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AnteriadApril 26, 202332 min read

B2B sales and marketing terms: A complete glossary

Keeping up with the latest B2B Sales and Marketing terms is no simple task. With a seemingly endless stream of new trends, tactics, and acronyms, keeping your finger on the pulse of marketing key terms is vital to stay current (and relevant) as a B2B marketer. 

We’ve all been there—you’ve heard a new buzzword in a meeting or at an event and made a mental note to research what exactly it means later. You’ve come to the right place. We put together a marketing glossary of what you need to know to help you stay on top of current trends and hot topics. Bookmark the page so you can refer back and keep your marketing vocabulary sharp. 

Your comprehensive B2B sales and marketing terms glossary: 

A/B testing 

Also known as split testing, a way to improve engagement and conversion rates, typically used to compare the performance of email campaigns and landing pages. A control and test will be compared with slight variables made to the subject line, format or call to action. 

Account-based marketing 

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is a framework focused on targeting specific accounts or account segments, usually by purchase history, firmographics, product need, or strategic value. ABM uses Demand Generation techniques with the objective of adding new accounts or increasing revenue per existing account instead of focusing on individual leads. This approach, instead of sending out messages to as many people as possible, puts the focus on individual accounts as markets of one. 

Advocate marketing 

The combination of customer service and marketing to have customers satisfied. A satisfied customer is rewarded for the advocacy they perform for the company. 

Affiliate marketing 

Performance-based marketing where a business rewards an affiliate for each visitor brought by the affiliate’s own efforts. Affiliates commonly use organic search rank and PPC marketing. 

Affinity marketing 

A partnership between a company and an organization that aggregates people sharing the same interests to bring a larger consumer base to the opposite party. 

Always be closing (ABC) 

A phrase used to remind sales to always look for new customers, pitch products or services to those individuals, and then complete the sale. ‘Always Be Closing’, as a strategy, is about the salesperson being persistent but also knowing when to cut losses. 

Analytics 

Determining the success of a marketing campaign is all about the crunching of numbers, and analytics – essentially reviewing data to determine the effectiveness of a marketing campaign and ensure the best return on investment – is a measurement of that data that helps you make smarter marketing decisions. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) 

Artificial intelligence, sometimes called machine intelligence, is intelligence demonstrated by machines compared to natural intelligence seen in humans. One definition is any device that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chances of achieving certain goals. The term is often used to describe systems that mimic “cognitive” functions associated with the human mind, such as learning and problem-solving. 

Backlink 

A link from one website to another. Backlinks from high-authority websites can significantly increase the search ranking of the referent website, while links from less authoritative sites can hurt search ranking. 

Banner ads 

A web banner or banner ad is online advertising delivered by an ad server. It embeds the ad in a web page with the hope of attracting traffic to the advertiser’s website. When the advertiser detects a user has visited the advertiser’s site from the content site via the banner ad, the advertiser sends the content provider a small payment. Usually, advertisers use ad networks to serve their advertisements, resulting in a higher quality ad placement. 

Behavior-based marketing 

When you click on a website, especially one that sells a product, ads for that product suddenly start showing up on your computer, as if the machine has become a stalker. That is behavior-based marketing, which uses user activity to target potential leads. 

B2B marketing 

Business to business marketing is advertising done by one business to attract another business. 

B2C marketing 

Business-to-consumer marketing is advertising done by a business that sells directly to a consumer. 

BANT 

An acronym used by sales reps to determine a prospect's likelihood to buy. BANT stands for: Budget – Do they have the ability to spend? Authority – Do we know who will ‘write the check’? Need – What are the indications that they might need our solution? Timeline – And when will they need it? 

Black hat SEO 

Refers to the use of aggressive SEO strategies, techniques and tactics that focus on outsmarting search engines, and usually do not obey search engine guidelines, making that page subject to search engine penalties. Some examples of black hat SEO techniques include keyword stuffing, invisible text, doorway pages, and adding unrelated keywords to the page content or page swapping. See White Hat SEO. 

Blog 

A regularly updated website or web page. Either operated by a single person or a group from the same company. Often written informally or in conversational style, it’s usually intended to be informative. One of the components of inbound marketing

Big data 

Large data sets that are analyzed by computers to reveal patterns, trends, and connections, especially relating to tracking human behavior and interactions. 

Bounce rate 

Bounce rate is a measurement of the number of visitors to a website who leave after landing on the home page, without clicking to view any other pages or content. Bounce rate can also refer to emails that are unable to be delivered to a recipient due to an invalid or outdated email address. 

Branding 

The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products. Branding also applies to how the company communicates online with customers, personality, and culture. 

Buyer personas 

A representation of your target customer based on data. A persona informs you what a customer is motivated by, what their hesitations may be, and what they may be thinking and/or doing as they consider their options. Much more than a one-dimensional profile of the people you need to influence, they highlight insights into your buyers’ decisions. 

Buyer’s journey 

A widely-recognized term referring to how consumers move through a process in order to buy a product. It is a framework that acknowledges a buyer’s progression through a research and decision process that ends with them making a purchase. 

Buying group 

Buying groups are a collection of people with different job roles, who all have input into a buying decision. Within a buying group, members fall into buying roles that inform how they are involved in the purchase journey. 

Call to action 

A call to action is a link in the form of text, an image, or another point of access that allows visitors to either buy a product or subscribe to a newsletter, sign up for emails, download content, or engage in some other kind of interaction with a company or website. An effective call to action – at the end of content, for example – makes visitors to a website more likely to become a lead. 

Campaign 

A specific series of activities used to market a product. All of the tools and efforts utilized in the effort are part of the campaign. 

Channel partner 

A person or organization that provides services or sells products on behalf of a software or hardware vendor. 

Cause marketing 

Cause marketing is a strategy that links for-profit businesses and non-profits for mutual benefit, usually bringing in money for the non-profit and goodwill – and the added recognition and sales that come with it – for the for-profit company. 

Click-through rate 

Also known as CTR, click-through rate measures the number of clicks that visitors to your site make as they travel from one part of your website to the next compared to the number of page landings, emails, and other marketing efforts. 

Content 

Content – whether a blog or social media post, a photo, a podcast, a video, or a slideshow –is information that engages people and encourages traffic to a website. Content marketing is important because it can attract Influencers and lead to shares, which boosts potential traffic and customers. 

Content audit 

An accounting of all currently published web content. It is an analysis of information on a website; the assessment of content and its relationship to surrounding information. 

Content curating 

The process of gathering information relevant to a particular topic or area of interest. Services or people that implement content curation are called curators. Curation services can be used by businesses as well as end users. 

Content management system 

A CMS is an application that makes creating, editing, and managing a website easier for those who aren’t necessarily technical wizards. A CMS also makes your website easier for users, which will make navigation easier. Because web surfers expect their experience to be simple, encountering a problem is a turnoff, and will likely send them somewhere else immediately. A good CMS makes it more likely that you’ll retain visitors. 

Content marketing 

An approach focused on creating valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a specific audience. 

Content shock 

A situation where content supply is rapidly increasing while content demand is stagnant, creating an atmosphere where businesses have to pay consumers to get them to see the same amount of content. 

Conversion  

When an individual of a marketing message performs a preferred action. 

Conversion rate 

A conversion rate is the percentage of individuals who perform a preferred action, a conversion, and is usually used to measure the performance of campaigns. It’s calculated by taking the number of conversions divided by the total users. 

Cornerstone content 

A single page in your website's structure that is the main foundation for a targeted keyword. This content is usually very in-depth and it’s what people need to know about that keyword. 

Content optimization system 

While a CMS is geared more toward ease for the creator, a COS is optimized toward customers. Again, if surfers experience any negative during their click-through experience, they will leave and won’t come back. A COS helps personalize the experience, and that makes visitors more likely to become leads or buyers. 

Content syndication 

Content syndication is the process of publishing content on another organization’s property to expand your reach and often to generate leads. These programs can be run through channels like email, websites and social media and fit into an integrated marketing strategy.  

Cost per action 

This method of paying for advertising, also known as pay per action, allows advertisers to pay agencies only when an ad does what the advertiser hoped it would, such as encourage clicks, impressions, signing up for newsletters or purchases. 

Creative disruption 

In marketing, creative disruption occurs when a traditional marketing message if flipped to attract consumer attention. By doing the unexpected through messaging, a product has the potential to become more memorable. 

Customer data platform (CDP) 

A customer data platform (CDP) is packaged software used to have for a persistent, unified customer database accessible to other systems used in B2B marketing. Data pulled from multiple sources is cleaned and combined to create a single customer profile. This structured data is available to other marketing systems. 

Customer experience (CX) 

In B2B and B2C commerce, customer experience (CX) is the outcome of an interaction between an organization and a customer over the course of their relationship. This interaction happens throughout the customer journey and across brand touchpoints as the customer interacts with a company. A good customer experience means the individual’s experience during all points of contact matches their expectations. 

Customer lifetime value (CLV) 

This is the total revenue expected from an average customer over time. It encompasses past, present, and projected future business for the customer’s entire relationship with your company. 

Customer relationship management (CRM) 

Refers to practices, strategies, and technologies that companies use to manage customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships, assisting in customer retention, and driving sales growth. 

Data-driven marketing 

The analysis of data about companies or consumers, to gain marketing insight and make better decisions. This data may include social media interactions, web searches, and browsing behavior. 

Data lake 

A data lake is a repository for data stored in its natural, raw format. It’s often a single spot for enterprise data, including source system data and transformed data for tasks like reporting, visualization, advanced analytics, and machine learning. A data lake can include structured data from relational databases, semi-structured data (CSV, logs, XML, JSON), unstructured data (emails, documents, PDFs), and binary data (images, audio, video). A “data swamp” is an unmanaged data lake that is either inaccessible or provides little value. 

Deliverables 

Something produced by a project that is intended to be delivered to a customer. It could be a report, a document, or any other connecting block of an overall project. 

Demand generation 

Targeted marketing programs that drive awareness and incite interest in a company’s products and/or services. Commonly used in B2B, B2G, or longer B2C cycles, demand gen involves multiple areas of marketing and is really the marriage of marketing and sales programs. 

Digital marketing 

Digital marketing is the promotion of products or services using digital technologies. It mainly occurs on the Internet, but also includes mobile phones and display advertising, and often combines with a content management system. Digital marketing is widely used in B2B marketing. 

Direct marketing 

An advertising campaign that required the consumer to take an action in response to the communication. Direct marketing most often takes place at point-of-sale (POS) transactions, in postal mail campaigns, email marketing and telemarketing. 

Doorway page 

Usually the home page of a website, this is the page where keywords and other links that boost search engine ranking come into play. The more effective your doorway, page, the more likely visitors are to click through your content. 

Earned media 

Once known as word-of-mouth, earned media is advertising that comes from Influencers, someone who uses your product and talks about it on a Facebook post or their YouTube channel, for example. It’s usually free, and it’s effective because it’s the most honest form of marketing available. 

EBook 

An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose. 

Email marketing 

Marketing a message to a group of customers, or potential customers, using email. Every email sent could be considered email marketing. The email could send advertisements or anything of that nature and is meant to instill trust and awareness. Email marketing is traditionally the preferred way to reach B2B buyers. 

Engagement rate 

This measures the interaction, whether shares, likes, or comments, that a piece of content – a post, a comment, a meme, a video, etc. – receives. Interactions let you know how effective your messaging is, and if you need to make changes to reach your target audience. Engagement marketing uses content aimed at that target audience. 

Ephemeral marketing 

Marketing catered toward the mobile-to-mobile transmission of multimedia messages that automatically disappear from the recipient’s screen after the message has been viewed. The word “ephemeral” describes something that only lasts for a short period of time, such as Snapchat. 

External links 

A common hyperlink found on a web page that connects to another web address, image, or document found on a different website. External links will take you out of the current domain, whereas the opposite type – internal links – will keep you on the same website. If you link to an outside website, or one links to you, it is an external link. 

Focus group 

A focus group is usually a group made up of a new product’s target audience that scores the product based on opinion. 

Form 

An area that is placed or linked to on your website, blog, or social media sites so that a visitor can sign-up to receive a newsletter or email. They typically ask for at least a name and email address. They may also be referred to as email opt-in forms, web forms, or sign-up forms. 

Friction 

While you might think the more the merrier, when it comes to your website, anything that is too busy, too confusing, or too muddled causes friction, and friction – a bit of annoyance that can include too much text, distracting or useless navigation menus or even colors that don’t match the message – can be enough to drive visitors to another site. 

Gamification 

The concept of applying game mechanics and game design techniques to engage and motivate people to achieve their goals. Gamification taps into the basic desires and needs of the users' impulses which revolve around the idea of Status and Achievement. 

Gated content 

High-value content that is gated behind a form. To download the content, visitors must submit information such as name, email address, company name, etc. 

Geo-targeting 

With the advent of location tracking, advertisers can use geo-targeting to generate location-based content (Location Based Marketing) or websites based on a person’s location. 

Green marketing 

New marketing approaches used interchangeably with environmental marketing and ecological marketing to market products with the assumption they are better for the environment. “Green Washing” is when a company used Green Marketing in deceptive ways for financial gain. 

Growth hacking 

A fast, unique way to figure out the most effective ways to grow a business. Growth hackers focus on building and engaging the user base of a business. 

Guerrilla marketing 

A way for businesses to promote their products in an unorthodox way. This style of marketing requires a lot of energy focused on capturing the attention of the public on a more personal level. 

Historical optimization 

Republishing old blog content so it’s fresh, modern, and has the ability to produce more traffic than it had before. 

Impression 

In online advertising, an impression is when a viewer is given an opportunity to see an ad, whether or not the ad is clicked on by the viewer. When an ad is displayed, it is counted as an impression. 

Inbound links 

A link coming from another site to your own website. “Inbound” is generally used by the person receiving the link. 

Inbound marketing 

Using information in various forms of content to lure visitors in, especially with content that would be of interest to your target audience. 

Inbound methodology 

The best way to turn strangers into website visitors, visitors into qualified leads, and leads into customers and promoters of a business. 

Influencer marketing 

When attention is placed on reaching specific individuals who have influence in an industry. Those people are called Influencers and they have influence over potential buyers in the industry and are sought out by journalists for bylines. Influencers are targeted most notably on Twitter. 

Infographic 

An infographic is visually captivating content that helps digital marketers tell a story or introduce a concept visually. 

Integrated marketing 

A marketing strategy that stresses the importance of a consistent, seamless, multi-dimensional brand experience for the consumer. This means that each branding effort – across television, radio, print, Internet, and in person – is presented in a similar style that reinforces the brand’s ultimate message. 

Intent data 

Intent data is information generated by aggregating intent signals (see below) that enables B2B marketing teams to use intent monitoring (see below) in identifying organizations with a demonstrated interest in their products and services. 

Intent marketing 

Intent marketing is an approach based on B2B buyers’ intent to adopt, purchase, or consume a particular service. Marketing to buyer intent typically produces better ROI because the buyer intent shows their level of buying readiness. 

Intent monitoring 

Intent monitoring is the practice of monitoring intent data to identify organizations that demonstrate an interest in a brand’s products or services. 

Intent signals 

Signals that demonstrate a user’s interest in specific topics as they engage with resources on the web. Activities such as conducting an online search, downloading a white paper, or registering for a webinar each generate intent signals. 

Internal links 

A common hyperlink found on a web page that connects to another web address, image, or document found on the same website. Internal links will keep you in the same domain, whereas the opposite type – external links – will take you to a different website altogether. 

International marketing 

At its simplest level, international marketing involves the firm in making one or more marketing mix decisions across national boundaries. At its most complex level, it involves the firm in establishing manufacturing facilities overseas and coordinating marketing strategies across the globe. 

Internet of things (IoT) 

The idea of connecting any device to another with the capability to reach the Internet. This includes phones, video games, drying machines, watches, and anything else.  This also applies to components, such as engines or GPS devices. It is a massive network of connectivity from all around the world, in all facets of modern technology. 

Interactive agency 

As advertising becomes more complex and moves beyond traditional print and television ads, an interactive agency offers a mix of traditional advertising experts along with staff devoted to Web design and development and internet marketing. Some agencies are even involved in product development, including apps aimed at marketing/advertising tracking or distribution. 

Keyword 

Keywords or keyword phrases are terms that if used in content help your pages get indexed, so they turn up in search results through search engines such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Using the right keywords – ones that are suited to your target audience – will help you drive traffic to your site. 

Keyword stuffing 

A search engine optimization (SEO) technique, in which a web page is loaded with keywords in the meta tags or in the content of a web page. Keyword stuffing may lead to a website being banned or penalized in search ranking on major search engines either temporarily or permanently. 

Landing page 

There are generally two types of landing pages – click-through landing pages, which use content to persuade visitors to click through to another page, where they will find a call to action – and lead-generation landing pages, which ask visitors for information about themselves such as a name or email address so they can be marketed to as potential leads. 

Lead 

A lead is someone who had shown interest in a product or service, either by filling out a lead generation landing page, subscribe to a blog or shared contact information at a B2B conference. While leads may or may not become customers, generating leads is an important part of the marking process, because one satisfied customer could lead to plenty of earned media, or word-of-mouth advertising. 

Lead generation 

The initiation of consumer interest or inquiry into products or services of a business. Leads can be created for purposes such as list building, e-newsletter list acquisition, or for sales leads. The methods for generating leads typically fall under the umbrella of advertising but may also include non-paid sources such as organic search engine results or referrals from existing customers. 

Lead scoring 

A methodology used to rank prospects against a scale that represents the perceived value each lead represents to the organization. The resulting score is used to determine which leads a receiving function (e.g., sales, partners, tele-prospecting) will engage, in order of priority. 

Lead nurturing 

If someone has given you their contact information or ordered a free or reduced-rate item offered as a way to lure them to something bigger, regular reminders through email or via social media or pop-up advertising is a good way to maintain engagement with your target audience members, reminding them that you have content available in which they have shown interest. If you have a monthly subscription series, for example, sending regular snippets of information from that paid content will let them know what they are missing, so they are more likely to stay engaged and interested. 

Location-based marketing (LBM) 

A direct marketing strategy utilizing the GPS location of your device to push offers from businesses near you. 

Long-tail keyword 

A multiple-keyword phrase – usually made up of three or four words but can be much longer—that is specific to what people may search for to find your product. Long tail keywords are easier to rank for but have less search volume. 

Machine learning 

Machine learning (ML), a subset of artificial intelligence, involves algorithms and statistical models that computer systems use to perform specific tasks without using explicit instructions. Instead, they rely on patterns and inference. Machine learning algorithms build mathematical models based on sample data or “training data.” This is how computer systems learn to make predictions or decisions without actually being programmed to perform the task. 

Marketing automation 

Marketing automation is the use of tools and data to ensure that businesses are marketing to the right clients – those that have shown interest in the product or service – and are reaching the right leads as well. 

Marketing automation platform (MAP) 

Marketing automation involves the software platforms and technologies used by B2B marketing departments and organizations to market more effectively on digital platforms. 

Marketing performance measurement and management 

MPM uses data and present performance standards and customer experience and satisfaction but also overall outcomes. 

Marketing qualified lead (MQL) 

A lead that shows interest through interaction via an email signup or contact form. MQLs usually need to be researched further to see if they are a real prospect and converted into a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). 

Market segment 

A market segment is a group of consumers who respond to marketing in a similar way based on a common need, much like a target audience. Market segmentation is the division of one large audience into various subgroups, targeting products to those best suited for them. 

Mobile marketing 

Mobile marketing is providing advertising and marketing aimed at mobile devices including smartphones and tablets, often personalized based on location, searches, etc. 

Mobile optimization 

If your website is formatted so that it’s easy to navigate and read on mobile devices, you’ve mastered mobile optimization. Being mobile-friendly also raises your ranking on Google, so it’s a smart marketing move. 

Native advertising 

Native Advertising is advertising and marketing that seems part of its environment, such as a product used in a television show or your favorite radio personality touting a favorite product. While it is at its core paid advertising, it is meant to feel more natural. 

Newsjacking 

Using a breaking news story and putting a spin on it to draw attention to your content. 

Omni-channel marketing 

Like the older term, Multi-Channel Marketing on steroids, Omni-Channel Marketing provides a seamless and consistent experience to prospects and consumers over multiple devices and channels. This includes physical stores, websites, print ads, and apps as well as all the range of devices like phones, tablets, and laptops. 

Organic search 

When your website ranks for keywords organically, or free. It often takes an investment in time and good content to get good organic search rank, particularly in competitive markets. 

Outbound links 

Links from your website to another that can help or hurt your website authority. 

Outbound marketing 

All of the techniques used in older marketing techniques like radio, TV ads, cold calling, and door-to-door sales. Many Outbound Marketing practices in the tech-savvy world of today are seen as an annoyance and invasion of space. 

Out-of-box experience 

An out of box experience is the first impression a product makes, whether that includes ease of set up or installation for electronics or new hardware or other items or easy-to-understand instruction when putting together a piece of furniture, for example. 

Pay per click (PPC) 

Also called cost per click (CPC), it refers to internet advertising. It is usually associated with search engine ads and can get very expensive if not done correctly or in a highly competitive market. 

Pipeline marketing 

The sometimes-long path customers take from lead to customer. Pipeline Marketing includes content marketing, lead nurturing and others to focus on customer generation instead of focusing on lead generation. Goals are based on overall revenue aligning sales and marketing on a singular goal. 

Podcast 

Often used now in B2B marketing, a podcast is typically a series of digital audio files that users download to hear. The term refers to both a series of these and individual episodes. Podcasting often follows a subscription model, with new episodes automatically downloaded via web syndication to a user’s own local computer, mobile application, or portable device. 

Positioning 

A part of branding, positioning is important to differentiate a company to give it unique placement and perception among competitors in their market. 

POV 

Also known as, “Point of View”, a POV is usually given to a client by a marketing agency to assess ideal marketing channels. For example, whether they should spend more money advertising on LinkedIn than Facebook. 

Prospect 

A person or account who shows interest in what you are selling. 

Programmatic 

Programmatic marketing uses computer software to buy digital advertising, rather than traditional agency-client interaction. The process is cheaper and more efficient, according to advocates of the technology. 

Programmatic ad buying 

When software is used to do the purchasing in B2B marketing or other forms, it’s called programmatic advertising. 

Q score 

A Q Score is a measurement of not only the familiarity but also the appeal of a brand, celebrity, movie, or television show. Q Scores are used in advertising, marketing, and PR campaigns, since landing a celeb with a higher Q score for a marketing campaign could be worth the extra money spent by drawing more attention to a product or service. 

Relationship marketing 

A marketing strategy focused on campaigns developed for customer satisfaction and retention instead of sales. 

Reputation management 

Reputation management in B2B marketing involves influencing and controlling an organization’s reputation. The rise of the internet and social media, along with reputation management services, has made search results a core part of a company’s reputation strategy. Online reputation management (ORM) involves paying attention to product and service search website results. The overall outcome of search results has become an integral part of what defines “reputation” and reputation management now falls into two categories: online and offline reputation management. 

Retargeting 

Often used together with inbound, outbound, and demand generation, it’s a form of targeted advertising which uses data gathered from previous internet actions (through cookies) to serve up related ads. Retargeting is in use when you see an Amazon ad following you from site to site based on your last Amazon search. 

Return on marketing investment (ROMI) 

One of (or THE) the most important metrics in marketing and used to determine the value of a campaign. Since the direct impact is the only calculation reflected, marketers often add a value to brand awareness and other factors into this number to quantify the less tangible benefits of marketing. 

Request for proposal (RFP) 

Sometimes seen as obsolete (think Madmen), an RFP is a standard proposal sent to marketing agencies requesting stats, figures, company information, and case histories (for example) with the intent of vetting them for an ongoing relationship. 

ROI 

ROI, known as Return on Investment, is an indicator of the benefits a business receives from an investment and evaluates whether or not the investment was economically sound or profitable. 

Sales funnel 

A sales funnel is a marketing tool that gives you an overview of where prospects are in the stages of your sales cycle – top of the funnel folks are potential customers, middle of the funnel means your initial marketing tools have worked well enough to entice TOFUs to sign up for newsletters or other offers and bottom of the funnel customers are those closest to going in for the close, and a discount at this stage could help seal the deal. 

Sales qualified leads (SQL) 

A lead or prospect that has been prequalified has the interest and the ability to move onto the next stage in the sales process. They typically display intent to make a purchase and meet certain criteria. 

Search engine marketing (SEM) 

Similar to SEO (below), SEM is a broader term and focuses more on gaining traffic to a website through non-organic methods, including paid advertising. 

Search engine optimization (SEO) 

SEO is way to influence where a webpage shows up in search engine results and optimize a website to perform well organically. This constantly evolving process includes onsite optimization as well as offsite optimization and includes content using keywords, link building (inbound, internal, and outbound), gaining social proof and much more. 

Search engine results pages (SERPs) 

The results a search engine (like Google or Bing) displays in response to a keyword query. 

Sign up form 

An area that is placed or linked to on your website, blog, or social media sites so that a visitor can sign-up to receive a newsletter or email. They typically ask for at least a name and email address. They may also be referred to as email opt-in forms, web forms, or sign-up forms. 

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) 

Also called Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and refer to businesses with numbers between 1 and 999 employees. In general terms, a small business has less than 100 employees, while a medium business has between 100 and 999. 

Smart content 

Utilizing intelligence to create user-specific website content that changes according to their interest level, location, actions, and other factors. 

SMART goals 

A mnemonic acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. SMART goals meet these criteria. 

Smarketing 

The process of aligning and integrating marketing and sales processes toward a common goal. 

Social media marketing (SMM) 

Using social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and others to market a product or service. Social media marketing fits into the awareness stage of a buyer’s journey and part of inbound marketing. 

Social monitoring 

Most often used on Twitter, social monitoring is when specific users, words or brands are tracked to identify opportunities to connect and share information. It’s also used interchangeably with “social listening”. 

Social proof 

When marketers utilize share counts to encourage and influence readers to give it authority, making it more likely for additional shares from new readers. 

Software as a service (SaaS) 

Known as “on-demand software”, SaaS is a subscription-based software licensing and delivery model, the most popular being CMS and MA. 

Style guide 

A manual of style used to establish a brand image and used in internal and external design elements of a company and its website for consistency. 

Submission rate 

The percentage of views that resulted in a form submission by a user. This metric is used to determine Landing Page effectiveness. 

Synergy 

Multiple marketing channels working together to create the same message are important to marketing campaigns. The channels should be optimized individually to work best within those communities but with a singular message. 

Target audience 

Your target audience is the core group of people your product is aimed at, and your marketing should be targeting. 

Thought leader 

Close to an influencer, a thought leader is a known authority on a subject but is usually tied to an organization or company. Thought leaders often are responsible for thought leadership content. 

T-Shaped marketer 

A concept that’s been around for a while but has recently been talked about as a “model for the future.”  A T-Shaped Marketer has a good knowledge in a broad set of skills or an array of subjects, but deep knowledge in one or two of them. 

Top of the funnel 

Top of the funnel (TOFU) refers to marketing tools – emails, social media posts, blog posts, paid advertising, free trials, and other campaigns – that help attract prospective leads and lure them into the funnel to become customers. 

Traffic 

Traffic is the amount of people who visit your website, similar to circulation numbers for a newspaper or magazine or viewership for a television show or a network. 

User experience (UX) 

In marketing, user experience is almost entirely related to websites, thanks to the rise of digital marketing. It’s creating a positive user experience through design, navigation and content and aligning that experience with the branding, content, and goals of the company. 

User-generated content (UGC) 

User-generated content (UGC) includes images, videos, text, and audio that have been posted by B2B buyers and other users online to social media platforms. User-generated content has a wide range of applications, including problem resolution, news, entertainment, advertising, gossip, and research. 

Value added reseller 

A company or person that adds features or services to an existing product, reselling it as a complete package. This most often occurs with software and electronics. 

Viral content 

When something goes viral – a blog, a photo, or most often a video, it circulates swiftly through social media channels, reaching a wide audience. 

Virtual reality (VR) 

The new frontier for marketers, this technology replicates environments to immerse the user in real or imagined scenarios utilizing artificial sensory experiences. Particularly in B2C marketing, the rise of VR presents a new opportunity to reach buyers. 

Webinar 

A seminar, Q&A session or other presentation that occurs live on the Internet with participants in different locations. This high-value content is usually “gated”, requiring the participant to sign up through a Landing Page. 

White hat SEO 

The opposite of Black Hat SEO, the goal of White Hat SEO is to ethically work with search engines in the usage of strategies, techniques, and tactics instead of outsmarting them. Users of White Hat SEO value long-term investment in a website and avoid actions that could lead to blacklisting. 

White paper 

A white paper is a marketing tool that uses content – in the form of an authoritative report or guide – to persuade customers while promoting either a product or in the case of nonprofits or advocacy groups, a stance on an issue. 

Word-of-mouth advertising 

While word of mouth has changed significantly over the years (what once meant a neighbor referring another to a local hardware store or product), the idea hasn’t. Today, influencers help boost word-of-mouth marketing by talking about a product or service with the potential to reach a wide, even viral, audience. 

Workflow 

In addition to being the definition of general work processes related to Content or Email Marketing, and Lead Gen, workflow is specific to nourishing leads down a buyer’s journey through email marketing. In marketing automation platforms, workflows represent a series of emails correlated to certain actions taken on a website. This enables the marketer to customize the email of a list signup, or download, for example, to the lead’s interest level, and follow up with nurturing emails to encourage purchase. 

Next steps: Deep dive into B2B marketing best practices 

Now that you’ve brushed up on your sales and marketing terms, see how you can apply them! Check out our eBook library for in-depth guides to running successful campaigns, choosing providers, and more. 

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