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100+ Popular Business and Marketing Acronyms

If by chance you are not familiar or just need a reminder of what an acronym is, I have 100+ of the most popular business and marketing acronyms listed below.

One of my favorite podcasts and best source for overall business guidance is Manager Tools, who often say communication is what the listener does. Regardless of communication medium, the goal is to be understood. So, unless you know for certain your audience is familiar with the acronym, your use of it may be causing confusion, requiring a pause while the listener/reader figures this out, or leading to frustration since they had to pause, think, figure this out, and then continue reading.

At least in writing, my preference is to say the entire phrase and put the acronym in parentheses at first use and then continuing with just the acronym going forward.

How often has an acronym been used and you found it helpful compared to completely stopping you mid sentence to think and figure this out? Exactly.

What surprises me most about the list below, is how quickly I got to this many. Certainly a sign of how often we do this. I hope you find the list below of the most common business and marketing acronyms helpful and please, if I am missing any, please share below.

ABM – account based marketing
AI – artificial intelligence
AIDA – attention, interest, desire, action
API – application programming interface
AOV – average order value
B2B – business to business
B2B2C – business to business to consumer
B2C – business to consumer
BI – business intelligence
BOFU – bottom of funnel
BU – business unit
BYOD – bring your own device
CAC – customer acquisition cost
CDP – customer data platform
CDN – content delivery network
CMS – content management system
COE – center(s) of excellence
CPA – cost per acquisition
CPL – cost per lead
CPM – cost per thousand impressions
CPP – cost per click
CRO – conversion rate optimization
CRM – customer relationship management
CSM – customer success manager
CSS – cascading style sheets
CTA – call to action
CTR – click-through rate
DAM – digital asset management
DBA – doing business as
DIKW – data, insight, knowledge, or wisdom
DM – direct message
EBITDA – earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization
EEAT – expertise, experience, authoritativeness, trustworthiness
EES – extreme events solutions
ESP – email service provider
ETL – extract, transform, load
FAQ – frequently asked questions
FIFO – first in first out
FILO – first in last out
GDPR – general data protection regulation
GPT – generative pre-trained transformer
GTM – go to market or google tag manager
HIPPO – highest paid persons opinion
HTML – hypertext markup language
HTTP – hypertext transfer protocol
iPaaS – integrated platform as a service
IPO – initial public offering
JIT – just in time
KISS – keep it simple stupid
KPI – key performance indicator
LIFO – last in first out
LILO – last in last out
LTD – lifetime deal
LTV – lifetime value
M&A – mergers and acquisitions
MAP – marketing automation platform
MAU – monthly active users
MMM – marketing mix model
MOFU – middle of funnel
MQL – marketing qualified lead
MVP – minimum viable product (not most valuable player)
MSA – master service agreement
NPS – net promoter score
P&L – profit and loss
PII – personal identifiable information
PDP – personal development plan
POC – proof of concept
PPC – pay per click
PR – public relations
R&D – research and development
RACI – responsible, accountable, consulted, informed
RFM – recency, frequency, monetary
RFP – request for proposal
ROAS – return on ad spend
ROI – return on investment
QA – quality assurance
SaaS – software as a service
SAL – sales accepted lead
SEM – search engine marketing
SEO – search engine optimization
SERP – search engine results page
SKU – stock keeping unit
SLA – service level agreement
SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, trackable goals
SMB – small and medium-sized business
SMM – social media marketing
SOC – senior operating committee
SOP – standard operating procedure
SOV – share of voice
SOW – statement of work
SQL – sales qualified lead
SSO – single sign on
SWOT – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats
TOFU – top of funnel
UI – user interface
UX – user experience
UPC – universal product code
USP – unique selling proposition
UV – user experience
VC – venture capital
VOC – voice of customer
VPN – virtual private network
WIP – work in progress
WYSIWYG – what you see is what you get
WWW – world wide web
ZMOT – zero moment of truth

What am I missing? Please share in the comments and I will update this list.

Thank you.

Marketing Lessons from Wall Street Movie

I love the Oliver Stone directed movie Wall Street that stars Michael Douglas with Charlie Sheen and his dad Martin Sheen. It’s rating on IMDb is a 7.3 and I gave it a 9. The acting is so good you fall in love with the characters and forget they are portraying terrible people doing horrible things.

As a digital marketer, there can be a fine line between promoting a product or service because it’s good for the company rather than good for the customer. True joy in life or in marketing comes from helping others. Although Wall Street is a product of Hollywood, the portrayal of illegal insider trading, greed that is unquenchable, and man’s inhumanity to man seems less shocking in today’s calloused world.

Wall Street was released in 1987 before we had the internet and digital marketing was just marketing. Unless you lived it, you wouldn’t believe the sophistication we now enjoy with technology over these decades. One example is the very, very brief scene where the 1985 Market Projections bar chart was shared. I of course had to pause the movie to zoom in on the details which I included in this post.

1985 market projections from wall street movie
1985 Market Projections from Wall Street Movie

This bar chart was obviously not intended to be truly seen, let alone analyzed but let’s do it anyway.

  1. The X or horizontal axis obviously just has placeholder names for these markets, X, XX, and XXX. Each of these three markets has four different measurement but there is no way to know what those are.
  2. The Y or vertical axis ranges from 0 to 350. Best practice would say to show the 0 and to know what is this measurement, likely dollars but should this also be in thousands?
  3. For a movie made in 1987, why would we be seeing 1985 market projections given that projections are about the future.
  4. Whatever this X, XX, and XXX is that has four different bar graphs, it’s possible if we knew what this data was, a line chart would make better sense. I guess this will remain one of Hollywood’s secrets.

Bottom line, if you haven’t seen Wall Street, do it. Also, be a better human. There is enough suffering in the world and your kindness and selflessness could be answer to someone’s prayer.