b2ap3 large A A CAbbreviations and acronyms make our lives easier by packing a series of concepts or processes into a suitcase that is then easier to manage - but only if you know the term.  If you don't, you're being handed the equivalent of a communications dead weight.  Since much of the work we do is helping organizations and small businesses with communications change management and implementing communications programs internally, we watch our language.  Usually the concepts are easy to grasp once you understand the terminology, and at that point the abbreviations or acronym become a useful shortcut. Included in the table below are also some social media acronyms suggested by readers of this blog that have been prompted by Twitter's 140-character limit to pack more into that compressed method of messaging.  Click on the Read More for a table of acronyms and abbreviations and their explanation.


For those small businesses researching what they could be doing to improve their content marketing or digital or social media marketing, here's a list of abbreviations.  If you come across any you think I should add, or where you have encountered a slightly different usage, please let me know or tweet to me @coherentmedia and I'll add or update this post.   Or you can leave a comment below.




Meaning unpacked




3rd Party Ad Server.  The advertiser's ad server.  Bloggers, for example, may monetize their site by carrying ads on their blogs; usually those ads are on 3PAS.




How you mention another Twitter account. In a tweet it becomes a link to that Twitter User's profile or account.  For example  @coherentmedia is the Twitter account for Integrated Media Strategies.


Most commonly used within Twitter, but also increasingly in other social media, the hash with a word or phrase is used as a keyword, event or other content within a Tweet.  For example #MFGDay14 is a hashtag for the annual national Manufacturing Awareness Day in 2014.  Or it can be used contextually after a tweet, e.g. "New update to the marketing acronyms post http://bit.ly/1mfrpoQ #ContentMarketing"




Account Based Marketing - an approach that treats companies separately or individually rather than as a cluster or group. 
API Not strictly a marketing term, but with the rise of applications with embedded marketing functions, it's a useful term to understand.  API is short for Application Program Interface.  It is a set of routines, protocols or tools for building software applications and determines how they interact with other software, like operating systems for phones or HTML.


B2B Business to business.
B2C Business to consumer.
BI Business Intelligence.
BT Behavioural Targeting.  Targeting people based on recent online behaviour, for example, if they've recently visited an automotive site, they may start seeing ads for automotive-related products.


CMS Content Management System.  A system for managing and publishing web content.  For example, Integrated Media Strategies favors the Joomla open-source CMS. Others are Wordpress and wikis.  Wikipedia has a fairly comprensive list.
CPA Cost Per Action.  Performance-based online advertising often use this approach where the cost is based on the number of actions sought. Examples include Likes or followers on social media campaigns, registrations for newsletters, or conversion to sales. See also CPC, CPM and CPN.
 CPC Cost Per Click.  A term used for paid online media campaigns where media costs are calculated by the cost per clicks or click-throughs.  See also PPC.  Sometimes in media buys, the value - or otherwise - is determined based on the actual number of click-throughs rather than the number of people who see the ad.  See CPM and CPA as well.
CPL Cost Per Lead.  Used for pricing lead generation and as a performance metric to measure the cost of leads from various sources. A ratio calculated by cost/leads.  See also CPA.
CPM Cost Per 1,000 Impressions.  A very common pricing model for online banner advertising.  See also CPA.
CPN Cost Per Name.  See also CPA.  More often used in email, telemarketing or direct mail campaigns, where it is used for pricing access to a market.
CRM Customer Relationship Manager.  A system or platform for managing communications with customers and prospects.  Salesforce is possibly the best known example.
CTR Click Through Rate or Click Rate.  A way of measuring the success of a campaign.  It is a ratio showing how often people who see your ad actually click on it, i.e. clicks/impressions.


 DM  Direct mail.  Also used in Twitter to refer to Direct Message, something that can occur between two people or accounts where the account being followed can DM the follower.
 DDM  Dimensional Direct Mail.  Using size to attract attention from recipients.
 DMP  Data Management Platform.  A system that manages data from a number of sources for media decision-making.
 DSP  Demand Side Platform.  A system that allows buyers of digital advertising inventory a way to manage multiple ad exchange and data accounts, reporting and metrics.




 FF #FF is a hashtag for Follow Friday.  It's a way on Twitter to give a shout out or mention to  Twitter users by suggesting you follow the accounts mentioned.










KPI Key Performance Indicator. A management tool.  In online advertising, for example, CPC or CPA may be used.


Landing Page Optimization  Landing Page Optimization.  Optimizing a landing page so that a desired outcome is obtained.


MAP Marketing Automation Platform. A platform for automating aspects of marketing communications and leads.
Marcom Marketing communications.
MX record Your MX record is an email exchange record in the Domain Name System that specifies a mail server responsible for accepting email messages on behalf of a recipient's domain.  You can usually find it when you log into your hosting provider.






PPC Pay Per Click.  A term used for paid search or paid online advertising.  When a visitor clicks on an ad or banner, the organization that placed the ad pays for the click-through.  See also CPC.
PURL Personalized URL.  A URL or landing page created for a single person for one to one marketing programs.  (Not to be confused with Perl, which is a programming language.)




ROI Return On Investment. 
RT Short in Twitter speak for 'retweet'.  When you repost a tweet by someone else.
RTB Real Time Bidding.  An auction approach to online advertising in which inventory is bought or sold using real-time impression rates.


SEM Search Engine Marketing. Includes both SEO and paid search marketing approaches.
SEO Search Engine Optimization.  Optimizing your website to improve your organic search rankings.  See also SERP.
SERP Search Engine Results Page. This is the listing of results returned by a search engine for a query.  The goal is to obtain a top 5 ranking in organic search through SEO so that your entry stands a chance of being clicked on.  See our blog post on this.
SMB Small and Medium Businesses.  We won't get into numbers of employees because definitions vary from state to state and federal.
SME Subject Matter Expert. Like Integrated Media Strategies :-)
SME SME can also mean Small and Medium Enterprises (See also SMB)
SMM Social Media Marketing.
SMO Social Media Optimization.  Similar to SEO, but optimizing content and websites so that content can easily be shared via social media.
SQL Sales Qualified Lead.  Can also be used to refer to SQL databases and servers using Structured Query Language to manage data.


TAP Targeted Accounts Program.  Can also mean Target Account Planning - see also TAPS
TAPS Target Account Planning Strategy.  A targeted sales methodology.


UI User Interface.
UX User Experience.  Can also refer to user experience design, i.e. designing for better user experience.  This abbreviation has been used a lot as small, touch screens have impacted web design for sites that previously were optimized for laptops or desktops.


 VOC While it also stands for Volatile Organic Compound, in marketing speak it usually means 'Voice Of the Customer'.  Coined by systems engineers, it can comprise big data on customer-centric descriptions of their expectations, preferences and aversions.













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