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The ultimate revenue marketing glossary: Key terms explained

Revenue marketing

Revenue is the fuel that keeps your business running. But as a revenue marketer, we know you face a constant battle to keep the tanks topped up.

Don't worry, we've got your back.

Our glossary of essential revenue marketing terms is here to help you navigate the complex world of marketing with ease. From lead generation to customer lifetime value, we've got over 100 definitions to keep you in the know - with more constantly being added.

Never struggle with key revenue marketing vocab again.

Whether you're looking to improve your lead generation, increase customer retention, or boost your overall revenue, this glossary has everything you need to succeed.

So, let’s dive in…



  • A/B testing: At a basic level, this is testing different versions of a piece of marketing on the same audience. We call it A/B testing because it refers to trying out two versions, but really you can try out as many as you have resources for.

    A/B testing is important because it allows you to refine many aspects of marketing. You can fine-tune copy, try out different images and videos, and more: just about every variable you can imagine when it comes to a piece of marketing can be A/B tested.
  • Account-based marketing (ABM): Account-based marketing (also known as key account marketing) is a strategy that takes that concept even further by selecting important individual businesses (accounts) to market towards. You produce ultra-focused, tailored marketing for those accounts.

    Every marketer dreams of the day that their marketing can be fine-tuned to the level that it speaks to each individual directly. With the increase of data-driven automated customization, that dream might one day soon be a reality, but for now, it’s not a practical reality for most B2C marketing.
  • Advocates: What’s better than having customers? Customers who produce more customers for you!

    People and companies who like you enough can become advocates or ambassadors who will extoll the virtues of your company and products through different channels, like social media or via word of mouth. Advocacy is a major goal of customer retention strategies as they represent the ultimate level of loyalty you can benefit from.
  • Affiliate marketing: A form of performance marketing, where you have a third party promoting your business to others and you pay them based on how much they succeed in this. This will usually be based on things like traffic to your website or leads generated.

    Affiliate marketing can take several forms. Some companies will have affiliate programs, where people or businesses can sign up to be rewarded for referring customers to them.
  • Agile marketing: Agile marketing is a marketing strategy that revolves around working in short bursts called sprints. Working in this way allows marketers to make small, incremental changes over time during their campaign, rather than doing one long review at the end of a long period. This means marketers can devise solutions to problems in real-time, and make gradual improvements with every future sprint.
  • AI marketing: Artificial intelligence in marketing uses this advanced technology to make automated decisions based on data collection and analysis. With data models, algorithms, and machine learning, AI can produce in-depth customer insights that can be used to optimize spending, customize content, and personalize the customer experience.
  • Attribution modeling: A statistical method used to measure the impact of various marketing channels and campaigns on revenue generation. Revenue marketers use attribution modeling to allocate marketing budgets and optimize their marketing strategies for maximum revenue impact.


  • Backlinks: Backlinks are a major component of search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. To sum it up, these are links to your website and content from other websites.

    The more authoritative those websites are deemed to be by search engines like Google, the higher you’ll appear on the results page of searches related to your products and services. Some ways you can encourage backlinks include asking customers to feature links to your products on their own sites, influencer marketing, guest blogger, and solid PR.
  • Bounce rate: Getting people onto a landing page is just the first step. If they leave it without spending significant time on it or visiting another page, we say that these visitors have “bounced”.

    Keeping track of the bounce rate of people is important. Firstly, if the bounce rate is too high, it probably means you need to take a look at the design and copy on the page. Secondly, search engines like Google keep track of the bounce rate of sites they’re sending people to and will rank those with a high bounce rate lower on their search results pages.
  • Brand: While talking about brands and branding is fairly common among non-marketing laypeople, it’s a broad umbrella term that you’ll hear a lot in marketing circles.

    Brand is basically everything that other people experience in connection with your company, and a good brand is one that gives a positive impression.
  • Brand awareness: The level of familiarity that potential customers have with a company's brand. Revenue marketers use brand awareness to increase customer acquisition and drive revenue by making their brand more recognizable and memorable.
  • Buyer personas: These are profiles you’ll create of your ideal customers. There are two types that apply in B2B marketing: company personas and decision-maker personas.

    A company persona will be the types of businesses you’ll be targeting. It will contain information like their geographical location, industry, size, what status they have (such as start-up or mid-sized corporation), and their current business goals (building revenue, growth, brand building, etc.).


  • Call-to-action (CTA): A call-to-action (CTA) is when you ask someone to do something. There are obvious CTAs when it comes to digital B2B marketing, like buttons on your website saying “Buy” or “Call”.

    Trying out different formats for your CTAs can be a fruitful process: which words to use, the degree of politeness, whether to use pronouns or not, the position on the page, and even the color of the button.
  • Churn rate: The rate at which customers discontinue their relationship with a company. Revenue marketers use churn rates to measure customer retention and identify opportunities for retention marketing.
  • Click-through-rate (CTR): This is the number of people who click on an ad, link, or CTA button. Keeping track of CTRs is important in measuring the success of their placement, design, and language.
  • Competitive intelligence: This is the practice of looking at the actions, products, and marketing of your competitors. You’ll then use a process called competitive analysis to develop marketing strategies that counter, subvert or improve on theirs.
  • Content marketing: Content marketing is a pretty broad term for just about everything your company produces and publishes publicly that isn’t your actual product that would be of interest to your target market. It’s an umbrella term for many things, including company blogs, whitepapers, videos, social media, podcasts, and more.
  • Conversion: A conversion is a general term for any person who successfully responds to the goals of your marketing. This can include the obvious end goals, like people becoming your customers, but it can also include specific actions you might be promoting through your marketing, like downloading a PDF or becoming a social media follower.
  • Conversion rate optimization (CRO): The process of improving the effectiveness of a website or landing page to increase the number of visitors who take a desired action (such as making a purchase). Revenue marketers use CRO to maximize the revenue generated from their websites and other digital marketing channels.
  • Cost-per-acquisition (CPA): This is the amount of money and resources you’ve spent on acquiring customers. You can measure this at different levels, such as channels, campaigns, or even individual activities. This is easy to work out when working with an agency, as it’s literally “cost of their work” divided by the number of new acquisitions from it.
  • Customer acquisition cost (CAC): The total cost incurred to acquire a new customer. Revenue marketers use CAC to determine the cost-effectiveness of their marketing campaigns and to optimize their marketing strategies.
  • Customer journey mapping: The process of visualizing and analyzing the touchpoints and interactions a customer has with a company across their entire journey, from initial awareness to post-purchase support. Revenue marketers use customer journey mapping to understand customer needs and preferences and to optimize marketing strategies accordingly.
  • Customer lifetime value (CLV): The total amount of revenue a customer is expected to generate over their lifetime. Revenue marketers use CLV to determine the long-term value of acquiring new customers and to prioritize their marketing efforts accordingly.
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) system: These are pieces of software used to keep track of your company’s interactions with potential and current customers. You can see how far along they’re in the buying process and which marketing they’ve interacted with.

    With this, you can determine which pieces of marketing are having the most success and which customers need the most focus. Examples of CRM systems include HubSpot, Salesforce, and Microsoft Dynamics 365.
  • Customer retention funnel: This is a way of mapping out the marketing actions you take to retain customers. It’s a widely known fact that retaining customers is much more cost-effective than developing new ones. This is a means of developing customer loyalty, enticing them to buy more products from you, and developing them into advocates.
  • Customer segmentation: The process of dividing customers into groups based on specific characteristics or behaviors. Revenue marketers use customer segmentation to personalize marketing messages and optimize revenue generation for different customer segments.


  • Dark social: Dark social refers to the invisible interaction that happens through channels that marketers can’t measure, like instant messaging, email, and text.

    If a customer were to share an article of yours on Facebook Messenger with a friend, that qualifies as being shared through dark social, as your team would see that click-through come through as direct, even though that’s not truly how that user came across it. Dark social refers to when traffic is attributed to the wrong channel.
  • Decision-maker personas: These are the people within a company who influence whether or not a company will actually purchase your products or services.

    This can range from the people who will actually be using your products to the people in charge of the accounting and can range across many different levels of seniority depending on the size and complexity of the business you’re targeting.
  • Demand generation: Demand generation or demand gen is really just a fancy term for marketing actions that raise awareness for your products and services. Demand generation tends to occur at the broadest part of your marketing funnel.

    It’s not quite as simple as blasting out your marketing to the entire world, with B2B marketing you’ll be looking to target the right companies for your products, with the aim to turn them into leads. Demand generation can also happen with existing customers, where you make them aware of any new offerings that might be of interest to them.
  • Digital advertising: The use of digital channels, such as social media and search engines, to promote products or services to potential customers. Revenue marketers use digital advertising to increase brand awareness, generate leads, and drive revenue.
  • Direct marketing: Direct marketing is any form of marketing that addresses the target on a personal level. Most ads and content marketing tend to be in the indirect marketing category, while things like sales pitches, direct mail (both email and the classic snail mail), text messaging, and even a phone call come under direct marketing, as they’re delivered directly to the audience.
  • Dynamic content: Also known as smart content, this is marketing that adapts to data you have on the recipient, allowing you to deliver personalized content and marketing.

    This could be something like the content of a webpage changing depending on their prior behavior on the site (tracked by cookies) or their location. Maybe your email newsletters automatically populate with content based on things your targets identify as their interests when they sign up.



  • Earned media: As opposed to paid or owned media, earned media organically gains coverage from a third-party source. This can include the press, invitations to speak at events, podcasts, or other forms of interview (so long as your company isn’t sponsoring them), and really just about anything which gives you coverage that you haven’t paid for.
  • Email marketing: The use of email to promote products or services to potential or existing customers. Revenue marketers use email marketing to build relationships with customers, generate leads, and increase revenue.
  • Engagement: Engagement is the interactions an audience has with a piece of marketing. It’s often used as a measurement of success when it comes to marketing. There are different types of engagement, with different tiers of value across different marketing channels.
  • Event marketing: Event marketing usually takes the form of a conference, trade show, roundtable, conference, seminar, workshop, launch party, and more. They’re when a brand organizes and executes some kind of event, whether virtual or in-person, that’s designed to entertain or engage with attendees.

    Companies might host an event, or just attend as an exhibitor, participant, or even sponsor the event. Event marketing helps to make those connections with potential customers and is effective for building brand awareness.


  • Funnel optimization: The process of optimizing each stage of the marketing funnel to increase the number of leads that convert into paying customers. Revenue marketers use funnel optimization to improve the efficiency of their marketing efforts and increase revenue.


  • Gated content: This is content that’s hidden from most of the public. Usually, you’ll require people to provide you with details before they can access it. It could be behind a paywall or subscription, they need to sign up as members, or it can be as little as providing you with an email address. Sometimes they might have to be customers already.

    By doing this, you’ll ask them to agree to receive further marketing from you. This is a great way of generating leads, but you’ll need to make sure the content behind the gate is worthwhile, or you’ll see people drop out and remove your ability to send further content.
  • Geotargeting: This is just a quick way of saying a piece of marketing or content will be delivered to people in a specific geographical location. Most social media platforms allow you to do this both organically and with paid targeting.

    This is important if certain parts of your business only apply to certain places (like some products only being available in certain countries), or if you’ve tailored your marketing campaign seasonally (no point in a summer-themed campaign in January).
  • Growth hacking/marketing: Growth hacking or marketing is a term for the range of skills and marketing activities that are most conducive to rapidly increasing the revenue and audience base of a company.

    Growth hacking experts are often of most use to startups and it often involves coordinating marketers, sales, engineers, developers, and product managers, all with one goal: growing the user base of a product as quickly as possible.



  • Impression: This is the number of times your content appears on someone's screen, such as in their social media feed. Impressions should never be used as the only measure of success, as it doesn’t really tell you anything. It doesn’t tell you if someone has read or watched the content, it doesn’t tell you if they’ve clicked any of the links, only that it appeared in front of them. Even then, they could have scrolled right past it.

    It should only be used as a baseline against other forms of measurement, like engagement. If you’re getting loads of impressions, but not much else, then you need to take another look at that content.
  • Inbound marketing: Rather than running ads (outbound marketing), inbound marketing is a strategy that involves populating your site with useful, easy-to-discover content so that interested parties come to you. It’s the umbrella term that covers things like content marketing and SEO strategies.
  • Influencer marketing: The process of utilizing an influential brand ambassador to promote your company. You’ve probably heard of influencer marketing in the realm of B2C marketing, but it’s got equally valuable applications in B2B marketing.

    It’s just unlikely you’ll be utilizing the Kardashians. You’ll identify experts and thought leaders in the industries your products and services are connected to, whether they work in those industries or cover them (like bloggers) and work with them to promote your company.


  • Key performance indicators (KPI): KPIs are the metrics you use to measure the success of your marketing projects. Having consistent KPIs which you establish ahead of time allows you to compare the success of different campaigns and activities.

    Clear KPIs allow you to communicate your successes to different stakeholders and departments, as well as see where you need to improve. This article can help you with social media KPIs.
  • Keyword: Search engines are based on keywords and matching sites to the terms people enter into the search bar. An SEO practice involves occupying your website and content with keywords your target market is likely to use. A good practice is to build up a bank of keywords to use frequently through the process of keyword research.


  • Landing page: These are pages on your websites you’re expecting visitors to reach from external sources, like search engines or social media, that aren’t necessarily pieces of content. They’ll be specially designed to get a desired result from a customer, such as signing up for a membership or your emails, downloading something, or acting as an entry point into the rest of the site.
  • Lead: These are potential customers who have shown some kind of indication of interest in you, usually by providing some details that will allow you to market to them further. They can take the form of email subscribers or social media followers or even an old-school Rolodex of names. Leads are frequently categorized as marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) and sales-qualified leads (SQLs).
  • Lead generation: Also known as lead gen, these are marketing activities designed to produce leads. This can include both outbound and inbound marketing practices. Leads generated are often used as important KPIs for many activities. Lead-generation activities sit at the very top of your marketing funnel.
  • Lead nurturing: These are activities that turn your leads into customers. Traditionally, these activities were undertaken by the sales departments, but modern thinking advises a more combined approach between marketing and sales.

    You’ll provide content and marketing materials designed to persuade interested parties that they’re making the right decision to buy from you. Lead nurturing activities occupy the middle of your marketing funnel.
  • Lead scoring: A method of ranking potential customers based on their level of interest and engagement with a company's marketing efforts. Revenue marketers use lead scoring to identify high-value leads and to focus their sales efforts on the most promising prospects.
  • Lifetime Value (LTV): The amount of profit your company can gain from a customer across their entire relationship with you. Often used to calculate ROI, you can determine which customers are best for your marketing and sales teams to target. It’s good to be aware of what your overall company goals are.
  • Longtail keyword: These are specific phrases containing keywords. You’re less likely to get high-volume traffic from something this specific, but people who do search for these phrases are more likely to become conversions if your content or products are exactly what they’re looking for.



  • Marketing automation: These are platforms or software which automate certain aspects of your marketing. This could include auto-respond emails, sending out mass emails, social media posts, or emails on specific dates or at certain points along a timeline after someone becomes a lead, or when they progress to the next section of your marketing funnel.
  • Marketing funnel: This is a means of mapping out the different types of marketing you aim at potential customers as they progress from leads into customers. It’s often broken up into different stages that fit under categories like lead generation and lead nurturing.
  • Marketing mix: This is a term for all the things a company can control to influence people to buy from them. It’s often summed up as “the four Ps”: product, price, place, and promotion.
  • Marketing qualified lead (MQL): These are leads that have been assessed to be most likely to become customers, and as such will be the main focus of your marketing. You’ll have tracked their behavior and engagement with your own content and possibly others. They’ll be the main focus of your lead nurturing efforts until they become sales-qualified leads and ready for your sales team to engage with.
  • Marketing segmentation: This is a technique for dividing up your target market into different categories so that you can target them with appropriate marketing. There are different methods of marketing segmentation, and the ones you choose will largely depend on your company’s resources, products, and the intended goals of your marketing.
  • MarTech: The collective name for marketing technology and tools that marketers use in their day-to-day operations. It encompasses the tech tools and software that marketers use to plan, execute, and measure the success of their marketing efforts.

    MarTech tools may automate or streamline marketing processes, collect and analyze data, or provide ways for marketers to engage with their audience. The suit of tools a company uses is known as their MarTech Stack.
  • Mobile optimization: This is the practice of ensuring your digital content will display well on the majority of mobile phone devices. In fact, it can be common practice to have a separate mobile-optimized version of a website to guarantee this happens.

    It involves making sure the site loads fast enough when loading over mobile networks, that it can be read clearly when in both portrait and landscape dimensions of the majority of smartphone screens, and that it can be easily navigated by touch screen.
  • Multi-channel marketing: The use of multiple channels, such as email, social media, and search engines, to promote products or services to potential or existing customers. Revenue marketers use multi-channel marketing to reach a wider audience, improve engagement, and increase revenue.
  • Multi-touch attribution: A method of assigning credit to multiple marketing touchpoints that contributed to a sale. Revenue marketers use multi-touch attribution to understand how different marketing channels and campaigns work together to drive revenue.


  • Native advertising: Paid advertising that fits the form and function of the platform it appears on: in other words, an ad that appears like a social media post on a social media platform, or a long-form ad that appears like an article on a news or blogging site.


  • Omni-channel marketing: The practice of coordinating your marketing across all the various channels you utilize. This is important to make sure you’re communicating the correct information across all your channels. This doesn’t necessarily mean having the exact same thing on every channel, as you should be tailoring your marketing to the channel and audience.
  • Organic: These are marketing activities that will generate your traffic over time, usually without you paying for them (beyond the internal costs of salaries and creativity, of course).
  • Organic search: These are search results that appear on the results of a search engine, as opposed to PPC ads. The purpose of SEO strategies is to get your site’s content to appear as high up the search results page as possible. This is important as the majority of internet users will click the top results (hardly any go to the second page).
  • Outbound marketing: This is the term for classic advertising and marketing: putting out ads on public platforms that anyone can see as a means of lead generation. This includes the old favorites like television, radio, magazine, trade show presentations, and posters/billboards.
  • Owned media: As opposed to earned or paid media, this is content and materials a company produces themselves and has control over their distribution, for example, blogs hosted on their website.

    It can include media hosted on websites that you don’t own (like social media posts or videos on YouTube), so long as you aren’t paying for them to be there (like social media ads), which would count as paid media. If you want to get started, check out our guide to using owned media.


  • Paid media: This is content that you pay for the placement of on different channels. It includes social media ads, PPC, and sponsored content. Paid media is often used as a means of lead generation, as the majority of the platforms with paid options allow you to target the audience you require.
  • Pay-per-click (PPC): Most paid search advertising uses a pricing model where you pay for each click, so we use the term pay-per-click (PPC) as the title for this type of marketing.

    It’s not quite as simple as it sounds, as you need to make sure you’ve got the right copy in the ads and that it’s placed correctly, as you don’t just want clicks, you want clicks from the right people who could become leads and eventually customers.
  • Personalized marketing: The practice of making your marketing messaging and product experiences feel unique to each customer, through the use of analytics. It goes beyond just using a person’s name in a marketing email, it’s about sending out content to the people who would be interested in it or offering the right kind of free trial to a customer that will convince them to buy.
  • Predictive analytics: The use of data, statistical algorithms, and machine learning techniques to identify patterns and predict future outcomes. Revenue marketers use predictive analytics to identify high-value leads and to predict revenue outcomes based on different marketing strategies.



  • Referral marketing: The process of incentivizing existing customers to refer new customers to a business. Revenue marketers use referral marketing to increase customer acquisition and generate more revenue.
  • Retargeting: If you’ve ever noticed that you see ads for sites you’ve visited on other websites, that’s because of retargeting. It’s the process of using people’s browsing data or cookies for the ads that appear to them online.

    Retargeting is good for keeping your brand and products top of mind with leads, reminding them of what you have to offer, and encouraging them to come back to your site.
  • Return on investment (ROI): A common KPI or measuring the effectiveness of your marketing by determining how much you're spending on your marketing and how much profit you’re making as a result. It’s a good idea to keep track of ROI and be able to make sensible projections when setting up new campaigns so you can communicate your budgeting to other departments.
  • Request for proposal (RFP): If you’re bidding for a client or business, it’s likely at some point there will be a request for a proposal, which is usually a document or a live presentation/sales pitch where you lay out everything to do with the deal you’re looking to make. This will include the actions your company will take, what products and services will be included, and how much they will cost.
  • Retention marketing: The set of marketing strategies and tactics designed to retain existing customers and increase their lifetime value. Revenue marketers use retention marketing to reduce churn and increase revenue from existing customers.
  • Revenue marketing: A fairly new niche in marketing is revenue marketing. It’s a goal-orientated approach to marketing and sales that are used to drive revenue growth.

    It works by aligning the sales and marketing departments toward a common goal, so revenue can be attributed directly to campaign success. Revenue marketers identify specific channels in marketing that provide revenue growth, so both marketing and sales work together to maximize ROI.
  • Revenue operations (RevOps): The alignment of sales, marketing, and customer success teams to optimize revenue generation processes. Revenue marketers work closely with RevOps teams to ensure that marketing strategies are aligned with revenue goals and processes.


  • Sales and marketing alignment: The process of aligning sales and marketing teams to work together effectively and efficiently towards revenue generation goals. Revenue marketers use sales and marketing alignment to ensure that their marketing efforts are aligned with sales objectives and to maximize revenue generation.
  • Sales qualified lead (SQL): These are leads that are towards the end of your marketing funnel and are most likely to become customers. In ye olde days, this would be when the marketing team stepped back and sales moved in, but many companies are moving towards models that see marketing and sales coordinating efforts even at this late stage.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO): Getting your site and content to the top of organic search results is important, and this can be done by formatting and structuring the site in different ways, as well as developing backlinks.

    These practices come under the umbrella term search engine optimization (SEO). There’s a LOT that goes into SEO, but it’s important to look into it to develop your organic traffic and improve the success of your content marketing.
  • SWOT analysis: This is a technique that usually happens at the early stages of your marketing strategy planning, as a way of identifying both internal and external factors in your marketing and business. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.


  • Thought leadership: A thought leader is a prominent person or organization that other people within an industry trust for advice and will go to for information. It’s part of marketing practices because people will be more likely to buy your products if they trust that you know what you’re talking about in relation to the product’s industries.

    You can establish yourself as a thought leader through content marketing or connect yourself with other thought leaders through influencers, customer advocacy, or affiliate programs.


  • Upselling and cross-selling: The process of selling additional products or services to existing customers. Revenue marketers use upselling and cross-selling to increase customer lifetime value and generate more revenue from existing customers.
  • User experience (UX): This is the way of charting all the different ways a person or company interacts with your brand. You’ll consider the journey they’ll take through your website or apps and look at ways to optimize the experience.

    This includes both the journey they take from lead through to purchase, but also their experience once they become your customers, particularly if your products are digital in nature.



  • Value proposition: This is the promise you make to your clients and customers: what you offer and how you operate, and how they both benefit them. Having a consistent, established value proposition is important to stay consistent and on message at all times.

By enrolling in our Revenue Marketing Certified: Core course, you'll gain access to expert-led lessons and hands-on practices that’ll equip you with a rock-solid foundation of marketing knowledge, empowering you to increase your customer base, boost sales, and take your business to the next level.

Revenue Marketing Certified: Core
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This post was a collaboration between

Charley Gale, Will Whitham

  • Charley Gale

    Charley Gale

    Charley is the copywriter at Revenue Marketing Alliance. She has a passion for creating new content for the community. She's always open to new ideas, so would love to hear from you!

    More posts by Charley Gale.

    Charley Gale
  • Will Whitham

    Will Whitham

    Will has written copy and content both in-house and agency-side for a broad variety of brands, industries, and international audiences. He's the host of the CMO Alliance podcast, CMO Convo.

    More posts by Will Whitham.

    Will Whitham
The ultimate revenue marketing glossary: Key terms explained