Industry Insights

The 2020 Digital Marketing Glossary

Your ultimate guide to the most used marketing terms from A to Z

Accutics
October 11 · 14 min read

The ever-changing digital ecosystem can be confusing. Here's our guide to the most common and most commonly misunderstood digital marketing terms every marketer needs to know to stay ahead of the curve.

A

A/B Testing

If you want to improve your marketing efforts, A/B testing may come in handy. This is the process of comparing two variations of the same variable to find out which one performs best The variations can be change in copy, call-to-actions, landing pages, etc.

Above the Fold

In website terms, 'above the fold' is the type of content that a website visitor sees before scrolling down on a specific page It's useful being aware of this type of content when you are creating landing pages for inbound marketing. A call-to-action that first pops up after a lot of scrolling may decrease the efficiency of your campaigns.

Ad Servers

Isn’t it nice to have someone who does the job for you? Yes, it is, and that’s why ad servers exist! Ad servers are automated servers that help you request, bid on, and place your ads on websites, as well as monitor the progress of each campaign. For advertisers handling billions of data per day, ad servers make it easy to select the ads with the most potential and place them on appropriate websites.

Affiliate Marketing

This is a type of performance-based marketing where a brand rewards affiliate partners for each website visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own advertising efforts. Affiliates typically receive discounts or payments based on the number of visitors or customers they bring.

API (Application Program Interface)

An API is a way of getting specific information from other applications or websites, which you can use for a variety of different needs. It is similar to a set of tools used for building a software application. The better the tools, the easier it is to make a good product. In the case of an API, the better the API, the easier it is to develop a program.

B

Behavioral Targeting

Is serving tailored advertising to audiences by utilizing their previous web browsing behavior in order to drive more engagement.

Bottom of the Funnel

Bottom of the funnel is the last stage in the buying process when your prospects are close to becoming new customers. Messages at this stage usually include a product offer, a product demo, a free consultation, etc.

Bounce Rate

It often happens that you click on a random link and you end up on a website that you are not interested in anyway. Even though you immediately leave that website, your visit still counts in website analytics. Congratulations, you have just contributed to the bounce rate of that website! In other words, bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that have landed on your website but have not stayed long enough or clicked on other pages.

C

Churn Rate

This is the metric that comes in handy when you want to find out how many customers your business retains and at what value. To find out your churn rate, divide the number of customers you lose within a specific timeframe to the total number you had at the beginning of that period.

Closed-Loop Marketing

If your goal is figuring out how your inbound marketing drives quantifiable business growth, you might want to take a look at this one. The practice means being able to execute and tie in marketing efforts to bottom-line impact.

Cloud Computing

If you do not have space or resources to build your own computing infrastructure, then cloud computing is for you! It allows its users to store, manage, and transfer data using host servers. There are several types of clouds with different purpose and benefits. 

CMP (Cloud Management Platform)

CMP is a group of products that can be used to manage and monitor cloud computing resources either in private, public, or multi-cloud models.

Conversion Path

This is defined as a series of actions by which an anonymous website visitor becomes a known lead. Typical steps in your conversion path may be a call-to-action, a lead capturing form,a thank you page, etc.

Cookie

As much as we wish this were a real sweet treat in the internet terminology, a cookie is a unique value stored on your browser (in the form of a small file cookie.txt) assigned by websites you visit. The purpose of a cookie is to keep track of where the user is and help create customized web pages or save login info. Find out more about the effect of Safari's ITP 2.1 on cookies and how to eliminate its impact.

CPA (Cost Per Acquisition)

In advertising, CPA (short for 'Cost Per Acquisition' or 'Cost Per Action')  measures the cost that you are willing to pay to get a goal conversion. It is similar to CPC (Cost Per Click) and CPM (Cost Per Mile).

CPM (Cost Per Mille) / CPT (Cost Per Thousand)

When your ad loads and displays for a user, it counts as one impression. Cost Per Mille (CPM), also called Cost Per Thousand (CPT), is used for a thousand impressions on one website. It is similar to CPC (Cost Per Click) and CPA (Cost Per Action).

CR (Conversion Rate)

The percentage rate gathering the online audiences that followed and completed the campaign action that you wanted. (e.g: signing up to your service or mailing list or buying your product). A good CR means that your marketing game is strong! Find out how to optimize CR from Moz.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

CRM is the approach of managing and analyzing your brand’s relationship with potential and existing customers. Digital marketers usually use a CRM system to support this strategy - to streamline processes and increase profitability.

CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization)

CRO is short for Conversion Rate Optimization. If your conversion rate is not impressive, then it is time to take action and employ conversion rate optimization methods. Because good CR is synonymous with a high number of conversions that in turn, reflects a good website and SoMe performance. CRO consists of numerous techniques, and testing methods -  check out this illustrative CRO guide to dive into some of them.

CTA (Call To Action)

When it comes to online advertising, a good choice of words and a persuasive CTA are essential. A CTA is a message that appeals to potential customers, and it is often the last push to drive a specific action such as buying a product, subscribing to a newsletter, etc.

CTR (Click-Through Rate)

Have you ever wondered about how many people actually see your ads and how many click them? A CTR shows you that. CTR is simply the percentage of people that saw your ad and felt compelled enough to click it. You can count your CTR score as follows by dividing the total number of Clicks to the total number of Impressions.

D

DAM (Digital Asset Management)

When you’re handling many digital files on a daily basis, DAM may come in handy. This process helps you store and categorize your digital assets easier, so thar you can access them at any time from one place.

Data Visualization

This is the process of visually representing specific information to make it easier to understand. Dashboards and infographics are common examples of visualizations.

DoubleClick

DoubleClick is a subsidiary of Google which develops and provides Internet ad serving services. Its clients include agencies, marketers, and publishers who serve businesses such as Microsoft, General Motors, Coca-Cola, L'Oréal, Apple, Visa, Nike, Carlsberg, and many others. At the beginning of 2018, Google announced the merge of DoubleClick and Google Analytics 360 Suite into a new Google Marketing Platform and Google Ad Manager.

Drip Nurturing

Is a lead nurturing method that uses automated tailored content & triggers that are ‘dripped’ at a specific time with the goal of driving a desired action (e.g: a sale). Drip campaigns or drip emails are usually used here.

Dynamic Content

Dynamic content is the process of displaying different messaging on your website or in your online advertising (e.g. Facebook’s Dynamic Ads) based on information you have or your enriching about your target audience.

E

Engagement Rate

This is a valuable metric used to describe the amount of social media interaction a post, ad, or campaign has. This is usually measured based on interactions like Comments, Shares, and Like.

Event Tracking

If you want to track beyond revenue and conversion metrics, keep an eye on Event Tracking. This is a method for analytics and social (e.g. using Facebook’s pixel) that helps you track your customers’ journey every step of the way by analyzing certain behaviors like form fills, cart additions, or newsletter sign-ups.

Evergreen Content

This is the type of content that is always relevant to your audiences, no matter when they read it. Compared to time-sensitive content such as seasonal articles or campaigns, evergreen content continues to provide value way beyond its release date

F

Friction Element

A friction describes any type of element that causes your website visitors or campaign to stop taking a desired action. On a website, a friction can be a distracting color, a confusing message, etc.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

FTP or File Transfer Protocol is a network protocol standardized to make transferring of computer files between a client and a server easier.

G

Geo Targeting

Geo Targeting is an effective way for increasing conversions where content is delivered to audiences based on their geographic locations. It’s effectively used in paid search or social campaign. The location can be a country, state, city and more.

Google AdWords

Google AdWords is an online advertising service made by Google where customers can create and manage ads within the Google universe (on Google Search, Display, YouTube, etc.). If you want to advertise your service or product through AdWords, check out this handy guide from Neil Patel.

Google Analytics

Even if you are entirely new to the digital marketing world, you have most likely heard about Google Analytics already. This analytics service is provided by Google, and it helps you track, analyze, and measure all types of revenues and costs of your website, advertising campaigns, videos, social channels, etc.

H

Hard Bounce

In email marketing, hard bounces are simply emails that were not delivered. This can happen for different reasons: the recipient email address could be wrong or inactive, the recipient might have blocked you or reported your emails as spam etc.

I

Interactive Content

Interactive content is the type of online content that engages audiences in a certain activity. In return, participants get real-type and relevant results. Think of a survey tool or an interactive infographic that captures your attention right from the start.

K

KPI (Key Performance Indicator)

A KPI is a type of performance measurement used to demonstrate how effectively a marketing project, company, or employee is achieving key business objectives. Common KPIs are cost reduction, revenue improvement, or increased customer satisfaction.

L

Lead Generation

In marketing and sales, lead generation is the process of attracting and converting new potential customers in order to drive future sales. For many companies, this is a crucial stage of their sales and marketing strategy

Lead Nurturing

Lead nurturing is a process used in inbound marketing for pushi g leads further in the buying lifecycle by targeting them with contextually-relevant content. This can be done through different channels like email or social media

Lifecycle (Customer Lifecycle)

These are stages used to define the relationship that you have with your potential or existing customers. Common lifecycle stages are Awareness, Evaluation, Purchase, and Retention.

Lookalike Audience

A lookalike audience is a type of custom audience used in social media targeting - popularized by Facebook and LinkedIn. It helps you target audiences with similar characteristics to existing ones. Here’s an example: let’s say you have many people visiting your website. With a Lookalike Audience, you could easily advertise to people similar to your visitors.

LTV (Lifetime Value)

LTV is a useful metric that helps you find out what customer groups are valuable to your business and what total worth they bring during their lifetime. Differently said, it shows the total revenue your business can expect from every single customer.

M

Marketing Automation

Do you want to make your life as a marketer easier by managing and automating all your marketing processes across channels? You’re in luck! This is precisely what marketing automation does.

Martech (Marketing Technology)

Simply put, Martech is a term used to describe the overlap between marketing and technology. Software suites & tech tools used by marketers to drive more marketing impact usually fall under the martech umbrella.

MVP (Minimum Viable Product)

A minimum viable product is a term mostly used in sofware to describe the most basic version of a product that can carry out its desired function.

N

Native Advertising

Native advertising is a popular type of social media advertising where an ad follows the form, function, and feel of the content of the media where it’s placed. Native ads are currently considered more effective in terms of engagement, as they enable marketers to target audiences with content that closely matches their experience.

NPS (Net Promoter Score)

If you’re conducting customer surveys and you’re interested in customer satisfaction, NPS is a handy metric. It helps you find out how likely a customer would be to recommend, on a scale of 0-10, your product, service or company to somebody else.

O

Omnichannel Marketing

Omnichannel Marketing is a cross-channel marketing strategy that focuses on delivering unified experiences - regardless of the touchpoints or devices your customers are using.

Open Rate

Open rate is used in relation to email marketing. Simply put, it’s the value that shows you many recipients have opened your email. Open Rate should not be confused with Total Opens. The latter shows you many times your email has been opened by everyone. This can be done by the same users who have chosen to open your email multiple times.

P

Page Views

Page Views represent all the visitors of your website. Each reload of the webpage by the same visitor counts as a new page view.

Personalization

In the context of marketing, personalization is a popular practice that enables you to tailor user experiences by delivering personalized content to specific users based on behavior and context. This technology typically uses advanced machine learning and automation processes.

Position 0

Position Zero is used in search engine optimization to describe the featured (and desired) snippet of text that shows up in search right before the search results.

Q

QR Code

A QR Code or Quick Response Code is a scannable barcode used to encode data such as text or an URL.

Qualified Lead

In digital marketing, a Qualified Lead is a term used to describe a lead that has shown interest in your brand and is likely to become a new customer based on a specific set of qualification criteria. This can be anything from a guide they have downloaded or a service they have signed up to.

R

Referral Marketing

Referral marketing is the process of promoting products or services to new customers through referrals or recommendations. Compared to traditional online advertising, it’s usually done through word of mouth.

Remarketing

Remarketing is an effective way to reconnect with your website visitors who haven’t achieved a desired action like signing up for a service or buying a product. It enables marketers to target them with new ads that will make them more likely to convert .

ROAS (Return On Advertisement Spending)

After you start using AdWords, you want to see if your advertising is making an impact. This is when you check your ROAS - a calculation of the results (purchases, downloads, page views, etc.) divided by the budget spent on advertising. Contrary to ROI (Return On Investment), ROAS is only operating with the money spent on advertising, cutting down all the other costs in the investment (marketers’ salaries, etc.).

ROI (Return On Investment)

When you put your money and effort into something, you probably want to know what results it's driving. ROI measures the performance and the efficiency of your investment compared with other investments. ROI is calculated by dividing total revenue by the total cost of investments. In digital marketing, ROI is often substituted for ROAS.

RPC (Revenue Per Click)

You can calculate your RPC like this: Goal Value x Conversion Rate. Voilà, now you know whether your ad (or keyword) is profitable or not!

S

SaaS (Software as a Service)

Google, Dropbox, Salesforce, MailChimp, Shopify - what do they have in common? They are all providing systems as a service. That means that they provide a third-party software solution that hosts a platform for the application and software and makes them readily available to their clients. It is beneficial for companies in the sense that they don’t have to invest in new hardware and software, they can use a third-party solution by paying a subscription fee.

SAINT (Site Catalyst Attribute Import Naming Tool)

Classifications (SAINT) are one of the enduring features of Site Catalyst (Adobe Analytics). In general, classifications (both utm_id and SAINT) are making marketers’ lives easier. SAINT allows users (advertisers) to upload customized metadata within the Site Catalyst, analyze, and process them. By classifying the data, you are attributing them specific characteristics and creating a relationship between a variable (campaign’s source, medium, keyword, etc.) and all the metadata related to it. In other words, the campaign link that is classified can be used to measure all the variables through one link because the analytical tool (Site Catalyst) recognizes the classification and knows what is going on. Without classification, you have to create specific campaign links to measure all the variables separately and manually, which takes time and energy.

SEA (Search Engine Advertising)

Are you longing for that top result in most search engines? You can improve your SEO by paying for it. SEA means that you are buying the top spots in a search engine’s result page. However, your link will have the little “Ad” button or other indication that it is a paid link.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

Have you noticed the little yellow boxes that say “ad” next to the top links in a search query? That’s search engine marketing! Because most users select the first options that are shown in search results, businesses pay to get their website linked at the top hoping that people will click their link. This is done through AdWords for Google search results. Other search engines (Bing, Yahoo, etc.) have similar tools.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Do you want to increase organic growth and visibility on the internet? Then you have to polish your SEO game. Through technical (e.g., a correctly structured website that a search engine understands) and creative (using the right keywords, optimized headlines etc.) aspects, well-made SEO improves your chances of appearing among the first results in a search query on Google or other search engines.

Shoppable Posts

If you’re an Ecommerce business and using Instagram, you’ll love Shoppable Posts. They enable you to turn your account into visual stores with the help of product tags. You can add them to your images and link them to your webshop.

Site Catalyst

Formerly known as Omniture, Site Catalyst is an analytical tool that has been part of the Adobe platform since 2009. It allows marketers to measure and analyze data from multiple marketing channels.

Soft Bounce

A Soft Bounce is a term used in email marketing to notify a sender that their email was delivered to the recipient(s), but ‘soft bounced’ back. Common reasons are a full inbox, a heavy email. or an email server that is temporarily down.

T

TOFU (Top of the Funnel)

Nope, this is not the vegan soy-based product. In marketing, TOFU stands for the first stage of the buying funnel. At this point - also called the awareness point, your target audiences are typically wide and have challenges that you can help them solve through helpful content such as guides or best practices. Your messaging has very little to do with the product or service that you are selling.

U

URL (Uniform Resource Locator)

URLs are what we use in the address bar of our browser to tell our browser where to get the information we want (like a specific website). URLs most commonly appear in the form of HTTP or HTTPS protocols, for example, ‘https://accutics.com/’

utm_id

A utm_id is a classification campaign code used for Google Analytics. Classifications make the lives of marketers easier, as it enables them to track their campaign URLs in their analytics platforms.

UTM Parameters

UTM parameters are simply tags that you add to a URL. When someone clicks on a URL with UTM parameters, those tags are sent back to your Google Analytics for tracking purposes. The most common parameters are medium, source, campaign, term, content. However, parameters are versatile and can be customized according to what you want to track. The biggest disadvantage of UTM parameters is the sensitivity towards an ununified system of definition (aka marketers using their own terms, lower- and upper-case letters, special symbols etc.) that might cause data fragmentation.

UV (Unique Visitor)

Unique Visitor stands for a visitor that returns to your website repeatedly in a set period. Contrary to Page View, UV is tied to one visitor, so even if they visit a website ten times (which results in ten page views), the UV still counts as one.

V

Viral Content

Do you remember those funny YouTube videos with tons of views and shares? These are usually described as viral content. In other words, viral content is content that gets really popular really fast - usually by having viewers/ visitors sharing it to others soon after publishing.

Voice Search

Voice search is an increasingly popular technology that allows users to search the web, a website or an app using a voice command.

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