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A Guide to the Most Important B2B Marketing Terms and Their Definitions

B2B marketing is a broad area and depending on the size of the organization – some terms may know and used whiles others aren’t. Presuming we all mean the same thing when we toss around marketing terms can be problematic. Worse, it can alter expectations, muddy how results are viewed and judged, and undermine the team’s effectiveness in this area.

If we’re at least clear on the terms, what they mean, and how they drive the outcomes, we’re at least starting from the same starting gate. While this is not a definitive list, it covers what’s needed to build a marketing plan.

For some, these terms will help determine how to market more effectively.

B2B: Business-to-business. Refers to sales and marketing activities that target other businesses rather than individual consumers.

Branding is creating a name, symbol, or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.

Target market: The specific group of customers a company is trying to reach with its products or services.

Personas: A fictional representation of a company’s ideal customer used to guide marketing and sales strategies.

Inbound marketing: A marketing strategy focusing on attracting customers to a company’s website through content, search engine optimization, and social media. Learn more about the history of inbound.

Outbound marketing: A marketing strategy focusing on reaching potential customers through traditional and digital channels, including advertising, telemarketing, email, events, experiences, etc. 

Content marketing: A marketing strategy that focuses on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and engage a specific target audience.

Demand Generation: A marketing strategy focusing on creating demand for a company’s products or services. It involves a variety of tactics, such as content marketing, lead nurturing, event marketing, and advertising, aimed at attracting and converting potential customers into paying ones. The goal of demand generation is to increase the volume and quality of leads, ultimately driving revenue growth for the company.

Lead generation: The process of identifying and qualifying potential customers.

Lead nurturing is the ongoing building of relationships with potential customers through targeted communications.

Marketing automation: The use of software to automate repetitive marketing tasks, such as email campaigns, lead scoring, and lead nurturing. Salesforce, Hubspot, Pardot and Marketo are examples of marketing automation platforms.

ROI: Return on Investment is a measure of the profitability of an investment calculated by dividing the return by the cost of the investment.

SEO: Search Engine Optimization. The ongoing practice of optimizing a website to rank higher in search engines. 

PPC: Pay-Per-Click. A form of online advertising where the advertiser pays each time the ad is clicked.

KPI: Key Performance Indicator is a metric used to measure a marketing campaign’s success, such as website traffic or lead generation.

ABM: Account-Based Marketing is a strategy that targets specific accounts and decision makers within those accounts, with tailored messaging and campaigns. Learn more about account based marketing.

By understanding these terms, B2B marketers can develop effective strategies, track and measure their results, and make data-driven decisions to improve their marketing efforts and drive revenue.

Next up – Account Based Marketing and Account Based Selling

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