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B2B Communications and Marketing Glossary

Welcome to the business-to-business (B2B) communications and marketing glossary.

This page contains critical B2B communications and marketing terms and phrases. If you’re navigating the world of B2B communications, marketing, or sales, use this glossary as your go-to resource for understanding critical words and phrases. 

Be sure to bookmark or save this page so you can easily access the glossary whenever you need it. And reach out if your company or nonprofit needs some B2B communications strategy and support: nick at nicholasebarron.com.

B2B Communications and Marketing Glossary

A

B2B communications and marketing glossary
  • Account-Based Marketing (ABM): A strategic approach that treats individual accounts as markets in their own right, often using personalized campaigns.
  • Alt Tag (Alternative Text): Text description added to an image’s HTML code, intended to describe the image’s content and context, providing accessibility for users who are visually impaired and when images fail to load.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): A branch of computer science focused on creating systems that can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence, such as learning, decision-making, and speech recognition. In B2B communications, AI is often used for customer data analysis, personalized marketing efforts, and customer service automation.
  • AP Style (Associated Press Style): A standardized writing format often used in news reporting and public relations. In B2B communications, it’s essential to maintain clarity and consistency in messaging, frequently making AP Style the preferred guide for press releases and corporate announcements.

B

  • B2B (Business-to-Business): Refers to transactions or communications between two companies, as opposed to between a company and individual consumer (B2C).
  • Blog: A digital platform or section of a website used for sharing insights, thoughts, and updates. In the context of B2B, businesses often use blogs for content marketing, thought leadership, and engaging industry-specific audiences with valuable information.
  • Brand Equity: The value and strength of a brand that determines its worth.
  • Buyer Persona: A semi-fictional representation of an ideal customer based on market research and real data about existing customers.

C

  • Case Study: An in-depth analysis of a particular company’s success or challenge within a real-world context, used to highlight methods, strategies, and outcomes relevant to B2B organizations. Case studies serve as powerful testimonials and provide insightful examples for businesses looking to apply similar tactics.
  • Churn Rate: The rate at which customers stop doing business with an entity. It is often used to evaluate customer retention and loyalty.
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): A metric that measures the number of times a link has been clicked compared to the number of times it has been viewed (impressions), expressed as a percentage. It is often used to assess the success of online advertising campaigns or the effectiveness of email marketing messages.
  • Collateral: Marketing materials or assets that support and reinforce the sales of a product or service within the B2B sector. These can include brochures, fact sheets, sales decks, whitepapers, and more, all crafted to provide comprehensive information and persuasively address the needs and concerns of potential business clients.
  • Content Marketing: A marketing strategy focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, consistent content to attract and retain clearly defined audiences.
  • Conversion Rate: The percentage of users who take a desired action, such as purchasing or subscribing to a product or service.
  • Cost Per Click (CPC): A digital advertising metric that measures the amount paid for each click on an advertisement. This pricing model is commonly associated with search engine and social media advertising, where advertisers pay a fee each time their ad is clicked by a user, leading them to their website or landing page. CPC is used to gauge the cost-effectiveness and profitability of online advertising campaigns.
  • Cost Per Impression (CPM): A digital advertising metric that denotes the cost an advertiser pays for one thousand views or impressions of their advertisement. Unlike CPC, which measures the cost based on clicks, CPM focuses on the number of times the ad is seen, making it a common pricing model for brand awareness campaigns.

D

  • Demand Generation: The focus on targeted marketing programs to drive awareness and interest in a company’s products and services.
  • Digital Communications: The electronic transmission of information that’s encoded digitally as discrete signals for use by a range of technologies across various channels such as email, instant messaging, social media, and mobile applications. In B2B scenarios, digital communications are vital for marketing, sales, customer service, and internal collaboration.
  • Digital Marketing: Marketing of products or services using digital technologies on the internet, through mobile phone apps, display advertising, and any other digital mediums.

E

  • Engagement: In B2B communications, engagement refers to the meaningful interactions between businesses, often indicating the level of interest and participation a client or potential client shows toward a business’s content, products, or services. This can include responding to emails, commenting on blog posts, sharing content on social media, or attending webinars and events. High engagement typically correlates with stronger business relationships and increased opportunities for sales and collaboration.
  • Engagement Rate: A metric measuring the level of engagement that a piece of created content receives from an audience.

F

  • FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions): A section commonly found on websites, in brochures, or with product documentation, where common questions from customers or users are answered succinctly. In B2B communications, FAQs serve as a resource to address typical concerns or inquiries potential business clients might have, helping to streamline communication and facilitate a more efficient sales process.
  • Funnel: A model that represents the customer journey from the awareness stage to the point of purchase or conversion.

G

  • Growth Hacking: Strategies and tactics explicitly aimed at building and engaging the user base of a business.

H

  • H1 Tag: In HTML, the H1 tag is used to specify the most important heading of a web page, playing a critical role in both search engine optimization (SEO) and web design. It is often the first piece of content that users see when they land on a page and helps search engines understand the structure and topic of the content, making it essential for ranking purposes and user experience.
  • H2 Tag: In HTML, the H2 tag represents the second heading level in a web page’s hierarchy. As a subheading to the H1 tag, it significantly organizes content for better user readability and SEO. You can use multiple H2 tags under a single H1 tag to break down sections further, making information easier to navigate and understand for both users and search engines.
  • Hashtag (#): A metadata tag used on social networks and microblogging services that makes it easier to find messages with a specific theme or content. In B2B communications, hashtags are valuable for categorizing content, increasing the discoverability of marketing campaigns, participating in industry-relevant conversations, and engaging with a targeted business audience.

I

  • Impressions: The number of times an advertisement or any form of digital content is displayed on a screen to users, regardless of whether it was clicked or not.
  • Inbound Marketing: A strategy that utilizes many forms of pull marketing to create brand awareness and attract new business.

K

  • Key Performance Indicator (KPI): A measurable value demonstrating how effectively a company achieves its key business objectives.

L

  • Landing Page: A standalone web page specifically designed for a marketing or advertising campaign, where visitors “land” after clicking on a link from an email, ads from Google, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, or similar places on the web. Landing pages are created with a single focused objective known as a call to action (CTA).
  • Lead Generation: The process of attracting prospects into someone who has indicated an interest in your company’s product or service.

M

  • MarComm (Marketing Communications): The various methods and channels companies use to convey their marketing messages to their target audience. It encompasses multiple activities, including advertising, direct marketing, branding, packaging, your online presence, printed materials, PR activities, sales presentations, sponsorships, trade show appearances, and more.
  • Market Penetration: The percentage of a target market that consumes a product or service. Marketing initiatives are evaluated against this metric.
  • Media Relations: A facet of public relations that focuses on establishing and nurturing symbiotic relationships between a company and the media. This practice involves communicating the company’s newsworthy messages, stories, and information to the press to garner coverage in various media outlets, thus reaching a wider audience, building public trust, and influencing perceptions.
  • Metadata: Information that provides details about other data. In digital communications and B2B context, metadata refers to structured information about a document, file, or website, such as the author, date created, date modified, and file size. It’s used to facilitate the understanding, management, and organizing of data, aiding in the efficient retrieval and use of the content it describes.
  • Meta Tag: In HTML and web development, a meta tag is an element that provides information about a web page’s content that is not displayed on the page itself but is used by search engines and browsers. Meta tags can control the behavior of search engine crawlers and affect how a webpage is indexed, like specifying the page’s description, keywords, author of the document, and whether or not search engines should index the page. They play a substantial role in SEO and the overall visibility of a web page on the internet.
  • Multi-Channel Marketing: Interacting with potential customers on various platforms, including websites, blogs, emails, social media, and more.

N

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): A management tool used to gauge the loyalty of a firm’s customer relationships.
  • Newsletter: A regularly distributed publication, typically focused on a central topic, shared with subscribers via email. Businesses use newsletters to provide industry news, tips, or updates about their products or services to maintain engagement with their audience.

O

  • Open Rate: A metric commonly used in email marketing to determine the percentage of email recipients who opened an email out of the total number of emails sent. It provides insight into the effectiveness of an email campaign’s subject line and overall engagement with subscribers.
  • Outbound Marketing: A form of marketing where a company initiates the conversation and sends its message to an audience.

P

  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC): An internet marketing model in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked.
  • Pipeline: A visual representation of sales prospects and where they are in the purchasing process.
  • Press Release: An official statement issued to media outlets offering information on a particular matter. It is a pivotal tool for public relations professionals to communicate news and announcements from a company, organization, or individual to secure media coverage and reach a wider audience.
  • Public Relations (PR): The strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics. PR involves managing information flow between an organization and the public, fostering a positive image, and managing reputation through various channels, including media relations, press releases, social media, events, and community engagement.

R

  • Return on Investment (ROI): A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiencies of several different investments.

S

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): The practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.
  • Search Experience Optimization (SXO): The practice of designing and enhancing the user experience for those engaging with a search engine. The focus lies in understanding the searcher’s intent, providing accurate and relevant information, and delivering a satisfying, efficient experience on the website.
  • Search Landing Page: A specialized web page visitors visit after clicking a search engine result link. This page usually displays content that is a relevant extension of the ad or link clicked, providing a cohesive and streamlined user experience to guide the visitor toward a specific conversion goal, such as making a purchase, signing up for a service, or filling out a contact form. Effective search landing pages are optimized for search engines and user experience, contributing to better search performance and higher conversion rates.
  • Segmentation: The process of dividing a broad consumer or business market into sub-groups of consumers based on some shared characteristics.
  • Social Media: Platforms where users create, share, and interact with content and each other in a digital environment, used by businesses to enhance brand visibility, foster customer engagement, and improve market reach.
  • Spend: The total amount of money a business spends on marketing, advertising, and promotional efforts over a specific period. It is a critical metric for budget allocation and measuring the cost-effectiveness of marketing strategies.

T

  • Target Market: A particular group of consumers identified as the recipients of a specific marketing message.
  • Trending: A term used to describe topics, hashtags, or content that become very popular in a short period on social media or the web at large. These trends are often measured by the frequency of mentions or discussions and can be influenced by current events, popular culture, or widespread social movements. Trending content can rapidly reach a large audience and be a powerful tool for marketing and public relations strategies.

U

  • Unique Selling Proposition (USP): The unique benefit exhibited by a company, service, product, or brand that enables it to stand out from competitors.
  • User Value Proposition (UVP): The clear statement that describes the benefit of an offer, how it solves customers’ problems or improves their situation, the specific value against the competitors, and why the customer should purchase from you and not the competitors.

V

  • Value Proposition: A statement that answers the ‘why’ someone should do business with you. It should convince a potential customer why your service or product will add more value or better solve a problem than similar offerings.

W

  • Webinar: A seminar conducted over the internet, usually for educational or marketing purposes, that allows for audience interaction.
  • White Paper: A comprehensive report or guide designed to inform readers concisely about a complex issue and present the issuing body’s philosophy. Businesses use white papers to help readers understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision.

If you see something you think should be added or changed in the glossary, or your company or nonprofit needs B2B communications strategy and support, let me know: nick at nicholasebarron.com.