A Massive List of Marketing Acronyms

If you're desperate for a list of marketing acronyms, you've come to the right place

Written by Majda Anwar

February 21, 2020

Acronyms are an essential part of business culture, and marketing is no stranger to this. With so many long phrases used, it makes sense… unless you have no idea what they mean! The last thing anyone wants to do is admit they need a list of marketing acronyms for a conversation that just occurred.

As a consultant, this has been a fairly regular occurrence with my clients. I used to make glossaries of customer-specific acronyms because every business had its own. Over the years, I’ve found there are a few (okay, way more than a few) that are standard across organizations – and this is my list so you’re not stuck wondering what they are!

Click to jump to a section:

Channels & Campaigns | Compliance | Concepts & Models | Lead Management | Metrics | Time | Technology | Web | General Business

Am I missing something? Let me know!

Channels & Campaigns

Acronym MeaningDefinition
CMGRCommunity Manager Person dedicated to engaging the social community for a brand using their own voice
DMDirect Mail Marketing channel where tangible items are sent via postal service
DMDirect MessagePrivate message sent on a social media platform, such as Instagram
FBFacebookSocial networking giant where users can share and engage with others
IGInstagramMobile-first social platform that focuses on photos and video
LILinkedInBusiness-focused social platform focused on networking and career
NPLNew Product LaunchThe launch of a new product
PRPublic RelationsA company’s engagement with media and the public as a whole
RTRetweet Share someone else’s tweet
SMSocial MediaWebsite or app that encourages user content and networking
SMMSocial Media MarketingEngage customers and promote a product /service on social networks
TWTwitterSocial platform where users post with a limit of 280 characters
WOMWord-of-MouthProcess of actively influencing organic discussion of your brand or product
YTYouTubeVideo platform that’s the world’s third most-popular search engine

Compliance & Deliverability

CAN-SPAMControlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing ActPrivacy compliance legislation for the US signed in 2003
CASLCanada Anti-Spam LegislationPrivacy compliance legislation for Canada that has high standards.
CCPACalifornia Consumer Privacy Act Privacy compliance legislation for California only.
GDPRGeneral Data Protection RegulationPrivacy compliance legislation for the European Union
SPFSender Policy FrameworkA record that specifies which IPs can send emails from a domain, i.e. allows your MAP to send your emails
DKIMDomainKeys Identified MailSimilar to SPF, but adds proof the message has not been tampered with, adding more credibility
DMARCDomain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and ConformanceAuthentication method that verifies if an email was actually sent by the owner of the domain the user sees

Concepts & Models

ABMAccount-Based MarketingMarketing and sales model targeting full accounts, not single contacts
AIDAAttention or Awareness, Interest, Desire, and ActionEarly model created to demonstrate the buyer’s journey
CJMCustomer Journey ManagementMeans by which a marketer maps out lifetime engagement of a customer
CXCustomer ExperienceHow companies go to market across channels to engage with customers
DGDemand GenerationMarketing focus to create demand for a product or service
DLDeep LearningA subset of machine learning where networks learn unsupervised
DTDigital TransformationProcess of changing processes, tech, and team structure / skills to adapt to evolving customer demand
IoTInternet of Things A network of connected objects able to collect and share data
LGLead GenerationProcess of identifying, engaging and qualifying new leads
MOPsMarketing OperationsFunction of marketing dedicated to data, process, and tech.
RMRevenue MarketingThe idea that marketing is a contributing, strategic business driver
RM6Revenue Marketing 6 A model that outlines the six components a company needs to realize revenue marketing
RMJRevenue Marketing JourneyMaturity model to measure a company’s path to revenue marketing
RTPReal-Time PersonalizationMeans to deliver tailored experiences on your website in real time.
UIUser Interface DesignThe design of any front-end digital property or software
UXUser Experience How a person experiences and reacts to a brand, produce or service

Lead Management (Sales & Marketing Alignment)

ABCAlways Be ClosingMindset used to motivate a sales person to meet their revenue quota
AEAccount Executive Main sales contact for a particular account or business
AQLAutomated Qualified Lead Lead qualified via lead scoring by a marketing automation platform
ASPAverage Sales PriceAverage contract price of a deal marked closed-won in the CRM
BANTBudget Authority Need TimelineShorthand methodology to describe a qualified lead for sales.
BDRBusiness Development RepresentativeAn individual who qualifies leads before passing them to sales
BOFUBottom Of FunnelStage in a funnel where content / ads focus on conversions
MALMarketing Accepted Lead A lead that is accepted by marketing
MOFUMiddle Of FunnelStage in a funnel where content / ads focus on building greater engagement
MQLMarketing Qualified LeadA lead qualified via lead scoring by a marketing automation platform
NAMNamed Account ManagerThe main sales contact for a particular account
RFPRequest for Proposal Formal request from a business for vendors to submit a project proposal
SALSales Accepted Lead A lead that sales has accepted from marketing as valid
SDRSales Development RepresentativeAn individual who qualifies leads before passing them to sales
SLAService Level AgreementIn a lead management context, rules of engagement between sales and marketing for lead processing
SQLSales Qualified LeadLead identified by sales team as having potential to buy
TOFUTop of FunnelStage where content / ads focus on initial engagement with target audience
TQLTele-Qualified LeadA lead qualified over the phone by an inside sales person

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ARRAnnual Recurring RevenueRevenue realized on a yearly basis, mainly for subscription-based billing
CPACost Per AcquisitionAverage advertising spend per new customer gained
CPCCost Per ClickTotal Cost / Total Clicks
CPLCost Per Lead Average ad spend per lead gained
CRConversion Rate % of people who clicked on an ad and took an action you wanted them to (i.e. filled out contact form)
CTRClick-Through RateTotal Clicks / Total Impressions
KPIKey Performance IndicatorStandards by which you measure success. Can vary.
LTVLifetime ValueMonetary value of a customer over the span of all their purchases
MRRMonthly Recurring RevenueRevenue realized on a monthly basis, mainly for subscription-based billing
PPCPay Per ClickTerm referencing paid digital advertising industry, including Google / Bing Ads and social advertising
ROASReturn on Ad SpendRevenue impact of advertising budget specifically
ROIReturn On Investment Ratio between the net profit and the original cost of investment
ROMIReturn On Marketing Investment Ratio between net bookings and original cost of marketing


COBClose of Business
EODEnd of Day
EOWEnd of Week
FQFiscal Quarter
LOELevel of Effort
MoMMonth Over Month
QoQQuarter Over Quarter
QTDQuarter to Date
YoYYear Over Year
YTDYear to Date


AEMAdobe Experience ManagerSoftware by Adobe that facilitates website, app and form management
AIArtificial intelligenceTheory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence
ARAugmented RealityTech that uses some elements of virtual reality but integrates them to seamlessly work with the “real world”
ASPApplication Service ProviderCompany who provides access to an application (Example: Google is the ASP for Gmail)
AWSAmazon Web ServicesAn on-demand cloud services provider from Amazon often used for websites and apps
CDPContinuous Data ProtectionReal-time backup, a method of ensuring data is not lost
CMSContent Management System Software application used to create and modify content. WordPress is one well-known example.
CRMCustomer Relationship ManagementSoftware that manages interaction with current and potential customers
DAMDigital Asset ManagementSystem that houses digital assets, such as images, in a central location
DMPData Management Platform Software used for collecting and managing data
DSPDemand Side Platform Typically, a software used to purchase ad space through an SSP (see below) on a variety of networks
ESPEmail Service ProviderA vendor that provides mass electronic mail services, i.e. Mailchimp or Constant Contact
GAGoogle Analytics Commonly-used program to track how users interact with your website
GMBGoogle My BusinessSystem for local businesses to claim and manage their Google Maps listing
GSCGoogle Search Console Free service that helps you monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your site’s presence in Google Search results
ISPInternet Service Provider A vendor that provides their customers with internet access, i.e. AT&T, Comcast, etc.
LMSLearning Management SystemA software application that manages educational courses
MAPMarketing Automation Platform A software platform that programs tasks for marketing campaigns and lead management
MLMachine LearningAlgorithms and models computers use to complete tasks without explicit instructions
QR CodeQuick-Response Barcode Barcode that can be scanned by a mobile device for instant information
SaaSSoftware as a ServiceSoftware purchased on a subscription model and hosted centrally
SFDCSalesforce.comA customer relationship management vendor
SFMCSalesforce Marketing CloudCampaign management tool native to Salesforce. Not to be confused with Pardot.
SMSShort Message ServiceFormat of text messages that are less than 160 characters. Used in mobile marketing campaigns
SRPSocial Relationship PlatformSoftware that helps brands manage their presence and engagement on social media platforms
SSPSupply-Side Platform Software that allows websites/apps to offer ad space on networks for purchase through a DSP
UIDUnique IdentifierData point to differentiate your set – for example, email address is a UID for email and social marketing
VRVirtual Reality Computer-generated simulation of a 3D image or environment.

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Acronym MeaningDefinition
APIApplication Program InterfaceAllows a developer to have their system / program easily leverage another to streamline functionality
CLSCumulative Layout ShiftMetric measuring how much time is used on a page load to move elements from initial load into their proper place. Lower is better.
CROConversion Rate OptimizationProcess of examining lead funnels and making changes to increase rate of people converting
CSSCascading Style SheetsStandard markup language that describes how the HTML is presented
FCPFirst Contentful PaintTime to when first image or text is “painted” on screen and seen by the user – useful in SEO
GIFGraphics Interchange FormatA bitmap image format…debate exists on how to pronounce
HTMLHyper-Test Markup LanguageStandard markup language for documents to appear on the web. The “skeleton” of a website.
JSJavaScriptCommon programming language used on the web to control HTML and CSS in dynamic ways
LCPLargest Contentful PaintMetric denoting how long the largest item on a page (whether code, an image, etc.) takes to load. Lower is better.
NSFWNot Safe for Work Designation for content that is inappropriate for the workplace
pURLPersonal Uniform Resource LocatorTypically used in a direct mail marketing campaign; a unique landing page link for every person
PVPage ViewCounted when a page is loaded in a browser
RSSReally Simple SyndicationA web feed that accesses updates to websites in a readable format
RTBReal-Time BiddingRefers to the process of ad auctions taking place while a page loads to determine which ads show
SEMSearch Engine MarketingProcess of encouraging people to visit your website through paid digital advertising
SEOSearch Engine OptimizationProcess of making a website more relevant to what a user wants
SSLSecure Sockets LayerOriginal method of providing secure connection for a browser to a website. Replaced by TLS
TLSTransport Layer Security TLS provides a secure connection for websites, communications, etc.
UGCUser-Generated ContentContent generated by users on a program / app, for example an uploaded image on Instagram
URLUniform Resource LocatorReference address to a specific asset found on the web, generally known as a link
XMLExtensionable Markup Language Markup that’s both human- and machine-friendly, most commonly seen for sitemaps

General Business

B2BBusiness to BusinessShorthand for a business that sells directly to other businesses
B2B2CBusiness to Business to ConsumerOften, method of a company leveraging a network of dealers / sellers to sell products to customers
B2CBusiness to ConsumerShorthand for a business that sells directly to consumers
B2GBusiness to Government Shorthand for a business that sells to the government
CDOChief Digital OfficerExecutive responsible for digital transformation at a company
CDOChief Data OfficerExecutive responsible for all data management
CMOChief Marketing OfficerExecutive responsible for all marketing at a company
CSOChief Sales OfficerExecutive responsible for revenue at a company, may roll up to CRO
CTOChief Technology OfficerThe executive in charge of all technology and sometimes R&D within a company
EMEngagement Manager An individual that is responsible for growing a relationship with a client
LOELevel of EffortEstimate of how much time, money and resources a task will take
NDANon-Disclosure Agreement Written agreement about sharing confidential information from one party to another
OOOOut of OfficeTypically seen in an automated email to refer to vacation time
PMProject ManagerAn individual who manages a project
PTOPaid Time OffVacation time an employee takes off with pay
R&DResearch and DesignWhat a company does to create and produce new products
SMBSmall and Mid-size Businesses Categorization of businesses by total revenue earned. Often referenced as SME
SMESmall and Mid-Size EnterprisesIn the US, there is no set definition for the revenue figures for each.
TLAThree Letter AcronymAn irritating concept to confuse those new to the corporate world
TOSTerms of ServiceA written agreement between two parties on how a product or service will be used

WHEW! What a list!

Check back often as we plan on adding acronyms as they keep getting created.

What are we missing? Let me know on LinkedIn or send us a note!

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