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The ABC's of Marketing Communications


The ABC's of Marketing Communications

The marketing communications industry has a massive number of terms used in professional and academic settings to reference key pieces of the industry. Every marketer has their favorite terms and phrases they use in their day-to-day duties. Here is a list of some common terms that every marketing communications professional should be as familiar with as marketing ABC’s.

A is for Algorithm

Social media algorithms are rules set by platforms that rank, filter and organize content to determine how posts appear in a user’s feed. This is how social media platforms keep user’s engaged, as they are only seeing content that fits their interests. Nearly all social media platforms use an algorithm and understanding the unique rules for each platform can help social media managers increase the reach of their posts.

B is for Brand Advocate

Brand advocates is an individual who spreads a brand through word-of-mouth and their individual social media pages. These individuals may share brand posts, leave product reviews or refer others to a brands website. WVU Marketing Communications encourages students, staff and faculty to be brand advocates through the “ Refer a Friend” program.

C is for Chatbot

Chatbots are a rising trend in digital marketing, customer service and sales. These website integrations use machine learning and branded content as a knowledge base to serve consumers and enhance user experience.

D is for Digital Marketing Communications

Digital Marketing Communications is creating a dialogue with today's modern audience that builds a community around a brand or organization. It's all about building trust and providing customers with long-term value so that they become advocates who bring you more customers.

E is for Engagement

Engagement, and engagement rates, refer to metrics that provide insight into how a brand’s audience interacts with their digital media. These metrics are used most often to showcase how effective brand campaigns are.

F is for Facebook

Facebook is a popular social network that many brands use to connect with their target audience and conduct digital advertising through. Facebook advertising allows for marketers to highly segment what individuals see their paid ads.

G is for Guerrilla Marketing

Guerrilla marketing refers to the marketing strategy where brands use low-cost, non-traditional tactics to reach a target audience. The more unconventional and innovative the strategy, the better with this style of marketing strategy.

H is for Hashtag

Hashtags are used to help segment or tag conversations around certain keywords, or phrases, on social media. These words or phrases denoted with the pound sign (#) help tie common public conversations together on a platform.

I is for Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing refers to marketing tactics that drive consumers to a brand, rather than marketers having to go after the consumer. The goal is to align marketing and branded content with consumers interests to “organically” drive them to a CTA, webpage or other source to learn more about a brand or product.

J is for JavaScript

JavaScript is a programming language for websites. This type of programming can be used to create interactive websites and webpages.

K is for Key Performance Indicators

Key performance indicators (KPI’s) are a performance measurement that help marketers understand progress towards a goal. KPI’s can be a variety of measurement topics from page views to cost per lead.

L is for Lifetime Value (LTV)

This is a prediction of the net profit a brand can expect to generate from the projected length of a relationship with a customer.

M is for Microsite

A microsite lives at the corner of a brand’s website and a one-off landing page. These webpages are created to provide interactive online experiences for audiences that are separate from traditional brand website content.

N is for Native Advertising

Native advertising is an online advertising method that aims to make digital ads feel less like “ads” and more like part of organic conversation. The goal is to make paid and sponsored content blend in with organic content and fit with consumers interests.

O is for Optimization

To optimize something means to make it the most effective it can be. In marketing, optimization aims to maximize the return on a strategy. This can include anything from SEO (search engine optimization) to email marketing optimization by utilizing results from A/B testing.

P is for Persona

Persona’s refer to a fictional character representation that marketers create to communicate to stakeholders who the target audience is. These are used to help develop an understanding of the target audience, their interests, values and more to help with crafting segmented, targeted messaging.

Q is for Quality Score

Quality Score refers to an estimate of the quality of pieces of a marketing tactic including the visual elements, keywords and landing pages. Quality scores are communicated on a scale from 1 – 10 and reflect how closely advertising/marketing tactics reflect a consumer’s interest. The more aligned user interests and ads are, the higher the score.

R is for Research

Market research is the foundation of every branded campaign. It is the collection of information about consumers, competitors and the marketplace that is used to determine the most effective way to convey an idea and reach consumers.

S is for Social Media

Social media marketing is the use of social media websites and digital marketing tactics to connect with audiences, build brand awareness and drive actions such as purchases and website visits.

T is for Target Audience

Target audience refers to the segmented group of individuals that are most likely to want to engage or purchase a brand’s product or service. Target audiences are traditionally segmented by demographics, psychographics and other descriptors gathered through market research.

U is for User Experience (UX)

User Experience refers to the customers overall experience with digital marketing elements. UX can refer to the qualitative description of how a consumer feels about branded content based upon ease of use, visual appeal and accessibility.

V is for Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is an emerging tactic is marketing communications. This innovative tactic allows brands to create immersive, digital experiences for consumers to connect with brands in new ways.

W is for Word-of-Mouth (WOM)

Word-of-mouth refers to when consumers make recommendations about brands, products and services to peers through organic referrals. Consumers who are “brand loyal” or passionate about a brand will begin to “market” the brand through referencing it in their daily conversations.

X is for XML Sitemap

This is a website development term for a “map” that hosts all the URL’s contained in a full website. This “map” helps search engines understand and navigate the content in a site.

Y is for YouTube

YouTube is a Google-owned video sharing platform that launched in 2005. It is one of the top used digital platforms by Gen Z.

Z is for (Gen) Z

Gen Z refers to the generation of individuals born after 1995. This group is emerging as some of the most valuable consumers in the marketplace. They are highly tech savvy, socially conscious and make decisions very cautiously.

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Meet the Author

Emily Zekonis

Emily Zekonis
Acquisitions Manager at Oliver and Barney

Emily is formarly a Marketing and Events Graduate Service Assistant for the Marketing Communications Online Programs through the Reed College of Media at West Virginia University. She is currently the Acquisitions Manager at Oliver and Marketing Manager at Barney. She is an alumna of WVU's M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) and has been working in marketing for over 3 years.

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Marketing Communications Today is a collection of resources for marketing communications professionals filled with industry research, marketing trends, and career information about integrated marketing and data-driven communications. Learn industry insights through the Marketing Communications Today blog, podcast, as well as Integrate Online.

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