Digital Marketing Acronyms Galore

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Shona

I must admit, I was inspired to create this blog post after reading this article on Mashable. I wouldn’t mind at all if you read that piece first, and then come back to mine (it is that good). But I personally feel alienated whenever I see marketing professionals using acronyms left and right. I even saw a LinkedIn profile that was chock-full of them (I’ll be nice…and not link it). Maybe it is just me, but I find these acronyms to be kind of elitist in that you assume everyone knows (or should know) what you are talking about when in fact, they have no clue.

So here’s my shortlist of 5 acronyms that come up in the world of digital marketing (there is a tiny bit of overlap between my list and Mashable’s by the way):

  1. KPI“Key Performance Indicators”. This acronym is frustrating because KPIs can vary from application to application and even from marketer to marketer. Sure you can use someone else’s KPIs (they are eager to share them…Google will bring up tons more). But if you are a real master of your craft, you will soon see that marketing is not a one size fits all type of discipline.
  2. ROI “Return on Investment”. You may think this is a no-brainer. Everyone who has ever taken a business course knows (or should know) what this stands for. Well it makes crystal clear sense in accounting and finance; but what about in marketing? Ah, that’s where things get interesting. Some would argue that for marketing, ROI should really stand for “Return on Impression”. Where you compare what type of results are being yielded for the marketing initiatives that you are taking. Note – the measurement takes into account both quantitative (like closed sales) and qualitative (like brand reputation) factors.
  3. CMS“Content Management System”. This poor term is probably the most misunderstood of the bunch…even though its definition is pretty simple. Basically, if you have an enterprise level, dynamic website, it makes sense to utilize a CMS to power it. However, CMS systems are very different from each other. Some are very easy and straightforward to use; others are not. In this case, you really need to get specific in regards to the system you are talking about (i.e. WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc.) in order for it to convey any real meaning to your audience.
  4. CRM“Customer Relationship Management/Manager”. Sure, business have done ok for thousands of years without CRMs. But for today’s business operations, not using one is akin to using a wringer washer to clean your clothes. Really. They are not that expensive, and they give you a means to track and review both your interactions with customers and clients, and your staff. Many CRM systems also incorporate social media tools so that you can track your business activity there as well.
  5. API – “Application Programming Interface”. This term may seem more like a computer programming term, but really, it is key to web 2.0 features…which makes it key to digital marketers. The API defines how one website or web application communicates with another. This means more than just enabling a twitter feed on your website. It is essentially part of the fuel which powers businesses enabled by technology.

So there they are; 5 pesky acronyms that I know we have to use, but wouldn’t bother me one bit if they dropped off the fact of the earth tomorrow. Not because they are not useful…but because people need to know more about the concepts behind them, not some random letters thrown out there.

Author:
Real estate professional with an MBA in Marketing ~ writer and multiculturalist.