Discover our 21 essential marketing terms for directors and be bamboozled no longer.

Digital Minds

21 Must-Know Technical, Sales and Marketing Terms for Directors


As a member of the board of directors, getting to grips with the ever-changing world of sales and marketing terminology is essential.

It may look like an acronym-topped mountain to climb but it needn’t be an uphill struggle.

These 21 marketing terminology tips will boost your specialist vocabulary and ensure you fully understand your marketing directors’ contribution at every board meeting.

Technical, Sales and Marketing Terms for Directors

1. A/B Testing

When there are a couple of options on the table, A/B testing can help choose the one that will perform best. The technique allows you to experiment with two different versions of the same variable, for example the colour of your call to action buttons or the subject title of a piece of email marketing.

Test them both, see which one gets the best response, ditch the other one, go forth and get great results.

2. Analytics

Any marketing director worth their salt will want to wow their fellow board members with some impressive data. Analytics is the all-encompassing name for every piece of information they can gather to prove the fruits of their work in terms of ROI

They’ll be looking for meaningful patterns in this data whether it’s taken from website stats, social media feedback or pay per click advertising results to plan their next strategic steps.

3. API

Say hello to our first acronym – API or application programming interface. These clever data-enablers allow software and applications to speak to each other, using a set of commands, functions and protocols.

They act as an interface between different software programmes, allowing interaction and integration. For example, if you want to include a map within your website, your developer can use the Google Maps API and, voila, your customers know exactly where to find you.

4. Bounce Rate

Forget all thoughts of trampolines, a website’s bounce rate should be low enough to make your marketing director jump for joy.

It relates to the percentage of people who arrive at a webpage, lose interest and get no further – no clicking through to find out more, no navigating to find your contact details.

If you have a high bounce rate, you can be certain that conversion rates will be low as visitors get a poor first impression and simply leave.

5. Buyer Personas

A company’s marketing strategy must be targeted. A scattergun approach just won’t cut it when there’s competition around every corner.

Buyer personas are a set of descriptions of ideal customers to which all sales and marketing activity can be tailored. They should be jam-packed with detail: age, job description, location, education, income, key skills, career path, media consumption, shopping habits etc.

Based on market research and only semi-fictional, they help to define your company’s target audience and identify qualified leads.

6. Churn Rate

Your marketing team will be keeping a close eye on how many customers have cut ties with your company, or “churned”. This is called the churn rate, an important metric that measures how many customers you retain over a specific period of time.

To calculate it, divide the number of customers you lost by the number of customers you started with at the beginning of the same time frame, without including any new sales.

Expressed as a percentage, it gives a good reflection of how many of your customers are happy to stick around.

7. Closed-Loop Marketing

Closed-loop marketing, or CLM if you’d like to add another acronym to your repertoire, allows marketers to show how their work has impacted the bottom line.

By using an inbound marketing strategy, combined with the right software, it’s possible to execute, track and show how marketing activity has led to business growth. For example, you can follow a website visitor on their journey from first clicking on your website to filling out a form on your landing page.

It’s a sure-fire way for marketing teams to impress the board of directors.

8. CMS

A content management system allows anyone, regardless of their technical know-how, to create and modify digital content on a website.

A CMS gives it users the freedom to control their digital presence, managing a website’s look, features and functionality.

The most popular – and well-known – CMS is WordPress which supports more than 60 million websites.

9. Conversion Path

Your marketing director wants to lead your customers down the conversion path, happily skipping towards their final destination: sharing their details, signing up to a newsletter, making a purchase.

They visit your home page and explore, see a call to action button and click it, then arrive at a landing page with a lead capture form. Redirected to a thank you page, they’re offered some valuable content and input their contact information. Journey complete, conversion made.

10. CRM

CRM, or customer relationship management, is another crucial marketing term for directors to understand.

Incorporating bespoke software such as Salesforce or Oracle, CRM is a strategy to manage all your company’s interactions with both existing and potential customers.

A dashboard allows you to integrate data from numerous sources such as social media, customer service calls and sales teams. This provides a clear picture of each one of your customers which can be shared across the business.

Technical, Sales and Marketing Terms for Directors

11. CTA

Marketing directors have to tempt their prospects in and a CTA, or call to action, is the perfect fishing rod.

A well-placed button or image with an enticing message promising something, preferably free, should be impossible to resist. A CTA should encourage the reader to do something – clicking through to a landing page and filling out a form for instance – to help convert the visitor into a lead.

12. CTR

A click-through rate shows what percentage of your visitors have moved through your website to the next step of your marketing campaign.

The figure reflects the ratio of the number of users who’ve clicked on a link compared to the total number of visitors to that page. In other words, it measures the ratio of clicks to impressions.

13. Funnel

A marketing stalwart, the funnel illustrates the journey your would-be customer goes on from browser to brand advocate.

The top of the funnel (TOFU if you like a vegetarian acronym) includes awareness and interest: they see a tweet on Twitter or an ad on Google which exposes them to your brand. They may then click to find out more.

The middle of the funnel sees them discovering and considering, reading your blog or watching a video testimonial. They may wish to find out even more by opting-in to receive extra content or subscribing to your newsletter.

Finally, at the bottom of the funnel, they switch from prospect to buyer. Impressed by your product or service, they convert to loyal customers and ultimately advocates of your company.

14. Landing Page

Landing pages on websites are all about data capture and lead generation, designed as a simple form to be filled in. Focusing on a hard-to-refuse offer such as an eBook or discount code, they act to exchange knowledge or savings for your details.

15. Lead Nurturing

Think back to the funnel and the journey your marketing team want all leads to take.

Lead nurturing, or drip marketing, is a technique to tempt a lead down to the bottom of the funnel so they become a buyer and an ambassador.

This is done by drip-feeding them compelling content and persuasive messages at every stage, e.g. via email and social media, to keep them on-board and engaged during their journey.

16. Metadata

Marketers need their messages to be found online. Within an HTML document, metadata is the description of a website and the keywords associated with it. Crafting this carefully will help ensure it moves up the search engine rankings and reaches the right people.

17. PPC

PPC stands for Pay-Per-Click, a form of online advertising where the advertiser only pays when someone clicks on their ad. For example, set up a campaign on Google AdWords or Facebook, set a maximum budget and you’ll be able to direct traffic to your website for a fee.

18. Responsive Design

The ever-increasing shift to on-the-go logging-on means that all websites must be designed so they’re easy to navigate on all devices.

A website is responsively designed if it automatically adapts according to how it’s being viewed: on a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

As Google rewards mobile-friendly websites with better search rankings, mobile optimisation is essential.

19. Social Proof

In marketing, social proof is quantified by the number of interactions received by a piece of content, such as shares, likes, followers or retweets.

The idea is based on the psychological theory that if lots of other people like something, then you will look to them for guidance and possibly follow the crowd. If it’s popular online, then it must be good, right?

20. UI

A user interface consists of elements such as a menu bar, toolbar and buttons to give control over a software application or hardware device.

Intuitive and user-friendly, its aim is to simplify and streamline interaction.

21. UX

And the final marketing term for directors is UX, not to be confused with UI.

User experience covers every encounter a customer has with a business: how they find you, their first impressions, the feel and functionality of your website, the quality of their interactions with you, ease of purchase etc. Get it right and you’ll see the difference.

Now, when it’s time for the next board of directors meeting, you’ll be in the know with the lingo.

Mastering the key marketing terms for directors will give you a deeper understanding of the work done by marketing and sales teams, and ultimately better insight into the business.

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