Marketing Acronyms Guide


Marketing Acronyms and What They Mean

Acronyms are helpful when trying to easily communicate longer phrases, like asap or radar. Radar is much easier to use and remember than radio detection and ranging. Sometimes, we can use acronyms so often that we no longer remember what phrase they are used to shorten. Just like many of you did not even realize radar was an acronym until you read this first paragraph!

Marketing is no different when it comes to acronyms and often times they can be difficult to understand unless you have years of experience. Use our helpful guide below to better understand the most commonly used acronyms in digital marketing.


Search Engine Optimization. This is commonly used when talking about google search and where your business ranks when someone searches for a business or service like yours. The better your SEO the higher you will rank on those search results.


Search Engine Marketing. SEM is the process of using paid search to show up higher on search engines. Using keyword analysis, you can better understand what people are searching for when looking for a business like yours, and then use things like Google Ads to bid on those search terms.


Pay Per Click. PPC relates directly to SEM, essentially it is any digital ad in which you pay for someone to click on the ad. Some ads can be paid for by how many times they are seen, but these are ads where you pay to drive clicks to your website. A good example of PPC is Google Search Ads


Search Engine Results Page. SERPs are the pages of search results when an individual searches for something on a search engine.


Over The Top. TV streaming ads, or Over the Top of traditional network providers. These are the ads you will see at the start of youtube videos or while watching a show on a streaming service like Hulu.


Online Reputation Management. ORM is how you manage the way the public perceives your business online. Think of it like digital word of mouth. What are people saying about your business on sites like Yelp or on your Google Business Profile? How you manage that perception is ORM.


Google Ads or Google Analytics. These are the advertisements you can purchase on Google Search to rank higher in search results or through the Google Ad network with display ads. Google Analytics is a free platform that will allow you to understand what is happening with the traffic on your website.


Key Performance Indicator. A KPI is a metric that determines if your business will hit an overall goal. For example, if your goal is to increase your revenue, one KPI you should be tracking is the number of customers.


Month over Month. MOM typically refers to either revenue on a month-to-month basis or customer analytics, like click-through rates or purchases.


Year over year. Similar to MOM, just comparing 12-month periods to other 12-month periods.


Call to Action. The call to action has been around since the dawn of marketing. This could be a phone number to call at the end of an ad, a website to go to, or a QR code to scan. The goal of a CTA is to get a customer to do something, or perform an action, to get into your system after viewing an ad.


Marketing Qualified Lead. An MQL is typically someone who meets your qualifications to become a customer. They have not yet raised their hand to talk to sales, this is someone that your marketing team should be nurturing to become a sales-qualified lead.


Sales Qualified Lead. A SQL is someone who meets your requirements of a potential customer and has raised their hand to talk to the sales team. For example, they have filled out a form from a “contact us” page on your website. This is when leads are passed from the marketing team to the sales team.


Click-Through Rate. A CTR is the percentage of users that read your ad and then decide to click through to the next step in the journey to becoming a paying customer. An example would be the percentage of people that not only opened the email you sent, but clicked on the ad to sign up for an event, or take advantage of a special you are offering.


Cost Per Lead. CPL is how much it costs you to generate a lead on an ad. Let’s say you spent $1000 on a new ad that generated 40 leads. You divide the total spend by the number of leads to get your CPL, which in this case is $25.


Cost Per Acquisition. Using the above example we can then calculate the cost per acquisition. Let’s say of those 40 leads, only 10 became customers. So, we would divide the total ad spend, $1,000, by the number of acquisitions, 10, to generate our CPA, which in this case is $100. Some people may also refer to this as cost per customer.


Return on Investment. This is a straightforward term to help you measure if your expenditures on certain campaigns are generating the income that justifies the expense. The calculation for ROI is subtracting what you spent from gross revenue generated from that spend, then dividing this new number by your spend, and, finally, multiplying it by 100.


Conversion Rate Optimization. CRO is the process in which you design your website to better convert potential customers to paying customers. A website’s conversion rate is typically the number of website leads you have gotten divided by how many visitors have come to your website in the same time period. The higher your conversion rate, the more leads you are converting.


Content Optimization System. Essentially, this is a software that helps you build a personalized experience for customers that visit your website by optimizing the content found on the site.


Customer Relationship Management. A CRM helps you manage your relationships with your customers. It can help you build workflows, like marketing campaigns, analyze the data from those campaigns, and test different approaches based on that analysis. A CRM is where you can keep all the information on your leads in one place. It is typically a business’ single source of truth when it comes to leads.


Direct Mailer or Direct Messaging. This is exactly as it sounds, a message sent directly to a consumer by personal message. An email, Facebook message, or another social media inbox would be a DM. Also - a direct mailer is that pesky postcard you sometimes get in the mail from your favorite car dealership.


Public Relations. PR has been around as long as the written word; how you get people to perceive you and your business is PR.

QR Code

Quick Response Barcode. A QR code is a great way to allow users to access digital content from their smartphones. QR codes are easy to create and can link directly to anything you have online.


Social Media Marketing. This is another no-brainer, but SMM revolves around your business’ presence on social media and how you are using that presence to market your business. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tik Tok are the spaces this will primarily be focused on.


Social Media Ambassador. This is someone that you use to create content for your business's social media channels. They might create content you use in your own organic posts, or you repost their own content on your social media platforms.


ReTweet. An RT is the reposting of someone else’s content on a social media platform. An actual tweet comes from Twitter specifically, but it is commonly used across other social media platforms.


User Interface. This simply references the platform a consumer uses to complete any actions to go through the experience you want them to.


User Experience. This refers to the user's actual experience in using a platform, not the appearance of the platform itself.


Uniform Resource Locator. A URL is your web address for your business.


Business to Business. This describes a business model where your business sells a product or service to another business, not directly to an individual consumer.


Business to Customer. This is a business model where your business sells directly to a consumer, not another business.


Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart. Certainly the longest, but also one of the most recognizable acronyms, CAPTCHA is used to filter out bots from actual human users.


Domain Authority. Domain authority is a scale of 1-100 that measures the authority of a domain in the eyes of a search engine. Essentially, the higher your domain authority, the more likely your site is to show up at the top of a search result page.


Internet Service Provider. An ISP is whoever you use to access the internet. AT&T and Spectrum would be examples of ISPs.


Name, Address, Phone Number. This is the basic information of your business that would be on any business listings, like Google or Yelp, or website.

Brice Spires


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