The Ultimate Marketing Glossary for Non-Marketers

Marketing Terms to Know

Every industry is prone to throwing around jargon and a little inside baseball, but this is particularly true of the marketing field. Whether you’re a business dealing with marketers for the first time or someone switching career fields, marketing terms can seem like a foreign language.

It’s time to stop nodding your head and smiling politely! Decipher these mysterious conversations with our ultimate marketing glossary for non-marketers!


A/B Testing

A process for testing different messaging for one piece of content. It’s often practiced with Facebook posts, changing the image or headline to play up a different aspect of the story for a different audience. It’s also popular in email marketing.

Above the Fold

A reference to newspaper shorthand. Important stories, like the centerpiece, are always positioned above the physical fold in the paper. In the digital world, this means what visitors see immediately when a web page loads. This is where the most pertinent information goes.

Anything people have to scroll to is “below the fold.” Ideally, you want to engage people as soon as they land on your site.


Sometimes this is abbreviated as “algo.” Just like in math class, it refers to a formula. In this case, formulas, used by the likes of Google and Facebook, take into account many individual variables to rank content.

Algorithms have implications for search rankings and what you see in your personal feeds. To the ire of marketers, algorithms are often updated or changed to prioritize different variables.


An abbreviation for “application programming interface.” In simple terms, APIs are rules that enable two software programs to communicate. One application can gather information from a service and use it in its application or for data purposes.

Atomic Content

A style of content dynamically combining different content “atoms” to create a more relevant marketing asset or experience.

It specifically meets the needs of the recipient based on where they are on the customer journey.

Brand Journalism

Content created by brands utilizing journalists as content creators. They engage in a journalistic style storytelling to advocate for the brand, knowing the company inside and out.

The goal is to attract and keep an audience with customized content that meets consumers on their terms.

Call to Action

Something in a post, usually text or an image, that encourages people to literally take a specific action. Typical calls to action include messages to download or subscribe. Calls to like, share or follow are common on social media, too.

Calls to action require engaging copy and an an obvious benefit for acting to be effective. Ultimately, they’re all aimed at turning people into a leads, or potential customers.

Content Calendar

A detailed schedule that maps out your content in advance. It can include topics for content, what channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc…) to push the content to, what segment of the audience to target and more.

The calendar is a key organizational tool that will ensure you’re scrambling to come up with something to post. There are a number of services that offer content calendars.


An abbreviation for “conversion rate optimization.” This metric helps determine the effectiveness of a particular campaign. It gives marketers a percentage of visitors who are following through and taking action.

The CRO can be used to indicate whether your website design needs attention to convert visitors into customers.


An abbreviation for “click through rate.” It’s the percentage of your audience that clicks a link to one of your digital properties (i.e. a Facebook post or email to your website). It’s calculated by total number of clicks divided by number click opportunities your audience had.

Inbound Marketing

A marketing approach based on being found by potential customers. It focuses on creating content and experiences people want to seek out, like engaging videos and industry blogs.

This is opposed to disrupting people’s day with broad, and often aggressive, attempts at attracting customers (cold calls, commercials, print ads).


An abbreviation for “key performance indicator.” This includes any number of measurements that allow companies to track progress toward marketing goals. Depending on the desired goals, KPIs change.

However, common KPIs include CAC (customer acquisition cost), traffic sources, homepage views and impressions.

Owned Content

Content created by a marketer or brand to promote their message and advocate for themselves. The goal is to create quality content (blogs and social media posts for example) that endears an audience and promotes growth.

Power Publisher

A brand that publishes their own content in their own publication. A power publisher thinks and acts like an independent publisher, instead of cramming an ad between articles in someone else’s publication.


An abbreviation for “return on investment.” It is a measurement that gauges the effectiveness and profitability of an investment. Simply put, it’s the profit after the initial investment. A percentage is calculated by: (gain from investment – cost of initial investment) / (cost of initial investment).


An abbreviation for “search engine optimization.” SEO is a series of best practices to develop a webpage that will be effectively indexed by a search engine, Google being the most prominent. Altering certain aspects can improve a webpage’s search engine ranking.

Elements relevant to SEO can include anything from keywords and tags to site structure to regularly updated content.


An abbreviation for “software as a service.” It’s any software you use from another company that stores your information in the cloud.

In fact, PowerPost is an example of SaaS!


An abbreviation for “user experience.” UX is pretty self explanatory. It’s the experience a customer has with your service, product or website. It’s most often used in reference to websites, though.

Things to consider include how intuitive a page is, how it looks, its ease of use and navigation.


What other terms have you heard thrown around the marketing world? Comment below!