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Cheat Sheet: Decoding Agency Marketing Terms

By Hallie Moser

Confession: I love marketing. I love marketing as much as Oprah loves bread.

Oprah Loves Bread As Much As Hallie Moser Loves Marketing Pinckney Marketing

So, sometimes I get so excited about marketing, that I don’t even notice I’ve been rambling on in fluid marketing jargon until I look across the table at my poor victim’s dead-eye, confused expression…oops.

To prevent you from being victimized, I put together a cheat sheet of marketing terms that will more than likely come up when you talk to your “marketing person”.

Download it, print it, hang it on your desk–trust me, understanding the language is half the battle of understanding the magic of marketing. 

Without further ado, here’s your marketing cheat sheet:

A/B Testing
Comparing two campaigns at the same time. Running A/B tests can be extremely helpful in experimenting different timing, verbiage, or designs between two campaigns. Just be sure you’re only making one change between the two campaigns for better insights.

Insights pulled from observational tracking and measuring tools such as Google Analytics, Moz Reports, Heat Maps. A lot of analytics go into reporting, and they are all important. When your agency is going over these analytics it’s important to understand the metrics they measured, and make sure those measurements are consistent across the board (example: month-over-month and year-over-year) to ensure you’re getting the results promised.

Back-End Developer
The developer responsible for server-side web application and the integration of the work front-end developers do. They usually write the code for web services and APIs used by front-end developers and mobile app developers.

Content that expresses your opinion. Creating quality and relevant content improves keyword ranking through SEM and asserts your brand as a thought-leader.

Bounce Rate
The percentage of visitors to your site that leave after only seeing one page of your website. If people are coming on your page and ‘bouncing’ often, you might want to assess what ads are directing them there, and the messaging involved on both the ad and web page.

Buyer Persona
A persona is a semi-fictional character used to represent your ideal customer based on research and data. Based on your persona’s role, lifestyle, and demographics, you can strategize your marketing channels and messaging. Making at least one primary and one secondary persona will help you more clearly visualize your audiences habits, how they digest media/resources, and their budget.

Buyer’s Journey
Tracking every touchpoint a customer has before, during, and after they buy your product/service. Tracking their journey, and optimizing their user experience will help you convert leads more efficiently and make their brand experience more enjoyable.

Content Workflow
A sequence of processes that comes after content strategy for visitors to experience your deliverables. For example, if someone reads your social post, clicks through to download an offer from your page, the next step in the workflow would be to receive an email, and then a follow-up email.

Conversion Path
The path a visitor takes to complete the goal (conversion) to become a known lead.

Evergreen Content
Content that doesn’t age (that fast). This is content that is always relevant, like the evergreen tree, which is green all year-round. For website’s it’s important to have evergreen content to build on, without having to update. An example would be using verbiage like “we’ve been in business since 2016,” instead of “we’ve been in business for 2 years”. You wouldn’t want to constantly remember update that.

Editorial Calendar
A calendar used for controlling and planning content. We use a huge spreadsheet to plan our marketing efforts, quarterly offers, and social media.

Front-End Developer
A developer that codes HTML, CSS and JavaScript for websites or apps, which a user can see and interact with directly.

Graphic Design
Combining text and pictures, physically or digitally, to communicate a chosen message.

A Web host provides server space, web services, and file maintenance for websites for web-owners who do not have their own web servers.

HubSpot is a developer and marketer of software products for inbound marketing and sales for internal marketers and agencies. As a CRM they provide tools for social media marketing, content management, web analytics and search engine optimization.

A strategy that focuses on attracting customers or leads through your company’s content. Potential customers come to the company voluntarily through lead nurturing, rather than your sales team cold calling prospects for their attention.

Marketing Automation
Marketing that happens automatically without you having to do anything. Your visitor becomes a lead through a series of actions that happen digitally. Just be careful setting these up!

A Web server is a program that uses HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) to serve the files that form Web pages to users, in response to their requests, which are forwarded by their computers’ HTTP clients. Dedicated computers and appliances may be referred to as Web servers as well.

The Marketing “Funnel”

Inbound uses a theoretical “funnel” to explain how visitors on your website move towards your product/service. They go through the funnel in phases (top, middle, and bottom), tracked by the content they download, before they are ready to be contacted by your sales represented.


Pinckney marketing acronyms cheat sheet marketing terms

Artificial Intelligence – As it relates to marketing, it is the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior such as chatbots.

Application Programming Interface – A system of tools and resources in an operating system, enabling developers to create software apps clearly defined methods of communication between various software components.

‘Business-to-Business’ includes companies that sell to predominantly other companies. This affects your marketing efforts. (Example: manufacturer and wholesaler or wholesaler and retailer, etc.)

‘Business-to-Consumer’ includes companies that sell directly to consumers, who are the end-users of the product or service.

Bottom-of-the-funnel, Middle-of-the-funnel, Top-of-the-funnel (respectively). Used to track where the visitor/lead is in their journey through the marketing funnel. See ‘The Marketing Funnel’ definition above.

Call-to-Action – A piece of content intended to induce a viewer, reader, or listener to perform a certain action. This messaging is usually complimented with a CTA button, which would be clicked to get to the target page.

Click-Through-Rate – The percentage of visitors of your website who have clicked your link/CTA. As a business, you want a high CTR; as it is often the goal of the landing page or email.

Cost-Per-Lead – An ad metric measuring the total cost of your campaign divided by the number of leads that came in from your ad/campaign.

Cost-Per-Click – An ad metric measuring what you pay for every click, instead of view, that you get from your ad/campaign. This metric is great to measure when the goal is engagement or conversion.

Cost-Per-View – An ad metric measuring what you pay for every view, instead of click, that you get on your ad. Focus on this metric when the goal is brand awareness, impressions.

In this subtractive color model four inks (cyan, magenta, yellow, key (black)) (CMYK) are used to create your color range. This is the preferred color model for color printing.

Customer Relation Management – Technology used for managing all company’s relationship and interactions with customers and potential customers.

Content Management System – Tool used to support content creation and of digital content particularly good for website content creation and management.

5 C’S
Company, Customers, Competitors, Climate, Collaborators/Context (varies). The five key areas to analyze when making marketing decision marketing for you company.

In this additive color model red, blue, and green (RBG) are added together to create your color range. This is the preferred color model for web design.

Search Engine Marketing – Type of marketing that focuses on positioning your website within search engines for maximum visibility and increased share of paid/organic traffic referrals from search engines.

Search Engine Optimization – Practice of increasing quality and quantity of qualified traffic to your website through organic search results.

Check out our Guide to SEO for quick SEO tips you can make on your website today!

User experience, the experience your visitors (on your website/physical location) have with your company. You want to ensure you are making it the most natural and easiest experience for them to convert.


I know that was a lot of definitions at once, but hopefully it will be helpful as you decode the marketing language of your agency. Personally, I hope all of my friends keep this on hand to translate my inevitable marketing rambles.

For more helpful tips, be sure to download our Inbound Marketing and Sales Guide! And feel free to comment below with any marketing terms that you always get asked to clarify!