With all those terms and acronyms and jargon we use as growth marketers, there is a major need for a Growth Marketing Dictionary.
Our lingo is often full of jargon and fancy acronyms for simple, common words (like OPN – Other People’s Networks or OMTM – One Metric That Matters). In this article, I am creating a growth marketing dictionary with the purpose of reference for all growth marketers and growth hackers.
Some of the terms growth marketers say mean something completely different in regular English use while we are actually referring to something else.
I’ve been executing and managing growth marketing processes for 60+ businesses and startups over the past 10+ years and this list is a compilation, from my experience, of what we as growth marketers really mean when we use all this jargon. Welcome the ultimate growth marketing dictionary of terms and let’s get started!
P.S. The terms are in alphabetical order and the complete growth marketing dictionary with updates will be available on the growth hacking mastery course.
Let’s get started…
Growth Marketing Dictionary Terms List:
GROWTH MARKETING DICTIONARY
Comparing 2 versions to check which performs better, by changing one element or parameter at a time. More on A/B testing here.
The updated 6-stage growth hacking funnel. Read the original guide to the A3R3 funnel here.
Smaller iterations, incremental changes, frequent feedback, and change; related to moving quickly and sometimes breaking sh*t.
The time it (the growth hack or an idea or an experiment) clicks
Application programming interface; used as a way to gather data or execute integrations
Using technology to automate part of the growth hack or the process
The backlog is where growth hacking ideas are stored that are waiting to be executed; usually used in a positive way by growth hackers.
Forget about telecom, bandwidth actually means availability of manpower, resources, and working hours; the juice we can squeeze out of growth hackers.
The output from the growth hacking funnel
Detailed definition of how your target channels look.
Usually the source of users or traffic; can be used anywhere in the funnel
Lost customers over time, opposite of retention rate.
Portions of the users based on WHEN they signed up. Example: November Cohort = Everyone who signed up in November.
Core Growth Skillset
This is the foundational skillset for growth marketing. It is a growth marketer’s backbone. Without building this skillset, you won’t be able to go a long way on this journey. See all the core skills here.
Conversion Rate Optimization
Refers to an audience created using existing data from an app or website or a custom list (hopefully your own list)
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
The cost of acquiring a customer can be calculated by finding the total investment in the experiment over the number of customers acquired.
Contrary to popular belief among scuba divers, this actually means an In-depth analysis of any metrics or in-depth study of a particular data point in lean analytics.
The process a growth hacker uses to hunt for tools – especially finding tools that serve a different purpose but using them as leverage
parameters that define the user like age and gender; useful for targeting and creating audiences
E-Shaped Growth Marketer
A growth marketer having all the fundamental and general skills and 3 specialist skills. You can check the list of all the skills here.
A term used when a growth marketer takes a systems view of their growth experiments and campaigns – and looks at parts of the system where they can go lean and eliminate waste. Learn more with an example here.
A fancy term for an automated growth hack (popularised by digital product marketers)
Experiment Success Score (ESS)
A sigma equation as a next-step analysis after the OMTM to make it easier for us to make YES or NO decisions for our growth experiments.
A full-stack growth hacker is the next level of the T-shaped growth hacker. Unfortunately, this person does not exist – just like a unicorn – or exists only in resumes and movies.
General Growth Skillset
The general skillset is a set of growth marketing skills all managers and marketers must develop. You must be able to utilize all these skills and apply them to all your growth marketing experiments. See all the general skills here.
Unlike what fitness experts think, this phrase actually means to get more value from fewer resources.
A potential growth hack, currently in the experiment stage.
Growth Hacking Mindset
Growth is about mindset more than skillset and toolset. The growth hacking mindset is a combination of 5 mindsets: analytical, experimental, process-oriented, focused, and the default-doubting mindset.
Integrating growth as a process into the main marketing system once it’s a successful experiment.
Relationship between Patience, Budgets, and Growth explaining the need for growth hacking.
Innovative low-cost high-impact scalable process-oriented methods (for growth).
A map that shows how users interact with a website.
Working outside your comfort zone in the growth hacking execution phase (does not include checking Instagram unless that’s the growth experiment)
The Impact-Confidence-Ease Score; score each factor from 1 to 10 and average (divide by 3) – Use your best judgment.
Leveraging influence using hacks.
Repeat the Cycle of “Experiment > Adjust > Experiment”; Adjust after each lean analytics phase.
The first page visited by a user
Landing page CRO
Conversion Rate Optimization for sales pages
An offer used to attract users, usually top-of-the-funnel; Bribe visitors to get lead info, sometimes the first step inactivation.
Bare minimum tracking, reporting, and analysis; A minimalist 80/20 system of Analytics
Often used as a verb in growth hacking; leverage means to be able to use something to derive the most value or advantage from it.
Lifetime Customer Value; Overall overtime worth of a client. Used to cap the CPA (Cost Per Acquisition). In most cases, you don’t want the CPA to be more than the LTV (there are exceptions – think)
Visualization for understanding the process of marketing; how a high number of leads (usually) filter down to customers and beyond (refer to the A3R3 funnel above)
Micro & Macro Goals
Users usually complete ‘micro goals’ on your product or site before completing a ‘macro goal’. (All key micro and macro goals must be defined in Analytics for tracking)
North Star Metric (NSM)
Same as the OMTM. Some Growth Hackers prefer calling it the North Star.
Growth hacking by converting a process from Outbound to Inbound; a kind of growth hack.
One Metric That Matters (OMTM)
One growth goal is defined by a single metric that the entire startup should be working towards.
Other People’s Audience (used as Leverage)
Other people’s networks (used as Leverage)
Other People’s Platforms (Usually by leveraging other’s APIs or web scraping other’s platforms)
Usually from a free source; traditionally used by old-school Digital Marketers to refer to traffic coming from their search rankings
A specific pain or obstacle that is common among your target audience & your business plans to solve.
The old name for the new, improved A3R3 funnel that lists growth metrics in different stages of the funnel.
Change direction as events and circumstances change. A growth hacking experiment pivot is somewhat similar to a startup pivot in that the plan remains the same but the direction in which to move to achieve the plan remains the same.
Product Market Fit
The Foundation for growth. The fit is achieved when offerings and audience are in sync.
Revenue per user
This one is really what it sounds like – the total revenue divided by the number of users; the average $$ generated from each user.
A visual plan of action (PoA) for implementing the growth hacking campaign.
Scalable Growth Hack
A growth hack with a YES output from the ESS (Experiment Success Score) can also be automated using tech (bots, scripts, etc).
The portion of the users is based on Segmentation. An example of Segmentation could be based on Gender.
SOP (Standard Operating Procedure)
Using pre-defined processes to save time and resources; essential for growth hackers who want to scale or repeat success. The process ensures the repetition of success.
Specific Growth Skillset
The specific growth marketing skills mostly focus on a specific channel (example: Email automation) or a specific type of growth experiment (example: side-project marketing) or a specific type of approach to growth. (example: viral mechanics).
You must deep dive into a few of these which you find your interest in. But first, you must try a little bit of everything to see what attracts you the most. As a growth marketer, you must learn the top 20% of all the rest of the skills in this list (and deep dive into a few). I call this lean skill development. See the complete list of specific skills you can develop here.
Sorry runners but this actually refers to the given period of time when the team works to execute a specific process; usually, growth experiment sprints last around 30-45 days.
The deep understanding that everything which happens is part of a system (a sequence of interrelated cause and effect events)
Refers to Breadth and Depth of knowledge. Growth hackers leverage each other’s core competency to run campaigns as a team accordingly to their individual skills and depths. Sometimes, the terms ‘Pi-shaped growth hacker’ and ‘E-shaped growth hacker’ are also used – don’t believe in it unless you’ve experimented though!
TOFU, MOFU & BOFU
Acronyms for Top-of-the-funnel, mid-funnel, and bottom-funnel. It’s better to use the A3R3 funnel as a growth marketer rather than these terms.
The initial lead phase at the mouth of the funnel
Momentum (referring to a growth experiment or a metric growth)
Triple Peak Effect
Describes the lifetime of any channel potentially used for growth hacking in 3 phases – Early Adopters (Hacks), Early Majority (Organic), Late Majority (Paid).
Unicorn Growth Hack
An exceptionally successful hack (Not to be confused with the financial unicorn).
A real person (hopefully) that we can funnel down in our growth marketing process
Detailed definitions of how your target audience looks.
Refers to “generating” links that can be tracked. UTM actually meansUrchin Traffic Monitor (but who cares?)
A pre-growth hacking process that relies on lean marketing strategies to test and validate an idea or product. Learn more about Validation Marketing here.
A statement that tells your potential customers exactly what benefit you are offering them.
Variant A / Variant B
The 2 variants that are being A/B tested to see which one performs better.
Tells you how many NEW people are brought into your product because of your EXISTING users. If 50 visitors to your product bring in 100 new visitors to your product, then your viral coefficient would be 2.
Engineering growth (virality) into the product itself; In-product growth hacking
That’s all for this article. The full list of growth marketing dictionary terms with video explanations is available in the growth marketing mastery course where I teach everything you need to know about your growth marketing journey.