Marketing Acronyms 101

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Marketers use a LOT of acronyms, so we created this cheat sheet to help non-marketers translate our jargon. While the lingo may seem intimidating at first, understanding the basic terminology will enable you to speak the same language as your marketing team, no matter whether they’re in house or at an agency. 

This list of the most common acronyms, what they stand for, and what they mean will make navigating the marketing world just a little less confusing: 


B2B: Business to Business

When businesses conduct business with each other. For example, a wholesaler and retailer.


B2C: Business to Consumer

Businesses that sell directly to consumers. Think retailers, restaurants, and any other business you buy goods or services from.


BOGO: Buy One Get One

A special deal in which buying a certain quantity of something will also give the consumer a free or discounted product.



A law regulating non-solicited email marketing by requiring businesses to include an unsubscribe link. Learn more about this law.


CMS: Content Management System

A system in which you can create and manage your website content. Think website software like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Squarespace, Wix, and Shopify.


CPC: Cost-per-Click

The metric used to determine how much an advertiser pays for each click with PPC (pay-per-click) advertising (Keep scrolling to learn more.)


CRM: Customer Relationship Management

Software that allows you to track, manage and store information about your current and potential customers. Some of the most well known include Salesforce, HubSpot, Zoho, Monday, and Oracle.


CTA: Call to Action

A prompt telling potential customers to take action such as “Sign up,” “Buy now!” “Learn more,” etc.


CTR: Clickthrough Rate

The number of times a digital ad has been clicked divided by the number of times it’s been shown.


KPI: Key Performance Indicator

A measurement of the success of campaigns, ads, websites, etc. Examples include: How many people visited your website, clicked a specific link, engaged with your social media, opened your email, etc.


PPC: Pay-per-Click

An advertisement model where an advertiser pays a small fee every time their digital ad is clicked. 


ROI: Return on Investment

An equation to determine the success of an investment. It is the difference of the return minus the investment divided by the investment.


SEM: Search Engine Marketing

Paid advertisements that appear on search engine results pages (SERPs). These pay-per-click ads can come in a variety of formats. 


SEO: Search Engine Optimization

Improving your website for better visibility on search engines as a means of organically (not paid) increasing traffic (the number of visitors) to your website.


SERP: Search Engine Results Pages

The results you get after performing a search on Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, etc. 


SMM: Social Media Marketing

Using social media to market your business.


WYSIWYG: What You See is What You Get 

A type of editing software that allows you to see your content as it will ultimately be displayed. For example, we use Elementor, which allows us to see how a finished website will look as we’re designing it.


Still confused?

If you’re having trouble applying these concepts to your business, we’re here to help. Just fill out the form below to get in touch!

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Padron & Co. is a leading creative, marketing, and digital communications agency that helps nonprofits and corporations make meaningful connections and further their missions.

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