The Sustainable Marketing Glossary

What is Sustainable Marketing®

When researching sustainable marketing practices you may find a lot of vague concepts, buzzwords, and acronyms that can leave you feeling confused and uncertain if marketing can help you at all. We find that very frustrating too.

The Sustainable Marketing® Glossary is being created to improve your understanding of marketing that focuses on sustainable business growth. Each definition includes a usage example that you can start putting into practice for your business today.

Glossary terms are alphabetized. Scroll down this page to see them all or click a link above to see definitions by letter. The terms read most by our site visitors can be accessed quickly using the Popular Glossary Terms menu.

NOTE: The glossary is a work in progress, we are adding 1 or 2 definitions every week. It is our goal to have a comprehensive list of sustainable marketing terms by the end of 2019.


A/B testing is a method that involves comparing the performance of two versions of something (for example, a page on a website). Sometimes called split testing or bucket testing, two versions of the subject are tested against each other with the goal of figuring out which performs better. Often only one variable of the product is tested at a time, for example, the background color of a webpage, a title heading, etc.

An agile campaign strategy, sometimes just simply called agile marketing, is a marketing methodology that involves rapid (or “real time”) reactions to potential opportunities. These opportunities are generally tested quickly to generate real-world data which is then evaluated and iterated upon.

Benchmarking is a process that measures how a business is performing compared to their competitors. This measurement can be used to evaluate the business as a whole or only a certain aspect of the business (such as operational costs or procedures).

A portmanteau of “web” and “log,” a blog is a method of publishing content on the internet. In the 2000s, blogging became the dominant way to publish content online, giving businesses a new and effective way to connect with their target audience.

Brand awareness is the degree to which people are cognizant of a particular company in the sense that they can recognize brand imagery, such as a logo, slogan, a certain color scheme, and so on. To have brand awareness, a consumer must mentally link these images with the company’s products or services.

A buyer persona is a fictitious “ideal buyer” crafted by a company based on researching the company’s ideal customers. The persona is supposed to represent the kind of person who would be highly likely to purchase a product or service, thus enabling the company to better market to real people matching that description.

Competitive analysis is a method of analyzing a company’s competitors to discover their strengths and weaknesses in a variety of categories. Data from publicly available resources is compiled so that relevant information can be extracted and analyzed. These resources might be annual reports, public-facing marketing campaigns, or consumer resources, such as a website.

A conversion rate is a measurement indicating how many visitors to a website or viewers of an advertisement took a particular action. In general, this action is something other than simply viewing content—a business may desire to track the conversion rate of how many visitors fill out a contact form, for example.

Cornerstone content is best thought of as foundational content, i.e., the content on your website that provides essential, indispensable information for your target audience. Cornerstone content typically answers common questions about your products and services, acts as a guide to solve problems, educates readers about a relevant topic, or all of the above.

Cost per impression (CPM) is the total cost to an advertiser after a creative has been displayed one thousand times. In other words, after a business shows an advertisement one thousand times, the CPM is how much they’ll have to pay (to Google, Facebook, another advertising network, or even a private site owner).

Cost per lead (CPL) is a metric that measures the amount an advertiser must pay to acquire a qualified lead. In online marketing, CPL is sometimes implemented as a form of performance-based marketing wherein advertisers pay for leads only, however this is not always the case.

Customer acquisition cost, sometimes abbreviated as CAC, is the average amount a business can expect to pay to acquire a new customer. An accurate CAC is generally considered to be all-inclusive, meaning that it accounts for all potential expenses incurred in the acquisition of a new customer, such as advertising, the time spent in pre-sale meetings, incentives or discounts, and so on.

Customer experience (CX) is how businesses describe the feelings experienced by a customer or potential customer over the entire course of their relationship with the business. Note that CX begins the first time a customer becomes aware of a business—not just later in the working relationship.

Ebooks are electronic books, intended to be read on devices like e-readers (e.g., Amazon’s Kindle), smartphones, tablets, laptops, or even desktop computers if desired. Ebooks are available in different formats, most commonly PDF, EPUB, or MOBI. They contain text, images, and—a potential improvement over hard copy books—hyperlinks to websites. Ebooks can be purchased or given away for free.

An editorial calendar is a publishing schedule designed to help businesses pursuing content marketing to plan out the current and future distribution of their created content, which might include blog posts, videos, podcasts, email newsletters, or even pre-planned updates on social media platforms like Facebook. Using this method, businesses are better able to prioritize their planned content to follow the most effective content strategy.

An email drip campaign is a method of “nurturing” the members of an email marketing with the ultimate goal of converting them into a customer. Drip campaigns involve sending information and content to prospects over a longer period of time (typically weeks or months) which has been designed to build product/service recognition, rapport, and trust—hence the concept of nurturing.

Email marketing is the process by which a business or organization advertises via email. Very different from so-called “spam email,” legitimate email marketing usually requires recipients to opt-in (i.e., the people receiving the emails have indicated that they want to receive them).

Keywords are specific portions of content on a web page. The term technically denotes a single word, but is often used to identify a series of words or short sentence as well (though this is accurately described as a key phrase). Keywords are usually referred to pertaining to their role in search engine optimization (SEO).

A landing page is a page on a website where traffic has been deliberately sent to motivate visitors into taking a predetermined action. Often a sales page but not always, landing pages usually include very carefully crafted written content alongside strategically chosen images and sometimes even videos. Landing pages can be used to sell products, capture leads, and more, though the best performing landing pages tend to stick to a single goal.

Lead generation is a term which describes how a business generates interest from potential customers (leads). Usually, buyers communicate their interest to a business by providing their contact information in exchange for more information about a product or service.

The term keyword, as it relates to search engine optimization (SEO), is data that represents a single word which a site operator might be interested in ranking for. A long tail keyword is a phrase of keywords, typically containing at least two or three words.

Market segmentation is the practice of dividing the target audience of a business down into different groups based on differing attributes. Segmentation is done so that a business can more accurately personalize marketing to a different group based on their unique characteristics which may not be shared with the entire target audience as a whole.

Marketing attribution is the process by which a company can determine how much of their success (or lack thereof) can be attributed to their marketing activities. Marketing attribution is important because it empowers businesses to gain a clear picture of what’s working and what isn’t insofar as their marketing efforts are concerned—so as you might suspect, accurate marketing attribution is a primary goal of Sustainable Marketing®.

A marketing attribution model is the method by which a business or organization tracks lead generation across any number of different advertising campaigns and customer touch points. A touch point (or contact point) is considered any influential encounter between consumers and a business where some form of exchange or interaction takes place, whether that’s communication, the sharing of information, a consultation, etc. As a whole, touch points make up the overall customer experience.

A marketing dashboard is a centralized report that includes information from multiple sources like website analytics, CRM software, and accounting programs. The purpose of a marketing dashboard is to help business owners and marketing teams evaluate and understand how well their strategies and tactics are working.

Marketing goals are an important benchmarking tool for businesses and marketers to use to measure success. More than vague ambitions, explicitly set marketing goals should rely on hard data and measurable results. Digital marketers have many tools at their disposal to measure the progress and performance of website traffic, marketing KPIs, lead generation strategies, conversion rates, and much more.

Marketing key performance indicators (KPIs) are measurable statistics and data that represent progress toward a marketing goal. For example, a common online marketing KPI might be the amount of search traffic a website receives or how well the site is ranking for one or more targeted keywords. Similarly, KPIs that track lead generation opportunities such as the total number of subscribers for an email marketing list are also important, traceable metrics that usually share a direct correlation with the attainment of marketing goals.

A marketing plan is the primary document used by a business to outline their advertising strategies. Usually, it covers plans for outreach, advertising channels, and how they plan to generate leads within a target market.

[Ebook] Sustainable Marketing

The 7 Key Areas of Sustainable Marketing®

Transform your marketing into a long-term strategy that will immediately give you a competitive advantage.

Download The PDF