If you want your print shop to be perceived as a marketing solutions provider, every employee who communicates directly with customers should understand the language of marketers. Keeping up with marketing vocabulary isn’t easy, because new buzzwords and acronyms crop up every year as technology continues to transform marketing.

When customers use buzzwords and technical terms we don’t understand, we are reluctant to admit we don’t know what they’re talking about. This communications gap can cost your shop opportunities to propose solutions that your customer will value.

Here are some acronyms your print shop customer service and sales team might need to know.


ABM (Account Based Marketing): The strategy involves identifying a specific list of businesses that would be a good match for your business. Once a marketer identifies and prioritizes a list of target accounts, they craft the different marketing channels and messages that will reach the influencers, champions, and decision-makers within that business. An ABM strategy can involve a mix of personalized online communications, direct-mail communications, promotional products, in-person sales conversations, and corporate events.  

ICP (Ideal Customer Profile):  This ABM-related term refers to the profile of the company as a whole, instead of specific decision-makers and influencers within the company. Some of the characteristics marketers use to create profiles of their ideal customers include: type of industry, number of employees, annual revenue, budget, and geographic locations. An ICP is different from a “buyer persona,” which describes the characteristics of individuals typically involved in the decision-making process.  

CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost): Sales and marketing efforts can be measured on how much it costs to close a sale to a new customer. Marketing teams analyze data to find the combination of marketing channels that will minimize customer acquisition costs.

CPL (Cost Per Lead): This term refers to the total cost of generating one qualified lead for the sales team to follow up with.

CPM (Cost per Thousand): The cost of getting a thousand views (“impressions”) of a digital or printed ad is used to compare different channels of advertising and marketing communications. (The “M” in the acronym is the Roman numeral for 1,000.)  

CTA (Call to Action): Every marketing piece in an integrated marketing campaign should encourage customers to take the next step in researching or purchasing a product. Typical calls to action include Shop Now, Download This White Paper, Follow Us on Twitter, Visit Our Website, or Call Us. The effectiveness of each element of a marketing campaign can be measured by how many people respond to the call to action.

DOOH (Digital-Out-of-Home): The acronym for “digital-out-of-home” refers to brand advertising and content that appears on indoor and outdoor electronic displays in public locations.

Out-of-home (OOH) advertising is designed to reach large groups of people as they leave home to work, shop, travel, or attend events. DOOH can include video walls, electronic billboards, and free-standing digital kiosks in airports, train stations, pedestrian thoroughfares, and office buildings. DOOH is replacing printed OOH advertising at some locations and is being used in conjunction with printed OOH graphics for applications such as advertising on buses, trains, light-rail systems and bus shelters.

AR/VR: (Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality): With augmented reality (AR), the consumer uses  a smartphone, tablets, or AR glasses to view information overlaid on objects in the real world. Virtual reality (VR) is an immersive experience in which consumers use an audio-visual headset to “experience” being in another setting. Marketers use AR and VR for different purposes.

For example, AR content can be triggered by codes in printed graphics. When consumers hold a smartphone up to a label or package on a store shelf, they can see video content related to that product. VR experiences could enable prospective students to “tour” a university campus in a faraway state or allow home buyers to virtually explore a property thousand of miles away.

UX (User-Experience) and CX (Customer Experience): A user-experience refers to how people interact with a company’s product and how successful that interaction is. The term UX typically refers to a customer’s interaction with a website. But it can also refer to printed products. For example, a user will get frustrated if a poorly designed package is too hard to open or if a trade-show booth is difficult to set-up.

CX is a broad term that describes the impression created by all of the customer’s interaction with a particular brand. While customer experience can be affected by bad experiences with a specific product, it also includes factors such as the ease of doing business with a company and the responsiveness of a customer service team. Marketers want solutions that deliver the best possible user experience with their products and contribute to the overall customer experience with the brand.

Keep Your Own Glossary
When your sales and customer-service employees understand the language of marketing, potential customers will feel more confident that your shop can help them find ways to achieve their goals, whether they are related to activities such as ABM or OOH advertising and the production of events and exhibits.

To make it easier for your team to communicate effectively with customers, start a company-wide glossary in Google Drive or another internal file-sharing system. Use these acronyms a starting point and encourage your staff to continue to add the industry-specific buzzwords and acronyms that customers in your market niches use.  
Schedule a demonstration of Ordant’s easy-to-use software for integrated print-shop management and web-to-print storefronts, and we will be happy to show you how estimating, order management and customer relationship management tools integrate with internal collaboration tools such as Google Drive and Slack. Visit www.ordant.com to set up a demonstration.