Glossary – General Marketing

A/B Testing

Randomly showing a visitor one version of a page – (A) version or (B) version – and tracking the changes in behavior based on which version they saw. (A) version is normally your existing design (“control” in statistics lingo); and (B) version is the  “challenger” with one copy or design element changed.


Information resulting from the systematic analysis of data or statistics gathered from marketing activity such as email marketing, landing page A/B testing, or Google AdWords purchases.


Determining which part of a marketing campaign had the greatest effect on the consumer. If someone buys a car, attribution helps the automaker understand when the person made the decision.

B2B (Business-to-Business)

An adjective used to describe companies that sell to other businesses. For example, Google and Oracle are primarily B2B companies.

Behavioral Targeting

Use of information collected on an individual’s web-browsing behavior, such as the pages they have visited or the searched they have made, to select which advertisements to display to that individual.

Big Data

A term applied to data sets whose size is beyond the ability of commonly used software tools to capture, manage, and process the data within a tolerable elapsed time.

Call to Action (CTA)

A phrase included within an ad, or a graphic element such as a button, which invited the audience to take a certain action.

CAN-SPAM Act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing

A U.S. law passed in 2003 that establishes the rules for commercial email and commercial messages, it gives recipients the right to have a business stop emailing them.

Conversion Rate

The percentage of unique visitors to a website that are “converted” into customers, users, or leads.

Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA)

Evaluating the total expected costs against the total expected benefits of a promotion.

Customer Profile

A description of a customer or set of customers that includes demographic, geographic, and psychographic characteristics, as well as buying patterns, creditworthiness, and purchase history.


A compilation of information on current and prospective customers that generally includes demographic and psychographic data as well as purchase history and a record of brand contacts.

Direct Marketing

A form of advertising that allows businesses to communicate straight to the customer.

DSP (Demand-side platform)

A system that allows marketers and agencies to bid for and purchase digital ads from multiple ad exchanges, through one single interface.

Earned Media

Media placement that is not paid for and attained organically – includes search engine results, social media buzz, and press coverage.

Key Words

Sometimes referred to as “keyword phrases,” are the topics that webpages get indexed for in search results by engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

Marketers look at KPIs to track progress toward marketing goals.


A highly visual piece of content that is very popular among digital marketers as a way of relaying complex concepts in a simple and visual way.


The number of times your ad was viewed.


A potential customer contact.


People who are not the exact ones a brand wants to target with an ad, but look and act like them in certain ways, suggesting an openness to the brand’s sales pitch.

LTV (Lifetime customer value)

A prediction of the net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer.

Multi-Channel Marketing

The practice of using multiple channels to reach customers including: retail store; website; direct mail; email; mail order catalog; mobile; etc.

Omni-Channel Marketing

Ensures that regardless of how or when you interact with a company, all platforms work in harmony and are integrated.

Owned Content

Content created or curated by the marketer to promote the marketer’s message to the target audience; typically consists of blog posts, social media posts and images and any message that proceeds out of the marketer’s company.

Paid Content

Content pushed out by the marketer via any paid means such as Facebook ads, Google AdWords, Twitter Ads, or banner (display) ads.


The ideal compilation of all the traits of the “perfect” user or customer for a marketer’s product or service.

Programmatic Media Buying

An automated method of buying media which ensures that advertisers are reaching the right person, at the right time, in the right place.


The technology, driven by web browser cookies, that enables a marketer to continually put a digital message in front of a user who has visited the marketer’s web property.

Responsive Design

A style of web design in which the code allows the layout to adjust to the possible different screen sizes the users may view it on such as desktop, smartphone, or tablet.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

The process of improving the volume of traffic to a website or a web page (such as a blog)  from search engines via “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”). The theory is that the higher a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine.

SSP (Sell-side platform)

While marketers use DSPs to buy digital ads, publishers use SSPs to sell them. Publishers use SSPs to offer inventory to ad exchanges, networks, trading desks-anywhere that has a pool of demand.

1st party data

This is the good stuff, the richest source of insight into your ideal customer—data that’s collected, owned, and managed by your organization. It’s the data collected by you, from your audience and customers, and stored in your systems.

So, technically, it should be the easiest to learn from and activate. But if you can’t tie the data in all your siloed systems (like your marketing platforms, CRMs, POS systems, ERPs, contact center databases, etc.) back to real people, it’s not so easy to tap into.

2nd party data

This is data that consumers provide to another company that—with the consumer’s notification and consent—you may access through a partnership agreement. Put another way, it’s someone else’s first-party data.

For instance, you could broker a deal with an airline to share loyalty card data to improve your targeting.