from multiple sources and assembled into one list that is used for marketing purposes. Compiled lists can contain everything from email addresses to other contact or demographic information. Unlike response lists which consist of information compiled from a consumer's previous buying history, for example, compiled lists are not necessarily representative of consumers who are in the market for a specific product, but more general in nature.

Contact Form

The contact form on a website is today’s version of yesterday’s self-addressed, stamped envelope. Today, that vehicle for communication exists in the form of a page on a web site that allows access for communication between users and company owners. The contact form saves the visitor from having to find and then copy and paste an email address to create email communication from scratch. The form also allows the site owner to pre-determine information they would like to have from the person filling out the form. Maybe the form asks for an email address, reason for contacting you and mailing address, for example. It makes communication easy and streamlined.


Content is a broad term used in marketing that covers everything from videos, blogs, articles, web copy, marketing copy or advertisements used to convey relevant and effective information about a brand or company that consumers have an interest in consuming. Content marketing has become a popular way to generate brand awareness by using a blog or article to introduce someone to a product or service, or reiterate its value.

Content Management System

A Content Management System, or CMS, is software that enables users to build and manage websites or publish content on digital channels without in-depth knowledge of html coding. A CMS is a user-friendly interface that utilizes templates rather than users having to design from scratch and is also collaborative so multiple users can edit, approve and publish content. A CMS is a valuable tool for marketers because the process of creating, editing and publishing content can be efficient and streamlined.

Control Group

In marketing, a control group is used to measure the impact of a specific marketing campaign, just as a medical study might use a control group to help determine the outcomes of a particular medication. Control groups have long been used in scientific experiments and even medical research to determine efficacy and it is a very similar approach in marketing. A marketing control group consists of the customers you are targeting who will not receive a particular campaign or message. The group who is excluded from receiving a particular message helps measure the impact of that message when compared to the group who received it. Control groups ultimately help you gain insights on your users’ reactions to your marketing campaigns.

Control Package

The Control Package in a direct mail marketing campaign is considered the baseline for the measurement of other test packages that may contain different offers or formatting to determine which mail campaign generated the most response. ...... check me on this one..... couldn't find a lot on this....


A Conversion in marketing is the point at which a targeted consumer performs a desired action, which could range from a digital click or subscription enrollment to a survey completion or purchase. It is ultimately a response to a marketer's desired call to action. The overall percentage of leads or web visitors who complete that call to action is the conversion rate and is a solid gauge of marketing efforts.

Conversion Path

Conversion Path is the sequence of steps a consumer took before it turned into a customer or completed another desired action. It is important for marketers to understand the conversion path of its customers so they can gain better insights into what prompted the target audience member into take action. A conversion path could consist of a consumer opening an email, completing a short survey and redeeming a coupon sent as a reward for the survey response. This could indicate to the marketer that digital coupons are a key step in a consumers conversion path.

Conversion Rate

Conversion Rate is the percentage of consumers who completed a desired action. A conversion rate is calculated by dividing the total number of users or consumers who "converted" or completed a desired call to action by the overall size of an audience. As an example, if Bank of America runs an ad on Instagram that is seen by 20,000 people and 200 of those people click on the ad, the conversion rate would be 200 divided by 20,000, for a conversion rate of .01 or 1%. Having that information can inform a marketer how certain ads perform compared to others. The conversion rate ultimately measures how good (or bad) a marketing effort is at getting someone to perform an action.
Cookies can range from pre-packaged Oreos and homemade Christmas treats to little bits of data collected as internet users travel from site to site. Did we get your attention? Cookies in the internet marketing world are not nearly as delicious as the edible kind, but they are equally as desirable because of the incredible amounts of useful data they can provide.

Corporate Identity

Corporate Identity is how a business or corporation is presented to the public. Not to be confused with a corporate logo, a company's brand identity transcends its mark to include everything from its tone of voice, work practices and how it interacts on social media to product packaging, web site look and feel and even fonts and colors. More simply put, a company's corporate design, corporate communication and corporate behavior all make up an overal identity. All of these elements have to work in concert to create and sustain a strong corporate identity.

Cost Per Click

Cost Per Click, or CPC, is an ad revenue tracking mechanism by which an advertiser pays a website ublisher (or oftentimes a third party such as Google) a designated amount of money every time someone clicks on its digital ad. Unlike CPM, or cost per thousand, which tracks views or impressions, cost per click only charges the advertiser a fee if the ad is clicked. This allows advertisers to determine a daily budget and once that budget is reached, the ad is pulled from the website's rotation. This can be a great way for a company to gain insight into which ad placements/sizes/locations generate the most clicks.

Cost Per lead

Cost Per Lead is a common type of performance-based advertising where an advertiser pays a digital publisher every time a lead is generated. This type of advertising model puts the responsibility in the hands of both the advertiser, who has to maximize the leads generated, and the publisher, who will be compensated based on the number of leads their ad generates. So it's important that the publisher gets the ask in front of the correct audience to generate the most income. For the advertiser, the goal is to minimize that cost per lead which can be low if the ad generates enough leads.

Cost-Based Pricing

Cost-Based Pricing is exactly what it sounds like: basing the price of an item or service against what it costs to make it to ensure profitability. If a widget costs $1 to produce, then a manufacturer might mark its cost up by a slight profit margin, say, to $2, so that the manufacturing cost is covered and any excess overage becomes profit. This is a different pricing stratgey from market-based pricing, where the going rate for an item or service in the market dictates the price.


CPC, or Cost Per Click, is an ad revenue tracking mechanism by which an advertiser pays a website ublisher (or oftentimes a third party such as Google) a designated amount of money every time someone clicks on its digital ad. Unlike CPM, or cost per thousand, which tracks views or impressions, cost per click only charges the advertiser a fee if the ad is clicked. This allows advertisers to determine a daily budget and once that budget is reached, the ad is pulled from the website's rotation. This can be a great way for a company to gain insight into which ad placements/sizes/locations generate the most clicks.


CPM is a term used to describe a digital advertising revenue model where an agreed amount is paid by an advertiser for every one thousand impressions. CPM stands for 'cost per thousand' viewers, even though the acronym literally translates to "cost per mille," which is Latin for 'thousand.' For example, if a website or online publisher charges $1 CPM for a digital ad, the advertiser must pay $1 for every one thousand impressions that ad generates.


CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, is a tool used to help manage a company’s relationships and/or interactions with their customers or target audience. It is ultimately used by marketers to manage the external interactions and relationships that drive success by clearly showing who has been communicated to and what the outcome was (did they purchase?) CRM systems are also used to manage and optimize marketing campaigns with a data-driven approach that can ultimately make effective marketing simpler and more productive.


Cross-Selling is the act of selling an additional product or service to an existing customer. Maybe you have a banking customer who has a checking account with your organization. It would make sense to also offer that same customer your mortgage services, especially if your data shows this customer is saving up to buy a home. This is a productive method used to increase business since it involves an existing relationship where a company might already know a customers wants and needs. Web sites that promote like products after a purchase with a "you might also be interested in" teaser has proven to be a very effective method of cross-selling.


CTR, or click-through rate, is a means of measuring the number of clicks a digital ad receives divided by the number of impressions (or views). This ratio is a great way to measure the success or lack thereof of a digital ad. Higher CTRs indicate an ad is resonating with the audience and is considered a successful metric.

Customer Acquisition

Customer acquisition is the act of creating a new customer for a business through a trackable method such as advertising, marketing or sales. Customer acquisition transcends marketing and indicates an action was taken such as a purchase. For example, marketing might get a potential customer to click on a digital ad which creates recognition, but acquisition is the sale which generates revenue. Many companies track the cost of customer acquisition.

Customer Acquisition Cost

Customer acquisition cost, or CAC, is the amount of money a company spends to gain the business of a new customer. The number is obtained by dividing a total sales and marketing expendature by the number of new customers aquired as a result of those efforts. Understanding that cost is an important way for a company to improve its ROI and profit margins.

Customer Journey

The customer journey is a customer’s path from discovery of your product or service to their decision to purchase. Did your customer click on an ad for a Caribbean vacation and then maybe look at additional photos of the islands? Maybe they Googled “best places to stay in the Caribbean” or asked friends on social media for feedback from their trips before returning to a web site to book a vacation. Understanding this journey and being able to map it can be a very effective tool in a marketer’s toolbox. It can determine the most effective marketing methods based on real data of how the customer arrived at the decision to buy. Brands that use this information successfully work to craft a seamless journey from awareness to engagement to purchase.

Customer Loyalty

Customer loyalty referes to a consumer sticking with one brand or company over their competition. If a traveler always chooses to fly Southwest Airlines and never Delta or American Airlines, that consumer is showing customer loyalty. Loyalty can be based on price alone or on a more emotional connection. Maybe a consumer only rides Trek bicycles because of their worldwide charitable efforts to get more kids on bikes, even in underserved countries. This loyalty, whatever is driving it, is the ongoing process of a consumer patronizing one business over a competitor and is something every company should strive to attain.

Customer Profile

A customer profile is a description of a company's ideal customer based on demographic and psychographic criteria such as age, location, interests, income or even buying habits and purchasing patterns. Creating customer profiles allows grouping of customers with similar interests or habits for more effective targeted marketing.

Customer Relationship Management

Customer relationship management, also known as a CRM, is a tool used to help manage a company’s relationships and/or interactions with their customers or target audience. It is ultimately used by marketers to manage the external interactions and relationships that drive success by clearly showing who has been communicated to and what the outcome was. CRM systems are also used to manage and optimize marketing campaigns with a data-driven approach that can ultimately make effective marketing simpler and more productive.

Customer Retention

Customer retention is the actions a company takes to maintain its current customer base and prevent them from switching to a competitor. Customer retention is widely seen as being less expensive than aquiring new customers, so it becomes an important element of a company's marketing efforts that are often focused on building a relationship and enhancing loyalty rather than being purely transactional.


Database Marketing

Database marketing is utilizing an existing customer and/or prospect database to deliver a more personalized, targeted marketing message. With today's digital technology providing the ability to gather in depth information about customers and prospects ranging from demographics to psychographics, buyer habits and lifestyles, the collective information is an unparalelled resource for crafting a personalized marketing strategy.


A decile is an analytical method used to divide data into equal subsets to make analysis and measurement of large amounts of data more streamlined. In the marketing world, deciles are used to rank customer data so that marketing efforts can be targeted at certin deciles based on that category's spending habits or other data being measured.


A decision-maker is the person within a company who is charged with being the final say as key decisions are being made. It's important in sales, for example, to understand who the ultimate decision-maker is so that efforts are targeted to the key person who has the authority to implement change, approve buying decisions, etc.

Deliverability Rate

Deliverability rate is a ratio that speaks to how many emails in an email marketing campaign actually reach the intended recipient's inbox. If 100 emails are sent and only 5 of them are actually delivered to an inbox with the rest being caught in spam filters, that illustrates a very low deliverability rate. Many believe deliverability rate is an even more important metric than open rates because if an email never reaches the recipient's inbox, they have no chance of opening it.


A deliverable is what is due at the end of a project or job. It can range from a website being live, to a presentation, to online analytics or a recap of a social media campaign. Whatever the goal of a project is, the end result is the deliverable, which is often the barometer of the success level of a project.


A demographic is a piece of criteria that categorizes a person and can range from age, location and gender to income level or level of education. This information is used as an important marketing tool for brands and companies to determine how best to interact with the correct group of potentieal customers. For example, a bank targeting potential mortgage business would want to ensure it was marketing to a demographic of young adults in a certain income bracket who can afford to buy a home.

Dependent Variable

In statistical analysis, the dependent variable (or response variable) is the factor that you can't control. Independent variables have a direct impact on dependent variables which can include things like sales revenue, new customer inquiries or same-store sales. Ultimately, the dependent variable is the result you want to achieve.

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is the two-way conversation that takes place between a brand and consumer through online marketing methods including websites, social media, mobile devices, blogs, video and email. Traditional marketing, which might have utilized a billboard or magazine ad, is considered one-way communication since the consumer can’t interact. Digital marketing gives the consumer a voice and a chance to be part of the conversation. It also helps brands understand how their consumers behave.

Direct Competition

Direct competition occurs when two or more businesses offer the same product or service and are competing for the same customers. For example, McDonald's and Wendy's are direct competitors because the both offer a fast-food burger. Zoe's Kitchen would not be a direct competitor to McDonald's or Wendy's because they offer fast-casual Mediterranean food. They would be an indirect competitor because they are also in the food service industry, but they are not competing for the fast-food burger customer. Understanding market share among direct competitors is key when developing and executing a marketing plan.

Direct Mail

Direct mail is the act of using the postal service to deliver promotional marketing material direct to a customer based on demographic information such as age, location or income. Direct mail pieces can include postcards, catalogs and other promotional pieces enables one-on-one communication with your audience, so you can control who receives the message and when they receive it.

Direct Mail Marketing

Direct mail marketing is the act of using the postal service to deliver promotional marketing material direct to a customer based on demographic information such as age, location or income. Direct mail pieces can include postcards, catalogs and other promotional pieces enables one-on-one communication with your audience, so you can control who receives the message and when they receive it.

Direct Marketing

Direct marketing is any marketing effort where a brand or company has direct communication to individual consumers and is driven by a strong call to action. Instead of relying on a magazine ad aimed at reaching a consumer, for example, direct marketing might use a targeted digital ad campaign, email newsletters or social media to reach directly to that same person. says direct marketing is one of the most popular and effective marketing tools to establish a direct connection with a target audience.

Direct Response

Direct response is a type of marketing focused on generating an instant response by encouraging the consumer to take a certain action which could range from calling a number to signing up for something or visiting a website. An infomercial is a great example of direct-response marketing. During any infomercial, the viewer will hear and see a toll-free number to call to purchase whatever is being sold. This type of markeing has the advantage of providing results that can be tracked and it also identifies interested prospects.

Discovery Call

A discovery call is the first contact with a potential customer once they have expressed interest in your product or service. In sales this call is typically where a company and potential client get to know each other and can be the key element to set the tone for a long-term business relationship.


A DMP is a second-and-third-party data platform that is able to classify anonymous audiences from multiple external sources. It also houses first-party data that is not visible to any of the other second-and-third-party data providers. These are short-term, affordable solutions than a CDP because they provide a top-line view of customers via probabilistic identifiers. Cookie IDs, programmatic ad buying, and other digital signals optimize campaign performance over shorter periods of time by targeting top-of-funnel audience segments. Think of these as the middleman between the data source and the content delivery mechanism.

Double Opt-In

Double opt-in refers to email subscribers who request to be added to a mailing list, but before that happens an email is sent asking the subscriber to confirm they do indeed want to be added to the email database. It can be seen as an unnecessary added step by some, but others view it as a great way to refine an email database down to real customers or prospects who are genuinely interested in hearing from you. It also helps reduce bots or other internet spam from winding up on your mailing list with bogus email addresses. According to 50% of leading publications used double opt-in to confirm newsletter subscribers.



An e-book (or electronic book) is a digital version of a non-editable book that can be downloaded or read on a tablet or e-reader. Many marketers use e-books to generate leads as part of a content marketing strategy. In addition to establishing yourself or your company as an authority on a certain subject, an e-book can be downloaded in exchange for consumer information. The content from an e-book can also be repurposed and promoted, further strengthening the value of this content.


E-commerce (electronic commerce) is the act of purchasing or selling using the internet rather than in a physical retail store. According to, the first ever e-commerce transaction was in 1994 and in 2020 research showed E-commerce retail sales totaled more than $4.2 trillion.

Email List

An email list is a collection of email addresses kept in a database and used for marketing and communication purposes. Email addresses are collected through a variety of ways and can be used for effective, personalized communication with prospects and customers. An email address is considered a valuable piece of consumer information to a marketer because it acts as an open door for two-way communication.

Email Marketing

Email marketing means using email as a vehicle to promote a product or service to a prospective customer, creating a very important two-way communication channel. If used properly, it can be an effective way to develop relationships with potential customers while keeping them informed via newsletters or company announcements. Many companies use email marketing as a way to reach their customer directly with frequency using everything from welcome emails to reminders, nudges, post-purchase emails and promotions.


Engagement in marketing isn't about a big diamond ring -- unless we are talking about the social media posts by a jeweler targeting purchases of said diamond ring. Engagement in marketing means any type of response generated on social media. A Facebook post generating a like or a tweet being re-tweeted, reposts on Instagram or even click-through to a web site are all forms of consumer engagement.

Engagement Rate

Engagement rate is a metric that measures how involved with a company’s online content a target audience is by measuring shares, likes and comments on social media as compared to how many people saw it and took no action. It is a popular statistic used to analyze brand campaigns and their efficacy.

Evergreen Content

Evergreen content is content that stays relevant long past its publication date and generating long-term value. Having evergreen content allows markteres to use content that can be accessed, referenced and promoted as long as it is posted. Content tied to a particular time frame that would be irrelevant after the initial publication date is not evergreen. For example, a blog post about "best ways to experience the 2022 Olympics" would not be evergreen, whereas "most popular Olympic sports you've never tried" would be evergreen.


First-Party Data

First-party data is information about a consumer collected directly from that person's online habits. It is an important piece of information that can help you understand your customers because it is based on actual interactions with your brand. In other words, it's not hypothetical trends but actual habits by a real consumer. This data can include everything from purchase history and preferences to online behavior and other digital interactions that can be used to create marketing experiences tailored to a consumer's interests as well as for making predictions about future behavior.


Forecasting is using historic data from the past and current data from the present to make a determination about what might happen in the future. It is a higher-level view than a budget with more of a vision than an acutal dollar amount. Marketers use forecasting to determine where to best allocate marketing budgets and efforts as plans are made for the future.


Frequency is the number of times an online ad is repeated on a specific site during a certain period of time. When buying digital advertising space, the frequency of the ad, or how many times it will show up, is a key factor. There's a fine balance between an ad not being seen enough to generate engagement and it being seen too many times, or with too high a frequency.



Show a hashtag symbol to a Baby Boomer and they will tell you it's a pound sign (#). But beyond just being a number symbol, a hashtag is an important way to catergorize content and topics on social media to make them easily searchable. For example, there is a popular music festival called Bonnaroo. If you wanted to search on Twitter what people were saying about Bonnaroo, you could search #Bonnaroo. Any content posted about the festival with that hashtag will show up. Marketers have begun using hashtags to brand content and create another communication and tracking channel with creative hashtags #GetOnBoard #NotYourMothersPoundSign #UseItInASentenceToday


Ideal Customer Profile

An ideal customer profile is a hypothetical model of the ideal type of company you would like to do business with. If a business uses account-based marketing, focusing on accounts rather than individuals, then the ideal customer profile comes into play. It is very closely liked with a buyer persona, which is also a profile, but of the ideal type of customer a company would like to be doing business with rather than the ideal company. The ideal customer profile is used to determine what your "best customer" should look like, so that markteting efforts can follow that focus.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing attracts customers to your brand or service with content they are interested in rather than hitting them with an interruption of information they may or may not want. Inbound marketing helps form a connection and even aims to solve a problem a consumer already has. The goal with inbound marketing is to increase reach while engaging in quality conversations with your audience using social media, websites, blogs, etc. Inbound marketing software provider HubSpot is credited with creating the term 'inbound marketing' back in 2006 according to HubSpot simplifies it by saying communicating with your audience throughout the buying cycle is "the best way to turn strangers into customers and promoters of your business.”

Independent Variable

In statistical analysis, the independent variable is the factor that you can control. Independent variables have a direct impact on dependent variables which can include things like sales revenue, new customer inquiries or same-store sales. Independent variables range from price, placement, promotion of a product or service and are things a marketer can change at any time to see if it effects change on the dependent variable, or desired outcome.


An Infographic is a tool used by marketers as a way to present detailed information, such as data, research findings, standings or rankings in a visually compelling way that ultimately helps the reader digest and understand the information more clearly. Infographics According to, visual content, such as an infographic, is more engaging for readers and can have added benefits for search optimization.

Intent Signals

Intent signals are like little breadcrumbs that consumers leave along the way as they search to purchase something online. A good intent marketer will pick up on these signals and use them to their advantage by creating more relevant experiences that convert prospects into customers. Those breadcrumbs are actually important bits of data about a consumer's intent to buy. Understanding these signals enables marketers to go after strong prospects with very specific advertising. Intent Signals help a marketer better understand a consumer's intention. If a shopper searches for health insurance plans online, then emails a company requesting more information, odds are their intent is to purchase health insurance.

Interactive Media

Interactive media is any media outlet that responds or reacts to user input. Think of the difference between a broadcast television show and an online video game. All a user can do with the television broadcast is watch it. But with a game, for example, the user is involved in the output. Another great example of interactive media is social media or apps. Both require user input and therefore create two-way communication, which is rapidly replacing the one-way communication of traditional, non-interactive media.

Internal Marketing

Internal marketing is marketing your company's objectives, culture, products and services to the employees of the company. It's making sure the employees undersand and embrace the marketing brand messages that will be promoted outside the company. When the flight attendants on Southwest Airlines get on the plane's PA system and sing songs and tell jokes, it's because they've received internal marketing that Southwest flights are going to be safe, but also fun. Having employees engaged in a company's marketing message can be a crucial factor in the success of any marketing plan.


Key Performance Indicator

Key performance indicators, or KPIs are important measurements that are used to gauge the efficacy of a marketing campaign. For example, is the goal of a certain marketing campaign to convert leads? gain social media followers? get subscriptions to a newsletter? At the onset of a marketing campaign, it's important to determine what your barometers for success are, so that those things can be measured and tracked. Those are your key performance indicators, which are valuable resources to prove returns on any marketing spend.


Keywords are words or phrases used in digital marketing that are embedded in a company's web content that ideally match words that consumers use to search for a brand or company. For example, if your company makes basketball shoes, those words should appear multiple times across your web site, so that when a user searches "basketball shoes" and search engines comb web sites for those words, your web site will appear at the top of that search.


Landing Page

A landing page is a standalone web page created with the sole purpose of converting visitors into leads or customers. The differentiator between a landing page and a website is focus. Web sites have multiple functions including information gathering, exploration and housing additional information about a business or brand. You might go to the web site of a bank to learn about what types of accounts they offer, or see where branches are located. But a consumer would hit a landing page after clicking a call-to-action link where the sole focus was tohave that consumer sign up for an e-newsletter or apply for a credit card on the spot.


Late-to-Medicare, or age-ins are people who have turned 65 and are eligible for Medicare, but choose not to retire at 65 and remain in the workforce. This group represents a huge opportunity for insurers who should be marketing to this segment of the population. Insurers are challenged with identifying late-to-retire prospects when they are preparing to retire to be able to market to them before they make a Medicare decision.


A lead is nothing more than a potential customer or prospect, but more importantly a lead has the potential to become a future customer of your brand or service. Whether this person is considered to be in one's pipeline or just a cold contact, anyone with potential to turn into business is considered a lead. Marketing to a lead is reaching them with your messaging in hopes of spurring on that conversion.

Lead Generation

Lead generation is a way to reach potential customers early, get them in your pipeline and then nurture, educate and communcate with them as a way to earn their trust and build a relationship until you convert them into a customer. Productive lead generation should result in increased brand awareness, new relationships, higher quality leads, and ultimately more sales. Companies use everything from blog posts to events and online content as tools for lead generation.

Lead Nurturing

Once a company considers a consumer a "lead" it means they have expressed interest in their product or service. In order to convert them to a customer, there needs to be a some relationshop development throughout the customer journey. Lead nurturing is exactly what it sounds like. Once a lead is considered in a company's sales funnel, it is important to listen to the leads, answer their questions and simplify the decision to purchase. Some classic examples of lead nurturing include consistent communication and follow up, using and re-using targeted content across multiple channels, or personalized emails -- all aimed at building and fostering a relationship.

Lead Qualification

Lead qualification is the process of determining which potential customers are likely to be moved through the sales funnel and converted to a customer. Qualified leads are leads that have been determined to have high propensity to be converted into customers. Marketing dollars are better spent on qualified leads rather than all leads, so this can be a cost-saving initiative.

Lead Tracking

Lead tracking is the act of understanding where your leads (or potential customers) are coming from, tracking their activity, knowing where they are in the sales funnel and what marketing actions may or may not move the prospect through the sales funnel. Knowing where leads come from can help when allocating marketing dollars towards attracting new customers. If 50% of your company's new customers are coming from Facebook ads, then that's probably an area of opportunity. Then, understanding their journey from being a prospect to converstion to a customer can provide valuable insight for future conversions and the marketing initiatives needed to get them there.

Lifetime Customer Value

The lifetime customer value (or customer lifetime value/CLTV) is a metric that represents the worth of a customer to a business across the span of the business relationship. The longer a customer remains a customer to a company, the the greater their lifetime value becomes. This is an important metric because it costs less to retain an existing customer than it does to acquire a new one, so this measurement establishes the customers that contribute the most revenue to a business.

Lookalike Model

A lookalike model is a group of people who, based on digital data, have similar interests and habits as a company or brand's target audience. Lookalike modeling helps identify new prospects that behave a lot like current customers or prospects. By identifying and marketing to this group, engagement and conversion rates can be enhanced.



Margin, or profit margin, indicates the amount of profit a company makes on a sale and ultimately represents the difference between a company's sales and profits. If a widget costs $1 to manufacture and is sold for $2, that's a 100% margin. Profit margins are used across the financial industry to indicate a company's financial health and growth potential.

Market Penetration

Market penetration is a measurement of the size of a potential market compared to the percentage of that total business by one company. For example, if there are 10 million soda drinkers in the U.S. and 8 million of those drink Coke, then Coke has an 80% market penetration. This also shows that Coke has 20% more available market share to go after and steal away from Pepsi. Companies with a lower-than-desired market penetration can embark on a strategy to increase that number by going after customers of a competitor.

Market Research

Market research is the act of determining the viability of a product in the marketplace by conducting research among a product or service's target audience. For example, a company should never mass produce a purple widget without first determining if the potential market for this widget likes the color purple. Maybe sales could triple if the market research indicated the widget should be green. This research is conducted in a number of ways, both in-house and through third-party organizations, but always involves communication directly with the consumer base.

Market Share

Market share is the percent of total sales in a particular industry generated by one company. For example, if the global athletic footwear market is a $98 million business and Nike does 50% of those sales, they have a 50% market share in that industry. Market share is a standard measurement used to compare the size of a business in relation to its overall market and competitors. Once you know your market share, that information can be used to develop marketing strategies geared at reaching more potential customers and increasing your overall market share.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is the technology that manages marketing campaigns across multiple channels through automated systems. Marketing automation allows businesses to target customers with messages via email, social media and texts helping with everything from lead generation to nurturing and measurement of overall ROI on a marketing campaign. Marketing automation not only maximizes efficiency, but can also reduce human error and fully automate online marketing campaigns.

Marketing Funnel

The marketing funnel shows your customer's journey with your business from discovery to purchase. Companies employ marketing funnels so they can understand their customers' needs and ultimately optimize marketing efforts to generate more sales. By paying attention to your marketing funnel, you can better gauge what your company needs to do to influence consumers at various stages during the path to purchase.

Marketing Mix

A company's marketing mix refers to the multiple channels, vehicles and venues it will use to distribute its marketing message to drive sales. For example, a company probably wouldn't only put its message on a billboard along the interstate. A good marketing mix might include a billboard, but also some digital advertising, maybe an in-person event, a public relations strategy and social media campaigns, depending on the company and the message being conveyed. But typically, the best strategy is one that crosses multiple channels to reach a consumer in multiple places.

Mass Marketing

Mass marketing is the opposite of niche marketing in that instead of marketing to a target or specific segment of an audience, one blanket message is spread to everyone in an attempt to reach the largest number of people possible. Think Wal-Mart or even Amazon. Those companies have the ability to be all things to all people and don't have to worry too much about targeting a certain consumer group with a specific message.

Mass Media

Mass media is an outlet intending to spread a message to as many people as possible. The most common mass media are newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and the Internet. According to, one of the oldest forms of mass media used to reach the masses is print media.


Match-backs are a way for marketers to track response rates to offline marketing efforts, primarily catalog mailings. A match-back consists of comparing a mailing list to actual web orders to see who responded to receiving a catalog or direct mail piece. In the digitial world, the customer journey is easier to track, but when a marketing effort goes offline, tracking its efficacy hasn't always been easy. Match-backs help provide analytics that can provide insight to the success of an offline marketing campaign.

Media Channel

Media channel refers to the specific outlet used to convey an advertising message to an intented audience. A newspaper is a media channel, as is television or radio. Media channels are often chosen by marketers based on a desired end result. If your product has a very specific audience, for example you make an essential widget used in open heart surgeries, then you probably wouldn't advertise it on television. You might choose a targeted medical journal as the best media channel for your advertising.

Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage is part of the Medicare program, but is offered to anyone age 65 and older by private insurance companies instead of the federal government. Also referred to as Medicare Part C, these plans typically include hospital, medical and prescription drug coverage. Medicare Advantage is different from standard Medicare, which is still available even with a Part C plan.

Messaging Strategy

A company's messaging strategy is simply how it positions itself in the market and establishes brand awareness. This message should always be consistently communicated across all channels including web copy, advertising messaging, and in-store signage. An effective messaging strategy communicates a brand's voice and purpose in a succinct and clear manner. For example, when someone mentions BMW, you should automatically think, "the ultimate driving machine."


Modeling in marketing is the method in which companies understand the strength of their business and help define effective marketing strategies and even generate revenue projections. .......

MOFU (Middle of Funnel)

MOFU, or middle of the funnel, refers to where a potential customer sits in a sales funnel. The middle of the funnel is where the potential customer has expressed some interest in a product, but is not yet ready to purchase, indicating they need a little nurturing to move them on down the funnel. Marketers should closely monitor the leads in this middle part of the sales funnel because the types of content these consumers engage with and pages they visit online can help a marketer better know what types of content and communication to use to nurture these leads to turn them into customers.

Monthly Recurring Revenue

Monthly recurring revenue (MRR) is the total revenue generated from recurring charges or subscriptions in a given month. It is revenue a business can count on and is commonly used to project future earnings. It is one of the more important metrics for any subscription-based business.

Multichannel Marketing

Unlike omnichannel marketing where the same, consistent message is delivered across all channels, multichannel marketing delivers unique cross-channel messages that can be created specifically for a particular channel and vary from channel to channel. The challenge for marketers in creating an effective multichannel marketing campaign is selecting the correct channel for their targeted consumer and then conveying the right creative content on that channel. According to, it has been shown that multi-channel consumers spend two to five times more than single-channel customers.

Multiple Regression

Multiple regression is a statistical method of predicting a value of one variable based on the value of other variables. Studying the relationship between variables can explain what's behind things like market fluctuations or sales figures. Multiple regression models allow analysts to make predictions about a dependent variable from looking at data from multiple independent variables.



The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is the standard numbering system used to classify businesses for collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. economy. Marketers use the NAICS system to classify target industry segments and identify potential prospects. By utilizing NAICS codes, marketers can gather data about potential customers, compare industry details from revenue to employee size and ultimately see better conversions and even an increase in ROI.



Omnichannel marketing is delivering a targeted, consistent and often personalized message to your consumer that is the same across all channels and devices. Unlike multi-channel marketing which delivers unique cross-channel messages, omnichannel marketing aims at making a purchase seamless for the consumer thanks to consistent messaging. An omnichannel marketing strategy should take the same car someone looked at on their laptop and show it to them again while they are perusing Facebook or Instagram as well as again in an email -- delivered with a consistent message.

Omnichannel Marketing

Omnichannel marketing is delivering a targeted, consistent and often personalized message to your consumer that is the same across all channels and devices. Unlike multi-channel marketing which delivers unique cross-channel messages, omnichannel marketing aims at making a purchase seamless for the consumer thanks to consistent messaging. An omnichannel marketing strategy should take the same car someone looked at on their laptop and show it to them again while they are perusing Facebook or Instagram as well as again in an email -- delivered with a consistent message.


Traditionally, onboarding made reference to getting a new employee up to speed with his or her new job. But in the marketing world, onboarding is a term referring to new customers and how a company welcomes them into the brand as if they were family. Done typically through welcome emails, post-purchase support or product registration, onboarding is meant to give a new customer a good first impression as well as germinate brand loyalty and advocacy.


Opt-in is an email marketing term meaning a customer has given their consent to receive marketing emails from a company. Marketing to customers who have opted-in, or agreed to receive communication from a company is a targeted approach to using email as a marketing tool that is considered more effective and even more ethical than sending unsolicited email messages. Some companies even impose a double opt-in, which is an even more firm handshake between a potential or current customer and a business or product. Opt-in emailing helps companies build a solid email list and increases open rates.


To opt-out is to remove yourself from receiving unwanted emails or other communication from a business or brand. Opt-out is an ask to a company or business to please remove your email or mailing address from a list or database. Often confused with "unsubsribe," you opt-out of something you didn't subscribe to. You unsubscribe to something you previously subscribed to. Spam laws are in place to protect anyone who has opted-out from receiving additional unwanted communication.

Organic Search Listings

Organic search listings are the unpaid search results of web pages that most closely match the user's search query based on relevance and are not affected by paid search advertising. When a user searches "Best Italian restaurants in Cincinnati" the results will contain organic listings and paid listings. Organic listings are the ones that show up because search terms most closely matched the contents of a particular web page. Paid listings are ads.

Outbound Marketing

Outbound marketing is the traditional style of marketing where messages that are initiated from a business are pushed outward to an audience of potential customers with hopes of converting them into customers. Outbound marketing consists of everything from email blasts and radio/ television/print advertising to trade shows and telemarketing. While the ROI on outbound marketing can be harder to track, says many businesses still devote a majority of their marketing budgets to it.


Paid search is a type of digital marketing where search engines such as Google sell advertising space on search results pages. Unlike organic results, which show up based on relevance of search terms and a website's content, paid search is an ad that appears as if it's an organic search result, but is marked as an ad. For example, if someone were to search "Best red wine from California" odds are the top 3-4 search results would be from California-based wine companies who want you to click on their link first - even though it wasn't necessarily the top organic result. For an advertiser, this is a very targeted method of advertising because potential customers will see a certain company's ads only when they’re searching for precisely the products or services that company offers.


Pay-per-click (PPC) is an online method of digital advertising where the advertiser pays a fee to the host site based on how many times the ad is clicked. Whether search engine listing advertisements or digital display ads, the advertiser is only charged when the ad is clicked. A successfule PPC campaign is carefully built loading the ad or listing with keywords that trigger the ad to appear when similar topics or words are searched.


Personalization is when communication is tailored to an individual based on information a company has learned about that person through collected data and internet habits. Maybe a potential customer lives in the Arizona desert and loves long-distance running. A personalized marketing approach would be to use that data to send that consumer information about running in the heat instead of blanketing that person with mass communication about your company's winter coats. Personalized communication can be done through mobile apps, emails or online ads. A recent study showed 31% of customers say they wish their shopping experience was more personalized than it currently is and only 22% are satisfied with the level of personalization they currently get.

Personalized Marketing

Personalized marketing is a strategy where marketing messages are targeted on a granular, consumer-by-consumer basis thanks to the ability to gather data on a person's past behavior and interaction with a brand. The goal with this type of strategy is to improve the customer experience and create brand loyalty which should ultimately results in customer retention and increased revenue. A good example is if a consumer lives in sunny Florida and shops on a clothing retailer web site, the retailer might target messages containing swimwear instead of winter coats.

Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics is a method used to predict forecasts for future customer behavior based off of big data such as data models, statistics and machine learning. Marketers use predictive analytics to make more informed decisions and gain a higher-level understanding of campaign successes or advertising profitability in the future. reports that 91% of top marketers are either fully committed to or already implementing predictive analytics in marketing.

Predictive Model

A predictive model in marketing is a tool used to predict buyer behavior. A predictive model identifies customers or prospects who have the right demographic or psychographic behavior to rate them as someone who has a high propensity to purchase a certain product. The predictions can also be a great tool to aid in communication with certain prospective customers.

Primary Financial Institution Status

Primary financial institution status means that a consumer goes to one bank for checking, savings, loans, credit cards and often utilizes other services such as direct deposit and automatic ACH withdrawals. Having all of a customer's banking and financial transactions with one primary financial institution creates staying power over a consumer who uses multiple banks for various services and would be more likely to move their banking business around.

Promotion Cost

Promotion cost is the dollar amount a company or business incurs to market products or services to potential customers. Some industries such as banking refer to this as an 'incentive' cost. Any marketing expense such as a direct mail piece, giveaways, sponsorships or free one-time trial services are considered promotion costs. Messaging here is typically more general and meant to create awareness more than having a strong call to action. While advertising is a slightly different category according to the IRS, promotion costs are tax deductible. Advertising expenses are not.

Propensity Model

Propensity modeling is employing a statistical approach that identifies who in your audience or customer base is most likely to take a certain action such as making a purchase, unsubscribing from an email or signing up for something. The propensity is the probability that someone in your audience will do something. From there, marketing efforts can be focused on those leads or customers where engagement could affect a change in behavior (i.e. help them make a purchase). Propensity modelling dates back to 1983, according to, but it’s only recently with the evolution of machine learning that its potential for marketers has really been unleashed.


Regression Analysis

Regression analysis is a mathematical method of mapping out independent and dependent variables from data to determine which independent variables have an impact on the dependent variable. A dependent variable is what you are ultimately trying to understand such as monthly sales revenue, for example. By plotting independent variables that might have an effect on the dependent variables such as weather, promotion cycles or even Tik Tok trends, a mathematical equation can help businesses explain something they want to understand and even predict future trends.

Research and Development

Research and development, often also referred to as R&D, is the process of researching a company's target market and customer needs and then adapting a product or service to better fit the needs of that market identified in the research. A solid R&D strategy can result in higher sales and increased market penetration.

Responsive Design

Responsive design refers to website design where the ability for the site to adjust to multiple screen sizes automatically is built into the DNA of the site so that it looks the same from phone to tablet to computer. The onset of multiple screen sizes that has come with new devices, such as the smartphone, required websites to be able to adapt to multiple screen sizes.

Retention Rate

Retention rate is the percentage of customers who continue to pay for one company's product or service over a given period of time. Retention rate is a very important barometer of customer happiness. If a customer buys sandals at Nordstrom in July and then comes back to Nordstrom for winter shoes in November, that indicates customer retention. If retention rate is low and customers are dropping off once they make a purchase, (the customer doesn't return to Nordstrom for the second pair of shoes) this is called "churn" which negatively affects a company's bottom line.

Return on Investment

Return on investment (ROI) is simply the measure of what was spent on a marketing campaign compared to the sales that were a result of that marketing campaign. More simply put, for every dollar a company spends on marketing, how much money is that effort generating in sales. On a larger scale, ROI is a key metric used to not only determine success of markteing efforts, but also justify additional marketing spending.


Sales Funnel

A sales funnel is a visual representation of the journey a consumer takes from being a prospect to the act of making a purchase. Once a consumer is identified as a "lead" they are entered into the sales funnel and begin going through "phases" such as awareness, interest, evaluation, decision. As that consumer is nurtured and courted by a company or brand, they move further down in the sales funnel until they become a customer. It's a clear way to track the status of a lead or prospective customer and where they are in the sales journey. reports that 68% of businesses fail to identify and measure their sales funnels, which results in 79% of leads never converting into sales.

Search Engine

A search engine is software that allows internet users to search for things using keywords. Google, Bing and Yahoo are popular search engines. This is why search engine optimization is important to a company's website. If the site isn't loaded with proper keywords, the search engine may not consider it a match. For example, if Bob's Pizza Shop doesn't have the words "delivery" "brick-oven" and "fresh" repeated throughout their web site, someone searching the internet for fresh, brick-oven pizza delivery might not find this business because the search engine won't see it as a match.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the act of loading a website with important keywords to increase visibility and ensure the site will be found by search engines when an internet user is searching for a product or company. For example, if Bob's Pizza Shop doesn't have the words "delivery" "brick-oven" and "fresh" repeated throughout their web site, someone searching the internet for fresh, brick-oven pizza delivery might not find this business because the search engine won't see it as a match. The act of optimization of a website is ensuring the proper keywords are loaded into the site as well as having sharable content which will help improve a site's SEO.


Segmentation is the process of dividing a company's entire target audience into smaller segments by shared characteristics to permit more specific, personalized marketing options. A high-end, luxury car may have segmented audiences based on income or demographics such as location. That luxury car might be marketed to the income segment for its high-end finishes and luxury touches, whereas maybe the segment who live in colder climates get messaging about heated seats and remote start options.


SEM, or search engine marketing, is a paid digital marketing strategy designed to bolster a company's website presence in search engine results. Ads are purchased that put a company's website at the top of a list of sites that a search engine returns after a user has entered keywords. The organic search results will follow the companies listed at the top, who have paid for that position. This can be a valuable form of advertising since a company's ad will only be shown to someone searching for your brand or service.


SIC codes, or standard industrial classification codes are four-digit numbers assigned by the U.S. government to every company based on its primary line of business. SIC codes were created in 1937, but replaced by NAICS codes in 1997, according to Marketers use the SIC and more recently the NAICS system to classify target industry segments and identify potential prospects. By utilizing these codes, marketers can gather data about potential customers, compare industry details from revenue to employee size and ultimately see better conversions and even an increase in ROI.

Simple Linear Regression

Regression modeling is a mathematical method of mapping out the relationship between independent and dependent variables by using a line to measure trends among data points. Simple Linear Regression is used when only one independent variable is present. With multiple independent variables, multiple linear regression is used.


Third-Party Data

Unlike first- and second-party data where a company has either had direct contact with a consumer or has done so through a trusted partner, third-party data is simply information about a consumer that is acquired from an organization having no direct affiliation with a particular company or brand. Often, third-party data can include information about a consumer that has been compiled from multiple sources. This data is compiled by tracing a consumer's habits across the internet, oftentimes providing a more complete picture of interests and purchasing habits than first-party data.


A touchpoint is any time a consumer comes in contact with your brand over the course of the buyer journey. Examples of common touchpoints are social media posts, website clicks, email messaging, search engine searches or even online reviews. Touchpoints are a very important aspect to consider when studying the customer journey to ensure that every possible interaction with your brand has been the best it can be. The best way to determine crucial touchpoints is to map the customer journey.


Unique Selling Proposition

A unique selling proposition, or USP, is the one key element that makes one product or service better than the competition. For example, a Southwest Visa credit card offers points that can be redeemed for air travel on Southwest Airlines. No other credit card has that same unique selling proposition. This is a key element for marketers to determine and use in promotion of a product or service, since so many markets have multiple competitors and the product isn't always incredibly unique. Fast food restaurants are a good example. There are dozens of them, but Burger King found its USP when it created the tagline "Have it your way" playing up burger customization, which is something the competition either didn't offer, or didn't promote as an option.

Unique Visitors

A unique visitor is a term used in digital analytics that refers to a person who visits a website. If a visitor goes to a website, leaves and comes back, they are only counted once and are considered a unique visitor. Unique visitors are different from total visitors, which is a count of how many times a site was accessed. Unique visitors (or unique users) are determined by the user's computer IP address and are a key metric when analyzing website traffic during a certain period of time.


Upselling is a sales technique used to encourage a shopper to upgrade to a bigger, better or more expensive version of what they originally intended to purchase. Everyone has been involved in an upsell situation. Maybe you are shopping for an iPhone and you are looking at the iPhone 12. The salesperson might also show you the iPhone 13 and point out its advantages over the 12 in an effort to upsell you to the newer model. This technique is used to increase sales revenue by a company or brand by generating more money per sale.

User Experience

User experience, often also referred to as UX, is an overall snapshot of a consumer's experience or interaction with a brand or company and its services and products. This measurement can range from how a company's website functions to how a salesperson was on the phone or in a store, what the ambiance of the retail store was like, how a product functioned or how the company handled a return or exchange. In order for a company to aim for a positive user experience, it's important to understand what type of experience your users want -- and then strive to meet and exceed that.


Web Analytics

Web analytics are the benchmark for the collection, analysis and reporting of data collected from website traffic. Once goals are set for website traffic, those goals are measured against web analytics collected over a pre-determined amount of time. Goals can range from unique visitors to a site, total number of visitors to a site or even page views or duration that a user stays on a site. All of that type of information is readily available and can be compared month to month or year over year to see if marketing efforts aimed at improving those numbers are working.


Zero-Party Data

Zero-party data can often be confused with first-party data because like first-party, zero-party is information a consumer willingly chooses to share with a company or brand. But zero-party data transcends first-party data in that it often includes another layer of detailed information such as communication preferences or interests and more personal context which can drive personalization of marketing campaigns to a whole new level. This level of detail is important to a marketer because it assumes a level of trust the consumer has in a brand to be willing to share such precise detail. Smart marketers use this consumer intel to their advantage and create spot-on, targeted, customer-focused marketing.