Growth Marketing Glossary

We love to talk about the tools and strategies we use to help businesses succeed in the digital age, but whenever someone gives us a blank look, that’s a sure sign that we’ve slipped into growth marketing speak! Here’s some of our favourite jargon, defined.



Altering a single aspect of something, such as a landing page headline, an email subject line or a call-to-action colour, to see if it performs better than the original.



A business-to-business strategy that focuses on delivering helpful, relevant content to individuals in a small number of specially targeted companies chosen because they fit your ideal customer persona. Communication is customized to appeal to each of these “key accounts.”



No, it’s not doing yoga with your marketing team! It’s finding the fastest, highest value ideas and quickly testing them in real time, then “iterating” (or making changes) based on the data.



The collection, reporting and interpretation of data to see patterns, generate insights and inform decisions. In the web world, analytics offer information about everything from the bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who visit one page on your site and leave without taking any further action) to your site speed (the rate at which content loads). Analytics are the fuel for continuous improvement.



Short for application programming interface, an API is what developers often use to allow different systems to “talk” to each another.



A narrative that communicates a company’s vision and purpose in a way that creates a positive emotional connection. A good brand story makes a company seem instantly real and relatable, increasing engagement, sense of value and loyalty.



The three stages of a typical buying process. The first, awareness, is when they realize they have a problem that needs solving. Next comes consideration, when they’ve pinpointed their issue and are looking for options to solve it. The final stage, decision, is where they evaluate different solutions and choose one.



Short for Canada’s anti-spam legislation. Anyone who sends marketing-related electronic messages to someone in Canada must comply with these regulations, which include obtaining express consent from the recipient and offering an immediate unsubscribe, or face fines of up to $10M.



Short for customer relationship management, it’s a system, a platform and a tool to help manage your customers and their interactions.



A button, a clickable image or a simple text link that inspires someone to take action and ultimately converts them into a lead.



The proportion of viewers of a web page, email or ad who move from one step to another by clicking on a call-to-action. A key way to measure how effective your content is at conversions.



Marketing based on creating helpful, relevant, high quality, free resources—blog posts, social messages, videos, infographics, webinars, podcasts and more—and then making them available to the right audience at the right time and in the right place. They begin to see you as a trusted, likable source of information and someone they’d like to do business with. (See also: Inbound marketing)



The point at which someone takes action on something you’ve asked them to do, such as filling out a form, clicking a CTA, signing up for a newsletter, etc.



Content that changes depending on the behaviour, preferences and interests of the user so that he or she sees information that’s the most relevant and helpful to them at their stage of the buyer’s journey. (AKA “adaptive content” and “smart content.”)



A way to visualize the journey a customer takes from stranger to fan. “Funnel” refers to the shape (much larger at the top than the bottom), because there are more strangers and visitors than customers and promoters. We sometimes talk about this as a “flywheel” to emphasize two things: the journey is a circle, and that it pays to invest equally in marketing, sales and service.



A fast and practical way to design websites that’s based on solving specific business problems and continuously improving what you’ve built based on data from real users. Say bu-bye to over-budget, bloated, behind-schedule websites that take too long to build and end up not doing what you need them to do.



An approach to marketing that uses experimentation to increase your audience at every point from visitor to promoter. In growth marketing, you come up with a strategy, implement its components, regularly review the data and systematically tweak the approaches to improve results. Bad ideas meet a quick death. Good ideas are scaled up quickly. (See also: A/B testing, Agile marketing)



Marketing that offers helpful, engaging, tailor-made solutions when and where a particular audience needs them. There are four components to the inbound methodology: attract (get someone’s attention), convert (offer them something they’ll “pay for” with their contact information), close (develop a relationship that leads to a sale), and delight (inspire loyalty and repeat purchase). (See also: Content marketing)



A person with the power to sway the purchase decisions of others because of their authority, expertise, reputation, following, platform, position or relationship. Social media superstars are influencers. So is your mom. “Influencer marketing” targets influencers as a way of reaching an audience, rather than going directly to the audience itself.



A webpage designed specifically to prompt a predefined action, for example, sell a product, get a webinar signup, inspire an e-book download or prompt a video view. A landing page is a key way to gather information about potential customers and qualify leads. Think: one page, one goal.



Someone who has shown they’re interested enough in a resource you’re offering (such as a white paper, coupon, webinar, free trial) to give you their contact information. A “marketing qualified lead” (MQL) has passed a series of lead qualification tests set by the marketing team, who now considers the lead ready to be contacted by sales. A “sales qualified lead” is one that the sales team has vetted and is convinced is ready for a direct sales follow-up.



Communicating with a lead over time in a way that keeps them engaged and moves them further along in the buyer journey.



A resource that a visitor must “buy” by filling out a form with their contact information.



An advertising model where businesses pay online publishers (Google AdWords, for example) a certain amount of money every time their ad is clicked. Clickety-click, that’s the trick!



A semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on research, real data and educated guesses about their demographics, behaviour, motivations and goals. What keeps them up at night? What’s their big dream? How can you help them most? A persona is given a “real” name (e.g. “IT Adam”) and is refined over time.



Showing ads only to those who have visited your website, used your app or engaged with you in another, trackable way to increase brand awareness or drive a direct response. Because you know the person has had some engagement with you, you’re able to customize their ad experience.



The way that Google has ranked websites since 2015. The more Google considers a website an expert on all aspects of a particular subject the higher the website will rank. Move over, keywords. Say hello to topic authority!



Any marketing strategy that pre-dates the internet. Think direct mail, coupon books, billboards, brochures, and radio, TV and magazine ads.



A person’s responses before, during and after using any product or service, including their emotions, beliefs, perceptions, physical and psychological reactions and behaviour. Imagine a website that makes you click 15 times, then doesn’t give you what you’re looking for. Then imagine a website that delivers exactly what you expect on the first click then correctly anticipates what you need next. Each website offers a user experience (though only one experience is good).



In marketing, an automated process that is triggered by the particular characteristics and actions of a visitor or lead and serves to move them closer to a pre-determined goal, like a purchase.



Jen Dawson

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