Marketing Glossary – for small business owners

When I start to work with a new client, I am passionate about how we promote their business and lots of ideas get generated. Often in my enthusiasm I start to use lots of marketing jargon. One thing I often say to my clients is, please stop me if I use terms that don’t make sense or you need me to clarify. With this in mind I thought it would be useful to share our Marketing Glossary for Small business owners to help de-mystify some of those commonly used marketing terms.

As we head into Q4 this year, there will certainly be need to refocus our energies on business and as a result kick start our marketing. Please find to follow some key terms which we hope will help:

1. A/B Split Testing. This is often used when speaking about email marketing. Split testing means that you could test two different versions of something eg: two subject lines or creative formats, simply you test which one your audience engage with most, allowing you to achieve the best results for your marketing activity.

2. Bounce Rate. A bounce rate refers to the traffic to your website. If you have a high bounce rate, it means that people visit your website don’t engage with any of the content and then leave quickly, often leading to poor conversion rates. You want to aim to have as low a bounce rate as possible.

3. Brand. Your brand is important part of your business, it is what sets you apart from the competition and often refers to your name, logo and imagery that reflects your product or service.

4. Call to Action (CTA). This is referred to across all marketing activity, simply what action do you wish your potential customer to take? CTA’s could include: purchase a product, read a blog, engage or like a social media post, attend a webinar, or get in touch, for example.

5. Click Through Rate (CTR). This is the percentage of people who move from one page on your website to another.

6. Content Marketing. It is a type of marketing which supports how a business can help potential clients, typically it would include blogs, videos, emails or social media activity.

7. Conversion. In the marketing sense, this refers to how many people take action as a result of engaging with the marketing activity. For example, as a book shop, if you send a promotional email to 100 people, offering them a 30% discount off their next book purchased and 10 people make an order, this would be a 10% conversion rate.

8. CPC (Cost per Click) Advertising: This is an online advertising model, each time a potential client clicks on an advert, the advertiser is charged eg: £1 per click.

9. Customer Relationship Management (CRM): This is a tool which helps you to manage the relationship that you have with your customers. It can help you track customer details, communications you have made and capture details of any conversations you or your team have had.

10. Email Marketing. Is a form of digital marketing. This is where businesses send messages to their potential clients using email as the mechanic.

11. Hashtags. These are a keyword or phrase which helps to categorise and simplify how readers engage with specific content. They are commonly used across all social media networks to varying degrees. At time of writing the most popular hashtags were: #love, #instagood, #photooftheday, #fashion and #beautiful.

12. Lead Generation. Is all about generating customer interest in your business product or service.

13. Marketing Strategy. Is the long term view of your marketing activity, considering the top line, wider marketing objectives and activity which will help support your overall business objectives and ambitions.

14. Marketing Plan. This takes the lead from the marketing strategy and is the tactical plan to help achieve the strategic goals. Typically a marketing plan would include media summary, reach (how many people are you targeting), cost, and a timing of when the activity will run.

15. Return on Investment. Is the ratio of investment vs the profit generated. If for example, I am a charity and I wish to generate funds for a particular project, if I invest £10k in some marketing and I raise £50k revenue, then my ROI would be 5:1.

16. Social Proof. Is the psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behaviour for a given situation. (by Robert Cialdini in his book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion). We seek to know what others are doing so we can be or look like them. There are cited to be six types of social proof eg: Expert, Celebrity, User, The Crowd, Friends and Industry Certification.

17. Target Audience. This is the foundation of all good marketing, defining and understanding who you are trying to speak to is really important, it will help to guide your brand, tone of voice, content, imagery and media selection amongst other things. Other words for this could be buyer persona, ideal client and avatar.

18. Value Proposition. The value proposition of a small business will be the promise of what is to be delivered eg: what can your customers expect from you when they engage with your product or service?

19. Website. This is the online presence, or online shop window, of your business in today’s digital world.

We hope that you will find our Marketing Glossary for Small Business Owners useful. There are of course many other terms which are not included, please feel free to drop us a note and let us know of other key terms you think would be useful to add.

If you are not sure where to start with your small business marketing, or not seeing the results that you are looking for, please do get in touch to arrange your no obligation discovery call.


Sophie Comas

A highly successful self-motivated and results driven, senior marketing professional. My passion lies within developing and delivering marketing solutions which make a difference in today's complex digital market place. A marketeer with a strong academic background and broad ranging level of experience working with small businesses and in the travel and hospitality sector, across the Thames Valley, I love a challenge!

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