Glossary of Marketing Terms

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
A

A/B testing

A/B testing is a method of comparing two versions of the same campaign by altering a single variable to determine which leads to a more favorable result. Commonly used for email subject lines, timings, creatives, website layout, etc.  

Above-the-Line (ATL) advertising 

A tactic used to promote brands and reach the target audience through mass media i.e. television, radio, print, internet, etc. ATL is targeted to a widespread audience, not specifically to individual consumers. As opposed to Below-the-Line (BTL) advertising which is a tactic for one-on-one engagement.

Ad clicks

The number of times people click on an online or digital ad.

Ad views (impressions)

The number of times an online or digital ad is displayed or viewed.

Advertising

A tactic of placing paid announcements throughout mass media to influence existing and potential customers’ behavior towards your brand.

B

B2B (business-to-business) marketing

The promotion and sales of products or services from one business to their end consumer, which is another business.

B2C (business-to-consumer) marketing

The promotion and sales of products or services directly to individual consumers for personal use.

Baby boomer

A person born between 1946-1964.

Banner ad

Also known as a web banner, this is an online advertisement that when clicked leads to the advertiser's website.

Below-the-Line (BTL) advertising

A tactic for one-on-one engagement that involves the distribution of pamphlets, brochures, etc., at point of sale or other high traffic areas. It can also involve brand activations, such as product demos and samples, to generate loyalty and repeat sales. As opposed to Above-the-Line (ATL) advertising which is a tactic where mass media is used to reach out to the target audience.

Bounce rate

A web traffic measure that denotes the percentage of visits to a single webpage, and exits, without clicking on anything else or visiting another page on the website during that session.

Brand 

A combination of tangible (logo, name, colors, images, etc.) and intangible (personality, positioning, etc.) features that distinguish a company and its products from others within its category. 

Brand awareness

The measure of how well consumers can recognize and recall a brand and associate it with specific products and services.

Brand equity

The market value of a brand name (not just product or service) that is generated over time based on consumer perception and the premium the brand name can generate. 

Brand extension

A marketing strategy under which a company launches a new product with the same brand name but targeting a new category.

Brand identity

Customers’ perception of a company. All brand components that distinguish a brand, such as logo, colors, typography, tagline, etc. are created as brand identifiers to reflect its values.

Brand loyalty

The sentiment of a consumer towards a specific brand that drives them to purchase from the same brand repeatedly over its competitors.

Brand personality

The set of human characteristics associated with a brand that makes it relatable to consumers.

Brand positioning

The place a brand holds in the mind of the consumer, in terms of its key benefits and attributes, relative to its competitors.

C

Call-to-action (CTA)

A marketing concept that urges the target audience to take immediate action. Common examples include “learn more” or “call now.” 

Click through rate (CTR)

A digital marketing metric used to calculate the percentage of a target audience that clicks on a brand’s advertisement. It is calculated as [clicks] divided by [impressions]. A high CTR means that the ad is successful in generating interest.

Consumer goods

Tangible goods bought and used by consumers.  This umbrella term breaks down into three categories: durable goods, non-durable goods, and services.

Content marketing

A tactic for developing and sharing relevant content to attract and engage a target audience to create brand awareness and/or drive desired customer action.

Conversion rate

A digital marketing metric used to calculate the percentage of website visitors taking a desired action (such as making a purchase or filling out a form). It is calculated as [conversions] divided by [ad clicks]. The more successful the ad, the higher the conversion rate.

Cost-per-lead (CPL)

An online advertising pricing model by which the publisher is paid based on the number of leads it generates for the advertiser.

Customer acquisition strategy

A general approach to turn prospective customers/leads into loyal customers. A business’s acquisition strategy will revolve around marketing tactics used to build relationships with customers, address their needs, and ultimately move them through the buying process.

Customer relationship management (CRM)

The practice of using technology to analyze customer data in order to personalize communications throughout the customer journey, manage relationships, and drive sales growth.

D

Digital marketing

A tactic used to promote products and services to customers using electronic media. It includes email, search engine optimization (SEO), digital advertising, social media, text messages, etc. 

Direct mail 

A marketing tactic used to send printed advertising content to individual customers or prospects.

Diversification strategy

A strategy that focuses on growing a business by modifying existing product offerings, developing new products, and/or expanding into new markets. 

E

Email marketing

A tactic used to market products or services to a targeted list of consumers using electronic mail.

G

Generation X

A person born between 1965-1980.

Guerilla marketing

An innovative, unconventional, and low-cost marketing technique aimed at obtaining maximum exposure for a product or service from minimal resources.

I

Inbound marketing

This refers to any marketing activities that draw potential consumers in, as opposed to marketers reaching out to them. Commonly used examples include videos, blogs, and social media posts. 

Integrated marketing communications

A tactic that ensures that a business’s consumer gets a single and unified marketing message across all promotional tools and platforms. It integrates both traditional and digital communications. 

K

Key performance indicator (KPI)

Measures that demonstrate how effective a company is in achieving its goals. They can be short or long term, and vary based on the product lifecycle, business objectives, and the nature of a campaign or initiative. Common KPIs include sales volume and brand awareness.  

Keyword

A word or phrase that describes the content of a webpage. Advertisers can buy specific keywords from online search engines to ensure their website ranks high when those specific keywords are searched. 

L

Lead generation

The process of generating interest in a product or service for the purpose of developing a sales pipeline. 

Lead nurturing 

The process of engaging potential customers and developing relationships in order to move them through the buying process.

Logo 

A unique design or symbol, composed of colors, shapes, fonts/typefaces, etc., used to identify a specific company or brand. 

M

Market development strategy

A strategy that focuses on increasing sales by expanding into new markets with an existing product or service. Approaches can include tapping into new geographic or psychographic segments, using new distribution channels, or introducing new product dimensions or uses.

Market penetration strategy

A strategy that focuses on growing existing product and service sales within the existing market to increase market share by expanding the customer base or product usage.

Market research

The exercise of gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data that can be used by a company to make informed decisions, strategies, plans, products, etc.

Market segmentation

The process of dividing a market into subsets based on consumers with similar characteristics, needs, or behaviors. Companies can tailor their strategies and marketing mix to address the target segments. 

Marketing analytics

The process of analyzing data and results to evaluate the performance of a marketing initiative, often with the goal to gain insights on how to increase effectiveness, boost return on investment (ROI), inform decision making, etc.  

Marketing funnel

A concept used to break down and visualize the process of turning a lead into a loyal customer. There are three main phases: lead generation, lead nurturing, and sales. Marketing tactics vary through each phase, but each works to lead customers further down the funnel to the end goal of conversion. 

Marketing mix

A set of tactics or tools used to promote a brand. Traditionally comprised of the 4 Ps (product, price, place, and promotion), it has evolved and may also include people, packaging, etc.

Marketing plan

A  detailed document that includes analysis of current marketing campaigns, the competitive landscape, short- and long-term goals, subsequent marketing strategies and initiatives, budgets, and sales forecasts. This serves as a marketing playbook for a designated period of time, and may evolve over time.

Marketing strategy

A process that generates a coherent plan of action designed to meet business goals such as sales and profit increases, growth, and gaining competitive advantage. A strong marketing strategy is the foundation of a marketing plan. 

Millennials

A person born between 1981-1997.

Mobile marketing

A digital marketing tactic designed to promote products and services to a target audience on their mobile or handheld devices.

Mobile optimization

The process of ensuring website layout and content has been designed with user experience for all devices in mind, especially handheld devices.

N

Net promoter score (NPS)

A metric used to gauge customer satisfaction, loyalty, and their likeliness to recommend a company or its products. Scores typically are measured on a scale of 1-10.

O

Offline marketing 

A strategy used to promote products and services using non-digital channels i.e. print, television, radio, telephone, and in-person.

P

Pay-per-click (PPC)

An online advertising model by which the advertiser pays the publisher every time their digital advertisement is clicked on.

Product development strategy

A strategy that focuses on developing new products or services, or modifying existing ones for the existing market. It involves analysis of customer needs and purchasing practices.

Product life cycle stages

The different stages any product or service goes through, i.e. introduction, growth, maturity, and decline. As a product moves through the different stages, the marketing tactics and strategies may need to be adjusted.

Public relations

A strategic communication process used to manage a business, brand, or a person’s public image and reputation through various channels. Also known as media relations.

R

Reach

A measure of the number of people a specific campaign reaches through a single advertising medium at a given time.

Relationship marketing

The branch of marketing that focuses on establishing long-term relationships with loyal customers and business partners for mutual benefit, rather than just short-term sales goals. 

Return on investment (ROI)

The metric used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment. It is calculated as [gain from an investment minus the cost of investment] divided by [cost of investment]; expressed as a percentage. 

S

Search engine marketing (SEM)

The process of improving website traffic and visibility, by purchasing search engine ads.

Search engine optimization (SEO)

A tactic used to help a website gain a higher search engine ranking and improve overall web traffic by employing various organic (unpaid) techniques and methods such as targeted keywords and phrases, external links, etc.

Social media

An umbrella term for digital platforms that enable users to create profiles, participate in online communities, as well as social and professional networking, and share content.

T

Target market

The specific consumer segment on which a company focuses its marketing efforts at any given time.

Telemarketing

A direct marketing tactic that involves connecting with existing and potential customers by telephone in order to market products and services and generate leads.

Test marketing

A tactic used to test a company’s marketing efforts by launching a small-scale pilot campaign on a sample population. The results and takeaways are then used to make improvements before launching a full-scale campaign. 

Trade show

A live event where businesses in a particular industry come together to showcase and promote their products and services, and attract and engage potential customers.

U

Unique visitor (UV)

An analytics metric used to gauge web traffic. A UV refers to a person who visits a webpage at least once during a specific time period. 

User experience (UX)

A customer's overall experience with a company or website. It is how the user feels about every interaction, from awareness to purchase.

V

Value proposition

A positioning statement that summarizes the unique benefits the company provides to its customers.

Viral content

Any piece of content that becomes expansively popular and widely shared through the web.

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