Home > Useful translations of ‘marketing speak’ and what they really mean

Useful translations of ‘marketing speak’ and what they really mean

Getting confused by marketing speak? Here’s some quick translations of what marketing people say and what they really mean for us people who remember a time before computers…


What they mean is Google Adwords, which are adverts that appear at the top of Google that help drive traffic. If your marketing company is talking about using AdWords to ‘get you to the top of Google’ it’s a great way of getting more traffic, but is also only short-term. AdWords should always be combined with a long term strategy too.


Analytics are really important for knowing how people are behaving on your website. It a simple piece of code that web designers use to track how people arrive at your website and where they go once they get there. Analytics can help track if people are leaving your website once they get to a certain page or if they really like certain content. Be a little wary – if you’re going to use something like Google Analytics yourself, remember that interpreting statistics can suck a lot of time out of your life. Essentially, your traffic should always be going up and you should be seeing what content is popular on what platforms.

B2B or B2C
B2B means Business to Business and B2C means Business to Consumer. When people use these terms they mean are your customers mainly businesses or consumers. These days, many companies are targeting both and your strategies should always reflect that.


Ah branding. The definition depends on who you speak to. If you’re talking to a graphic designer, they mean your logo, corporate identity and overall keeping the same ‘look’ and ‘feel’ throughout all your marketing. If you’re talking to a marketeer, branding will encompass all that and talk about your underlying messages too – such as your ethos and how you deal with customers.

If you’re talking to other people, branding is spoken of like it’s own marketing strategy. This is a bit of a misconception. Branding is about creating some familiarity – ideally helping everything you do stand out. It is used to make marketing strategies more effective, but on it’s own is similar to standing in a street with a sign that has your logo on and hoping people will ask you what you’re advertising.

Generation X

Is a later demographic that marketeers refer to because they’re the people currently with families and therefore much marketing is aimed at them. They were born between the 1960s and 1980s and if you’re from that generation and listen to adverts at the moment, you won’t help but hear some music that you remember from growing up. Usually really catchy tunes that are geared to chime with your associations of easier times!

Google AdWords

See AdWords above.


Identity is similar to branding but is sometimes used to encompass more – or, confusingly for many, less. If you translate identity and branding into personal identity and branding, then your personal identity is more about what you do and how friends might expect you to behave in certain situations. Personal branding (which is a thing now) is more about how you project yourself for interviews and at work. If you combine the two on a personal level or on a business level, people / customers / friends can feel confident that they know you. When done right, it can create a certainty about you that gives people security.

For instance, I have always made a point of trying to help as many people as I can understand the basics of getting more customers. From the start I have told people that I’ll have a coffee with anyone and have offered a free marketing session so that people can sample what I/we do. Twelve years ago it meant that people who wanted to know more felt confident enough to book a meeting with me. Now, it means that Truesilver receives a huge number of referrals simply because a friend of a client mentions they need some marketing help.


Integration, in marketing sense, means things all working together. So if your strategies include on line marketing as well as things like Expos, networking or leafleting, then they should all be talking to each other. For instance, you might go to a networking event with a flyer advertising an offer. That flyer would also point people to your website where they can find out more details and either take you up on the offer or make an initial enquiry. Once they’ve done that, your website should integrate with your email database so that they are added to the list of people that are interested in offers…


Whenever I think of Leverage, I think of the TV series… and Christian Kane. But that’s something else. Leverage is simply the “exertion of force by means of a lever”. A car jack is an example of leverage. You can’t lift a car, but you can push down on a lever, which, because of the length of the lever, creates more pressure under the car (sometimes with the help of mechanics)… In marketing terms, leverage is about creating more with less. So leveraging your time can mean outsourcing the marketing work or getting software to do administration for you.


I was once asked in a meeting what the definition of marketing was. Thankfully, I vaguely knew, but it’s interesting that a word that is used so much is actually used incorrectly. “Marketing is the act of getting something from a concept to the end user”. That means it includes brainstorming, packaging, distribution and everything in between. Generally what people really mean by ‘marketing’ is lead generation or graphic design.

Marketing Flow or Sales Flow

This is a term that is used less but in my eyes is more important than ever. Flow is about how people first hear about you and understanding how they interact with your business online and offline before and after buying from you. Understanding your flow helps you think about offers that will bring more people to you, blogs that will attract people’s attention for the right reason and at the right time, and staying in touch with people even after the sale.


You probably get a lot of spam offering better rankings on Google, SEO with jargon like white-label and such liek thrown in. Rankings is just about how you appear on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. In the old days, we all used to try and be at the top of Yellow Pages by calling ourselves something beginning with a ‘1’ [One] or an ‘A’. These days it’s much more complex than that, but getting good rankings is about your website talking to search engines so that they know where to put you in searches.


Stands for Search Engine Optimisation. And is the art of making your website talk to search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing better than your competitors. The rules change quite a bit, so these days, relying on simple code isn’t enough. The simplest and easiest way to rank well is to update your website regularly and add new pages regularly on relevant topics.

See Rankings above too.


Are all those rubbish or unwanted emails you get that you never signed up for.


Is a Unique Selling Point. These days it’s actually incredibly difficult to be totally unique. Offering something that no one else in the world is doing is a pretty mean feat at the moment. I recommend being unusual. Develop an offer or a guarantee that no one else is doing…

Web development

Used to talk about the coding side of a website. It’s a great way to tell if your web designer understands code and the mechanics behind your website as well as the pretty front end side. Technically, it encompasses the same as web design, however when you’re asking a web company for a website with extra functionality such as bookings, ecommerce, they should be talking in terms of web development rather than the pretty side if it’s going to work well.