Insight September 4, 2018

10 Marketing Terms to Know When Working with an Ad Agency


When you first start working with an agency, you’ll likely hear words or phrases that you don’t know. Or, perhaps you’ve heard them, but the meaning is slightly different in a marketing context. That’s why we’ve compiled some of the more commonly-used marketing terms in our latest blog post.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it’s a good, quick reference so that you can know what you’re talking about (or at least sound like you do).

A/B Testing

Sometimes, the best way to find out what works is to test, test, and test again. A large part of successful marketing is about finding solutions for your specific target audience. A/B testing allows you to compare and contrast how two versions of the same webpage, email, call-to-action, or other marketing material performs. You can even use that information to tweak your strategy throughout a long-running campaign to increase its overall effectiveness.

B2B Marketing

Business-to-business marketing involves the sale of one company’s products or services to another company. Typically, this type of marketing highlights the features of the product or service to drive a purchasing decision. Businesses want to know what kind of return on investment they can expect and how the product or service will grow their business.

B2C Marketing

With business-to-consumer marketing, you are targeting the end consumer. Emotions drive the purchasing behaviors of consumers. So, this type of marketing typically highlights the benefits of a product. B2C advertisements attempt to invoke an emotional response in the consumer, rather than focusing on the specifications of a product or service.

Brand Identity

Everyone has their own personal style — different fashion choices, mannerisms, and ways of speaking. Think of a brand identity as your business’ personal style. It outlines the standards for how you talk about your business, what your marketing materials will look like, and any important brand identifiers (e.g., logos). Businesses with a strong brand identity can often be identified even when the logo or name is removed from an ad.


Unless your goal is strictly brand awareness, most marketing campaigns will be tied to a specific action that you want the potential customer to take. Maybe you want them to visit your website, or sign up for your newsletter, or drop by your new store. The call-to-action (CTA) is the section of the marketing piece where you ask customers to take that next step and become a lead.


Great campaigns start with a creative concept. It’s the big idea or unifying theme that will be applied across all campaign materials. Concepting is the process by which the creative team develops the primary message and visuals for a campaign. Typically, the writer and art directors will review the creative brief and develop multiple concepts based on the goals of the campaign.

Creative Brief (Creative Strategy Statement)

The creative brief comes in many forms and with many different names. Here at inferno, we prefer the term creative strategy statement (CSS). Still, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Put simply, the CSS is the high-level overview of a project. It conveys important background information and outlines who the audience is, the objective of the campaign, key deliverables, and a timeline for the project.

Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

KPIs show you whether your marketing campaign is approaching the goal you set out to accomplish in the creative strategy statement. They allow you to track your progress in real-time across multiple channels. The KPIs for each campaign will vary based on the overall goal, but some common ones include:

  • Web Traffic Sources: How customers reach your website.
  • Total Visits: The number of users who visit your site.
  • Click Through Rate: The ratio of clicks your ad receives to total users who see it.
  • Average Time on Page: How much time a user spends on your website/a specific landing page.
  • Cost Per Action: The amount of money spent on driving conversions.
  • Bounce Rate: The number of users who leave your website without navigating to any other page.


During the creative process, the art director will often save time (and budget hours) by presenting a client with a mock-up of the collateral. This working sample gives clients an opportunity to review the proposed layout without investing the man hours into creating a final design. For some collateral, it makes sense to skip this step if there is already a template to work from or the layout is already set.

Pain Points

Put simply, a pain point is a problem. It’s a source of discomfort for your customer — and also the key to delivering the products and services they want. Sometimes, customers aren’t aware of their pain point (late night infomercials and As Seen on TV advertisements come to mind), and you simultaneously have to realize they have a problem and convince them your product or service is the best solution. Other times, they already know there is a problem and are actively looking for solutions. Either way, identifying and addressing customer pain points can help you attract buyers who crave your products — because they make life better for your customers.

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