basic marketing terms

10 Basic Marketing terms that are more simple than they seem

In Digital Marketing, we often talk about lead generation, customer acquisition, organic growth, and other bizarre terms that might scare people away or just bore them to death. But don’t worry! You won’t have to call an exorcist if your company is planning to perform an A/B Testing for the new Inbound Marketing campaign designed to capture B2B leads. Today, we will see 10 basic Marketing terms that are actually more simple than they seem.

So, without any intention to celebrate Halloween earlier this year, let’s take a look at the last phrase again:

Your company is planning to perform an A/B Testing for the new Inbound Marketing campaign designed to capture B2B leads. 

Okay, so the said company is designing an Inbound Marketing campaign. Inbound Marketing refers to all Marketing efforts that we do to make potential customers come to us voluntarily. Or find us on their own terms when they need a product like ours.

An example of this can be a blog or another type of content that is not designed to outwardly push the brand to your audience. Instead, you provide the content so they can find you when they need you.

This is the opposite of Outbound Marketing, in which the company initiates the conversation by sending a message to the audience. An example of this can be a TV commercial or the so-called “cold-calling”, in which the person is not necessarily looking for your product.

Next on our list of basic Marketing terms is A/B testing.

A/B Testing is a very fancy term that really just describes the testing of two slightly different versions of the same thing. It can be a Marketing campaign, a page, a social media ad, anything. Not sure whether the background of this image should be in green or red?

You want to launch an ad on Facebook, but don’t know if people would like a video or an illustrated banner? Maybe you are wondering if people want to read more or less information on your web page?

Well, you do A/B testing to find out which works best. In other words, you put your doubts to test and let users decide what are their preferences.

basic marketing terms - a/b testing

Source: Optimizely

The next word on our basic Marketing terms list is leads.

A lead literally means a potential client. Someone who has shown interest in your product or business. It could be because they submitted a form on your web, watched a video, or requested more info about your product.

In other words, generating potential leads really just means identifying clients that are interested, or might be interested in your product or service.

B2B is the abbreviation of Business-to-Business. Which, in this case, refers to the fact that your clients are other companies, not individual customers. A B2C strategy, or Business-to-Consumer, means that you are selling directly to individuals instead of companies.

So let’s try to rephrase the above statement:

Your company is planning to test different versions of the new Marketing campaign designed to attract potential business clients.

Doesn’t sound that scary anymore, right? Do you see how the statement becomes more clear depending on the choice of words?

Disclaimer: My purpose is not to oversimplify Marketing concepts! Just to show you that they are not as complicated as they sometimes may seem.

Huh, that was a long intro! Thank you for bearing with me.

Now, let’s go ahead and decipher 7 basic Marketing terms that don’t let you sleep at night:

1. Bounce Rate

basic marketing terms - bounce rate

The fancy definition: Bounce rate is a Marketing term used in web traffic analytics. It refers to the percentage of visitors that leave the website without interacting with any element on it.

The simple definition: the percentage of people that arrive to your website, see that there is nothing interesting to do there, and leave. They don’t click on anything, don’t go to other pages, just take a quick look and vanish into thin air. Oops! Maybe your landing page needs a bit of improvement.

But wait! What is a landing page?

2. Landing page

basic marketing terms - landing page

The fancy definition: a specific webpage within your website that serves as an entry point in response to clicking on an ad or a search engine result.

The simple definition: a page to which you arrive after clicking on an ad or a Google search result. In other words, ”the page where you landed on”. It is usually a standalone web page created specifically for a Marketing or an Advertising campaign, and you can’t reach it from the website.

3. Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

key performance indicator

The fancy definition: a type of performance measurement used to track Marketing goals and evaluate the success of an activity.

The simple definition: an indicator that helps you track the completion of your goals. For example, a KPI can be your number of followers on Instagram, or the likes that you got on a post. In Marketing campaigns, it can be your cost per lead. 

In other words, it is a specific metric that you choose to help you measure your progress. Did you get from 500 to 1000 followers on Instagram in one month? You know this by looking at your Key Performance Indicator, which in this case are your followers.

4. Conversion

Image result for conversion flat icon

The fancy definition: according to MarketingSherpa, a conversion is the point at which a recipient of a marketing message performs a desired action.

The simple definition: did your visitor download your e-book, subscribed to your newsletter, or requested more info about your product by submitting a form? It means that he “converted“! A conversion is simply getting your users to do a specific action on your website. And it is up to you decide what a conversion will mean for you and your business.

What one company defines as a conversion might be different for another one.

5. Search Engine Optimization

Related image

The fancy definition: the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the first pages of a search engine.

The simple definition: a set of best practices that you do to make your website show up on the first pages of Google. And thus, easy to find by potential customers when they are searching for content or product like yours. For more information, you can take a look at my article Introduction to SEO for Beginners. 

   6. Inbound Marketing

Related image

The fancy definition: the process of attracting the attention of qualified prospects via content creation, and converting them into leads and customers.

The simple definition: the Marketing actions that you take to make people come to you because they are already interested in your product or service. In other words – they found your content, they liked it, and they want to learn more!

When you provide valuable content through your blog, social media channels, and branding, your potential customers will come to you because they trust you and like what you’re doing. This is what Inbound Marketing is all about. Providing value through expertise instead of running after your potential buyers screaming “Buy me! I’m the best”!

It is opposed to Outbound Marketing, where you will have to reach for your customers and initiate a conversation with them even though they didn’t show any previous interest.

    7. Real-time bidding

Image result for bounce rate icon

The fancy definition: a means by which advertising inventory is bought and sold on a per-impression basis, via programmatic instantaneous auction, similar to financial markets. (Wikipedia)

The simple definition: let’s say that you go on Google and search for ”red dresses for Saint Valentine’s day”. At the moment you press Enter, all companies that sell red dresses will ”compete” for your attention by trying to appear as high as possible on the first page of Google.

Google decides which ads will appear first by taking into account the maximum price that companies will pay for a click, and the quality of  their ad. This all this happens within miliseconds! That’s how the real-time bidding system works. I explain it in detail in my post Search Engine Marketing for beginners.

8. Cost per Lead

cost per lead

One of the most important basic Marketing terms that you will come across is the so-called Cost per Lead. In order to explain, first we will have to understand what a lead is:


The fancy definition: according to Tableau, a Marketing qualified lead is an individual or a company that has indicated interest in a brand’s products, and is more likely to become a customer than other individuals.

The simple definition: a lead is simply someone who is showing interest in your product or service. It could be because he called your company, sent an email, or simply left his contact data by voluntarily submitting a form. It is often a synonym to conversion, which we already explained previously.

9. Call to Action (CTA)

Undoubtedly, one of the most popular basic Marketing terms that you might hear everywhere in the Digital Marketing world is the Call to Action.

The fancy definition: according to Wikipedia, a Call to Action is a “marketing term that refers to any device designed to prompt an immediate response or encourage an immediate sale”.

The simple definition: to put it simply, a CTA is any link, image or button with a clear message on what the person should do next (after seeing your ad). For example, in a button that says “Buy now”, the Call to Action would be that the customer buys the product right after seeing the ad. Other CTAs could be “Download our brochure” or “Request a Quote” – they all encourage a specific action from the customer.

10. Engagement Rate

The fancy definition: in social media, an engagement rate is a metric used to measure the amount of user interaction from created content or a brand campaign.

The simple definition: engagement rate is the amount of shares, comments, and likes that a social media post receives from the company’s followers. Higher engagement rate means that your audience resonate with your content.

This metric is calculated in percentage by using this formula:

engagement rate - basic marketing terms

I hope you liked this article! As I already explained, my intention is not to oversimplify Marketing concepts, but to show you that they are not as scary as they initially sound. If you liked the idea, I will be happy to make Part 2!


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