RBL Growth Glossary

Welcome! The goal of this document is to share with you in simple terms what some of the terms in performance marketing and growth mean so people can be better informed.

Growth FAQ

The definition of “Growth,” growth processes, and growth teams can be misunderstood.  

Below is a list of key terms within the Growth ecosystem that can help shed light on a critical piece of product management, marketing, and modern businesses.

This will aim to define and demystify a lot of the jargon and terminology in performance marketing.

A lot of this information is based on our experience with hundreds of clients, working in-house in tech, DTC Ecomm, agencies, publicly available data, and our close involvement and appreciation for the Reforge community. If you are working in marketing, growth, and product, Reforge is a must-have training for serious practitioners.

So many acronyms, and so little time!

A/B testing

The process of running a documented experiment to see which user experience delivers a better result than the other via a statistically significant test

Abandon Rate

Is the percentage that a customer leaves before completing an intended task. This is often used in reviewing the nu mber of users that leave a website prior to the completion of the purchase.


The process of acquiring customers for your business.


An affiliate is a partner that is signing up to the advertiser brand terms and conditions and promotes said brand product or service on a pay-per-performance basis.

Affiliate Marketing

Is a type of performance marketing and paid marketing that allows brands to structure payments to partners based on outcomes like leads, sales, and other value-based outcomes rather than just clicks, and eyeballs.


Algorithms act as an exact list of instructions that conduct specified actions step by step in either hardware- or software-based routines. When we talk about algorithms we often talk about Meta, Google, TikTok, MediaMath, TradDesk, Moloco, and other ad platform algorithms in determining based on a number of factors how and when to serve ads to the right person at the right time. the Facebook algorithm evaluates every post, ad, Story, and Reel. It scores content and then arranges it in descending, non-chronological order of interest for each individual user. This process happens every time a user refreshes their feed. For Meta Ads (Facebook & Instagram) we often look at factors like bidding, ad relevancy score, ad action rate, quality ranking, and engagement rate ranking conversion rate ranking are all factors for Meta Ads Algorithm specifically.


Is the process of discovering, interpreting, and communicating significant patterns in data. Analytics helps us gain insights and make meaningful recommendations and decisions from data.


Average Order Value This metric is widely used in both the Ecomm DTC space as well as the affiliate marketing community. The average dollar amount spent each time a customer places an order. This is a big contributor to payout for commission-based affiliate relationships and can have a big impact on a partner’s willingness to promote a particular brand. Similarly, this can have a big impact on paid media to ensure that value is derived from paid campaigns.


Average Revenue Per User Total Revenue during a specific period of time divided by the active users during that set period of time.


Refers to the target audience that the marketer is attempting to reach.

Baseline Metrics

Are time-lagged calculations (usually averages) that provide a basis for making comparisons of past performance to current performance. Baselines can also be forward-looking, such as establishing a goal and seeking to determine whether the trends show the likelihood of meeting that goal. Caution is recommended. As investors and digital marketers often say: “past performance does not always guarantee or clear indication of future results.”


Beacon marketing is when Bluetooth-powered beacons, interacting with an interface such as a mobile app, utilize a user's proximity to a specific (usually indoor) geographic point or their entrance or exit to a geofenced area to trigger a marketing message, typically in the form of a push notification or in-app message.


Is a process that involves measuring the performance of your business against a competitor in the same market. This will give you a better understanding of your business performance and potential. This needs to be used with caution and brands often get in trouble here as your use case can be quite different than your competitors. For example, their conversion. Brian Balfour has a great write up about how you need to be very careful with benchmarks and take them with a grain of salt!

Behavioral Targeting

Uses people's activities to determine which advertisements and messages will resonate most with them. It leverages behavioral data—like what people are or are not doing in your app, on your website, or with your campaigns—to trigger personalized marketing. Some types of behavioral targeting

1. Retargeting

Serve up an ad to someone who has been to your site

2. Predictive Targeting

Use Machine Learning algorithms to analyze data and predict the products that users might need or be interested in serving them more personalized ads.

3. Geographic Targeting

Serving up ads based on a user’s location

4. Psychographic Targeting

(e.g. values, lifestyle, problems, desires), allows you to serve users with meaningful, relevant, and moving content with the potential to convert. This can require purchasing or collection of psychographic data, via qualitative research e.g. surveys, interviews, or focus groups.


The process of placing a bid in a digital ad auction like Paid Search: Google, Paid Social: Meta, or Programmatic e.g. TradeDesk.


Cost of Acquiring a Customer. This is calculated by your costs divided by the number of customers acquired. CAC is often used as a measure of your performance and marketing efficiency.


Enacted on December 16, 2003, the CAN-SPAM Act is a law that sets the rules and regulations for all commercial emails. It gives users the right to opt out and unsubscribe from their email communications at any time. Non-compliance or violations result in heavy fines and penalties.


The term cap is often used to refer to a cap a media buyer is placing on the highest amount they are willing to bid for a click or impression. It can also refer to a cap on media spend/cost per day/time.


The California Privacy Rights Act of 2020, also known as Proposition 24, is a California ballot proposition that was approved by a majority of voters. It grants CA consumers the right to know how the personal information a business collects is used and shared. It also includes the right to delete personal information collected from them (with some exceptions).

Churn Rate

The number of customers that leave a product over time. Customer churn rate is the percentage of your customers or subscribers who cancel or don't renew their subscriptions during a given time period, such as a month or a year.

Completed Video/View

A user that has watched the entire video in an ad/video ad unit.

Contextual Advertising

Contextual advertising refers to the practice of placing ads on web pages based on the content of those pages. For example, this could be ads for running shoes on a news article about running, or it could be ads for laptops on a tech E-commerce site.


A measured action is usually in the form of a lead for submission but it is more often a converted sale or revenue-based event. Google Analytics defines it as a conversion a user action that you count because you consider it important, such as a purchase, game level completion, or website or app scroll activity.

Contribution Margin

Contribution margin is a measure of the amount of revenue left over after subtracting the variable costs associated with producing a product or service. This measure is used to determine how much each sale contributes to covering fixed costs and ultimately to the profit of the business.