Marketing Buzzwords and Acronyms: The Lowdown

7 September 2017

Looking to embark on some SEM? Want to improve your ROI by reducing your CPC? Or how about jumping the SERP queue by investing in PPC?

The business, marketing and sales landscapes are peppered with acronyms, and they’re often thrown around the office in the assumption that everyone understands them.

Luckily, we’ve put together a breakdown of the most commonly used marketing and sales buzzwords and acronyms for you.

CPA (Cost Per Action/Acquisition)

Relating to CPC (below), CPA is determined by how much was spent to drive an action from your advert. The action will vary depending on the nature of your campaign and could be anything from an enquiry to a download or a sale. Your CPAs will depend on how much each action/acquisition is worth to your business across the lifetime of the consumer.

CPC (Cost Per Click)

This is directly related to PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising and stipulates the amount you are charged every time a user clicks on an advert. This is often established on a bidding basis and determined by a range of factors that impact the relevancy of your advert, your website and your competitors. The CPC is calculated by dividing the amount spent by the number of clicks on your advert.

CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions)

This term is used to represent the cost of 1,000 impressions on a paid advertisement. For example, an advertiser will pay £3 for every 1,000 impressions.

The success of a campaign is determined by its click-through rate, which is then compared to the number of impressions.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

This refers to how you manage your company’s current and potential customer base. A business CRM is often a piece of software that encompasses all key elements of customer interactions, from sales leads and canvassing through to invoicing and quotes.

CRM software can vary greatly – from simple, free and self-contained programs like the CaptureHub CRM, to highly intricate and complex systems that require full-time maintenance. Your CRM needs will very much depend on the size and nature of your company and the level of engagement you have with your customer base.

CTA (Call to Action)

Calls to action drive a desired action or response. A call to action informs your user of the next step they should be taking. These are often buttons with links to the desired action and can be tracked using Google Analytics to gauge the efficacy of the content.

GA (Google Analytics)

Google Analytics is a tracking and data collection platform that gathers and collates information about visitors to your website.

The features and capabilities of GA are vast, however, for small business owners, there are certain insights and top-level reports that can provide crucial information about the performance of your website. Google Analytics works by installing a unique tracking code just before the closing </head> tag on each page of your website.

KPI (Key Performance Indicators)

KIPs are measurable values that you decide on that best represent the overall progress and status of the business. These could be a number of converted sales leads, sign-ups, new visitors to your store or returning traffic to your website (as examples). They must be numeric values that can be tracked and counted.

KPIs are used to set clear and measurable targets. Record KPIs and compare the results to different variables to establish why particular targets have or have not been met. Your goals and targets can be adjusted accordingly. 

PPC (Pay-Per-Click)

This is a costing model for paid traffic to your website. With pay-per-click advertising, you’re only charged each time an advert triggers a click from a potential customer.

PPC advertising is often priced on a bidding basis and is used across search engines, social media platforms, and websites who determine the price of each click (CPC).

The complex nature of bid strategy, ranking, scoring and subsequent pricing can mean that employing a PPC agency to handle your search advertising can prove a worthy investment.

ROMI (Return on Marketing Investment)

In simplest terms, ROI (or ROMI) is a metric that determines the monetary impact a marketing campaign expenditure has had. This term can be adapted to fit your business marketing requirements and can be applied at the campaign level, channel level or across your entire marketing strategy.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

SEM once referred to both search engine optimisation and paid search listings, though now it’s mostly for the latter. Terms for SEM include PPC, CPC and CPM.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and is the process of improving a website’s visibility and presence on search engines. It refers to how a page sits organically in the search engine results page, not to any paid search advertising.

The range of technical and content-based strategies to improve a website’s SEO can be time-consuming. This is why many businesses outsource their SEO for quick and reliable results.

SERP (Search Engine Results Page)

‘Top of the SERP’ is the Holy Grail for most digital marketers, and featuring on page one of a Google search is imperative. There are two ways to appear in a SERP. One is for your website to appear organically. This is often as a result of a long-term SEO strategy (depending on the competition and search term) implemented by the business. The other way is to pay to appear in the Ad section. 


SOSTAC is a tool for marketing and business planning and stands for Situation Analysis, Objectives, Strategy, Tactics, Action, and Control. It caters to all business sizes and is one of the most popular marketing tools available.

UX (User Experience)

This is how your customer or user experiences your website. The term UX is used to reference to digital journeys, such as the site layout and structure.

To provide an optimum user experience, you understand exactly what your customers’ needs are. Consider how they will interact with your product, how your service or product matches their core values and their limitations.

Using your Google Analytics website data will let you see which areas of the site are delivering a desirable experience. Map out their journey through your site pages.

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