To make the B2B terms glossary easier to read and follow, we have decided these b2b terms into four broad categories:
Such categories include:
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. A/B testing is more about comparative analysis of the two set groups, providing an insight as to which variant works more effectively than the other.
Analytics is the process of finding patterns and sequences and extracting relevant information from data sets. It is used by companies and softwares to analyze user engagement, marketing effectiveness and engagement rates. Analytics help a company or a user in measuring marketing insights, evaluate trends and judge the effectiveness and engagement rates of their platform. Various analytical tools help the companies in designing the product and put together effective marketing strategies.
APIs are a series of defined rules that streamline communication between different applications. In layman’s terms, APIs are essentially clearly defined methods of communication between various software components. APIs act as an intermediary layer that facilitate data transfers between systems and softwares giving the company a more detailed understanding over the functionality of their softwares, traffic and data inputs.
Huge amounts of structured and unstructured data which can be analyzed by various tools and traditional methods for the likes of scraping and visualization etc. Put simply, it is a chunk of a variety of different data compiled into one which needs to be differentiated, segmented and analyzed individually to gain some insight. Big data helps in lead generation, designing marketing models and predicting customer behavior.
It 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 or, it could simply mean that the website content is not relevant and particularly useful for the visitor. Companies design their websites in such a way in order to minimize this bounce rate and generate more inbound leads through SEO, marketing techniques and paid advertisements.
(synonymous with adoption process) It can be understood as a complete path taken by a customer right from the first click on the website to the point of being onboarded or buying the said software. It traces the journey right from the inquiry phase to the decision stage. However, it should also be noted the buyer’s journey may also begin from a channel other than the website, say a pop-up ad or direct call or emails sent out by the company.
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 i.e., paid advertising A high CTR is not the only indicator of a good paid ad. Similarly if the CTR is high does not necessarily mean that the ad is great. A host of different factors come into play while calculating the relevance and usefulness of the ad.
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
The path that website visitors follow to become a lead. It can be understood as one of the many aspects of the potential “Buyer’s Journey” . It traces out the complete step by step procedure taken by the visitor on the website. Analyzing it gives the company a brief profiling of the visitor and helps the company to know what content of the website is working and what is not. Conversion path is closely measured by the company to track its marketing sales techniques. .
The percentage of website visitors that convert into leads. Here, leads should not be understood as being synonymous with buyers. Leads are visitors who can be potential buyers. Sometimes they may be converted into customers directly and in some cases the company needs to pursue them further in order to onboard them..
extremely deep content focused on a high-value keyword that is then linked to by other related pieces throughout the site. This is a technique used to rank for competitive keywords.It may highlight a description of your product, blogs, frequently asked questions and certain keywords.
CRM is a system for managing a company’s interactions with current and future customers. It includes the marketing techniques, customer policies and sales measures employed by a company in order to rope in new customers and maintain good relations with the existing ones. There are many CRM software systems, two well-known ones are Salesforce and HubSpot.
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. It helps keep track of customers gained and lost over a certain period of time.
This is the average amount of money that your customers pay during their engagement with your company. The metric shows average customer worth & provides businesses with an accurate portrayal of their growth potential. It is an important metric for a company to track its costs and the returns it expects on its marketing and selling expenses. Since B2B businesses have a longer sales cycle ranging from days to months, tracking the CLV is important for a company to understand how much it should be spending to gain a customer.
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, measure cost and maintain a healthy profitability margin.
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.
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. A high number of spammy links pointing to your website can hurt your search ranking, and in some cases be a reason for Google to place a penalty on your domain.
A process or technique through which marketers handle all their marketing channels (website, blog, social media, email, contacts) in one place. Some of the prominent MAs are HubSpot, Marketo, Pardot, and Sharp Spring.
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. However, it must be noted that MQL are those leads who are more likely to become the customer than others. MQLs 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.
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 actual cash for the business.
Paid online advertising. It is a marketing model whereby the advertiser pays in proportion to the amount of clicks generated on an online advertisement of their company/software/service. 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.
Similar to branding, this term describes how a company positions themselves in their market. Positioning is specifically related to the product (or software) the company aims to sell and the problem it intends to address with its services. On a wider scale it may also include the marketing strategies and customer services offered by the company which help it to stand apart from its competitors.
The revenue generated because of marketing efforts. This is the most important statistic in marketing.
Used to look at the rate at which monthly recurring revenue (MRR) is lost, as a result of lost customers and downgraded subscriptions. To put simply, it implies the loss incurred by the company due to loss of customers and decreased subscriptions.
The SERP 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 paid ads. Companies target to be at the top spots of these SERPs in order to gain larger traffic which helps in inbound lead generation and customer profiling through the means of SEO tools, usage of apt keywirds and paid ads
A kind of software that is subscription-based and centrally hosted, usually on the internet. The most popular kinds of SaaS software are Hubspot, Salesforce, Zoom and Factors.ai.
A set of design parameters that a web designer uses on every page to make sure your website stays consistent.
On the website page, the percentage of views that resulted in a form submission is called the submission rate. An extremely useful metric for measuring the effectiveness of a landing page as to whether the website has all the relevant content and features to capture the interest of the visitor. If the submission rate is high it means the content posted by the company and its websites are user friendly and capture the interest of the visitor.Most companies operating in B2B and SAAS domain rely on demos and form submissions in order to take a lead forward, as means of converting a website visitor into a prospective customer.
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.
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. It is a type of informative and educational document highlighting various services offered by the company to its customers.
SEO that is ethical and refers to any practice 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.
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.
The head of everything marketing at a company.
Links from other sites to a website. Backlinks from authoritative websites can increase the search ranking of a website, while non-authoritative websites can hurt a website’s search ranking. For backlinks to help with SEO, they have to be natural and authoritative. For example a backlink from Forbes to Factors.ai would be authoritative and useful for Factors.ai.
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.
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.
Comes in various forms like audio, visual and 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 center of the marketing process.
Content Audit generally consists 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. It is done to ensure that the company’s content is relevant and relatable to the prospective customers and website visitors so that the visitors find content they are looking for and not get stuck in a whirlpool of random information.
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..
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 target market finds 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.
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.
A phrase that has truly earned buzzword status. It’s pretty self-explanatory as it just communicates the power of content marketing. Content is more important for the companies operating in the SAAS and B2B sphere since content is the key driver of their sales and marketing endeavors.
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.
Someone who writes marketing and advertising content.
A way of traditional marketing where marketers send marketing content by postal 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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. The users must fill out the said form or fulfill certain specific requirements of the gate in order for them to access such gated content. Lots of different kinds of content can be placed behind a form (ebooks, case studies, consultation, whitepaper, webinars, etc.).
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.
The practice of optimizing past content (blogs, ebooks and other content) to increase its visibility and, as a result, lead generation.
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.
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.
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. Nowadays the term influencer has become more pervasive with the advent of social media. Companies also employ such social media influencers in order to drive their advertising. However, they are not as relevant for B2B players since such social media influencers target end consumers not businesses.
A term used to describe when both inbound and outbound (traditional) techniques are used in marketing efforts. To put simply, when the company employs the usage of cold mailing and follow ups on generated leads to onboard new customers, it is called integrated marketing.
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.
A person or entity 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.
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.
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.
The process of moving your leads further down the funnel until they turn into customers. Measures employed by a company to pursue a lead in order to convince such leads into turning clients of the company. Different companies have different means and measures in their respective funnel to nurture the said lead, some employ direct calling, others employ giving a demo session and many such measures. Email marketing is the most common form of lead nurturing.
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.
Links from your website to other websites. This can establish your website's authority. However, this could also result in the loss of leads since the website visitor may not come back to your website. Therefore, this is a gamble since it poses a risk of losing prospective customers to other players. One must employ discretion while employing such outbound links in their blogs and websites.
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.
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.”
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.
Internet marketing that promotes websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages. This term is often used synonymously with SEO.
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.
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 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.
Account based marketing is a B2B marketing strategy that focuses on specific targeted accounts which the business want to retain or convert into clients. Here, the business takes a holistic approach of marketing, designing strategies and offerings in order to suit the needs of these particular clients.The benefits of such marketing tools are shorter sales cycles, cost benefit and marketing and sales alignment.Do check out our beginner’s guide to account- based marketing (ABM) for a deep dive into this essential marketing concept.
Advocate marketing is a marketing policy whereby the businesses especially B2B businesses use their existing customers to advocate or market their product. Therefore, this requires less resources since your existing customers become mouthpieces of your company's product. Companies use rewarding mechanisms and loyalty programs to reward such existing customers for their advocacy.
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.
Business-to-business marketing refers to marketing policies adopted by a firm to market its products and services to other businesses and organizations. In layman’s terms, it is where a business markets its products and services to other businesses or organizations as opposed to a consumer(B2C marketing). Companies who serve other businesses as their customers rather than individual consumers are called B2B companies.
Business-to-consumer marketing that takes place between a business and a consumer. It is where a business markets its products and services to an individual consumer. For example marketing strategies employed by FMCG players like ITC to market its shampoos.
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).
A term used in project management to describe a tangible or intangible product that is the result of a project.
A function of marketing that drives interest in a company and creates a demand in the company and its products or services.
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. Search engine Optimzation (SEO) works primarily around specific keywords in order to rank articles and search engine pages.
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.
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.
The use of game-like techniques like competitions, reward generation and other interactive measures to enhance non-game contexts. It's a technique that employs our natural desire to play games. Examples like loyalty programs, daily quizzes, actual games and rewarding schemes can be termed under the module of gamification.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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. An important point to note with such keywords is you have to be precise and particular in drafting such long tail keywords.
The practice of putting a spin on a breaking news story to gain media attention, gain leads and create revenue.
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.
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.
A form of digital advertising that tracks visitors to a site and then shows them ads for that site on other sites.
Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing a website using appropriate keywords in order to rank higher in search requests. 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.
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).
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.”
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.
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.
A company or person that resells a product, usually software and provides certain value over and beyond the particular product or service to be sold. For example providing additional services apart from selling a software in terms of its maintenance, upkeep and installation.
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.
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.
(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. This calculates and gives a value to the ability of a lead to buy their product and turn into a prospective customer. Different companies employ different measuring and valuing techniques as they deem fit.
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.
A semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on real data and some select educated speculation about customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. It is a characteristic of the potential buyer sketched by the marketer to design the marketing selling tactics around and about this persona to successfully onboard the client while adjusting to their demands and needs.
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.
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.
A visual representation of the journey that buyers take from strangers to customers 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). The company employs various attribution methods to rank such leads.
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. It comes as a next qualifying step after the Marketing Qualified Lead or MQL.
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