Digital Marketing Guide



360 digital marketing
A holistic, all-encompassing approach to digital marketing designed to expose a brand to every possible digital outlet. In particular, 360 degrees refers to using all available digital avenues to drive engagement and, ultimately, new purchases. 360 degrees also refers to using every available digital advertising medium as part of this type of marketing campaign.


A/B testing
Also known as “split” testing, this style of testing isolates one variable against another to test a specific part of an advertisement or campaign. For example, an email campaign might use an A/B test by using the exact same email content but changing the email subject line to see which performs better.
A large group of people that receives the bulk of a company’s marketing efforts. Often used in conjunction with the phrase “target,” as in target audience. An audience may not be paying customers yet, but they are the people who might be interested in the product or service you’re selling and becoming a customer in the future.
A close examination of the tools, strategies, and results of digital marketing campaigns. An audit usually requires a third party to get a second set of eyes on the campaigns, which provides a fresh viewpoint for what’s going well and what’s going wrong.
The process of designing or manipulating workflows so a software tool can perform them instead of real people. Any process involved with marketing that that software itself can perform can, by definition, be automated.


B2B digital marketing
Applying the principles of digital marketing to an intended audience of fellow businesses (i.e., business-to-business marketing). The same strategies, tactics, and overall workflow might remain in place. With B2B marketing, however, the central audience changes from individual consumers to fellow businesses.
B2C digital marketing
Stands for “business to consumer” digital marketing. It’s the same as above, only changing the audience from potential business leaders and C-suite executives to the ordinary consumer. This typically includes an emphasis on a direct style of marketing, especially email marketing and online advertisements.
Bottom of the funnel
The funnel refers to the process of bringing in digital sales. Because the top of the funnel is the widest point — the point of gaining audience attention — the bottom of the funnel refers to the points at which the sale is almost made. It often includes addressing any final objections the buyer may have.


A series of plans and actions with a specific marketing goal in mind, such as a campaign for a new product launch. A campaign may last months or even years, but it typically has specific, measurable objectives tied to its success. The goal for most marketing campaigns is to quantify whether a company’s digital marketing targets were met.
A specific medium, especially in digital marketing. For example, drawing attention through a specific social media profile could be considered a specific digital marketing channel. Channels typically feed into top-of-the-funnel lead capturing mechanisms to help a company gather as much interest as possible.
The achievement of some marketing campaign goals. For example, a potential customer who places an order has “converted” from an ordinary browser to a buyer. Companies use conversion metrics to track the success of campaigns, especially as it relates to getting potential customers to take specific actions.
Stands for “cost per acquisition.” This refers to how much it costs a given company to acquire a new customer. Tracking CPA through a marketing campaign helps a company identify where it’s either cheapest or most expensive to invest their marketing dollars. Understanding CPA, therefore, helps companies figure out where to prioritize a marketing budget.
Creative digital marketing
Digital marketing with an emphasis on the creative aspect of the content rather than overt metrics like CPAs or other measurables. A creative approach typically comes out of a project or a design firm that looks to source its marketing success from organic inspiration rather than focusing solely on measurable variables.
Stands for “call to action.” This is the button, link, “Add to Cart” feature, or other digital sign that asks the customer to begin the next phase of their relationship with a company. A call to action may be a purchase button at the bottom of the funnel but may also be a request to sign up for a company newsletter.


The study of statistical characteristics of a part of the population. In digital marketing, this especially refers to the measurables of the target audience in mind. A company studying demographics typically does so to form a basic idea of their ideal customer profile, helping them to better cater their campaigns to a specific group of customers.
Digital marketer
An individual whose primary specialty is in using digital channels to create business opportunities. Typically, this refers to knowledge of social media, online content, and other digital forms of marketing to produce the desired result.
Digital marketing asset
Any resource, such as a “lead magnet,” that can aid a company in its online marketing efforts. A digital marketing asset could include, for example, a widely-followed social media profile that helps a company broadcast its marketing message to a greater audience.
Digital marketing consultant
A specialist, often a third party, brought in to offer expertise on using digital marketing assets and strategies to produce the desired result.
Digital marketing persona
The aspects of a target market, such as demographic data, that a company uses to generate an idea of who their ideal customer might be. This persona can include a report of the ideal customer’s main motivations and goals. The intention is to get crystal clear about what kind of customers a company is trying to win over in a given campaign.
Digital marketing transformation
A change, or a sweeping series of changes, meant to overhaul the way a company reaches out to potential customers. A digital marketing transformation may include everything from social media changes to a company marketing audit to new strategies as a company launches campaigns in an attempt to reshape its brand perception.
Direct digital marketing
Marketing efforts that take place online, but without a go-between buffering the company and the intended customer. In the offline world, direct marketing can include promotional flyers intended to make sales then and there. In direct digital marketing, a company takes its sales into its own hands in the hopes it can be persuasive enough to spur customers to take action.


Email marketing
Digital marketing in which email is the preferred medium. Email marketing usually requires top-of-the-funnel marketing strategies in which potential customers willingly hand over their email information. A company can then use this information to add the customer to an email list containing promotional materials and unique offers.
Evergreen content
Like an evergreen tree that stays consistent throughout the year, evergreen content is content that remains relevant despite the changing times. While some content may need constant refreshing and updating to reflect advances in technology or products, evergreen content stays relevant years after being published.


Friction element
In digital marketing, friction is any point at which a customer may experience resistance to making a purchase. For example, if a customer is convinced they need to make a purchase but finds that signing up for an account to complete the purchase is too cumbersome, they may opt out of the transaction entirely.
Full-stack digital marketing
This applies to digital marketing campaigns that use the full range of tools available to convince potential customers to convert into paying customers. A “full stack” often means that a customer experiences different parts of your digital marketing efforts on different media. For example, they may discover a product on social media, sign up for an email newsletter, and make a purchase after browsing the site directly.
The overall plan/structure you keep in place to convert your audience into paying customers. It is said to resemble a funnel because the widest part is at the top, where you intend on attracting the widest audience. From there, you move potential customers into new stages, such as having them sign up for email newsletters or registering for accounts. Eventually, the bottom of the funnel becomes the goal of the overall campaign, i.e., making a purchase.


Concentrating ads on specific demographics, usually with a focus on targeting audiences based on specific locations. You might customize advertisements for people in specific regions and locations to generate a more specific response in your target audience.


Stands for “key performance indicators.” These are the variables you choose to measure as part of a digital marketing campaign — ideally, the most important variables for determining whether or not that campaign was a success. For example, you might want to achieve a specific conversion rate.


Lead generation
The ability to convert people who have minimal experience with your brand into potential customers. A lead, in sales terms, typically refers to someone who has some interest in becoming a customer but has yet to make the leap to making a purchase.
Lookalike audience
A potential target audience that may be new but bears a resemblance to your existing customers in some ways, such as buying preferences. Targeting ads to a lookalike audience may be effective because of the previous success you’ve had with similar audiences and existing campaigns.
Stands for “lifetime value,” or the approximate lifetime purchases you can expect a customer to make once they’ve converted from an ordinary visitor to a customer. This is an estimate of the revenue the average customer will generate for a brand once they’ve converted through the full sales funnel.


Organic digital marketing
Typically refers to sales you make without having to launch specific campaigns or the marketing success you realize from the natural course of building your brand, oftentimes without specific goals. For example, organic marketing may occur when you build content for a sales funnel that begins to perform well in organic channels, like unpaid search.


Qualified lead
A “lead” or potential customer that comes with certain prerequisites, such as expressing an interest in what the brand has to offer. A qualified lead is typically the warmest lead you can secure, short of making the sale.


The total number of people who have experienced your advertising content in some way. Reach doesn’t necessarily reflect on your ability to make sales or convert customers. Instead, reach refers to how many people experienced your marketing in some way, including people who took no action after viewing your digital marketing content.
Employing digital tools to reach out to warm leads who didn’t ultimately make the purchasing decision. One common method of retargeting is to use tracking technology to display ads for people who have already gotten close to making a purchase.
Stands for “request for proposal.” If you’re the brand in question, you may put out an RFP for digital marketing agencies, asking them to put together proposals for your next digital marketing campaign. This can be an integral way to start off a new relationship with a digital marketing agency while exploring your options for your next campaign.


Top of the funnel
The widest portion of the funnel, in which your reach is extended to the maximum. Your goal here is to capture attention and drive interest without necessarily asking for the sale yet, which happens at the bottom of the funnel. At the top of the funnel, it’s common to do things like asking for customer email addresses or pushing people to sign up for a newsletter so you can direct them further down the sales funnel.


Value proposition
The central key sales point that makes your product or service offering stand out from the rest. A value proposition typically frames your product or service in a way that appeals to the customer’s point of view. For example, the iPod’s famous “1,000 songs in your pocket” tagline was a clear, direct value proposition that made sense to many as soon as it came out.
Viral content
Digital marketing content that spreads with a life of its own. The word “viral” literally means spreading like a contagious virus. Some digital marketing experts plan for viral content and try to put every resource at the disposal of making a piece of content go viral, while some viral hits spread (sometimes unpredictably) on their own.