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B2B Marketing Glossary

Aadya Hendi
October 1, 2021
Table of Contents

A/B Testing – A/B testing or Split-testing is a way to improve engagement and conversion rates, by experimenting using 2 variants of an element with 2 separate audiences to measure & compare the user response to each. For example - testing two versions of a webpage or email and choosing the one that leads to more conversions. 


Analytics – Analytics are sets of data extracted from campaigns to analyse trends and develop actionable insights. It involves measuring marketing activities to evaluate trends to optimise campaigns with time. The analytics measures allow the operator to adjust spending and strategy to attain the highest return on investment (ROI) thereby forming a crucial part of any paid online advertising campaign.


Application Programming Interface (API) – APIs are a series of programming rules that enable different applications to extract information from one software service and use that information in their application. In layman’s terms, APIs are essentially clearly defined methods of communication between various software components.


Account Based Marketing (ABM) – Contrary to Mass marketing, A B2B marketing strategy focused on targeting specific accounts, hence approaching individuals as markets of one.


Advocate Marketing – The combination of customer service and marketing to delight customers. A delighted 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 or customer brought by the affiliate's marketing efforts. Common forms of affiliate marketing include PPC and Organic search.


Backlinks – Links from other sites to a website. Backlinks from authoritative websites can increase the search ranking of a website, while un-authoritative websites can hurt a website’s search ranking. For backlinks to help with SEO, they have to be natural and authoritative.


B2B Marketing – Marketing that takes place between businesses. In layman’s terms, it is where a business markets its products and services to other businesses as opposed to a consumer(B2C marketing).


B2C Marketing – Marketing that takes place between a business and a consumer. It is where a business markets its products and services to a consumer. 


BANT – (Budget, Authority, Need, Timeline) An acronym used by sales reps to determine whether a contact has the budget, authority, need, and timeline to purchase their products and services.

Black Hat SEO – SEO that is focused on outsmarting the search engines instead of working with them. Black hat SEO makes a website appear more authoritative than it is. It includes but is not limited to link schemes, link farms and keyword stuffing. (see White hat SEO).


Blog – Business blogging is one of many components of inbound marketing. Having a relatable and informative blog on a business’s website can help a business increase traffic, conversions, improve SEO, and do several positive things for a website. Blogs fit into the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey and the attract stage of the inbound methodology.


Big Data – Huge amounts of structured and unstructured data that is now available, on the internet with the ability to track people’s digital behaviour.


Bounce Rate – represents the percentage of visitors who enter the site and then leave (“bounce”) rather than continuing to view other pages within the same site. If the bounce rate is extremely high for a landing page, it probably means that the design and call-to-action of the page are not consistent. 


Branding – Branding is an integral part of any kind of marketing. A company can create its brand perception through successful customer interactions, company values, products, culture. Good branding makes a company or organization easy to recognize and helps the company be positively perceived by its audience.


Buyer Personas – A semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on real data and some select educated speculation about customer demographics, behaviour patterns, motivations, and goals. Everything that a b2b marketer does should be to solve the problems of their company’s buyer personas.


Buyer’s Journey – (synonymous with adoption process) The buyer’s journey is the journey that the buyer goes on whether or not they ever hear about your business (they will realize a need, consider options, and make a decision with or without your help). 


Call-To-Action (CTA) – The first step in turning a website visitor into a lead. A call-to-action is an advertisement for a piece of content; this could be a webinar, an ebook, a white paper, or another high-value piece of content. This piece of content is hidden behind a landing page. When a visitor sees a call-to-action and clicks on it, they are taken to the landing page where they are asked to complete a form to access the desired content. The visitor’s information is then stored on a Marketing Automation platform/ Customer Relationship platform and the visitor becomes a lead. 


Campaign – A way of organizing marketing efforts. Often b2b marketers will use some combination of marketing tools (webinars, ebooks, white papers, press releases, events, keywords, blogs, keywords, social media messages, and buyer personas) for one unified purpose. All the tools that are used for one purpose are categorized as a campaign. 

Channel Partner – A company or person that partners with a manufacturer or producer to market the manufacturer’s products, services, or technologies. A value-added reseller (VAR) is an example of a channel partner.


Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) – The head of everything marketing at a company. 


Click Through Rate (CTR) – The percentage of people that view an ad and that click on it. A useful metric for measuring the effectiveness of a call-to-action or a pay-per-click ad.


Cold Calling – a form of outbound marketing where a person calls random people that may or may not be interested in the hopes to sell them a product or service. 


Content – Comes in many forms of writing (website text, ebook, blog, whitepaper, press release, social media posts), it could be video, static image, or recorded audio like a podcast. Content is at the centre of the marketing process.


Content Audit – The process is subjective to who is conducting the audit but generally should consist of mapping out the stages of the buyer’s journey for a given company, then mapping out the company’s existing content to each stage.


Content Curation – The practice of sharing content that was produced by another company. Content curation usually takes place on social media. Content curation is an excellent way for a brand to develop relationships with thought leaders, and show their own thought leadership by association. In some niches, there is already tons of great content out there. In these cases, content curation is a great way to cut through the noise by allying with industry leaders.


Content is king – A phrase that has truly earned buzzword status. It’s pretty self-explanatory as it just communicates the power of content marketing.


Content Management System (CMS) – An application that is used to publish, edit, modify, organize, and delete web content in one centralized interface. Common content management systems include WordPress, SquareSpace, and HubSpot. There are also content management systems that are specialized for social media like HootSuite.


Content Marketing – Using content to market products and services. It is usually considered to be a subset of inbound marketing and often functions by educating the buyer about how to solve their problems. Marketers create content that their buyer personas find helpful and thus create trust and authority. Content should be created for each stage of the buyer’s journey. Blog content should be geared toward the awareness stage, ebooks toward the consideration stage, and content like case studies, whitepapers, and consultations towards the decision stage. 


Content Shock – A term coined in 2014 by Mark Schaefer in a blog post. Mark articulates that the amount of online marketing content is increasing exponentially faster than people’s ability to consume it. The supply is growing way faster than the demand, and thus making successful content marketing more and more expensive. 


Conversion Path – the path that website visitors follow to become a lead.


Conversion Rate – the percentage of website visitors that convert into leads.


Copy – It refers to the piece of written work by a copywriter or a content creator, about the product or service used for marketing and advertising purposes.


Copywriter – someone who writes marketing and advertising content. 


Cornerstone Content – extremely deep content focused on a high-value keyword that is then linked to naturally by other related pieces throughout the site. This is a technique used to rank for competitive keywords. 


Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – CRM is a system for managing a company’s interactions with current and future customers. There are many CRM software systems, two well-known ones are Salesforce and HubSpot.


Customer churn – Customer churn rate measures how many customers your business has lost in a given time period. It is an important metric to track both your monthly and annual churn rates and provide knowledge on your customer retention across different dates & time periods.


Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)  is the average amount of money that your customers pay during their engagement with your company. The metric shows average customer worth & provide businesses with an accurate portrayal of their growth potential.


Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) – shows exactly how much it costs to acquire new customers and how much value they bring to your business. When combined with CLV, this metric helps validate the viability of your business model. 


Deliverables – A term used in project management to describe a tangible or intangible product that is the result of a project.


Demand Generation – A function of marketing that drives interest in a company and creates a demand in the company and its products or services.


Direct Mail – A way of traditional marketing where marketers send marketing content by snail mail. This used to be common practice, but in the digital age, the practice has become less frequent and is often looked down on by marketers.


Disavow Tool – In 2012, Google released the disavow tool which allowed website owners to “disavow” spammy backlinks that were pointed to their site. Thus, making website owners responsible for their link profile. With a higher number of spammy links pointing to your website, it can hurt your search ranking, and in some cases be a reason for Google to place a penalty on your domain. 


Ebook – A content piece that can be used to educate your buyers and thus help them to move along the buyer’s journey. Ebooks fit into the awareness and consideration stage of the buyer’s journey and the attract and convert stage of the inbound methodology. An ebook should essentially be “gated” or put behind a form on a landing page for visitors to fill out and download.


Email Marketing – A facet of content marketing. It can be done using inbound methods or outbound methods. Outbound methods of email marketing are invasive and include buying email lists and spamming random uninterested people about your products or offers. Inbound methods of using email marketing focus on connecting with and helping people who have already expressed interest in your company. Email marketing fits into the consideration and decision stage of the buyer’s journey and the close stage of the inbound methodology. 


External Links – While internal links link somewhere else on the same website, external links link to another website. If a website has external links that link to authoritative websites, it will help it rank higher in search engines, while a link to an un-authoritative or spammy website will make it rank lower in search engines. 


Form – A form should be on every landing page. A form is what turns a website visitor into a lead. A form consists of form fields that the viewer fills out to download the offer. At the very least, a form should have a form field to capture the viewer’s email. The email is the primary identifier of any lead. 


Gamification – The use of game design techniques to enhance non-game contexts. It's a technique that employs our natural desire to play games. 


Gated Content – Content that is higher in value and usually for buyers in the consideration or decision stage of the buyer’s journey. This content is placed behind a “gate” or a form on a landing page. Lots of different kinds of content can be placed behind a form (ebooks, case studies, consultation, whitepaper, webinars, etc.).


Growth Hacking – A phrase coined by Sean Ellis in 2010. He describes it as “a person whose true north is growth. Everything they do is scrutinized by its potential impact on scalable growth”. It’s a trendy term that is used to describe a way of integrating marketing and technological savvy to create unmatched growth. 


Guerrilla Marketing – A strategy to drive publicity, and brand awareness of a product or service by promoting using unconventional methods designed to evoke surprise, wonder or shock.  

Historical Optimization – The practice of optimizing past content (blogs, ebooks and other content) to increase its visibility and, as a result, lead generation. 

Inbound Links – When another website links to a page on your website. Websites link to other websites when they feature remarkable content. Inbound links give a website more authority and help to drive more relevant traffic to the website.


Inbound Marketing – A term coined by HubSpot founder Brian Halligan. Inbound marketing aims to create a positive experience for the potential buyer by using techniques like website, social media, email, and blogging to attract customers. 


Inbound Methodology – A hybrid term between the buyer’s journey and the sales funnel. It is the process that inbound marketers use to attract strangers to their business and eventually turn those strangers into happy customers that advocate their business to other strangers. 


Influencer – An influencer or a thought leader is a person that influences a great number of people in an industry. Examples of marketing thought leaders are Seth Godin, Joe Pulluzi, Guy Kawaski, Brian Halligan, and Dharmesh Shah. 


Integrated Marketing – A term used to describe when both inbound and outbound (traditional) techniques are used in marketing efforts.


Internal Links – While external links to another website, internal links lead to a place on the same website. Internal links help with navigation, user experience and help Google crawl your pages more quickly.


Keywords – the words that potential users type into a search bar to find you online. One part of driving traffic to your website is finding out what your buyer personas type into search engines to solve their problem and then create valuable, relevant content around those keywords. This will ensure you rank higher in search engines for that keyword.


Keyword Stuffing – a form of black hat SEO that used to be effective where webmasters would take a keyword they wanted to rank for and put it all over the page. But, today keyword stuffing can hurt your search ranking.


Landing Page – when a person clicks on an advertisement or call-to-action, they are taken to a landing page that features the advertised offer. Landing pages usually feature a form that the viewer fills out to obtain the offer.


Lead – a person who has given your company their email address and any other information about themselves and expressed interest in your company. Usually, this happens when a person visits a website and fills out a form to download a piece of gated content.


Lead Scoring – The process of assigning a score to each contact in your database based on how likely a contact is to close as a customer. Lead scoring is usually done by marketing automation software and it entails adding or subtracting points on several criteria including a contact’s engagement, their persona, their demographic and more.

Lead Generation – The task of turning website visitors into leads. There are seemingly infinite ways to generate leads. Everything including your website, social media pages, and content should be generating leads.


Lead Nurturing – the process of moving your leads further down the funnel until they turn into customers. Email marketing is the most common form of lead nurturing.


Link Schemes – A link scheme is an unethical way of making your website look more authoritative than it really is to search engines so that it will rank higher in SERPS(Search engine results page). 


Link Farms – A link farm is similar to a link scheme where pages are created with the sole purpose of linking to a target website to try and improve that target website’s search ranking.


Long Tail Keywords – A long tail keyword is a keyword phrase made up of multiple words. They are more specific and hence less competitive, which ends up attracting more of the right kind of traffic to your site.


Marketing Automation (MA) – A Software that allows marketers to handle all their marketing channels (website, blog, social media, email, contacts) in one place. Some of the prominent MAs are HubSpot, Marketo, Pardot, Sharp Spring, and others.


Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) – A lead that has shown interest in your business, but you don’t know if they are qualified to buy your services or products yet. MQL’s must be researched or interacted with more to determine whether they can be determined a sales qualified lead and given a call by your sales team.


Months to Recover CAC – also known as the CAC Payback Period — measures the number of months it takes to generate enough revenue to cover the cost of acquiring a customer. In other words, it measures when you break even and a customer starts to generate ROI for your business. 


Newsjacking – the practice of putting a spin on a breaking news story to gain media attention, gain leads and create revenue.


Omni Channel Marketing – Omni channel marketing refers to marketing that takes place off multiple channels (also called multi-channel marketing). For example, most companies today must have marketing content for mobile devices, computers, ipads and more. The more seamless the experience is across different devices, the better. 


Organic Search – A free channel for attracting traffic to your website by optimizing it for search engines and using the correct keywords. Organic search will work seamlessly as long as your website has relevant and authoritative content that uses the right keywords.

Outbound LinksLinks from your website to other websites. This can establish your website's authority.


Outbound Marketing – a term used to describe old school marketing techniques like cold calling, email blasts, or television ads. This term is synonymous with “traditional marketing.” Usually, outbound marketing is less tech-savvy than inbound marketing as it is deeply focused on broadcasting yourself to your target audience.


Pay Per Click (PPC) – Paid online advertising. This way of attracting traffic to your site can get pricey and must be done the right way to drive the right kind of traffic to your website. PPC fits into the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey and the attract stage of the inbound methodology.


Pipeline Marketing – A term that Bizible claims to have coined. This term addresses the disconnect between lead generation and acquiring customers. Pipeline marketing focuses its efforts on acquiring customers, not just on generating leads as the majority of the leads do not end up converting. According to Bizible “Pipeline marketing is what you’re doing while content marketing, inbound marketing, lead nurturing, and growth hacking is how you do it.” 


Positioning – similar to branding, this term describes how a company positions themselves in their market. Positioning requires finding a niche market that is large enough to support your company and small enough that you can beat out the competition. 


POV – short for “point of view”, a POV is a report that a marketing agency gives to a client to help the client assess different marketing channels. For example, a POV would show whether a company’s target audience spent more time on Pinterest, Twitter or Facebook and therefore which social media platform was a better option.


Return On Marketing Investment (ROMI) – The revenue generated because of marketing efforts. This is the most important statistic in marketing. 


Retargeting – A form of digital advertising that tracks visitors to a site and then shows them ads for that site on other sites. 


Request for Proposal (RFP) – traditionally it has been used as an opportunity to find a marketing agency or consultant with whom you can build an ongoing, mutually beneficial relationship. Most RFPs sent to marketing agencies are pretty standard, asking for facts, figures, management bios, client lists, recent wins and losses, capabilities, strategic approach and case histories. 


Revenue Churn (MRR churn rate) – is used to look at the rate at which monthly recurring revenue (MRR) is lost, as a result of lost customers and downgraded subscriptions.


Sales Funnel – A visual representation of the journey that buyers take from strangers to customers and evangelists of your company that the marketing team uses to categorize contacts. The top of the funnel represents people who are farther away from buying (strangers, visitors, subscribers) and the bottom of the funnel represents people who are closer to buying (SQL‘s, Opportunities, Customers, Evangelists). 


Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) – A lead that has been determined to have the ability to purchase your company’s products or services. A sales qualified lead is then passed from the marketing team to the sales team to hopefully be closed into a customer.


Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – internet marketing that promotes websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages. This term is often used synonymously with SEO.


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – The process of optimizing a website to be found in search engines. The process includes a range of things like creating authoritative content based on the correct keywords for your buyer personas, acquiring inbound links, creating outbound links, gaining social proof, and more. 


Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) – The SERP feature is the result a user sees when using a search engine. These web pages are ranked based on their keywords and link profiles or they can be listed at the top of the page if they are ads.


Smart Content – Website content that changes depending on who is viewing it. Smart content can be set up to show viewers different content based on their location, their device, their lifecycle stage, their buyer persona, or actions they have completed on the website (content they’ve downloaded, or pages they’ve viewed).


Social Media Marketing – The use of social media for marketing purposes. With well over 1 billion people on social networks today, social media provides a huge opportunity for marketers to gain new leads and prospects. Marketers can use social media to share their marketing content, stay informed on industry trends and news, create business connections, engage with their audience, and find new customers. Social media marketing fits into the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey and the attract stage of the inbound methodology.


Social Monitoring – The act of monitoring specific social users. Social monitoring is especially useful for Twitter. Marketers can create Twitter streams using tools like TweetDeck, or HubSpot’s Social Inbox that only show tweets from specific users or that include a certain word. This can help identify needs or opportunities to share helpful information. Social monitoring is often used synonymously with “social listening.”


Software as a Service (SaaS) – A kind of software that is subscription-based and centrally hosted, usually on the internet. The most popular kinds of SaaS software are CMS and MA.

Style Guide – a set of design parameters that a web designer uses on every page to make sure your website stays consistent.

Submission Rate – On a landing page, the percentage of views that resulted in a form submission. An extremely useful metric for measuring the effectiveness of a landing page and its form.


Syndicated Content – When you publish content to your website and someone else likes it so much that they ask if they can duplicate it on their website. This can help deliver your website content like a blog to a wider audience if done correctly or could hurt the rank of your website and the website with duplicate content. 


Synergy – When multiple marketing channels work together to communicate the same message. Synergy is an integral part of any marketing campaign. Many times the most successful marketing takes place by creatively using different marketing channels in complementary ways.


Thank-You Page – When a prospect clicks on a call-to-action and is taken to the landing page and fills out a form to download gated content and thus becomes a lead, they should then be taken to a thank-you page. A thank-you page is a great way to move the viewer farther down the buyer’s journey. The thank-you page thanks the viewer for their interest in the offer and then can show them related offers, or direct them to look at some other aspect of the site. This fits into the decision stage of the buyer’s journey, close and delight stages of the inbound marketing methodology.


T Shaped Marketer – A concept used to describe a marketer that has a breadth of knowledge about a lot of subjects, but also has a depth of knowledge in one or two areas. The concept was first introduced to the spotlight in 2010 by Tim Brown.


User Experience – User experience refers to the experience that someone has on a website. The whole purpose of the website is to give the user a positive experience while helping them align their goals with the goals of the company. User experience includes everything about the look and feel of a website including design, navigation, and even content.


Value Added Reseller (VAR) – A company or person that resells a product, usually software.

Webinar – A piece of high-value content, a webinar is a great way for a company to educate their buyer personas about a problem and establish themselves as thought leaders. Webinars should be “gated“, or put behind a form on a landing page.


White paper – A white paper is a sales or marketing document used to persuade potential customers to learn about a particular product or service to get them to make a purchase. A white paper should be “gated“, or put behind a form on a landing page.


White Hat SEO – SEO that is ethical and refers to any practise that improves your search rankings on a search engine results page (SERP) while maintaining the integrity of your website and staying within the search engines' terms of service. It’s the opposite of black hat SEO and it aims to work in line with the terms and conditions of major search engines like Google.

Workflow – a system of nourishing leads down the buyer’s journey through email marketing. They are a series of emails that a marketer can set up in their marketing automation to send out to leads who perform certain actions on a website. The workflow would then send out a series of emails designed to keep the lead interested in the company and prepare them to purchase the company’s product or service.

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