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60 Marketing Terms and Business Acronyms Everyone Should Know

60 Marketing Terms and Business Acronyms Everyone Should Know

Check out this brief dictionary of the most common marketing and marketing-related terms and business acronyms/abbreviations.

A collage image of many marketing symbols representing marketing terms and business acronyms and abbreviations.

The marketing industry is packed with terminology that only marketers understand, yet marketing articles intended for those new to marketing are filled with specialized marketing terms and business acronyms. Professional marketers tend to forget that what’s obvious to them might not be obvious to others.

But non-marketers, especially writers, visual artists, and musicians, need to market themselves; step one is understanding what everything means. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a dictionary of the most common marketing terms and business acronyms. Now, the next time you’re reading a marketing article, you’ll be in-the-know when it comes to the lingo.

ABM: Account-Based Marketing

A strategic approach to business marketing in which an organization considers and communicates with individual prospect or customer accounts as markets of one.

AI: Artificial Intelligence in Marketing

The use of AI technologies to automate decisions based on data collection, analysis, and additional observations of audience or economic trends that may impact marketing efforts.

B2B: Business-to-Business

This business abbreviation is used for companies whose customers are other companies.

B2C: Business-to-Consumer

This business abbreviation is used for companies whose customers are consumers (i.e. individuals, not companies).

Bounce Rate

The percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.

CAC: Customer Acquisition Cost

This business abbreviation describes the cost associated with convincing a customer to buy a product/service.


The “Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act” is the United States national standards act for controlling the distribution of commercial email. You must comply with CAN-SPAM if you are sending commercial emails to people in the United States.

CASL: Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation

Canada’s legislation for the regulation of commercial electronic messages. If you are sending commercial electronic messages (which is more than just email and includes things like text messages, for example) to or from Canada then you must follow CASL.


AI-based technology used on websites to chat and interact with site visitors.

CPC: Cost-per-click

Similar to the marketing term PPC; some ads are charged a cost-per-click rate.

CLV/CV: Customer Lifetime Value

The profit a company expects to earn over the entirety of their business relationship with a customer.

CMO: Chief Marketing Officer

A CMO is a high-ranking executive responsible for overseeing the marketing activities of an organization. Their primary role involves developing and executing marketing strategies to enhance brand recognition, market positioning, and customer engagement.

Content Marketing

A strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience.

Conversion Funnel

The journey a consumer takes through an Internet advertising or search system, navigating an e-commerce website and finally converting to a sale.

CPC: Cost-per-click

A pricing model used in online advertising where advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked.

CPM: Cost-per-thousand

An advertisement where the cost is calculated based on impressions. Most ads charge based on clicks, but some charged based on impressions, and some charge for both simultaneously. An impression is counted when an ad appears where someone can see it.

CRM: Customer Relationship Management

The approach to manage interactions with customers and prospects, often using data analysis about customers’ history with a company to improve business relationships. CRM technology allows a company to manage and streamline all their interactions and processes including customer data, leads, contracts, marketing automation, partner portals, training, and more.

CSS: Cascading style sheets

A style sheet language used for describing the presentation of a document written in HTML or XML. These sheets define the formatting styles that are to appear on HTML-based pages. CSS controls the formatting across all your webpages and posts. Instead of writing formatting code into the HTML of each individual page, you write it once into your CSS.

CTA: Call-to-Action

This very common business acronym describes the main action that a particular piece of promotion is asking people to take, typically using an imperative verb such as “call now”, “find out more” or “visit a store today”. For example, a promotional email’s CTA might be to get people to subscribe to a mailing list.

CTR: Click-through-rate

The percentage of people who clicked on your email, webpage or ad relative to the total who could have clicked. For example, 100 people and 10 of them click, then you have a 10% CTR. Similarly, if 100 people saw your ad and 10 people clicked, your CTR would also be 10%.

CTRO: Click-through-rate-on-open

The percentage of people who clicked on your email out of the total number of people who opened it. For example, if 100 people were sent your email, 40 people opened your email, and 10 people clicked, then your CTRO is 25%.

DA: Domain Authority

A search engine ranking score that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs).

DM: Direct Marketing, Direct Mail, or Direct Message

This business acronym stands for 3 different marketing terms, each a form of direct communication with customers, either through physical mail, digital messaging, or social media platforms. The use of this business acronym depends on the context in which it is used.

Direct Marketing: Promoting targeted messaging directly to a target customer (someone you think will be interested in your offering based on some key information you have about them) with the goal of getting them to take an action. (Direct Marketing messages speak to people directly in some way, such as when members of a writing organization receive an email telling them about a new writing website they should subscribe to).

Direct Mail: Advertising that is sent to a prospect or customer via postal mail.

Direct Messages: Private messages sent through Twitter.

EEAT: Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness

Guidelines used by Google’s quality raters to assess content creators, webpages, and websites.

Email Marketing

The act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email.

Engagement Rate

A metric that measures the level of engagement that a piece of created content is receiving from an audience.

FOMO Marketing

A type of marketing that taps into people’s fear of missing out (FOMO) on fun or rewarding experiences.

GA: Google Analytics

A web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic.


The practice of delivering content or advertisements to a user based on their geographic locations.

Hashtag Campaign

A marketing initiative intended to drive engagement and brand awareness by encouraging people to use a specific hashtag.

HTML: Hypertext Markup Language

This business abbreviation represents a standard markup language for documents designed to be displayed in a web browser. In simpler terms, this is a text-based structure for describing the contents of webpages.

Influencer Marketing

A marketing strategy that involves endorsing products by influencers, people who have a large following on social media platforms.

IP Targeting

A method that delivers advertisements to a specific IP address.

KPI: Key Performance Indicator

A performance measurement used to evaluate how an organization is meeting key objectives.

Landing Page Optimization

The process of enhancing elements on a website to increase conversions.

Marketing Automation

Software that automates marketing actions or tasks, streamlines marketing workflows, and measures the outcomes of marketing campaigns.

Organic Search 

The non-paid search results that appear when a keyword is entered.

OR: Open-rate

The percentage of people who opened your email relative to the total who were sent the email.


The practice of creating a one-to-one experience on a website or app by tailoring content and the user experience.

PPC: Pay-per-click

Similar meaning to CPC; a digital marketing model in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked.

PR: Public Relations, Press Release

Techniques used to manage the spread of information between an individual or an organization and the public.

Public Relations: A set of tactics employed by marketers to maintain their image and relationship with the public and the media.

Press Release: A communication distributed to the media with the goal of announcing something specific and newsworthy.

QR Code Marketing

The use of QR Codes in marketing strategies, often to direct users to a particular webpage.


A form of online advertising that enables sites to show targeted ads to users who have already visited their site; these ads are shown after an individual has left the advertisors site while they’re surfing on other parts of the web. Google and Facebook both offer remarketing programs.

Responsive Design

An approach to web design that makes web pages render well on a variety of devices and window or screen sizes.

ROI: Return On Investment

A common business abbreviation for a measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or compare the efficiency of a number of different investments. ROI is typically shown as a percentage and determines the return on an investment, relative to the cost. For example, how much did you spend on an ad and how much did you make as a result? You can calculate ROI using this formula: ROI = (Profit / Cost) x 100

Retargeting Ads

Online ad placements or display ads that target users who have interacted with your online presence, but have not yet converted.

SaaS: Software-as-a-Service

This business acronym stands for a cloud-based software delivery model where applications are hosted online and accessed via the internet. It’s typically subscription-based, eliminating the need for local installation and maintenance.

SEM: Search Engine Marketing

A form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages primarily through paid advertising. This is also often referred to as the marketing term “Paid Search”.

SEO: Search Engine Optimization

A common business abbreviation for the process of optimizing a website to rank higher in search engine results pages and attract organic search traffic.

SERP: Search Engine Results Page

The page displayed by a search engine in response to a query by a searcher.

SLA: Service-Level Agreement

A common business abbreviation for a formal document that defines a service relationship between a service provider and the customer. It details the nature, quality, and scope of the service to be provided.

SMM: Social Media Marketing

Techniques that target social networks and applications to spread brand awareness or promote particular products.

SMS Marketing

Sending promotional campaigns or transactional messages for marketing purposes using text messages (SMS messages).

UGC: User-Generated Content

Content created by users of an online system or service, often made available via social media websites.

UX: User Experience

A common business abbreviation for the overall experience a user has when interacting with a website or digital product, focusing on ease of use, accessibility, and efficiency.

UI: User Interface

The graphical layout of an application, including buttons, menus, and any other elements a user interacts with.


An online seminar or workshop, often used for educational, training, or marketing purposes.

XML Sitemap

A file that helps search engines understand your website while crawling it. You can upload this type of file to search engines to help them index your site.

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