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Understanding Common Marketing Acronyms


Just getting your start with online marketing? You’re not alone. As businesses move into the online sphere more and social media marketing becomes crucial to their success, everyone from the receptionists to CEOs are finding themselves in need of a solid strategy. Whether you’re coming from an old-school in-person marketing background or completely new to the concept altogether, learning the ropes always begins with getting a good grasp on the basics, and that includes the lingo, too. What’s CLC? How about ROI? Learn the basic acronyms most often used in marketing right here.


CLC = Customer Life Cycle. This refers to the process most customers go through when choosing, engaging with, or moving away from your business. Managing your customer life cycle is incredibly important in any industry that sells products and/or services, as proper CLC management can foster long-term loyalty and directly result in higher sales.


ROI = Return on investment. In any field of business, you want your investments to pay for themselves over time, either indirectly or directly. You can measure ROI with a very simple mathematical formula:

  • Take your net profit
  • Divide it by your total investment
  • Multiply the result by 100

This is especially helpful in the world of online marketing, where SEO and social media marketing require a precise balance between investment and return.


CTA = Call to Action. A call to action is simply a phrase or sentence spurring the customer on to “take action.” What that action is depends solely on what you are trying to achieve; your CTA could push someone to buy a product, visit a website, or even sign up for a service.


SEO = Search Engine Optimization. This acronym refers to the process of optimizing websites and apps for easy discovery on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. The methods used in SEO are incredibly diverse, but may include writing high-quality content, inserting keywords into text, adding meta tags, cross-linking to other websites, or even paying for a higher rank in the search engine itself.


PPC = Pay Per Click. This acronym is most commonly applied to Google’s Adwords campaigns, which require you to bid real money in order to rank higher for industry-relevant keywords. This can, in turn, draw more customers to your website and increase sales. Because PPC campaigns can be extremely costly, especially for highly competitive keywords, achieving a good ROI for your campaign is crucial.

These are just a few of the most common marketing acronyms, but the world of marketing as a whole is far more complex with many different strategies. For more information on marketing basics, or to get help with your marketing strategy, talk to a marketing specialist about which ones apply to your situation.