Today’s Hottest Marketing Terms, Decoded


Do you ever feel like your marketing team is speaking Greek – or maybe Klingon? As trust-inducing as it might be to hear a bunch of shorthand lingo tossed around, you probably want to understand what on earth your consultants are saying. After all, it’s your organization, reputation and results on the line. 

We hear you. And while we can appreciate abbreviations and insider marketing terms as much as the next person, we also know that transparency matters. To that end, here’s a look at some need-to-know marketing terms in high circulation today, so you’re well-equipped to not just listen, but actually be part of the next conversation. 

General Marketing Glossary

To start, here are a few terms that are simply good to know:

1. 80/20 rule

The Pareto principle that states that 80% of the results come from 20% of the causes. In business, it implies that managers need to determine the critical factors that require more attention. In terms of time management, it implies that fundamental issues should be addressed before less vital tasks and concerns. 

2. Account/Client/Portfolio

Used interchangeably. These are the companies for whom we perform services and who in turn give us money. 

3. Business model

Description of how a business creates and delivers value to its target market. It includes strategies, organizational structure, processes, and policies. 

Metrics-Related Marketing Terms

Metrics matter because they offer measurable indicators of how well you’re performing against your goals. Here are a few of the metrics that many agencies are keen to track:

4. Click-to-Open Rate

A percentage of how many of the people who opened your email then clicked on one of the links in that email. 

5. Click Through Rate (CTR)

A percentage that shows how many subscribers clicked on a link in your emails. Related to “unique click through rate” because some subscribers will click more than once. 

6. Conversion Rate

A percentage that shows how many people completed a specific action. A 5% conversion rate for orders from an email campaign means five out of one hundred people you sent an email to placed an order. 

7. Engagement

An umbrella term that covers every possible interaction an email subscriber can have with your message, like opens, clicks, shares, and more. 

8. KPI (Key Performance Indicators)

Acronym for Key Performance Indicators, a set of measurable goals or objectives that signify satisfactory performance if achieved. Statistics used to show the most important indicators of success for an email or marketing program, or a business overall. 

Customer-Centric Marketing Terms

Organizations are increasingly realizing the importance of putting their customers’ needs, wants, preferences and goals front and center in their businesses. Here are some terms that reflect this ongoing shift: 

9. Lifecycle messaging

Customer lifecycle refers to the length and nature of a customer’s relationship with a brand or company. Customers experience different phases throughout their lifecycle with that brand — including inquiry, consideration, selection and purchasing, usage and support, and replenishment or additional purchases. Lifecycle messages are targeted to the unique phase of the customer in their lifecycle. For example, a customer who purchases a car could receive an email campaign educating the customer about the unique features of that make and model of car and reminding them to complete their routine maintenance. As the car ages, marketers might send emails related to the estimated trade-in value of the vehicle or features of newer models. 

10. Personalization

Email marketing messages can be personalized with a variety of subscriber profiles and behavioral data points. For example, a sender could personalize a message with a subscriber’s first name, a product they recently browsed on their site, a store location nearest to their ZIP code, and etc. Personalized emails are more relevant to individual subscribers and generally yield higher open, click, and conversion rates. 

11. Preference Center

A page on your website or a page hosted by your email service provider. Preference centers let subscribers edit their information and control how often they receive emails from you. 

12. Segmentation

The email marketing technique of breaking a list up into different segments. You can segment a list dozens of different ways, including by subject preferences, last opened date, and more. 

Marketo, The Marketing Automation Platform

At Shift Paradigm, we love and appreciate Marketo (marketing automation platform). Here are a few terms that refer to Marketo’s comprehensive functionality: 

13. Business Workflow

Marketo also gives you automated controls over your own data and workflow. You can send out alerts or change fields based on simple or complex criteria. It’s all up to you. We give you simple building blocks that you can automate your entire marketing-sales workflow. 

14. Data Management

Marketo can actually be used for a host of data management functions. With Marketo, you can: 

  • Clean up duplicates 
  • Clean up errant field values 
  • Re-assign leads based on complex criteria. 

This can all be done in the Lead Database section of the application. Many customers start with data management activities before they send out their first mail. 

15. Lead Management

A Marketo product designed for automating lead nurturing, lead scoring, and marketing campaigns. 

16. Lead Nurturing

The process of building relationships with and educating prospects until they’re ready to speak with sales. In Marketo, this is done via drip marketing and event-triggered campaigns.

The Bizarre-Sounding Marketing Terms

Finally, there are just some downright bizarre terms that get floated around today. Here’s a quick crash course in a few that sound more suited for fuzzy bears, HR handbooks, human cleanliness and beyond: 

17. Honeypot

A honeypot is a working email address that has never requested bulk emails used by inbox and blacklist providers to identify malicious senders in addition to organizations with poor list acquisition and hygiene practices.  

18. Implied consent

Implied consent refers to the assumption that email marketing content may be sent to a recipient due to an existing business relationship with the user or the user providing contact details for a related purpose. This can include the recipient having purchased a product or making contact with the company in the past. While implied consent may be legally used as permission to send email in the United States, it’s recommended to receive express consent instead. 

19. List Fatigue

Declining engagement that occurs over time after an email list has been mailed to too frequently. 

20. List Hygiene

How well your list’s information is kept up to date. It is the process of maintaining an email list by removing addresses that will damage deliverability. This includes evaluating engagement levels and removing addresses that have bounced, complained, and unsubscribed. 

21. On the beach

A term that describes consultants who do not get billable projects from clients and therefore have sufficient time for recreation. 

22. Time poor

A term used to describe people with busy schedules. 

23. Right to Be Forgotten

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) offers the citizens of the European Union “the right to be forgotten.” As long as there is not a legitimate reason to retain possession of it, citizens have the right to request their personal data be erased from ESPs and other data storage systems. There is a one month response time for data collectors and data processors to respond to requests to be forgotten. 

The Marketing Vocabulary In Closing

Hopefully this helps you play an active role in – and sort out the meaning of – some key conversations. 

Before we sign off, here’s one more for you to embrace: Paradigm shift – A change of intellectual viewpoints or perceptions that create a huge impact on a business. Everything we do inside our walls is to shift paradigms for our clients, thereby unlocking their paths to next-level success. Want to hear more? Give us a call any time 


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