January 2, 2020

55 Key Marketing Terms You Should Know in 2020

22 min read

Written by: Guido Bartolacci  |  Share:

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We’ve compiled a list of marketing terms we feel any marketer should know as we move into 2020. You may already be familiar with some, or even most, of these terms since many of them are not new. That doesn’t mean they are any less relevant, however. 

Here are the marketing terms you should know moving forward:

55 Marketing Terms You Should Know in 2020

To help you comb through these terms, we've split them into the following categories:

Big Picture Marketing Terms

Metrics

Tech and Operations

The Funnel

Product Marketing and Product-Led Growth

Web Strategy and SEO

Big Picture Marketing Terms

1. Digital marketing

Digital marketing is any form of communication aiming to persuade people to purchase a product or service that occurs through some form of digital device.

At New Breed, we classify marketing efforts as “digital marketing” when they occur through an internet-connected tool.

2. Brand positioning

Brand positioning is the way you differentiate yourself from your competitors and how consumers identify and connect with your brand. It’s comprised of the key qualities and values that are synonymous with your company.

Brand positioning can be conveyed through a variety of means including tone and voice, visual design and the way your company represents itself in person and on social media.

3. Brand awareness

Brand awareness is the extent to which people are able to recall and recognize your brand. It has two components: brand recall, which is a measure of how well a brand name is connected to a product class (e.g. Do customers know that Toyota is connected with the product class of cars?), and brand recognition, which is when a consumer recognizes a brand by its attributes (i.e. a company’s logo or brand colors). 

Brand awareness encompasses more than its component parts, however. Brand awareness constitutes a scenario when customers can see your brand or product and know that you provide the best solution to their problem.

4. Demand generation

Demand generation encompasses — you guessed it! — generating demand for your product or service. More formally, it is the data-driven focus of marketing programs to produce awareness and interest in a company's offerings through the use of technology.

Download the Essential Guide to Demand Generation to learn the essentials of  deploying this powerful strategy within your business.

5. Inbound marketing

Inbound marketing is a customer-centric approach that focuses on drawing high-fit customers in as opposed to blasting your message to anyone and everyone.

Through tactics like blogging, social media and SEO, inbound marketing attracts customers to your company using helpful, relevant content. Inbound tactics will continue to help your company grow after you’ve finished investing in them (unlike outbound tactics like paid ads or call lists), providing scalable long-term ROI.

6. Lead nurturing

Lead nurturing is the process of educating and building trust with your prospects in order to guide them through the buyer’s journey. The ultimate goal of lead nurturing is to provide your prospects with a unique experience that keeps them coming back for more — and eventually converts them into customers.

7. Flywheel

Introduced in 2018, the flywheel represents a shift in how marketers think about B2B marketing success. The flywheel places customers at the center of a business and highlights the opportunity for repeat business through relationship building and customer service engagement. It represents how you keeping your customers coming back leads to the success of your company.

8. Buyer persona

Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers.

Buyer personas should include demographic, psychographic and behavioral information, and they tend to go more in-depth about the role and influence these people have within their companies, emphasizing their goals and motivations.

9. Ideal customer profile (ICP)

An ideal customer profile is a hypothetical description of the type of company that would reap the most benefit from your product or solution. These companies tend to have the quickest, most successful sales cycle, the greatest customer retention rates and the highest number of evangelists for your brand.

10. Sales enablement

Sales enablement is a combination of coaching, tools and content to help your sales team be more efficient and effective. Your sales team needs to be properly enabled to carry out a successful sales strategy. 

By providing key elements of sales enablement, you allow your team to work better within an inbound sales process so that they can provide contextually relevant information, carry out helpful conversations and see — in real-time — which of their efforts are working.

11. Account-based marketing (ABM)

Account-based marketing (ABM) is an approach to marketing that flips traditional marketing on its head. Rather than developing buyer personas and then casting a wide net to attract those personas to your brand, ABM focuses on finding ways to engage with people from targeted accounts based on your ideal customer profile (ICP).

ABM is all about sending tailored messages to targeted accounts. Marketing will fuel the strategies behind a successful ABM approach, and sales will provide insight regarding the impact of the interactions marketing is having with the targeted accounts.

12. Contextual marketing

Contextual marketing is a strategy that’s guided by the behaviors and conditions surrounding your marketing efforts so all content is relevant to the person receiving it.

To deliver contextually relevant information, you need to understand the psychographics of your buyer personas to know how to speak to them and what content will resonate with them.

13. Word-of-mouth marketing (WOM)

Word-of-mouth marketing (WOM) is the oral or written advocacy of a good or service from a satisfied customer (or evangelist) to a prospective customer. It’s widely considered to be the most effective form of promotion.

Metrics

14. Churn rate

Churn rate is a measurement used to calculate customer retention and is significant for recurring revenue companies. It helps companies identify how many customers they lose in a given time period. 

To calculate churn rate, you divide the number of customers lost during a time period by the number of customers you had at the beginning of the time period.

15. Customer acquisition

Customer acquisition refers to all of the steps, processes and resources involved in attracting a first-time customer to your business.

Brand awareness, lead generation, product marketing, nurturing and sales strategies all fall under the umbrella of customer acquisition — but the concept of customer acquisition stops as soon as your prospects officially close as a customer.

16. Customer acquisition cost (CAC)

Customer acquisition cost is exactly what it sounds like — the cost associated with turning a lead into a customer. CAC is typically expressed as the ratio:

money_spent_on_acquiring_customers_divided_by_the_number_of_customers_that_you_acquired_in_the_time_period_that_money_was_spent

17. Cost per lead (CPL)

Cost per lead refers to the amount spent on acquiring a lead. This cost is factored heavily into CAC. The most common use case for cost per lead can be found in paid advertising where there is a direct correlation between the amount of money you are spending in something like Google Ads, and the number of leads you are generating from that spend.

18. Key performance indicator (KPI)

Key Performance Indicators are used to track progress towards marketing goals. By setting the right KPIs for your business, you can continuously evaluate performance and make adjustments to optimize your marketing strategy.

Leading performance indicators (LPIs) and tactical performance indicators (TPIs) can help you understand which specific efforts are propelling you toward your goals.

19. Customer lifetime value (CLV)

The Customer lifetime value is the predicted net profit associated with the future relationship with that customer. 

To calculate CLV:

customer_revenue_minus_gross_margin_divided_by_churn_rate

20. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The Net Promoter Score measures how likely someone would be to recommend your company to others on a 1–10 scale. Using this customer satisfaction metric, you can easily identify how loyal your customers are and divide them into three categories: promoters (9+), passives (7–8), and detractors (0–6). 

Checking your NPS regularly allows you to identify ways to improve your product or service. NPS and “Net Promoter Score” are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.

21. Growth marketing

Growth Marketing is the process of designing and conducting experiments to optimize and improve the results of a target area. If you have a certain metric you want to increase, growth marketing is a method you can utilize to achieve that.

Growth marketing can be applied across your business to areas referenced within the acronym AAARRR (sometimes referred to as pirate metrics) which stands for Awareness, Acquisition, Activation, Revenue, Retention and Referral. By improving these categories of metrics, you can grow over time.

Tech and Operations

22. Tech stack (software stack)

A tech stack, also called a software stack, is the set of technology and software an organization uses to run their business. For most businesses, that probably involves having a CMS, CRM software, sales acceleration tool, marketing automation platform and project management program.

It also includes any integrations and servers you need to operate the platforms in tandem.

23. CRM

CRM (customer relationship management) software is more than a contact database; it's a sales acceleration tool that identifies business insights and analytics. It's a comprehensive and easily accessible platform that houses the sales process.

The main feature associated with CRM software is its ability to hold contact information, such as names, phone numbers, emails and other records related to a given contact. It can associate individual contacts with their companies so salespeople can track their interactions with every stakeholder.

Popular examples include HubSpot, Salesforce and Zoho.

24. CMS

A CMS (content management system) is a software that allows marketers to create, design, host, edit, manage and track the performance of all of their website content. 

Popular examples include HubSpot, WordPress and Squarespace.

25. Marketing automation

In a nutshell, marketing automation refers to software that is designed to automate your marketing tasks. It's centered around nurturing leads through the buying process by leveraging targeted content that addresses your prospect's needs when they want it. Basically, you're sending them information based on their behavior which is much more powerful than just blasting out emails to everyone.

Overall, marketing automation software allows marketers to streamline various tasks, boost their overall efficiency, draw key insights and drive ROI.

26. Marketing operations

Marketing operations is everything that happens in your marketing automation and CRM platforms to enable the delivery of the right message at the right time to people who are interested in your products and services. 

Marketing operations lives behind the scenes. For example, while marketing operations specialists aren’t sending emails, they’re making sure they’re sent to the right person.

27. Sales operations

Sales operations is everything that happens in your CRM and sales acceleration platforms to enable your sales team to communicate effectively with clients and control their sales process.

Like marketing operations, it lives behind the scenes, supporting your sales team’s execution of strategy and objectives.

28. Services operations

Service operations includes management of all the workflows, tools and processes required to maintain and improve the overall customer experience.

It includes implementation, management and adoption of CRMs, ticket management, automated campaigns, product usage, knowledge base content and customer feedback.

29. Revenue operations

Revenue operations is the alignment of marketing, sales and service to drive accountability and increase efficiency across your business. The goal of revenue operations is to provide more predictable outcomes and accelerate your company’s growth by organizing people, data and processes to help your business run more effectively.

The Funnel

30. Top of the funnel (TOFU)

Even though the flywheel has arrived, the funnel still represents how you turn prospects into customers. The top of the funnel refers to the first stages of the buying process. During this stage, buyers are becoming aware that they have an issue and are looking for more information. Whether it's subscribing to a blog or watching a video, you want to have helpful content that prompts visitors to take the desired next steps.

31. Middle of the funnel (MOFU)

The middle of the funnel represents the middle stage of the buying process. Buyers have identified that they have a problem and are continuing to do more research; however, now they are looking at content, such as a case study, that brings your business in as a solution to the problem they are trying to solve.

This is also where responsibility for leads is typically transferred from marketing to sales.

32. Bottom of the funnel (BOFU)

The bottom of the funnel represents the last stage of the buying process. This is when the buyer has identified a problem, researched possible solutions and is getting ready to buy. At this stage, buyers are typically requesting either a free demo or consultation & beginning a conversation with a sales rep.

33. Marketing qualified lead (MQL)

A marketing qualified lead (MQL) is the third of six lifecycle stages in the buyer’s journey. MQLs indicate the number of visitors you’ve converted who are good fits for your organization.

When a company confirms a lead is a good fit, that lead becomes an MQL. Once a lead becomes an MQL, the company works to further qualify the contact and nurture them down the funnel.

34. Sales qualified lead (SQL)

A sales qualified lead (SQL) is the fourth of six lifecycle stages (occurring right after the MQL stage) in the buyer’s journey. An MQL is characterized as an SQL when sales agrees with marketing that the contact has demonstrated enough interest and is a good enough fit to initiate a sales conversation. 

The SQL stage also happens to be both one of the most important and most difficult stages for a company to define because it’s where the marketing-to-sales handoff occurs.

35. Conversation qualified lead (CQL)

Conversational marketing and chatbots are becoming increasingly important in today's marketing landscape. A Conversation Qualified Lead is someone who has expressed interest in buying via a conversation with an employee or a bot. These leads are coming to you with specific questions that they want answers to in real-time.

36. Customer journey

The customer journey is a way of tracking a customer’s experience with your company from a visitor’s first interaction through when they sign a deal. It’s a framework for a greater philosophy of client nurturing. 

The customer journey is not one-size-fits-all. What the overarching framework will look like depends on numerous factors, including your industry, sales cycle and product or service.

“By providing the right segmentation, by triggering the right actions in an approach to proactively progress your relationships, it allows you to be responsive to your client,” says New Breed’s Client Success Manager, Dylan Berno.

37. Buyer’s journey

The buyer’s journey is the progression that a contact follows when researching and purchasing a product. It starts with the awareness stage, when buyers realize they have a problem, moves to the consideration stage, when they evaluate different solutions to that problem, and concludes with the decision stage, when they decide which contender best aligns with their needs and objectives and purchase it. 

The buyer’s journey differs from the customer journey because not every prospective buyer becomes a customer. Individuals might go through some of the buyer’s journey stages without ever making a purchase.

38. Multi-touch revenue attribution

Multi-touch revenue attribution is the process of organizing, collecting and cataloguing all of the interactions that occur as an individual decides to make a purchase with your company. It helps businesses understand how their marketing is contributing to the company’s bottom line, giving marketers the credit they deserve for their efforts.

Product Marketing and Product-Led Growth

39. Product marketing

Product marketing is the process of bringing a specific product to market and ensuring that that product is successful.

As a product marketer, your job entails guiding a product’s internal strategy. It is your duty to enable all of the marketing activities surrounding the product within your organization.

40. Go-to-market (GTM) strategy

A go-to-market (GTM) strategy is a plan specifying how you will present your product’s unique value proposition so you can reach your customers and achieve a competitive advantage. The purpose of a GTM strategy is to provide a roadmap for launching a product in a way that will achieve product-market fit — the end goal of your launch.

41. Product-market fit

When your product fulfills a market’s needs, you achieve product-market fit. Product-market fit occurs at the intersection of the introduction and growth stages of the product lifecycle

In order to obtain product-market fit, you first need to create a minimum viable product (MVP).

42. Minimum viable product (MVP)

A minimum viable product (MVP) is an offering that has enough features to initially satisfy your target market. 

Producing an MVP is the end goal of the product development stage (which precedes the introduction stage) of the product lifecycle. Your GTM strategy is essentially a blueprint outlining how you will introduce your MVP.

43. Total addressable market (TAM)

Total addressable market (TAM) is the amount of potential revenue your company could earn if everyone with a demand for your product or service actually bought it. 

For most companies, the amount of achievable revenue is nowhere near TAM, but understanding your total market can help inform how to define the target market you’ll focus your marketing and sales strategy toward.

44. Product-led growth (PLG)

Product-Led Growth is a strategy coined by OpenView Venture Partners that relies on product features and usage as the primary drivers of customer acquisition and retention. It leverages a free product for initial usage and begins enforcing paywalls only after value has been delivered to users.

45. Product qualified lead (PQL)

A Product Qualified Lead is someone who has tried your product and indicated purchase interest through their usage. These leads tend to close at a higher rate since they have already interacted with your product.

Web Strategy and SEO

46. Lead generation website

A lead generation website’s primary objective is to educate your visitors on your product or service and the industry you operate within. On top of that, it should give visitors the opportunity to provide qualitative information to your sales team, helping your organization capture qualified leads for your product or service.

47. Conversion rate

Simply put, conversion rate is the ratio between the number of people that complete the desired action on a given web page and the number of people that visit that web page. That desired action could include filling out a form on a landing page or clicking a CTA on a blog post.

48. Conversion rate optimization (CRO)

Based on the principles of the scientific method, conversion rate optimization (CRO) focuses on systematically increasing the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action on a given page. For example, they might convert on your site by filling out a form or providing information to a chatbot.

By identifying key metrics, you can better understand how customers interact with your site and the actions they take. These metrics help to test and determine what strategies work best for generating leads and closing customers.

49. Landing page

A landing page is a web page optimized for lead generation. Using a form, companies are able to leverage meaningful content in exchange for visitor information. Successful landing pages have well-defined content and clear conversion paths.

50. Thank you page

After submitting information on a landing page, customers are immediately redirected to a thank you page that thanks them for their submission and provides them with potential next steps. Thank you pages are important in your lead nurturing strategy because they deliver the offers individuals are seeking and they can position other relevant content as a next logical step.

51. A/B split testing 

An A/B split test is an experiment that compares two variables by presenting those variables to a randomly “split” audience over a specific period of time. As long as the experiment is controlled and unbiased, A/B split testing is a great way to understand which marketing tactics reap the best results for your business.

52. Responsive design

Responsive design refers to the way a website automatically adjusts to the screen size you're viewing it from. This will ensure that no matter what device your visitor is using, whether it's their computer, their phone or their tablet, your website will always look great.

53. Search engine optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of positioning your content and website so it can rank well on and draw traffic from search engine results pages (SERPs). 

SEO includes both on-page SEO, where you attempt to make alterations to your web code and content to improve its ranking, and off-page SEO, where you try to reach out to individuals outside of your company to acquire backlinks and traffic from other sources.

54. Paid search

Paid search is the practice of displaying ads on search engines based on the terms, or keywords, individuals search for. Paid search works on a pay-per-click basis, meaning you only pay when someone clicks your ad for a given keyword.

55. Keyword research

Keyword research is the process of identifying the search terms that your prospective site visitors are looking for online. It is critical to ensuring your content can be found on search engine results pages. 

Such research isn’t the only element that impacts your digital visibility, but if you’re trying to drive traffic to your website, you should actively investigate which keywords work best. 

Key Takeaway

Marketing is full of jargon. Understanding these 55 key terms will not just help you wade through that, it’ll also help you optimize your marketing efforts.

If you're looking for actionable ways to leverage these terms, then check out our Essential Guide to Demand Generation.

download the essential guide to demand generation

 

Topics: Inbound Marketing, Demand Generation

About The Author

Guido is a Demand Generation Marketer for New Breed. He specializes in running in-depth demand generation programs internally while assisting account managers in running them for our clients.

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