Core Marketing Concepts & Terms, explained for dummies

Marketing is a never-ending rabbit hole. The longer you work in this field, the more you realize how much knowledge there’s still to gain.

But if your fundamentals are solid, you’ll manage to survive, no matter how complicated things get.

So here’s a dummy-friendly dictionary for aspiring students and veterans who want to refresh their 101s. Even if you’re from another department and domain, this list will help you understand what your colleagues do and where their priorities lie. Ultimately, it’ll make communicating and collaborating with brand nerds like me much easier!


A/B Split Test

Conducting a research experiment in which a specific variable of a content piece, marketing message (ad, email, etc.), or web page is modified, creating two ‘split’ versions: A and B. A is the “control” group while B is the “variation” group.

Both these versions undergo a test run to determine which strategy or design performs better and should be finalized for the actual campaign. It’s basically ‘optimizing’ your idea for maximum results.

For example, let’s say you have 2 subject lines for an email campaign. One directly announces an upcoming Christmas Sale while the other uses mystery to hint at something special that’s starting next month.

Now you may send both versions to 100 subscribers each, keeping all other factors constant, such as the email content (body), time of sending the message, and the overall theme and design. If version ‘A’ gets a higher response (opens & clicks), you may select that headline for your actual email campaign.

Further Research:


Above the Fold

In graphic/UI design, the term implies the area (all the content) of your site/app a user can see when they first land on the page before needing to scroll down.

For obvious reasons, you will want to place your main items and copy above the fold, so that viewers can get all the basic information they need at first glance, be hooked into the page, and then scroll down to discover more information.

In the modern context, this requires a knowledge of mobile screens, since that is where most web traffic is coming from for all kinds of industries and businesses.

For example, if you’re a news or media house, ensure that your mobile website is formatted in a way that every blog’s title, featured image, and synopsis have all been placed above the fold.

These are important elements a reader will want to see first to determine whether they want to scroll down & explore your site further or abandon it entirely.

Further Research:

  • Above the Fold Content & How to Use It to Attract Attention via Semrush
  • 18 Compelling Above the Fold Content Examples to Inspire Your Own via Hubspot

Advertorial

An advertisement that is disguised as an educational or entertaining blog post. Many bloggers and media outlets now offer ‘sponsored’ editorial writing for businesses that want to reach readers in a subtle or creative way.

This post may first identify a problem and then sell the product as the solution. It can also have info and hacks that add value to the consumer’s experience.

For example, if you’re selling apple juice, you may approach Buzzfeed to write an article about 10 types of DIY summer mocktails that folks can make using apple juice. In the end, you may place a discount coupon, enticing readers to purchase your brand.

Further Research:


Ad Fatigue

When you Facebook ad campaign starts getting lower & lower results, it’s probably because users have seen it too many times, leading to boredom or lack or attention, ultimately decreasing the effectiveness of your content/communications.

You should then experiment with fresh captions, different offerings, and new designs to renew the audience interest in your campaign.


Affiliate

A type of marketing where you earn a commission by promoting other people’s products, services, or brands as a whole.

You are paid a share of the profit earned when the product is sold, so the more clicks and sales you generate, the more you earn.

You can try this yourself for signing up for the “Amazon Associates” program, which rewards you for promoting (and selling) their product listings on your site.

You will get a personalized unique link to share with your site visitors, and if a sale occurs through that link, you get a cut.

It’s a bit like being a referee for the brand.


Anchor Text

A hyperlinked word or group of words (like this) on a webpage or blog posts.

It gets the name because of it’s function of “anchoring” or embedding a URL in a piece of text, which is usually highlighted in blue & underlined, but the brand can customized the color, like I have.

In a mobile-first, small-screen readers’ world, simply dumping long URLs can make your website content look ugly.

So it’s crucial to have anchor text that, when clicked, opens up the link in a new tab. This is recommended to prevent the current page tab from being overridden; users will then be able to explore multiple referenced links, and then switch back to your website on the main tab.

Not to be confused with Alt text, which is a back-end piece of code for SEO purposes.


Alt Text

This is a back-end piece of text code added to images on the web to provide vision-impared visitors with information on what’s in the picture.

Images with descriptive alt text not only help impared viewers but also improve your SEO (search engine optimization score) since Google will be able to understand your content better, and these images will rank higher in search results.

So you should put in the extra efforts to add alt(ernative) text to all your images when you’re uploading them on WordPress (eg. you will see that option while placing media files), and also when you’re posting on social media (eg. see advanced options when uploading a post to Instagram).


Astroturfing

This refers to the phenomenon of creating an the illusion that a certain message content on social media is coming from normal people, and that there’s real grassroots public support for the product or ideology. But these post sharers or supporters/commentors are actually just paid promoters of hidden corporate, religious, or political sponsors.

For example, a religious organization may use a hoard of accounts to create the illusion that people are actually joining their mission, and seeing real-life positive benefits from it.

Political parties have huge IT cells that work tirelessly to manipulate online reputation, infiltrate communities, and spread propaganda. Some companies may also buy/fund accounts to act as their secret paid advocates.


Bounced Email

This refers to an email that bounced back to the sender because it couldn’t reach the intended receiver’s inbox.

This can either be a permanent hard bounce: the email ID doesn’t exist, was misspelled, or is blocked. In this case, you’ll get the same result no matter how many times you try.

Or it can be a soft bounce: caused by a temporary issue with the webserver. In this case, you can try sending it again later since the email is valid.

Use Neverbounce to verify your email addresses before sending out your campaigns.

Further Research:

  • Email Bounces: What To Do About Them via Mailgun
  • 6 Reasons Emails Bounce (And What You Can Do to Improve Your Bounce Rate) via ConstantContact

Bounce Rate

In the context of online marketing, a bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your webpage immediately without clicking on any link or interacting with any element on it.

Suppose someone lands on your blog page through a promoted PPC ad, but doesn’t click on “Read more articles” at the bottom, and just abandons the website without performing any action, or going to another page, it means they have “bounced.”

Your goal as a marketer should be to keep the bounce rate within 40-50% by making your web pages useful, relevant, and interlinked with each other.

Use widgets like “Read similar articles” or “You might also want to buy this” to keep visitors interested in exploring your website more.


Breadcrumbs

This is a web design/SEO term. It refers to a trail of links placed at the top of a web page to provide cues about how the user navigated to that specific page from the Home Page.

It allows them to track where they are from the site, and what they would need to do to get back to the main home page (eg. home > electronics > iPhone > iPhone 12).

It not only helps human users but search engines as well, because they can use it to understand the website’s structure better, which will eventually lead to a better rank in search results.


CDN

This is a term you’ll hear in web development. It stands for “Content Delivery Network.”

Dominos has different outlets in your city to ensure that your pizza reaches the intended destination within 30 minutes. This is done by patching your call to the nearest outlet as per your pin code.

Just like that, a CDN will copy & distribute your website’s content to servers in different regions (eg. Asia, Europe, USA). The process is called “caching.”

So even if your main website server location is in India, and a French dude from Paris tries to log in, the nearest server in Europe will be able to fulfill his browser’s request faster than your main server would. This basically means that the site’s content (images, graphics, text, data) will load faster.

A CDN also protects you from getting damaged because of hacker/malware attacks because your data is stored in multiple servers, so you may be able to recover some of it.


CMS

Let’s say that web hosting is like getting a space on the internet (to store your website’s data). A domain is like getting an address. Then a CMS is like an architect that will actually help you build your house.

A Content Management System helps you do just that: write, manage, and edit your content by organizing it into different pages like “Home,” “About,” “Shop,” and “Blog.”

The two most famous CMS are WordPress & Joomla! Both of them come with added plugins, page editors, and other features for designing your website.

Mind you, you’ll still need a hosting service to store the data. WordPress will just help you design the site. In fact, the page you’re viewing right now is managed by WordPress, too.

If this feels hard, you can try Wix, which is a much easier & more intuitive front-end website development CMS.


Corporate Identity

Also called a style/brand book, it’s a visual guideline for both internal & external graphic designers, writers, marketers, or media personal who develop communications for the brand.

It’s a set of instructions on how to appropriate portray the brand online or offline, and contains:

  • Logos
  • Examples of permitted/incorrect use of logo
  • Font styles
  • Color palette
  • Design templates (for social media, print, etc.)
  • Slogans & taglines
  • Instructions on tone of voice for copywriters
  • General guidelines on branding
  • Reference material

It ensures that all messages containing the brand name are consistent across all campaigns & channels.


Conversion

The completion of a predefined marketing goal by an individual who has now become a customer or subscriber of your brand. The number of conversions helps you track how many website visitors, app users, or ad viewers (those who saw your ad on FB) took the specific action that you wanted them to perform.

Usually, this refers to closing the sale i.e. buying the product. But it can also include other goals like downloading a media file (like an e-book or video), subscribing to an email newsletter, or filling up registration or contact forms, which is when we say that the viewer has converted into a “lead” that you will then chase to close the sale.


CPA

Stands for Cost Per Acquisition. Also called CPL (Cost Per Lead).

It answers the question, “How much did we have to pay on average to acquire a new lead/make a sale through a paid advertisement?”

It’s calculated by dividing the total amount spent (budget) by the number of folks who “converted” (completed a desired action) after seeing the ad.

For example, if you spent $1000 on FB ads for promoting your webinar, and got 100 sign-ups, your CPA is $10.

A stronger message and sharper audience targeting will lead to a lower CPA, which is what you want as a marketer.


CPM

Mille is the roman numeral for 1000. So CPM stands for “Cost Per Thousand Impresisons.”

It’s the amount you’re paying as an advertiser to get 1000 impressions for your ad. Impressions include repeat views by the same user.

If your ad budget is $10, and your ad was shown by Facebook 2000 times, then your CPM is $5 i.e. 5 dollars per 1000 views.


CTA

A “Call-To-Action” is the move you want your audience to make after seeing a marketing message or consuming a piece of content.

It can be as simple as sharing a blog or social post. And also as serious as buying your Christmas bundle or making a charitable donation.

A good CTA is singular, specific, and utilizes limited-time/stock constraints to encourage the viewer to take action immediately.

For example, the CTA “Like, Share, and Subscribe!” as commonly seen in YouTube videos, is poor because it’s asking the viewers to do too many things and not providing a clear benefit.

But the CTA “For great design insights, book your seat for our seminar now! Only 25 left” is tantalizing because it pushes you to take a specific action, sets a clear expectation for what you’ll get, and uses scarcity to create an instant urge.

Some common CTAs are:

  • Buy now
  • Learn more
  • Subscribe to our mailing list
  • Become a donor
  • Add to cart
  • Get your Free Report

Further Research:


CTR

A “Click-Through Rate” indicates how often people clicked on your ad after they saw it, giving an idea of how relevant & effective your marketing message really was.

It’s calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions (how many time the ad was seen).

For example, if 1000 people saw your ad, but only 200 clicked on the button, your CTR is 20%.

As a marketer you want a higher CTR because that means that people want to actually see your content or buy from you.

Churn Rate

This refers to the percentage of customers, website visitors, or social media followers who you have LOST over a given time period.

If you started a beauty hamper package subscription business in January and sold to 100 customers, but 20 of them canceled in February, and you only made 80 sales, then your churn rate is 20%.

This is an important metric in subscription or renewal-based business models. If your churn rate is high, you can start discount/freebie incentive campaigns to prevent losing subscribers or customers over time.


DTC Brands

Direct To Consumer brands are companies that use their own e-store/shop (e-commerce website) & other owned channels to sell products to customers, instead of relying on wholesalers or retailers like Amazon to distribute it to the end user.

As such, they tend to heavily rely on social media, paid digital advertising on FB/Google, and user generated content to make their sales.

But this model also allows the brand owners more control over their message, brand identity, packaging, and communications. It also saves money needed to pay commissions and fees to retailers or third-party selling tools/platforms.

Furthermore, it provides more direct access to user data, which can be used to set up retargeting/email/SMS campaigns.


Domain

A domain is your address on the internet. It allows people to search for, find, and visit your website.

Businesses will usually go with a “xyz.com” domain extension to indicate their commercial nature. NGOs or charities may opt for a “xyz.org” extension to improve trust & credibility in their brand.

Educational institutes go with “.edu,” while “.gov” is restricted to official government websites. There are also regional domains like “.in” for India & “.fr” for France.

You can check if a certain domain is available for buying on GoDaddy or NameChk.


Doxing

When an internet user’s personal identity & contact details are revealed on social media (or Reddit forums) with the intention of publicly shaming, harrasing, or bullying them en masse.

This usually happens as a retort when a previously anonymous username says something controversial that doesn’t sit well with a particular group of users in the same community/forum. The target profile is then analyzed, mined, or hacked for exposing private details.

Doxing is sometimes used by expose artists to reveal the identity of cybercriminals, but in general use, it’s considered unethical, illegal, and even against the set rules of platforms like Reddit.


Earned, Owned, and Paid Media

Earned Media refers to content that you get for free when customers, the press, or the public:

  • Voluntarily reshare the conten from your account with added remarks or value (eg. retweeting your tweet with their comments or feedback/review)
  • Talk about your brand online (eg. leaving a Google business review)
  • Or themselves create independent new content featuring your product, service, brand, or business without paid incentive (eg. non-sponsored demo of a gadget)

Earned media is called called UGC i.e. User-Generatred content. When consumers post content featuring the brand, it feels more authentic than commercialized messages. This also taps into their personal cricels, which is why UGC is so dear to marketers.

In 2020, Zomato creatively utilized UGC through their #ZomatoLoot ad contest, which announced a reward of ₹25,00,000 for the most innovative advertisement created by its fans. The net was flooded with funny or relatable ads promoting Zomato.

Most brands will try to urge customers to snap a photo of their products, share on their social media feeds, and tag the official brand handle to repost the content.

On the other hand, Paid Media is content that you pay to be created and/or distributed on third-party channels or accounts that you don’t directly control.

This includes asking an influencer to write a paid review of your product on their blog, or partnering with a certain company/celebrity to show your ads on their website or feature your products on their pages.

Lastly, Owned Media is content that you create and publish on your own on channels or accounts that you have control over. This includes posting a photo on your IG handle, or uploading a tutorial demo of your app on YouTube.

This can also include the content you’ve paid to be created by professional freelancers, but ultimately own the creative/editing rights exclusively (eg. running a Facebook video ad that a media agency produced for you).


Favicon

A small icon/image/logo displayed next to a bookmarked page or tab on an internet browser (like Chrome), allowing the user to identify the site quickly and visually.

For example, try bookmarking Gmail, and you’ll see the “M” logomark appear next otthe name on the browser tab – that’s their favicon.


Funnel

The journey of a stranger becoming your customer. A visualization of all activities & actions that you will perform to get an individual to buy from your company.

The typical funnel starts with first generating a prospect’s interest, answering questions through FAQs, and addressing pain points through useful content. These activities are referred to as TOFU: Top of Funnel.

Now that the customer has identified the problem, the “MOFU: Middle of Funnel” part involves building social credibility through testimonials & case studies, creating how-to guides on using the product, showing demos to educate the customer.

Then the funnel ends with a nice juicy limited-time or discount offer that will act as the final push needed to get the customer to checkout & complete the sale. This is called BOFU: Bottom of Funnel.

A funnel acts as a visual strategy that outlines exactly what efforts you’ll need to take to achieve success in your business.


Geotargeting

An ad/content targeting method of using a website visitor or app user’s location or region to serve them personalized content, pop-up notifications, or ads.

For example, if it’s raining in Mumbai, Mumbaikars may get a mobile push notification from Zomato with a discount alert for ordering hot chai & snacks enjoyed during the rain.


Hex Code

This is a common term you’ll come across when talking to graphic designers. It’s a 6-digit code representing a very specific color, just like an ID assigned to each book in the library.

This code (accompanied by a hashtag “#” in front) is extremely important from the perspective of branding identity and commercial design.

For example, Twitter’s official logo blue hex code is #08a0e9. No other hue or shade of blue will work. A Hex can be broken down further into 3 numbers, which will give you the corresponding RGB codes (represents the “Red, Green, Blue” color system).

The hex for white is #ffffff, and the hex for black is #000000.


Hug of Death

Someone posted a link to their new small site on a popular platform/forum like Reddit. Surprisingly, the crowd loved it so much that the previously unknown site started getting insane amounts of traffic, up until the point where the server couldn’t handle it anymore, leading to an epic crash.

A moment like this is bittersweet for the website’s owner, which is why it’s been given that name. Historically, it was called the “Slashdot Effect,” named after an old giant site that would post links to baby sites, causing them to slow or shut down because of the unexpected massive spike in traffic.

Further Research:


Landing Page

This is a specific page that’s created on your website to display all the information about a particular product, service, promotional/seasonal campaign, or upcoming event. A landing page will typically have:

  • Catchy title with value proposition
  • Small paragraph explaining what the product is
  • List of benefits or advantages/curriculum covered in ebook or seminar
  • Testimonials & feedback from previous customers (social proof)
  • List of media features, certifications, and collaborations (social proof)
  • Info about the author/presenter/business owner (credibility)
  • Backstory about the origin of the product
  • FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
  • Limited-time juicy discount offer (to get you to sign up/buy immediately)
  • Registration form/Buy Now button
  • Links to different product pages (eg. Christmas Sale)

You will often use this page in your paid ad campaigns on FB/Google, because if you drive all the traffic to your site’s homepage, it may not be relevant to people who are looking for in-depth info on a particular product or aspect of your business. In that case, a specialized landing page will fulfill their need.

To see an example, visit this landing page for a free webinar from Mindvalley, a wellness content production startup in Malaysia.


Lead

A potential customer who has communicated an interest or intent to buy your product by providing their phone or email, through a registration or inquiry form on your website or a social media ad.

They may also have shared their contact details while signing up for your webinar or a downloadable resource like a PDF guide or industry report.

Regardless, they’re a cold visitor to your shop who needs to be warmed up with more valuable content and education. Once they have an idea of your business and the benefits you can offer, they’re ready to hear your sales pitch, in which you can seal the deal and get them to buy/do business with you.

So basically, your job as a marketer is to chase and convert leads into actual paying customers.

Further Research:


Lead Magnet

A free piece of content or resource you offer in exchange for a potential customer’s email ID, phone, or personal info. The goal is to use bait and attract “leads” that you can qualify and convert into customers.

Because the customer needs to give their details to access the resource, it’s also called “gated content.”

A good magnet genuinely solves the target fan’s problem or provides useful but bite-sized insights. It establishes your expertise and creates trust in your brand. Some examples are:

  • Webinar, Consultation, Coaching Session
  • Customizable Template
  • Industry Report, Case Studies, Research Paper
  • e-Book, Guide, 7-day Email Course
  • PDF Checklists, Cheatsheets, Toolboxes

Further Research:


Loss Aversion

A psychology term.

Our brains are hardwired to strongly prefer avoiding losses over acquiring gains. In other words, we hate to lose more than we love to win.

So as a marketer, you’d rather say “Save $5 on your bill” i.e. offer a discount, than say “Win $5 extra when you buy,” even though they’re both equal & identical things.

This is why many ad campaigns start with phrases like “Only 5 items left in stock,” or “Don’t lose this limited-time offer!”

Some websites offer free all-access trials of their software tools to get us so comfortable with the product that we don’t want to give up the advanced features later, and will therefore be compelled to buy the subscription plan after the trial has ended.


Logomark

A logo (shape, design, character, symbol) that doesn’t contain the brand’s name in text format.

For example, Twitter’s logomark is the blue bird, while microsoft’s logomark is the 4-color window. Nike’s logomark is the Swoosh, while KFC has Colonel Sanders.

Conversely, a logo containing text is called the “logotype.” Because of its obvious nature, a logotype is used in places or market regions where a logomark may not be quickly recognizable.

For example, Starbucks may use the green lady logomark in storefronts where its famous, but when it’s launching in a new city where the brand recall/usage is low, it will spell out the whole name for the customers.


Media Kit

Also known as a press kit, it’s a downloadable folder of resources created by a publisher or brand to help prospective ad buyers, partners, journalists (press), or other media personnel who want to write about the brand.

This can come in the form of a webpage, Drive, Dropbox, PDF, or Slideshow.

It comprises:

  • Press releases
  • Direct quotes from leaders
  • Authorized photographs & videos (products, team)
  • Company background & facts
  • Product/Service descriptions
  • Contact details of Representatives
  • Brand design guidelines
  • Brand assets (logos, fonts)
  • Testimonials from users
  • Product samples
  • News coverage archives
  • Advertising/Sponsorship rate cards

Further Research:

  • Best Press Kit Examples: What Should a Media Kit Contain in 2021? via Prowly
  • How to Create an Influencer Media Kit (+ Free Template!) via Later

Newsjacking

Also known as moment marketing, topical content, or contextual advertising. It refers to the technique or brands or creators who create witty referencing content on social media based on ongoing internet trends, viral hashtags, current news events, hot topics, public holidays, or trending meme/tweet/post formats.

This is done during movie releases, celebrity deaths or goofups, new product releases, political banters, seasonal holidays, etc.

It’s a way of looking relevant, witty, young, and socially aware online, which attracts young users to follow the brand account. The term “newsjacking” comes from the observation that brands often piggyback or jump into the conversation with the sole purpose of getting more exposure/reach, often without adding real value to it.

For an example, check out how Zomato reacted to the new iPhone release in 2019. See a list of all unexpected viral moment marketing trends since 2020 here.


Net Promoter Score

A Net Promoter Score measures your customers’ loyalty/advocacy strength and the brand’s ability to leverage word of mouth.

It’s based on the simple question, “How likely is it that you would recommend [Organisation X/Product Y/Service Z] to a friend or colleague?”

To calculate it, you’ll first need to launch a survey on your website asking the customers’ how likely they are to refer your product to their friends/family on a scale of 1-10, 10 being most likely, and 1 being never.

Then, you must bifurcate the responses into 3 categories:

  1. Promoters respond with a score of 9 or 10 and are typically loyal and enthusiastic customers.
  2. Passives respond with a score of 7 or 8. They are satisfied with your service but not happy enough to be considered promoters.
  3. Detractors respond with a score of 0 to 6. These are unhappy customers who are unlikely to buy from you again, and may even discourage others from buying from you.

Finally, to arrive at your NPS, subtract the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters.

For example, if 10% of respondents are Detractors, 20% are Passives and 70% are Promoters, your NPS score would be 70-10 = 60.

 As a result, NPS scores are reported with a number from -100 to +100. A higher score is desirable but hard to achieve. You should at least have a positive score of 20-40. But if you’ve scored lower than that, don’t panic.

You just have to figure out what’s keeping your customers from being fully satisfied (because without it, they won’t ask their friends to use it) and just modify your product experience/cycle accordingly.

Further Research:

  • What is Net Promoter Score®? Your introduction to NPS via Hotjar
  • Increase Net Promoter Score with these 11 surefire strategies via Survey Sensum

Organic vs. Inorganic Metrics

Organic metrics refer to your account’s reach, engagement, sales, traffic, or growth made on its own merit. This is only possible when your content is valuable, relevant, and worthy of attention. People consume and share it ahead instinctively.

You’re basically pulling customers towards you by attracting them with valuable content, deals, or offers. This is why it is also commonly referred to as ‘inbound marketing.’

Conversely, inorganic metrics refer to results that you received after spending money and resources to place strategic advertisements on Google or social media, or ‘boosting’ your content i.e. paying for more views. So you’re using a set budget to grow awareness and sales for your account, website, or business.

In other words, you’re pushing out your brand through ads, sponsored posts, influencer collaborations, and product packaging. So this forms the domain of ‘outbound marketing.’

In the long-term, both tactics are equally important and even though many people misunderstand them as opposites, the truth is that they complement each other.

Further Research:


ORM

Online Reputation Management involves responding to reviews, monitoring & improving conversations or mentions of the brand/product, tackling public relations/image crises, and ensuring an overall positive sentiment towards
the company.


Some popular paid ORM tools are Reputology, Radian, UberVU, Visible, BrandsEye & Trackur.


OTT

Over-The-Top platforms let you stream media directly on the internet via your smart TV, mobile phone, or tablet. This includes movies, shows, and other owned/user-generated content.

Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime all have their independent sites/apps, which let you access the digital content with a premium paid subscription.

Usually, this cuts through the beuracrcy & slowness of satellite/dish television, and allows the platforms independent control over their content without having to worry about cencorship from TV channel operators or advertisors.

In November 2020, the BJP Indian Govt. announced that it’ll soon regulate OTTs (like it does print/TV media) via the Information the Broadcasting Ministry, which led to mass public concerns & outcry over the attempted cencorship.


Persona

A description of the ideal target customer for your brand. It’s a useful visualization technique to help you create effective marketing messages that speak directly to the kind of people you want to reach & sell to.

A persona is an imaginary but research-backed collection of data points, such as:

  • Demographic (age, sex, location)
  • Education, profession, financial power
  • Interests & hobbies
  • Online behaviors (eg. regular shopper, blog reader)
  • Political, social, and religious beliefs
  • Social groups & attachments
  • Personality traits

For example, here’s one typical persona for a fashion shopping website. The marketer can then use it to craft a blog posts or ad that appeals to this persona:

  • Female, 20-25 years, Mumbai
  • Well-educated, upper class
  • Shops for branded fashion items
  • Likes travelling, drinking, and dancing
  • Leans towards liberal ideology
  • Part of eco/environmental activism groups
  • Is passionate about human rights

Knowing this, the brand should probably convey in its marketing that it uses eco-friendly & sustainable raw material, and supports women welfare groups.


Responsiveness

This refers to the ability of a website to adjust its design & content framework according to the screen size of the device which is being used to view it.

Non-responsive websites may work fine on your desktop but will often look ugly and be difficult to navigate on smaller screens like mobile phones.

Marketers should work with web developers to ensure that the content on their brand’s site is accurately & neatly presented and not cut/omitted on mobile.

This can be done by choosing responsive “themes” on WordPress, which automatically resize the content to fit any screen, or by hiding certain elements or pages as the size gets smaller (eg. hide the page navigation menu & show 3 lines to open it separately on mobile).


Return on Investment

ROI is the answer to the question, “How much money did we get back in sales after spending our budget on marketing?” It’s calculated by subtracting total sales/income from the total spend on ads or other kinds of paid efforts.

ROI is strictly monetary. If you’re seeing a 0 or negative ROI, it means that you’re making a loss, so it’s time to re-evaluate your marketing content & make it better.


Remarketing

You know that creepy moment when you see a Facebook ad for the item you just browsed on Amazon or a Shopify store? That’s remarketing for you.

These websites have tracking code installed (called “FB Pixel”) that allow them to collect your data, and then target you with specialized ads to get you to buy the products that you were exploring. So the ads will typically feature huge discounts or combo offers to give you the final push.

Retargeting can be done on social media ad platforms for your website visitors, based on engagement (eg. people who viewed your video), or through owned email lists that a business has on its database. Facebook will automatically match the emails to FB profiles, and then target your ad campaign to those specific users.

Further research:

  • What Is Retargeting? via Mailchimp
  • 5 Simple Steps to Create a Facebook Retargeting Campaign via Acqusio

Rendering

You’ll hear this term a lot while working with video editors. It’s an often long, computer-heating, and intensive process in which a video editing or animation software (eg. Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects) will finalize the edited files by combining all the cuts, special effects, transitions, and graphics placed on the timeline by the editor.

Basically, it will merge everything & export the frames into a single playable video file in a given format (in mp4, MPEG, etc.), framerate, and resolution, so that anyone can then view & upload to social media.

When you see video editors getting frustrated, it’s probably because their PC crashed or hanged while the video was being rendered.


RGB/CMYK

RGB (Red, Green, Blue) & CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key i.e. black)) are color modes made for digital & print design respectively.

Without going into too much detail, these two modes exist because colors appear or behave differently on paper & digital screens. RGB colors pop more, while CMYK is usually duller & darker.

So we use RGB while designing digital communications (eg. website, social media), and CMYK when the document or artwork is supposed to be printed for packaging/paper.


Search Intent

Before you write anything on your website’s landing page or blog post, you need to understand why the user is going to search for a particular query. That will decide the tone and direction of your copy.

It’s a foundational area of research for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) specialists.

There are 4 main types of search intents are:

  • Navigational: The user wants to find a specific page or site (eg. Nike sports shoes store). Since the user is clear about what they want, navigational searches are dominated by brand-specific keywords & you should optimize your site or ad for that. For example, if they search “Nike Stores near me,” Adidas can use this query to place an ad with the title “Nike Stores are Too Far – Come shop at Adidas near you”
  • Informational: The user wants to get an answer a specific question. These queries will include “how to,” “what is,” “where is,” “why do,” and other interrogatives. You should aim to answer such queries through detailed FAQs or long-form blog posts that are optimized for small snippets (quick answers).
  • Transactional: The user wants to complete an action (conversion). This may not be always shopping/buying behavior. It could be an email signup, lead generation form submission, store visit, or a phone call. On the SEO front, your page should have strong CTAs that contain the search terms.
  • Commercial: The customer definitely wants to buy something. So your landing page should have good “magnet” terms that can pull them in, with keywords like “free demo or trial,” “no cancellation charges,” or “Trusted by 10000 people worldwide” (testimonials).
what is clickbait

Further Research:

  • What Is Search Intent? A Complete Guide via Semrush
  • What is search intent? via Yoast

SERP

Stands for Search Engine Results Page. It’s just basically the list of web pages that are served to you by Google when you type in a query/question.

A marketer’s job is to “optimize” their website’s content to rank higher in SERP so that users click on their links first.

This process is called SEO (Search Engine Optimization). It includes creating quality relevant content with the most-searched keywords, maintaining a clean & organized website design, adding captions & descriptive text to your media, etc.


Storyboard

This is something marketers have to provide to video creators.

In the context of video creation, a storyboard is a crucial starting point that visualizes the flow of the creative project.

It’s a rough outline of the scenes or frames that the designer, film maker, animator, or editor will use. It gives them a clear bird’s eye view on how your “story” will progress from start to end, which elements will come in when, and how each shot will logically transition to the other.

Think of it like sketching a comic strip before turning it into an animated short film.


Surrogate Advertising

When a brand uses a different product or service altogether to market its main product through mass media because it’s illegal to advertise the latter, or considered taboo & unethical to promote it.

The goal is to get the brand name out there. It’s a smart legal loophole created to ensure that brands can still promote their names by creating a “surrogate” product made specifically for that purpose. The surrogate falls under acceptable use in advertising.

For example, it’s prohibited to launch ads about liquor/alcohol on television (as per the Government of India), so alcohol brands may use the following surrogates:

  • Packaged drinking water (Kingfisher)
  • Music CDs (Seagram’s Imperial Blue a.k.a. Men will be Men ads)
  • IPL Cricket Teams sponsorship (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
  • Artist commisions & features (Absolut)

Usually, when people see these ads, the goal is to register the brand name in the minds of the intended target audience so that they will choose the same when they buy alcohol, and not actually sell the mentioned surrogate products.


Velvet Rope Strategy

This tactic involves generating hype around a product or company by creating an exclusive and selective community of loyal users who have special privileges.

The scarcity, limitation, or difficulty in accessing the product creates a FOMO (fear of missing out) in the public, which in turn, builds a perception of high value and luxury around your brand. The technique pulls in massive demand using a soft aspiration, hence the name “velvet rope strategy.”

Some variations are:

  • By invite only (Clubhouse app’s launch)
  • Qualification (CRED’s high credit score criteria)
  • Waiting List (Robinhood’s trading app)
  • Limited avaibility (Xmas drinks by Starbucks)

Further Research:

  • Velvet Rope Marketing Strategy: How Can You Make People Actually Lust To Join via Heidi Cohen
  • Analysing Clubhouse’s Growth Strategy – Invite Only Exclusivity via Growth Models

USP

A Unique Selling Proposition is a special feature or characteristic of a product that is used for differentiating oneself in the market.

As a marketer who develops messages, you must clearly communicate what rare value your brand is offering that your competitors cannot. What is the advantage of your product in the market? Why should customers choose to buy from you?

  • Type of packaging/raw material (eg. vean leather, paper package)
  • Flavour, taste, look (eg. bigger patty, extra cheese)
  • Service add-on (eg. free after-sales service)
  • More product features or unique way of solving problem that saves time, money, and effort – something that no other competitor can compete with

WYSIWYG Software

This stands for “What You See Is What You Get.” It’s a type of editing application (usually for websites or digital content) that allows you to see the finished product in real-time as you are creating it.

For example, in Wix, you can see how your webpage will look when it goes live while you are dragging & dropping elements like text or media (image, video, graphics) on the editor screen.

This makes it very easy for non-technical people (who are not backend coders) to see the end product, and tweak it to suit their intended design.

Your Word or Powerpoint works on the same principle, and so does Canva. WYSIWYG software removes the complication of back-end coding by giving you instant visual feedback during the creation/design process itself.


ZIP

Zone Intformation Protocol or zipping is a way of compressing large folders & files into a smaller package so that they can be transferred & shared across the internet easily.

You’ll need to use this when you have to send a large folder of many image or video files to someone else via email or social media. Just right-click on the file, and click “Send To > Zipped folder.”

The recipient will then unzip the folder on their end to unload all the files.

You’ll easily recognize a zipped file by it’s icon of green, blue, and purple books stacked on top of each other.


Conclusion

So that concludes our Marketing 101 Masterclass.

Were you able to grasp all the concepts clearly? Do you have any questions that you’d like us to clear with examples? Let’s talk more in the comments!

Published by Manik Rege

Writer | Digital Marketer | Leadership Enthusiast. Tweet to me @manik_rege

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: