Digital Marketing Acronyms Defined

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Do you know the meaning of CRM? How about CMS or COS? The digital marketing industry loves its acronyms. But one thing that I have found over and over again is that many people need help figuring out the meaning behind some basic terms. In the video below, I explain the meaning of today’s most popular digital marketing acronyms.

Video Transcript 

One of the things that the digital marketing industry loves is acronyms. The problem is a lot of people have no idea what any of these things mean. We will break down some of the most common marketing abbreviations to give you better insight into what they mean. 


The first one we will look at is CMS, which stands for content management system. A content management system is what it sounds like. It’s a system that manages your content, like WordPress. You put in blog posts and website pages and can access and manage your content without messing with any website code.


Customer acquisition cost (CAC) is a key metric that businesses use to calculate the expenses incurred in acquiring customers and evaluate the profitability and efficiency of their sales.


COS stands for content optimization system, which is slightly different from a CMS. A content optimization system is a bit bigger. It works to personalize your content. It also stretches into email and social media marketing and some other activities you might need to do. HubSpot’s marketing software platform is a COS, where you can access several different pieces of content with different purposes.


Cost per acquisition (CPA) is an essential metric used in marketing to determine the expense of acquiring new customers through a specific campaign or channel. Unlike the cost per customer (CAC), CPA measures the cost incurred to convert leads into paying customers. It provides insights into how efficiently a marketing strategy converts potential prospects into actual customers.


CPC, cost-per-click, relates to the advertising industry online and is what you would pay per click. When you’re buying an AdWord, it says something like 2.50 CPC. That means whenever somebody clicks on that ad, it will cost you $2.50. CPC is one PPC metric that helps measure user engagement when tracking the effectiveness of ads.


CRM stands for customer relationship management. It’s software that you load your customers into, including their names, addresses, and phone numbers, and you’d be able to track them, their behavior, and how often you’ve been engaging with them. It allows your whole team to be on the same page to know who has talked to whom, when, and what they’ve talked about.


CRO stands for conversion rate optimization. Again, this is what it sounds like. Conversion rate optimization is about optimizing a site, specific content, or a marketing campaign for conversion. You would usually use CRO software that would allow you to do A/B testing or multivariate testing, where you would have different options to show people and find out which one will help you drive conversions the best.


Next is CTA, call-to-action. Now, a call-to-action could be a link, a button, or a phone number. It could be a type of content that a potential customer downloads by giving you an email address. A call-to-action is a content marketing strategy that asks your website viewers to take the next step in their buyer journey.


KPI stands for key performance indicator. We use or track these to see whether our business is headed in the right direction. KPIs are typically associated with analytics or business intelligence. We need to track the five to seven key performance indicators or key metrics to help us know whether our business or department is headed in the right direction.


PPC stands for pay-per-click. Now, we talked about cost-per-click, which would fall under PPC. It’s the type of advertising you would find on Google, other search engines, and social platforms where you’re paying every time somebody takes an action on the ad that you’re delivering or that you’re paying to show to people. PPC is pay-per-click.


RSS stands for really simple syndication. RSS is your blog syndication. It’s in an XML file that will decode or code your blog content so you can send it to many sites. People can subscribe and get the blog through an email. 

Basically, it takes all of your content and smashes it down into a smaller file, and then you can send it to several different locations quickly and easily. That’s why it’s really simple syndication. The funny part is that the explanation didn’t seem really simple, but RSS is a process of getting a lot of content out very quickly.


The next is SEO, search engine optimization. SEO is all the work that goes into helping your site rank organically through the links that appear in search (not ads on Google, Bing, or other search engines). SEO markets to search engines and their users to show up for a specific search query.


SEM is search engine marketing. Now, this is marketing yourself on a search engine through ads. Search engine marketing covers all types of display ads, pay-per-click (PPC) ads, and the number of different ad revenue or channels you can use in a search engine, including YouTube and video ads.


The search engine results page, or SERP, is the gateway to online information. The page appears when a user enters a search query into a search engine. This page displays various results related to the search term or phrase, including organic search results, paid search results, and other relevant information such as news articles or featured snippets.


SMM is social media marketing. SMM begins with developing a social media campaign that considers brand and style guidelines and ensures each post speaks to your target audience.


The user interface (UI) describes the interaction between humans and computers using a device. It encompasses components like display screens, keyboards, mice, and desktop appearance. Additionally, it facilitates the interaction between users and applications or websites.


User experience (UX) or customer experience is a crucial aspect of any brand or business in the digital age. It encompasses every customer interaction with your brand through an app interface, website, or even physical products such as retail stores. A smooth user experience is essential for creating positive impressions and building customer trust. When users are met with a functional app interface or an intuitive website, it enhances their overall satisfaction. It makes it easier for them to access the products and services they need.

As you can see, many of these acronyms look complicated. When you spell them out, they may seem complex, but these are simple everyday tactics that most digital marketers engage with. If this list of marketing acronyms is incomplete or you’ve got a question about another one, please contact us! We would love to continue this conversation with you online. Until next time, happy marketing.

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