The Ultimate B2B Marketing and PR Glossary

With developments in the marketing and PR industries happening every day, there seems to be new jargon popping up everywhere we look, like “Metaverse,” “share of voice,” and more acronyms than we know what to do with. So let’s review some essential B2B marketing and PR terms (and remember to bookmark this page for your next “What the heck is that?” moment!).

A/B testing

Also known as split testing, A/B testing refers to the process of creating two versions of something to see which performs better. It could be a landing page, subject line, email newsletter, or another digital asset. One asset is “A,” and the other is “B.” Both assets are simultaneously shown to different users, and whichever performs better based on the metrics set will inform how future campaigns are constructed.

Accessibility

While the definition of accessibility may seem obvious, it is of growing importance for brands to create and share accessible content. This means that anyone, regardless of ability, should easily be able to navigate, understand, and use your content. For brands, that could mean using captions on all videos, including alt text on images, and creating screen-reader-friendly websites.

Account-Based Marketing

Using tactics to target specific potential clients to convert them into consumers is account-based marketing (ABM). Also known as key account marketing, ABM is a strategic way to show high-value potential clients that your company understands their needs and can alleviate specialized pain points.

Algorithm (Social Media)

All social media platforms (and search engines, for that matter), use an algorithm, a form of computer coding that sorts social media posts and content to show the most relevant, popular, or trending content, rather than sorting by posting time and date.

 
Related reading: Hack the LinkedIn Algorithm in 4 Easy Steps

Alt Text

When adding an image to your website or social media, you may be prompted to add alt text. But where does it go, and what does it do? Alt text, or alternative text, is text that shows in the box where an image is placed. Some internet users have settings that don’t load images—for reasons of browsing speed or visual impairment. This allows those users to use screen-reading technology that tells them what the image is of, thus making your digital presence more inclusive to all ability levels.

Backlink

Similar to a citation, a backlink refers to one webpage linking to another website. Also called inbound links or incoming links, backlinks are essential for building SEO, as the quality and quantity of backlinks can improve a website’s organic ranking in search engine algorithms. The more backlinks to your site, the more popular or helpful it appears to be for users.

Related reading: Google’s John Mueller Says Total Number of Backlinks Doesn’t Matter—Here’s What Does

Brand

Some marketers may say that a brand is what they curate and develop to reach consumers. But really, a brand is made up of the impression consumers get and create in their own minds of any particular organization. So the consumer’s experience with a company becomes the company’s brand. Marketers can help shape the brand through consumer engagement.

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Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is the extent to which consumers recognize a particular brand’s qualities, logo, products, or services.

Brand Voice

Comparable to a person’s personality, a brand voice is a brand’s unique tone, disposition, or communication style. For example, a brand may be known for being inspirational (Nike), friendly and upbeat (Coca-Cola), or quirky and fun (MeUndies).

Related reading: 5 Steps to Developing an Outstanding Brand Voice on Social Media

Bullet Points & Blessings

Coined by Zen Media CEO, Shama Hyder: “Give us a few bullet points on XYZ topic and your blessing to run with them, and we’ll get to work.” Bullet Points & Blessings is when a marketing and PR agency has a strong enough understanding of a client’s brand that they can turn a few bullet points into an elegantly written blog post, a compelling PR article, snappy and attention-grabbing social posts, and more.

Buyer Persona

A buyer persona is a fictional representation of an actual buyer that may include demographics, psychographics, geographics, and behavioral segmentation. A buyer persona is often used to help marketers envision their target consumers more accurately.

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Buyer’s Journey

The buyer’s journey is the process a customer undergoes when deciding to make a purchase. From discovering a product to conducting research, the buyer’s journey ends when the customer either converts to a sale or chooses not to go through with it. Companies should pay close attention to their buyer’s behaviors and the things they do throughout this process.

Related reading: Content Marketing Tips for the Five Stages of the Consumer Buying Decision Process

BOF or BoFu

BoFu (bottom-of-funnel) refers to the bottom of the consumer funnel. BoFu is where marketers work to convert interest into sales with demos, case studies, and consumer stories.

Byline

A byline is a line of text on a written piece of content that gives credit to its writer(s).

CAC

CAC (customer acquisition cost) is the cost of sales plus the cost of marketing, divided by the number of new customers acquired.

CTA (Call To Action)

Buy now! Subscribe! Share this post!

These are examples of CTAs. A CTA (Call To Action) is the action you want your prospective customers to take after reviewing a marketing asset. CTAs encourage users to interact with your company and should have compelling copy. They must persuade users, show urgency, and stand out from the rest of the copy.

Usually, CTAs focus on converting leads into sales, but they can point to many things. For example, a YouTuber could ask his viewers to subscribe to his channel or give him a thumbs-up rating after watching a video. Or, a musician could encourage his Instagram followers to share his post about a new song. The possibilities are endless.

Related reading: How to Write CTAs That People Actually Click With Examples!

Case Studies

A case study analyzes a particular instance (or “case”) of something to demonstrate quantifiable results. In marketing, case studies are used as social proof to give buyers the context to determine whether they’re making a good choice.

Related reading: 5 Tips for Crafting The Perfect Case Study

Churn Rate

Also known as the rate of attrition or customer churn, churn rate refers to the number of customers who stop using the service or buying the product in a given period of time. The higher the churn rate, the more customers a company loses. 

CLV

CLV (consumer lifetime value) represents the net revenue a business can plan to generate from a particular customer as long as they are projected to remain a customer.

CRM

CRM (customer relationship management) is the process of managing relationships with new and existing customers. Typically this is done through a software tool that helps companies aggregate customer data. CRM tools can help marketers really understand their customers’ wants, needs, and preferences, which can be a golden ticket to improving marketing strategy.

Communications

Communications are how we send and receive information from one another. In the context of B2B marketing, it refers to the ways a company’s internal team can connect. Social media is an example of a powerful B2B communication tool.

It is essential for employees to feel empowered to build relationships with one another. Communications allow for powerful collaborations to occur, which can, in turn, improve operations and increase ROI. Everyone on your team needs to be on the same page for your brand to succeed.

Related Reading: Corporate Communications, Public Relations, Marketing–What’s the Difference, and How Do They Overlap?

Copywriting

Copywriting is the act of writing material for business use, usually to drive sales or generate leads. This is typically short-form content, like ads, email, and social media.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a strategy used to generate interest or engage an audience with relevant content, like blog posts, videos, newsletters, podcasts, and other media.

What’s the difference between copywriting and content marketing? Good question! Copywriting is typically shorter and focuses on driving customer conversion, and content marketing focuses more on developing a relationship with a consumer to build trust over time.

Related reading: The Ultimate Guide to B2B Content Marketing

Conversion Rate

Conversion rate measures the percentage of successful customer conversions, such as newsletter sign-ups, sales, visitors to a website, or any other marketing goal. Conversation rates are calculated by taking the number of conversions and dividing it by total ad interactions during the same time period.

Related reading: 10 KPIs Every Startup CMO Should Be Tracking

CPL

CPL (cost-per-lead) is a performance-based advertising model where the advertiser pays a set price for each qualifying lead generated from the campaign. CPL can be calculated by dividing the total amount spent by the total attributed leads.

CTM Strategy

CTMs are customer-targeted messages, usually sent to a customer’s mobile device. Traditional CTM marketing displays ads to people based on their location and interests. Other forms of CTM strategy include geo-fencing (using GPS technology to target ads by a consumer’s specific location); retargeting (displaying ads to consumers who visited your site but didn’t convert); and behavioral targeting (displaying ads based on people’s online behavior.)

CTA

CTA (call-to-action) is a word or phrase that invites readers, listeners, viewers, etc., to act on something or respond to the content in a specific way. This could be a prompt to click a link, add a comment, schedule a demo, or contact the writer.

Dark Social

The ubiquitous practice of sharing content privately; that is, not sharing something openly via social media, where companies can track shares, but instead, cutting and pasting links or even whole blog posts into emails or direct messages to send them to friends. Essentially, Dark Social encompasses all social media interactions that are private and untrackable.

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Demand Generation

Demand generation is the process of creating awareness or interest in a company’s products or services.

Related reading: The Demand Generation: What It Is and Why You Want to Be A Part of It

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is the process of using online tactics to fulfill marketing objectives.

Related reading: Here’s Where To Focus Your Marketing Efforts According to Experts

Discord

Discord is a free voice, video, and text chat app with tens of millions of users aged 13+. Marketers can build communities in Discord, allowing brands to engage with a section of their audience deeply and authentically.

Related reading: Discord: What Is It and How Can You Use It For Marketing?

Earned Media

Earned media is a strategy that focuses on third-party content creation. Also known as “Word-Of-Mouth Marketing,” earned media includes influencers, PR, product reviews, and everyday online users who create buzz and share content about a company on their own accord. This strategy can build public interest and trust in a company’s products.

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Email Marketing

Email marketing is a form of direct and digital marketing that uses email to communicate to consumers or followers of a brand.

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Fractional CMO

A fractional CMO is an independent contractor or consultant a company hires to act as its Chief Marketing Officer. Like freelancers, fractional CMOs can work with multiple companies at once and benefit your company’s marketing efforts from a holistic perspective. Brands can also consider a virtual marketing partner or a virtual CMO, which can fill similar roles to fractional CMOs.

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Ghostwriting

Ghostwriting is a process in which a writer is hired to create copy for a client without being publicly credited or associated with the content. From CEOs to entrepreneurs, ghostwriters write from the perspectives of others and conduct research to fill in the gaps. In addition, companies employ ghostwriters to collaborate with executives who lack the time or ability to create content themselves.

Related reading: Ghostwriting: Be the Expert, Outsource the Rest

Growth Marketing

Growth marketing is a long-term strategy focused on experimentation and optimization across marketing funnels. By building customer relationships and fostering loyalty, growth marketing has the potential to grow customer lifetime value organically.

GTM

GTM (go-to-market) strategy is a marketing plan to launch a new product or service. More specifically, a GTM strategy details how the unique value proposition will be delivered to the audience.

ICP

ICP (ideal customer profile) is the outline of a company’s ideal customer—the kind of customer it wants to secure more of. An ICP can help marketers understand their primary target audience and how they want to be talked to.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a strategy based on creating engaging, rich content that attracts potential customers to your company, therefore increasing conversions or sales.

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Influencer Marketing

Brands partner with influencers—social media users who have lots of engaged, interested followers within a specific niche or audience—to promote the brand’s product or service through their social channels. Depending on the extent of the campaign, that could mean posting a single image of the influencer using your product or a series of blog posts detailing their experience with your service.

Either way, the goal is the same: get your brand out in front of the influencer’s audience in a way that builds trust with that audience.

Related reading: B2B Influencer Marketing: Everything You Need to Know for 2022

Keyword Research

Keyword research is the process of analyzing, comparing, and prioritizing words and phrases most commonly used by your target audience when using search engines. Including keywords in a blog post, for example, can help rank higher on Google’s search results.

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KPI

KPI (key performance indicators) is a defined, quantifiable metric for marketers to measure the performance of a campaign over a specific time period.

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Landing Page

A landing page is a standalone web page a consumer lands on after clicking the link from an email, ad, social media, or other digital location.

Lead Gen

Lead gen (or lead generation) is the process of gaining prospective customers’ interest in your products. First, your company needs to identify your target audience and their challenges. Then, it is all about creating engaging content that sparks your prospects’ interest. Finally, your marketing strategies will hopefully increase traffic across your channels and convert casual viewers into leads.

Lead Nurturing

Lead nurturing is the process of purposefully developing and maintaining relationships with your target audience at every stage of their purchase journey. This is done through marketing communications by offering relevant information, engaging the consumer in unique ways, or otherwise finding ways to support them throughout their journey. This can be automated by using software to automatically send messages or emails triggered by consumer behaviors or set schedules.

Related reading: Lead Nurturing For B2Bs: Best Practices for the Digital World

Marketing

Marketing is the process of promoting a company’s products or services to meet the wants and needs of a target audience. While this is a simple definition, think of marketing as a more extensive umbrella term where various promotional strategies live. These include PR, social media, search engine optimization, PPC (or paid advertising), branding, and more. There are also many types of marketing, including content marketing, influencer marketing, and digital marketing. These more specific strategies use different resources to achieve the same goal: to engage prospective buyers and turn them into loyal customers.

Marketing Tech Stack (MarTech)

A marketing tech (martech) stack is a business’s set of software tools that marketers use to organize and execute marketing processes. The stack can include some or all of the following: CRM, analytics, email marketing, social media management, web design tools, and more. A company’s marketing tech stack is as unique as its customers and goals.

Messy Middle

The messy middle is where shared, paid, earned, and owned media of a specific company meet to interact with the consumer. It is where most of the potential buyer’s purchase journey takes place and includes each touchpoint that occurs until the lead is converted. This space includes the company’s branding, social media presence, as well as other factors that they cannot control. Consumer research, dark social interactions, and product reviews are also included in the messy middle. It is a combination of owned media and untrackable data that can affect the consumer’s journey through the sales funnel.

Related reading: What Is The Messy Middle? Here’s What Google Has To Say

Metaverse

The Metaverse is a virtual reality where users can engage with one another, brands, or other aspects of the computer-generated environment.

Related reading: Metaverse Marketing: A Brave New (Virtual) World

Mixed Marketing Model

Here at Zen, we live and breathe our Mixed Marketing Model. This digital marketing strategy combines paid, shared, earned, and owned media to optimize a brand’s growth. Each category includes its own platforms and communicates with different segments of the brand’s audience. Because each category is connected, each type of media benefits the rest:

  • Paid Media includes sponsored content, PPC ads, and paid advertisements. The goal of paid media is to extend a brand’s reach to new audiences. It cuts through the noise and allows companies to target their buyer personas more precisely.
  • Shared Media includes social media platforms, streaming sessions, and original content generated by brands. Through comment sections and interactive live streams, shared media is meant to be engaged with and shared by users.
  • Earned Media includes any and all press hits a company receives. Interviews, features, and mentions in blogs, newspapers, podcasts, radio, and television are all examples of earned media. A brand gets these hits with the help of a successful PR campaign, which can boost brand awareness and credibility.
  • Owned Media is all pieces of content that a brand owns and creates itself. Assets like website blogs and videos can help companies share who they are and what they do on their own channels. It is essential that this media is high-quality and aligns with the brand’s messaging for the best results.

Related reading: Why the Mixed Marketing Model works.

MOF or MoFu

MoFu (middle-of-funnel) refers to the middle of the consumer funnel, and MoFu is where consumers are considering a purchase. Marketers work to create and present content that helps consumers evaluate the product or service with educational resources, discounts, and special events or offers.

MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead)

MQLs are what all marketers want: these are leads, or prospective customers, who have shown interest in buying a product after seeing or intentionally engaging with a brand’s marketing strategies. These leads are more promising than others because they have made some type of contact with your company. Whether that means signing up for a monthly newsletter or downloading digital resources, MQLs are more likely to start a conversation with your sales team to begin the buyer’s journey.

Niche

A specialized market segment for a particular kind of product or service.

Related reading: Niche Marketing: How Niche Is Too Niche?

NPS

NPS (net promoter score) is a KPI used to measure overall customer satisfaction and loyalty, including how likely a current customer is to recommend a company to a peer. NPS scores are calculated with a single-question survey (think “How likely are you to recommend this product or service on a scale of one to 10?”), and they are reported between -100 and +100, with a higher score being more positive.

Outbound Marketing

Outbound marketing is a traditional marketing strategy focused on pushing messages to an audience without prioritizing the consumer’s ability to respond to the messaging. (Think radio, television, or print ads.)

Owned Media

Owned media is the marketing content that a company entirely creates on its own. In contrast to earned and paid media, it can be executed for free and completely controlled by the company itself. Owned media aims to create content that reaches the desired audience organically, without paid search or social media ads.

Paid Media

Paid media is marketing content that a company cannot create for free. This includes advertisements and paid promotions on social media, search engine pages, and websites. Paid media allows companies to use their marketing dollars to target their desired audiences. Paired with owned media, it is an effective way to increase brand visibility and sales.

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Paid Search

Paid search is the opposite of organic search. Paid search is a digital marketing technique that allows advertisers to show ads on their company’s search engine results pages, and paid search works on a PPC model.

Personal Brand

A personal brand is much like a traditional brand except that it represents an individual rather than an organization. A personal brand is built on expertise, credentials, achievements, and other notable public attributes. Building a strong personal brand should be a priority for entrepreneurs, business leaders, freelancers, and even employees in close-knit industries.

Related reading: Here’s Why Consistency Is Key When It Comes To Your Brand

PPC

PPC (pay per click) is a type of digital advertising where companies only pay if an ad is clicked on, and then there is a set rate per click.

Related reading: How Paid Advertising Can Help Your B2B Brand

Product Marketing

Product marketing is the process of bringing a product or service to the market, including branding, messaging, and strategic positioning.

Related reading: 18 Strategies to Boost your Product Launch Marketing Strategy

Product Market Fit

Product market fit is the way in which a product or service does (or does not) fill a need or generate demand in the marketplace.

Public Relations

Public relations (PR) is a strategic communications process that focuses on maintaining a favorable image in the public eye and building mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and its public.

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Responsive Design

Responsive design describes how a web page is built so that it conforms to the size of the screen it is being displayed on–a cell phone versus a tablet versus a desktop screen, for example.

Shared Media

Shared media includes all social media content created about a company. This includes posts on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Shared media can be created by brands, individual users, and press outlets.

SEM

SEM (search engine marketing) is the process of increasing your website’s search engine visibility through the use of paid promotion and advertising tactics.

Related reading: The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Search Engine Marketing Strategy

SEO

SEO (search engine optimization) is the process of tailoring your website to help it rank higher on search engines.

Related reading: 6 SEO Trends to Keep in Mind in 2022

Sales-enabled PR

Sales-enabled PR is Zen Media’s unique approach to public relations. Focusing on driving sales, first and foremost, our sales-enabled PR strategy involves locking in press opportunities and amplifying them to their full potential. As these media hits increase brand visibility, our team at Zen continues to reach out for more press. We have found that press begets press, and your company will continue to rise with each PR win.

Related reading: What is Sales-Enabled PR?

Sales Funnel

The sales funnel represents the buyer’s journey from its early stages to the point of purchase. A company’s sales funnel reveals data about how its customers are being discovered, customer behaviors, and conversion rates.

Related reading: How PR Impacts the Sales Funnel

SERPs

SERPs (search engine results pages) are the results a user receives after searching a keyword in a search engine like Google or Bing.

Share of Voice (SOV)

Share of voice refers to the percentage of your market that your brand owns. Pre-digital era, this meant the share of advertising in a market that your brand owned compared to your competitors. In the digital age, share of voice has expanded to include everything from digital PR and advertising to social media mentions and website traffic. Essentially, every form of measurable brand awareness in your particular market counts towards your share of voice.

Related reading: What is Share of Voice and Why Is It Important?

Social Media

Social media refers to websites and applications that allow users to create content, engage with brands, and network with others virtually. From Twitter to TikTok, these interactive digital channels enable people worldwide to connect and share what they are passionate about. Social media is a vital part of today’s digital marketing strategies, focusing on targeting prospective customers through paid and organic media. Social media plays a significant role in establishing a company’s digital blueprint.

Related reading: Social and Media Are Splitting Up: What This Means for Marketers

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is the process in which marketers promote their company’s products via social media channels. Social media marketers will use various tactics, including posting organic content, targeting specific audiences via paid ads, and engaging with users.

With more than half of the world using social media (approximately 4.62 billion people), social media marketing is vital for companies to tap into.

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Social Selling

Social selling refers to the act of leveraging social network connections to identify prospects, build relationships, and, eventually, close sales.

Thought Leadership

Thought leadership is how industry professionals share their expertise with others in their particular field. By sharing valuable insights and offering guidance, thought leaders aim to empower other individuals in their industries to grow, embrace change, and become leaders themselves.

Related reading: The Ultimate Guide to Thought Leadership

TOF or ToFu

No, not that delicious-when-fried soybean block. Like MoFu and BoFu, ToFu means top-of-funnel. ToFu is where marketers cast the widest net, focusing on high-volume leads like blog and social media posts, podcasts, videos, and newsletters.

User-Generated Content (UGC)

User-Generated Content (UGC) are original pieces of media that customers—not brands, create. From testimonials to unboxing videos, users create and post organic content on the internet to show their support for specific companies or products. UGC promotes authenticity and brand trust by revealing what its products are like in real life. Think of it as the “digital grapevine”—the more customers post about how much they love your product, the more of an engaged community that you create.

Web3

Described as “the future of the internet,” Web3 is the oncoming edition of the World Wide Web that aims to decentralize data, improve user privacy, and create a more immersive experience for all users. Accessibility and security are two important characteristics of Web3, which are improved using Blockchain technology. This allows for data decentralization (a fancy phrase for keeping user data private). 

What does this mean for the world of marketing? Well, Web3 will lead to more transparent marketing tactics. Instead of relying on centralized data at their fingertips, marketers will have to get back to basics and learn about their customers through direct communications. This includes using social media and interactive tools like polls and quizzes. In addition, web3’s emphasis on the metaverse will allow for immersive digital experiences, like virtual reality events. 

Related reading: The Future of Marketing in Web3

Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing is a strategy that relies on consumers’ positive experiences with a brand to come through in their everyday dialogue with others. WOM marketing can also include strategic tactics like product giveaways to create buzz around your brand.

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