Modern Marketing Acronyms 101

Posted by Patrick Lynch on July 12, 2018
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Over a decade ago, I was sitting in on my first meeting at a marketing agency, I walked out of the conference room with my notebook page crowded with unfamiliar acronyms. This experience reinforced the idea that in marketing language, less is more. From tweets to infographics, we’re constantly evolving our methods of communication to get to the point more quickly. Of course, it makes sense that acronyms are integrated into everyday marketing conversation and that new ones are coined all the time.

We’ve made it simple by compiling an acronym cheat-sheet containing all of the marketing acronyms we use on a daily basis:


API (Application Programming Interface): A computer programming term meaning a set of programming instructions that facilitate data collection and provide contact from one piece of computer software to another.


B2B (Business-to-business): Businesses that sell their products or services to other businesses.

B2C (Business-to-consumer): Businesses that sell their products or services directly to consumers.

B2P (Business-to-people): A way to describe marketing that takes into account the feedback, preferences, and personal information of customers on an individual level. This could include behavior-based suggestions, interactive customization tools, and location-based targeting.

BR (Bounce Rate): Can be used for both websites and email. A website bounce rate is the percentage of people who land on a website page, and then leave without clicking on anything else. An email bounce rate is the rate at which an email was unable to be delivered to a recipient’s inbox because of an invalid or out-of-date email address.


CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Marketing): A law passed in 2003 that created rules for commercial emails and messages. It gives recipients the right to stop receiving emails from businesses (e.g., the “unsubscribe” option at the bottom of every email), and established penalties for businesses that violate the law.

CMS (Content Management System): A web application designed for users to easily create, edit, and manage a website and its content from behind the scenes. WordPress is a popular one, among others like these.

CPA (Cost-per-acquisition): The cost associated with each lead or sale (acquisition) created by an ad.

CPL (Cost-per-lead): A metric used to determine the cost for your marketing organization to acquire a lead.

CPM (Cost-per-Impression or Cost-per-Thousand): Measures the cost of an ad per thousand impressions.

CR (Conversion Rate): The percentage of people who perform a desired action on a website, such as making a purchase or filling out a form.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management): A type of software that helps companies track every interaction with their potential and existing customers, including emails, phone calls, scheduling appointments, and logging customer service interactions. The information collected by CRM software makes it simple to quickly pull up data about a prospective or current customer.

CTA (Call to Action): Language encouraging a user to take an action. It could be text, a button, an image, or another type of web link.

CTR (Clickthrough Rate): The percentage of visitors that click through from one part of your website or content to the next step of your marketing campaign.

CX (Customer Experience): The overall experience a customer has with a business, including awareness, interaction, purchase, use, and brand advocacy.


DM (Direct Message): “Direct Messages” are one-to-one messages sent on Twitter, visible only to the two individuals exchanging them. DMs can only be sent between users who are following each other.


E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness): The metric used by Google to evaluate page ranking. According to Google, high quality pages and websites need enough expertise to be authoritative and trustworthy on their topic. High-quality pages have a high level of E-A-T (and will rank higher) than low-quality pages that don’t.

ESP (Email Service Provider): A company that provides email marketing or bulk email marketing services to businesses.


FB (Facebook): Facebook is an online social networking service.

#FF (Follow Friday): A popular Twitter hashtag used for recommending other users to be followed on social media.


G+ (Google+): Google+ is a social media site offered by Google.

GA (Google Analytics): Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic.


IG (Instagram): Instagram is a mobile service for photo sharing, video sharing, and social networking.


KPI (Key Performance Indicator): A type of performance measurement used by a company to evaluate an employee’s or an activity’s success.


LI (LinkedIn): LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking service.

LP (Landing Page): A landing page is a standalone page that a visitor arrives on after clicking a link, button, or ad. Landing pages are distinct from their homepage, and are designed with a single objective, such as downloading a specific offer.


MoM (Month-over-Month): A time frame for comparing figures or other important indicators between months, such as comparing August conversion rates to those of July. Month-over-month indicators tend to be volatile since they can be influenced by one-time events, such as political events, natural disasters, holidays, etc.

MT (Modified Tweet): An indicator that a re-posted tweet has been altered, either to fit character limits or for another reason.


PM (Private Message): A general term for one-on-one communication between users that isn't visible to the public.

PV (Page View): An instance of a user visiting a particular page on a website.


QoQ (Quarter-over-Quarter): A time frame for comparing figures or other important indicators between financial quarters, such as comparing Q2 sales with Q1 sales.


RFP (Request for Proposal): A document that outlines specific requirements and allocated budgets for requested work. An RFP is sent to prospective agencies and networks so they can respond with a strategy, an outlined approach, solutions for overall business problems, and how to allocate budget toward these things.

ROI (Return on Investment): A measurement that evaluates the efficiency of an investment (or compares the efficiency of several investments) relative to the investment’s cost.

RT (Retweet): A re-posting of a tweet posted by another user on Twitter.

RTD (Real-Time Data): Information that is delivered without delay immediately after collection.

RWD (Responsive Web Design): A type of web design that aims to provide an optimal viewing and interaction experience across a range of devices (e.g., desktop computers, tablets, mobile phones, etc.).


SEM (Search Engine Marketing): Methods to leverage search engines for marketing purposes.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization): A series of techniques and components performed to increase a website’s ranking in the organic results returned by a search engine, thus making your website more visible to people looking for your brand.

SERP (Search Engine Results Page): The list of results you see when you perform a search.

SM (Social Media): Used to refer to social media in general.

SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely): A criteria for goal setting that involves a defined objective, specific completion date, and more to ensure that one’s goals are clear and reachable.

SMB (Small-to-medium Business): Generally considered a business with 100-999 employees.

SME (Subject Matter Expert): An individual that has developed a deep understanding of a specific process, technology, function, material, or equipment, typically through immersion in the topic over a long period of time.

SMM (Social Media Marketing): The use of social media networks and websites to market a product, service, or offer.

SOV (Share of Voice): The percentage of all online conversation about a company compared to all conversation about its competitors.


TOS (Terms of Service): Found on websites and mobile apps. The terms of service explain legal notices for the user.


UI (User Interface): A user interface includes everything designed as part of the junction between a user and a computer program. A good user interface should provide a user-friendly and intuitive experience.

UGC (User-Generated Content): Includes any written or visual materials created by individuals on a platform, including comments, blog posts, photos, video clips, and more.

USP (Unique Selling Proposition): The factor presented by a business as the reason that its product or service is different from and better than the competition.

UV (Unique Visitor): A person who visits a website more than once within a period of time. If one person visits the same webpage ten times, then they are counted as one unique visitor.


WOM (Word-of-Mouth): The passing of information from one person to another, either verbally or through online communication.


YT (YouTube): YouTube is a video-sharing website.


Topics: marketing, inbound marketing

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