Talking to a digital marketer can sometimes feel like you are speaking different languages. There are a ton of acronyms and strange terms that, unless you’ve spent some time in the marketing world, you may not be familiar with.

Here are some common words and acronyms that marketers use. I’ve put these into layman terms to help out anyone who ends up feeling a little lost when working with agencies, contractors or their marketing departments.

CPC – cost per click. There are a lot of acronyms in digital advertising – many refer to how we advertisers pay for ads. It’s just like it sounds – it is the average dollar amount spent for each person that has clicked on your ad.

CMS – Content management system. It’s basically where a person can manage and create content on a website. If you’ve ever used WordPress, SquareSpace or any other popular web building tool, it is where you log in to manage your website. There is a broad spectrum when it comes to functionality and ease of use for a non-web developer, a CMS can be very basic or it can require advanced coding skills.

Pixel- This is a snippet of code that is placed on the back end of your website to gather data, analytics and other information. This is one of the ways marketers obtain the information they need to target ads.

Opt-out – In email marketing, when someone unsubscribes from your emails, it is an opt-out. It means someone has opted out of receiving your emails. Alternatively, an opt-in is when someone signs up to receive emails from you. 

UGC – User generated content. Brands, especially on social media, often reach out to followers and ask to use their content. For example, Nike might have a follower that posted a great image featuring their product. Nike would ask the follower for permission to use the image on nike’s instagram page, usually crediting the person who took the photo.

CTA – Call to action. Most marketing emails, websites, etc. have an action that they want you to perform. For example, H&M sends an email out about a sale and they want you to click the “View Sale” button that takes you to their website. That button is the call to action in the email.

KPI – key performance indicator. This is a way companies can measure and evaluate the success of a marketing effort. These are created at the outset of a project. If I’m developing a social media advertising strategy, I need to determine how I will know if the project is successful. An example in this scenario could be how many new followers I hope to gain.


UX: User experience. This is a broad term that describes the overall experience your customer has. This is an important part of web strategy – making sure that your customer will find your website easy to use and will can accomplish the task you want them to.



I should mention that some of these terms have much broader definitions than I’ve shared, but this covers the basics. 

Remember, never be afraid to ask if you aren’t familiar with a term that is being used. We want you to understand what we do and how we are helping you to achieve success.


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