The marketing industry has tons of acronyms. CPC, PPC, SEO, SEM . . . and the list could go on and on. The funny thing is, many know what the letters stand for, but most are not sure what the terms mean.
Whether you have a niche marketing role (e.g. copywriter or designer), or you’re just getting your feet wet in the industry, you may feel that way. If that’s the case, no worries! This post is dedicated to explaining ten key marketing acronyms in a simple, straightforward way.
Our List of Popular Marketing Acronyms
CMS: Content Management System
- A Content Management System is a web application such as WordPress that allows non-developers to create, edit, and manage a static website.
COS: Content Optimization System
- A Content Optimization System is the dynamic version of a CMS. A good example is HubSpot. The system works to optimize every part of a website in order to produce the most personalized web experience possible for customers.
What’s the difference between a CMS and a COS?
Content Management Systems only manage content. Every user sees the same copy even if it’s not relevant to them.
A Content Optimization System, on the other hand, works to get the right message to the right person by showing only pertinent information based on the individual’s past and present activity.
CPC: Cost Per Click
- Cost Per Click refers to the actual price you pay for each click in your Pay Per Click marketing campaigns. In other words, it’s the price for every interaction your ad earns.
PPC: Pay Per Click
- Pay Per Click is a way of using search engine or social media advertising to generate clicks to your website. Most often it’s a sponsored ad at the top of Google’s search results page (i.e. Google AdWords). Essentially, it’s a way of buying visits to your site.
CTR: Click Through Rate
- Click Through Rate, expressed as a percentage, is the number of clicks that your online ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown and can be used to gauge how well your keywords and ads are performing.
CRM: Customer Relationship Management
- Customer Relationship Management most often refers to a system or software program that allows companies to keep track of everything they do with their existing and potential customers. It includes, but is not limited to, tracking emails, phone calls, and deals or opportunities.
KPI: Key Performance Indicator
- Key Performance Indicators are a type of performance measurement that companies use to evaluate success. Marketers use KPIs to track progress toward marketing goals. Examples include leads generated, website views, etc.
SaaS: Software As A Service
- Software as a service is any software that is licensed on a subscription basis and hosted by third party company which stores your information in the cloud. Examples include HubSpot, Dropbox, and SalesForce.
SEM: Search Engine Marketing
- Search Engine Marketing was once used as an umbrella term to encompass both free and paid search activities. Over time, the industry has adopted the SEM acronym to refer solely to the process of gaining website traffic by purchasing ads on search engines.
SEO: Search Engine Optimization
- Search Engine Optimization is earning visibility through organic (non-paid) search engine results. It uses technical and creative elements to improve rankings, drive traffic, and increase awareness.
NOTE: SEM is the buying of traffic through paid search listings; SEO is the earning of traffic through unpaid or free listings.
SERPs, or Search Engine Results Pages, are web pages served to users when they search for something online using a search engine like Google.
While there are many more marketing acronyms, this list is a great starting place. As more new terms pop up, jot them down, then look up the definition later. Keep them together on a list. The best way to grasp new things is to ask questions and find answers!