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Confused about Inbound Marketing? You're Not Alone

As a kid, I remembering laughing at jokes I didn’t understand, too embarrassed to admit I didn’t get them. Everyone else was laughing so it must be funny, right? Hilarious! In truth, most of the others probably didn’t get it either, but who wants to admit that in front of a group? So I played along. 

Then again, maybe I WAS the only that really didn’t get it….

Regardless, I had a flashback to this feeling the other day at lunch with friends. Somehow, after the initial round of gossip and sharing vacation stories, we got on the subject of inbound marketing. A few of us that work in the field began comparing success stories and trading advice. Another friend was nodding along enthusiastically, but finally spoke up. She hesitantly admitted “I wasn’t going to say anything because I’m probably supposed to know, but what IS inbound marketing, anyway?”


Inbound Marketing Terms 101

Every industry has their language. The words, terms and acronyms insiders toss back and forth regularly but mean nothing to the rest of the world.

When you get a group of accountants (or doctors, engineers, chefs, athletes, etc.) talking business in a room it can sound like another language. Marketers are no exception.

Admittedly, us marketing nerds get so excited about things like SEO, CTAs, CACs, LPs and responsive design that we sometimes forget those terms aren’t common knowledge.

Recently, I was talking with a client about segmenting and ways to increase their efficiency when he interrupted me to ask what I meant by “marketing automation software.”


I was glad he asked, because it was a reminder to back up and make sure we explain the terms we use regularly. For every person that asks, there are usually several others that just nod along and pretend (umm… not that I’ve ever done that before).

So we put together this list of Inbound Marketing Terms 101 to help. Clearly these aren’t to insult anybody’s intelligence – we know you’re brilliant at what you do. But we do marketing (with an emphasis on inbound) and want to help by making sure we’re on the same page when we discuss ways to meet your objectives.

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