Skip to content

Cracking The B2B Marketing Code: The Acronyms You Need To Know

Cracking The B2B Marketing Code: The Acronyms You Need To Know

It seems like only yesterday that we used to speak in full sentences using actual words. And there are still lots of us who shriek silently inside when we see “your” instead of  “you’re”. And as we move into the emoji-laden future, we can’t help but wonder if we are, in fact, devolving back to hieroglyphics rather than evolving into a more sophisticated, cerebral future. Albeit one with a smiling cat. 

Like the world of texting, marketing has also taken on the use acronyms with astounding alacrity, causing everyone to spend more time Googling meanings (yes, “Googling” really has become a verb) rather than putting the words (can we call them words?) into actual action.

B2B marketing acronyms you need to know

To help remove confusion and provide a one-stop-B2B-marketing-acronym-shop, here are a few of the more commonly used acronyms that you will hear when you spend time with B2B (that's business-to-business) marketers:


The Basics 


Business – to – Business (meaning businesses that sell to or service other businesses and not direct to consumers. For example, manufacturers who sell to distributors, or businesses that sell consulting services to other businesses.)



Business – to – Consumer (meaning businesses that sell to or service directly to consumers – such a retailers.)



Business – to – Government (meaning businesses that sell to or service government agencies.)



Business – to – Business – to Consumer (Meaning a business that sells to a business that then sells to a consumer – like our manufacturer who sells to a distributor who sells to the end user consumer.)



Call to Action (Often the final statement in advertising copy that incites action by the reader/viewer. For example, “Call Today!” or “Click to download the whitepaper now!”)



Key Performance Indicator (A measurement of success, for example, hitting a sales target or generating a certain number of click-thrus.)



Return on Investment (A way of calculating the value of something based on the amount spent. For example, the brand awareness, leads and revenue generated by investing in a digital ad campaign.)



Return on Marketing Investment (The same as ROI but specifically for marketing expenditures.)



Cost Per Acquisition (This is the total cost of each warm sales lead generated by a marketing or sales activity. It includes the costs of all activities within a specific program divided by the total number of warm leads created by that program.)



Cost Per Lead (This can mean the same as CPA, or it can be differentiated by meaning the total leads generated by a specific program versus those that are considered “warm” leads. For example, a program may have collected 100 email addresses, but only 15 of them actually made an appointment.)



Net Promoter Score (A system of customer and prospect “grading” of your business based on how likely they would be to refer your business, product or service to a friend or colleague. This includes a specific question, rating system and calculation in order to arrive at your NPS.)



Sales Qualified Lead (Meaning that this is a lead that has gone through an organization’s sales qualification process and is considered a lead with a high expectation to be closed/won.)



Marketing Qualified Lead (This is a lead that has been qualified by a marketing process, for example, entering their email address to download a whitepaper on a specific subject would indicate that this is a person with an interest in this subject/business/product/service.)



Customer Relationship Management (Usually refers to a software system that is in place to manage prospects and leads by the sales and marketing teams. The system tracks all activities related to that customer including sales calls, closed won/lost deals, and any other communications and notes made by the sales and marketing teams.)



Marketing Automation (A system of automating lead nurturing and “drip” campaigns using specialized software that allows for “if this, then that” scenarios to be programmed – ensuring that the responses of prospects are taken into consideration before the next piece of content is served or action is taken.)



Marketing Automation Platform (The program used for marketing automation.)


Digital Marketing Acronyms

Google Analytics (The common analytics program that many websites use to measure site traffic and to understand from where the traffic is coming – for example, digital advertising, specific search engines, etc.)



Can mean both Rich Site Summary and Really Simple Syndication respectively (Both are a type of web feed which allows users and applications to access updates to online content in a standardized, computer-readable format.)



Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (In its simplest terms, it means that businesses and organizations are prohibited from sending commercial electronic messages to an electronic address without your consent. This includes emails, social networking accounts and text messages.)



The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (This policy was formed in order to unify the data regulation policies of all countries within the European Union and is meant to protect all individuals living in the EU by giving them control over their personal data in that it is not allowed to be collected, processed, used or shared without their express consent – for example, during a website visit. This means that any businesses outside of the EU that might do business with those inside the EU are required to have GDPR compliant websites, for example.)



Price Per Click (Refers to paid advertising on various digital outlets such as Google and LinkedIn where the digital ad is paid for only when it is “clicked” on by a visitor. It is a paid way to generate page visits rather than simply using organic search engine ranking results.)



Cost Per Click (The actual price of each “click thru” on a Pay Per Click advertisement. For example, your PPC budget might be $750/month, but your CPC was $2.00.)



Search Engine Results Page (The page of results that comes up when something specific is searched for on a search engine such as Bing, Yahoo or Google.)



Search Engine Optimization (This is the work that needs to be done in order to ensure your website shows up on a SERP. This includes ensuring that keywords are threaded through website copy and that all images and headers are tagged with keywords, amongst other things. SEO affects what is often referred to as organic search ranking – meaning the site is being found through search results and not paid advertising such as PPC ads.)



Search Engine Marketing (This refers to Internet marketing that is paid for to generate search engine results – such as PPC advertising.)



Conversion Rate Optimization (This refers to work that is done to increase the “click thrus” or “conversions” on digital advertising. For example, making a Call to Action more engaging so that more people click on the ad, or improving the use of keywords in advertising copy so that the ad is served more frequently on SERPs.)


Now that you’ve got the lingo, it’s time to get down to business

There are many more acronyms and marketing terms that are used in B2B Marketing – but having these ones in your back pocket will give you the common language you need to work effectively with your B2B Marketing partners. And, if you’re ready to start that journey now, the B2B Marketing experts at The Mezzanine Group are ready to help! Contact us today to get started.