#WednesdayWisdom: the 7 most important acronyms any marketing newbie should know

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16th July 2019
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24th July 2019

There’s a lot going on in the world of business today. With so many new strategies, ways of approaching problems and metrics to be analyzed, it’s not surprising that one can feel a bit lost in the hustle and bustle of marketing. One thing business people use that can make it even harder to get your head in the game? Acronyms. 

I loathe acronyms.

I work for a company called Antler in venture capital which means that on any given day I hear at least 50 acronyms for different marketing and sales terms.This is surely a time-saver for those in the know. But it does mean that more often than I care to admit I have to slyly pull my phone out underneath the table during a meeting and Google what the hell Dave from accounting is talking about when he says “CMRR” for the 10th time. 

That’s: “Committed Monthly Recurring Revenue”, for those of you who haven’t had the chance to Google it yet.

So to keep you from having to perform the meeting phone flip I’d like to help you get to grips with some of these acronyms. Here’s the 7 most important ones I think every marketer worth their salt should know:

KPI

This is undoubtedly the acronym I hear the most on a daily basis. It’s used in almost every type of business and often rears its ugly head in conversations based around goals or targets to reach for a given marketing strategy. 

It stands for Key Performance Indicator. 

Essentially, if you’re doing something in marketing that takes effort (i.e. everything), you should be tracking your KPIs. An example would be: the number of sign ups you got from a post about the pet grooming product your company created. (I can’t be the only one who has seen those ads about 10,000 times on SM. SM = social media, there’s a bonus one for you.)

So let’s say Sally wants to generate 100 new leads from a newsletter she’s doing. Her KPI then could be: Lead Generation, Click Throughs or Conversions. 

Got it? Good, moving on. 

OKR

Oh OKRs, you’re such a thing I love to hate. OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results. These three letters also get bandied about in conversations that discuss goals, quarterly reports and content strategies. You may be thinking: “well that sounds a lot like KPIs, so they’re basically the same, right?” No…Or so it has been explained to me. 

OKRs are different in that they are much more high level than KPIs. Essentially KPIs should inform your OKRs. Confused? Me too. 

Think of it like this. You have your Objective: “By the end of Q3 we want to increase our Brand Awareness by 20%”. This is your goal or destination. The Key Results part are the metrics you will track to gauge the success of the goal or how close you are to reaching it. Let’s take the Sally example from before: Sally wants to generate 100 new leads from a newsletter she’s doing. 

Her Objective is probably something like: “Increase sales by generating 500 new leads by the end of September.” The Key Results are likely then: “Have 5 posts that generate at least 100 new leads.”

Still not getting it? Then I suggest reading this piece: Understanding OKRs and how it benefits your business. Understand it now? Sweet, let’s continue our acronymic adventure. 

USP

Alright, here’s an easy one. USP stands for Unique Selling Point. It’s actually an acronym I have caught myself using several times in my personal life when trying to sound smart around my friends. However in a business case, it does exactly what it says on the tin. What is it about your product or company that makes it unique compared to the competitor’s?

As an example: you might say that the iPhone X’s USP is it’s incredible camera and end to end screen. Whereas, Huawei might argue that its P30 Pro has superior operating power and longer battery life. In marketing it’s super critical to make people aware of what your company’s USP is in order to position yourself correctly. A well executed MVP not only pleases your early customers, but  also informs design choices later down the lifecycle of your product. 

My mother always told me my USP was my personality… 

MVP

Sorry sports fans, this doesn’t mean Most Valuable Player, not in the world of marketing anyway. In marketing and sales this means Minimum Viable Product. In the realm of venture capital, you hear this term a lotTo break it down. MVP = what is the easiest sellable product you can make that will appease early buyers. In other words, what features should your product have from the very beginning and which ones can be left for later development. One well-documented MVP is how Amazon started out as a simple bookstore before growing into the world’s third-largest retailer. 

If you’re feeling inspired and would like to read more, this article provides several interesting examples of MVPs that ended up becoming global businesses: 8 inspiring examples of an MVP.

BR

BR, when you’re not using acronyms means Bounce Rate. It’s one of the most important metrics that I monitor when reviewing Antler’s site analytics. If you aren’t familiar with what bounce rate is, this is the metric that looks at user interaction with your web page. Whenever a user is directed to your site and then leaves it without interacting with anything on the page, this is referred to as a “bounce”. So you’re bounce rate is the percentage of users who come to your site and leave without interacting with it. 

Part of marketing is branding and nothing should encompass your brand more than your website. So if your site has a sky-high bounce rate you need to get in there and figure out what’s preventing users from engaging. A great tool to track user interaction and inform changes to your site is HotJar, and they didn’t even pay me for that endorsement; it’s just a good tool. 

GDD

This leads us nicely into my next acronym: GDD, or Growth Driven Design. GDD centers around making data driven incremental changes to your website or media assets over a period of time. You might think this is more of a designer’s job, and depending on the business it could be. But more often the designer’s job is done once the site is live and the initial changes are made. From then on it usually falls on the marketer’s shoulders to analyze data and make these informed changes. In short, you should always be reviewing your site and making informed changes to it to provide a better UX for your visitors. (UX = user experience, there’s another freebie for ya).

EOD

Last but not least. The best and sometimes worst acronym there is in the world of business: EOD = End of Day. Also known as, COB or Close of Business. 

Good case: “I’ll have that report over to you by EOD, should only take an hour.”

Bad case: “Sharon’s on holiday, so I need you to do all her quarterly reports, pick up my dry cleaning plus do all your own work by EOD.”

And there you have it. The 7 most important marketing acronyms to know. Now go and tell Dave in accounting to tell you what the USP is for his MVP by EOD, that’ll teach him. 

P.S., if for some reason you’re bored and want to know even more amazing marketing acronyms, I suggest you check this out: 60 marketing & sales acronyms everyone needs to know. 

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This article was written by Hayden Young. Originally hailing from Dallas Texas and now settled in Amsterdam, Hayden is the marketing manager for the Amsterdam office of the startup generator, Antler. He has held a range of marketing roles in the industries of Aviation, Music, Beer and Simulation and has now turned his eye to Venture Capital. You can learn more about Antler’s startup generator program here.