Understanding Marketing Technology Terms and Phrases

Have you ever wanted to speak another language but weren’t sure how to begin the learning process? Many people are faced with this predicament when trying to engage in the language used to talk about marketing and technology, a name dubbed martech. Martech is the blending of marketing and technology and it has a very unique language that can be confusing and intimidating to novices.

If you aren’t fluent in martech, things can get pretty frustrating at times. You may be reading some articles and realize that you have to keep looking up various terms and phrases. Or you may feel like the only one in the conference room that doesn’t fully grasp the topics that your younger counterparts are discussing at length. Gamification anyone? Curation folks? And what’s the deal with KPI, ROI, CAC and CLV? Do they stand for fraternities?

Well, we’re here to tell you that understanding martech doesn’t have to be challenging. Let’s go over some of the most popular terms used in this language and some tips for speaking martech like a seasoned pro.

Let’s get started.

Martech Buzzwords

  • Authority: Popularity

  • CAC (customer acquisition cost): Your total sales and marketing cost divided by the number of new customers in that time period

  • Call-to-Action: Banner ad; instruction to your audience

  • CLV (customer lifetime value): A prediction on the amount of value a customer will bring to your business over their lifetime

  • Conversions: Number of new customers tied to your marketing efforts

  • CRM (customer relationship management): Software that helps you keep track of what your customers do

  • Curation: Organize

  • Earned Media: Word-of-mouth

  • Engagement: Reading, listening or viewing

  • Gamification: Reward, loyalty, badge or point systems

  • Lead Generation: Collecting information from people interested in your business

  • Optimize: Improve

  • Owned Media: Public relations

  • Paid Media: Advertising

  • SEO (search engine optimization): Strategies that help your website rank higher in the search results

  • Traffic: Viewership

Tips for Speaking Martech Fluently

Now that you know some buzzwords, you need to get familiar with how to speak the language of martech. The more you practice, the more confident you will be when speaking with clients and coworkers. Don’t be afraid to practice in the shower, when you’re getting ready in the morning or with your favorite pet. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

Know Who You’re Speaking To

You don’t want to come off the wrong way when speaking to a client. If you’re attempting to sell your product to a client, for instance, you may end up confusing or alienating them if you throw around terms and abbreviations. Show that you have the potential client’s best interests at heart, and only use martech buzzwords as needed. It can also help to learn a few key words from your client’s own industry.

Don’t Overuse It

Just as you shouldn’t overuse the martech language with potential clients, you shouldn’t overuse it with your peers either. If you start throwing around buzzwords in the conference room or try to impress coworkers with your new understanding of KPIs or cross-channel marketing, you’re only going to look desperate. The best advice is to sprinkle the martech language around, not flood it.

Use Buzzwords as Intended

How many times do you hear words like “innovation” or “cutting-edge” being thrown around during meetings? These words are fun to use, but they shouldn’t be applied unless you really mean them. If you’re running an “innovative” campaign but it’s just a normal spin off your everyday campaigns, it’s not really innovative, is it? Save these buzzwords for when you really mean them.

Remember the Originals

Many of the buzzwords used in martech are not new ideas. They are new names for old ideas: analytics for reports, optimize for improving and paid media for advertising. To talk fluidly, it’s okay to use the original words in your speech. This shows that you really do understand what the words mean and that you aren’t tied to the buzzwords only.


The martech landscape is seeing explosive growth. With such a fast-growing field, it’s important to be familiar with the language and what the buzzwords mean. This helps you communicate effectively with clients and your peers, plus it shows that you’re on the front end of trends. If a client picks up that you don’t know your KPIs from your CACs, they may feel that you are behind on the trends. Most importantly, speak the language but never abuse it!

Like this article? Read more like it…