Digital Marketing & Technology Glossary Of Terms

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  • 80/20 Rule
    In business the 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, states that 80% of sales come from 20% of the customers.
  • a
  • A/B Testing
    A/B Testing is a method for testing the format of content. Two versions of the same piece of content are produced and randomly sent out as a part of a campaign. Both are then evaluated in terms of conversion rates to see which was more successful.
  • Ad Blockers
    Ad blocking or ad filtering involves removing or altering advertising content on a webpage, to minimise the disruption, increase page load speeds, minimise mobile data allowance usage or decrease battery drainage caused by ads. Ad blockers will either target the technologies that are used to deliver these ads, such as Adobe Flash/Shockwave or Windows Media Audio, or target the URLs that are the source of the ads.
  • Apple Pay
    Apple Pay is a digital wallet service that turns your iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch (depending on model) into a credit card. A user simply registers whichever cards they want to use to their Passbook, and it stores them on the device.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
    Artificial intelligence (AI) is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, in particular computer systems. The term artificial intelligence is applied when a machine mimics cognitive functions associating with the human mind, such as problem solving. There are many possibilities regarding the use of artificial intelligence. A key example is the curation of virtual shopping assistants, in particular IBM Watson. By using a combination of big data, natural language interface and algorithms, retailers can program this software to recommend and suggest personalised products based on the needs of the consumer, without having to involve genuine human interaction.
  • Augmented Reality
    Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that integrates digital information, such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data, with a user’s environment in real-time. Unlike virtual reality (VR), which creates a totally artificial environment, AR uses the existing environment and overlays new information on top of it.
  • b
  • Beacons
    Beacons are types of transmitters that can deliver targeted information to a user’s mobile device whenever they go near it with an enabled app. Apple has introduced a version, iBeacons, which are used throughout its own stores, as well as available for purchase. Customers can be greeted with timely messages as they walk past a store, or through the door, or throughout the store while visiting different areas.
  • Big Data
    Big data is a term that describes the large volumes of data - both structured and unstructured - that businesses have access to on a day-to-day basis. The volume of data is not necessarily an important factor, it’s what organisations can do with this data that matters. If analysed properly, big data can be used to gain insights that lead to better strategic decision making.
  • c
  • Chatbots
    An evolution of automated telephone systems, chatbots are pieces of software that allow a computer to hold a conversation through use of artificial intelligence. This conversation could be held audibly, via text message or through a chat program on a computer, but there will always be at least one piece of automated software (the bot) involved. Use of chat bots in business has been on the rise of late as the technology makes it easier and cheaper for companies to implement their customer service offering.
  • Checkout Optimisation
    The practice of making improvements to the online checkout process so as to increase conversion rates.
  • Cognitive Computing
    Cognitive Computing: A sophisticated computing system that can replicate the human process. It achieves this through high-level data mining, where it gathers, parses, and analyses vast quantities of information. Cognitive computing has a wide variety of applications, including sports reporting, social media analysis, and car manufacture.
  • Contactless Payments
    Contactless payment systems are credit or debit cards, key fobs, smart cards or other devices, including smartphones and other mobile devices, that use near field communication (NFC) for making secure payments without the need for a pin number to be typed.
  • Content Marketing
    Content can be anything from blog posts, to videos, how-to guides, e-books, webinars, imagery, infographics, podcasts and anything else that can be produced via any media that is seeded and shared around the internet. Content marketing is the practice of identifying which type of content is most suitable for a brand and its audience, and subsequently producing and sharing this content around the web with the goal of engaging with potential and existing consumers.
  • Conversational Shopping
    Conversational Shopping is the act of purchasing through your mobile device by issuing voice commands.
  • Conversion
    A conversion is a desired action taken by a website visitor, such as purchasing a product, registering for an event, subscribing to an email list, completing a contact form, downloading a file etc.
  • Conversion Rate
    Whether it be purchasing a product, signing up for email newsletters or filling in a contact form, every website has a certain action it wants its visitors to achieve. A successful completion of this action by a visitor is a conversion. The conversion rate (CR) is a key metric that reveals the percentage of a website’s total traffic that is completing a specific goal. The higher the conversion rate, the better.
  • Conversion Rate Optimisation
    Conversion rate optimisation is the practice of testing various elements of a website with the objective of improving conversion rates. This can include making the website easier for visitors to use (e.g. making small improvements to the navigation), or more persuasive (e.g. changing the colour, shape or positioning of a ‘buy-now’ button).
  • Cost Per Action (CPA)
    Cost per action (CPA), which can also be referred to as pay per acquisition, is a pricing model that helps marketers to pay for online advertising. The marketer will only pay once the action, which is sometimes defined as a sale, has been performed. Marketers have less control over where these types of adverts appear.  
  • Cross-Device Attribution
    Cross-device attribution is a platform for assigning data from different devices to an individual user. This user is given a unique and anonymised user ID, and this information can reveal certain patterns regarding user behaviour and purchase journeys. The data is analysed in one of two ways: by using algorithms to make assumptions about users (probabilistic) or by mining data from a user who has logged in to a website (deterministic).  
  • Cross-Device Tracking
    Cross-device tracking is a platform for collating data from different devices, such as mobile phones and desktop computers. This data is then analysed using cross-device attribution to determine touch points from different devices that have been accessed by the same user.  
  • Curated Shopping
    Curated Shopping is the act of a retailer selecting a handful of items for its customers. These items are usually selected for their exclusivity or high quality, and their selection speaks not only to that, but also to the exclusivity and quality of the outlet as a whole. Curated shopping can be done online or offline.
  • d
  • Dark Social Media
    Dark social media refers to the social sharing of content and information that occurs outside of what can be measured and tracked by analytics programmes. This typically occurs when a link is sent via an encrypted chat client and other one-to-one messaging services, such as email and Facebook messenger, rather than being shared over a social media platform where it can be tracked and segmented.
  • Digital Natives
    A person born or brought up during the age of digital technology and so familiar with computers and the Internet from an early age.
  • Disruptive Innovation
    A new invention or innovation that shakes up an existing market by creating a new way of engaging with that market. The digital age has ushered in a range of examples. These could include Netflix, Uber and AirBNB, which have disrupted the entertainment, transportation and travel industries respectively.
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  • eCommerce
    eCommerce is the practice of buying and selling goods and services online.
  • eCommerce Analytics
    eCommerce analytics is a web-based application that allows users to collect, display and analyse data from an eCommerce website.
  • eSports
    eSports is the term used to describe professional competition between individuals or teams on a virtual gaming platform. Typically eSports is played in front of an audience of spectators both live and worldwide through the use of online streaming. Huge prize pools are avaliable to victors making eSports attractive to gamers around the globe.
  • f
  • Facebook Ads
    Facebook ads are one of a range of advertising solutions on social media platform Facebook.
  • Facebook Instant Articles
    Facebook’s Instant Articles is a mobile publishing format that enables news publishers to distribute articles to Facebook’s app that load and display as much as 10 times faster than the standard mobile web. This means that if a Facebook user clicks on a brand’s content, rather than being directed to the brand’s website, the article will upon on the Facebook app instead.
  • FinTech
    FinTech is a shortening of the term 'Financial Technology'. As the name suggests, it relates to technology solutions created for and used by financial services companies and their customers. FinTech has been around as long as finance itself, but the internet has accelerated its development.
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  • Generation Z
    Generation Z is the demographic cohort after the Millennials. There are no precise dates for when this cohort starts or ends; demographers and researchers typically use starting birth years ranging from the mid-1990s to early 2000s, and as of yet there is little consensus about ending birth years. A significant aspect of this generation is the widespread usage of the Internet from a young age; members of Generation Z are typically thought of as being comfortable with technology, and interacting on social media websites for a significant portion of their socialising.
  • Google AdWords
    AdWords is the name of Google’s online advertising platform. It allows users to purchase advertising space across the Google advertising network, including websites such as Google, YouTube, Gmail and many more. See also: Paid Search, PPC.
  • Google Interactive Ads
    Google Interactive Ads are ads on the Google Advertising Network that include features such as clickable buttons, an option to choose multiple categories, or asking the audience to complete a task before the product or offer is shown.
  • i
  • IBM Watson
    IBM Watson, or sometimes simply Watson, is a supercomputer that combines artificial intelligence (AI) and sophisticated analytical software for optimal performance as a "question answering" machine. As IBM Watson has a multitude of features and potentials, such as text mining and advanced cognitive computing capabilities, the technology has notably been integrated as a "virtual shopping assistant" for an array of retail leaders.
  • Interactive Content
    Interactive content is content that requires the participant’s active engagement - more than simply reading or watching the content. In return for that engagement, participants receive real-time, hyper-relevant results they care about. Examples of interactive content include quizzes, games, calculators, polls etc.
  • k
  • Keywords
    Keywords are words or phrases that are used by internet users to search for something online via a search engine. Traditionally, some words or phrases are more commonly searched for than others. Many online marketers attempt to target these terms through search engine optimisation (SEO), with the eventual goal of driving said visitors to their website.
  • m
  • Machine Learning
    Machine learning is a method of data analysis that automates analytical model building. Using algorithms that iteratively learn from data, machine learning allows computers to find hidden insights without being explicitly programmed where to look.
  • mCommerce/ Mobile Commerce
    Mobile commerce is the practice of buying and selling goods and services via mobile devices such as smartphones.
  • Micro Moment
    Coined by Google, ‘Micro Moments’ are instances when customers use their smartphone to respond instantly to an important need or want related to a purchase. There are unlimited examples of Micro Moments during any given day for an average consumer, and they’re so urgent that consumers expect their needs to be met with the appropriate speed. Therefore brands need a marketing strategy that allows them to do just that.
  • Micro targeting
    Similar to personalisation, this describes any marketing activity which uses consumer data and demographic analysis to present consumers with tailored adverts that will resonate strongly with them.
  • Millennials
    Millennials (also known as Generation Y) are the demographic who typically reached young adulthood around the year 2000.
  • Moment Marketing
    Moment marketing is the practice of devising marketing strategy with the aim of capturing micro moments. Moment marketing seeks to capitalise on the ever increasing amount of information that the average consumer has at their fingertips, and the growing trend of using mobile devices to search for information at an impulse.
  • Multi Screening
    Multi screening is the act of using multiple screens at one time. Commonly, this is most popular for people watching TV and browsing online via their smartphone simultaneously.
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  • Omnichannel
    Omnichannel is a multichannel approach to sales that seeks to provide the customer with a seamless shopping experience whether that customer is shopping online from a desktop, or via their mobile device, or whether they visit a brick and mortar store or shop via the telephone. It ensures that regardless of the channel being used to shop, the experience remains the same.
  • Out Of Home (OOH) advertising
    Out-of-home advertising (abbreviated as OOH) describes any form of advertising that is shown to people while they are outside of their house. Billboards, bus ads and wallscapes are all examples of Out-of-home advertising.
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  • Paid Search
    Paid Search refers to the use of a search engine’s advertising platform. The most commonly referred to platforms are Google AdWords and Bing Ads.
  • Pareto Principle
    The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, is the name given to the theory that around 80% of the effects are derived from 20% of the causes. When applied to eCommerce, it means that 80% of a company’s revenue comes from around 20% of its customers. It’s encouraging because it shows a hardcore of very dedicated and very loyal returning customers, but also concerning because it suggests that the majority of customers are not returning.
  • Pay-Per-Click/ PPC
    This term refers to the business model of many online advertising platforms in which an advertiser only pays the service provider when a consumer clicks on their ad. Despite being descriptive of the business model, and not the overall type of advertising or medium it is available on, this term is often used synonymously with “Paid Search”.
  • Personalisation
    Personalisation in marketing and advertising refers to a unique form of targeted marketing. Creating "personalised" messaging aimed towards particular consumers, often crafted by computer software, allows businesses to to target a very niche and specific audience. Personalised marketing can also be applied to products, for example. By using a configuration system which allows consumers to choose individual specifications for the products they are interested in, retailers can suggest "bespoke" items which fit the customer's criteria.
  • Pre-roll Video Ads
    Pre-roll videos are digital video adverts that play automatically before another piece of content. They usually last for around 10-30 seconds and can often be skipped.
  • Promoted Pins
    A promoted pin is a paid ad on social media platform Pinterest. Promoted pins allow brands to target certain locations, demographics and devices and reach customers who are searching for, or have shown an interest in, what the brand has to offer. Similar to PPC ads, promoted pins run on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis, with campaigns having a specified daily budget and duration.
  • r
  • Real-Time Marketing
    Real-time marketing is marketing that is based on up to date events, and data. Instead of creating marketing plans in advance and executing these according to a fixed schedule, marketers who want to undertake real-time marketing activity will create a strategy focused on current, relevant trends and immediate feedback from customers. It’s a reactive approach, with short-term planning and quick results.
  • Responsive Website
    A responsive website, also known as responsive web design (RWD), refers to a site's approach at providing an optimal viewing experience for the end-user, regardless of what device they use. For example, if a user visits a site on their smartphone, there will be a minimal or non-existent need to zoom in and resize the content, as it has already rendered correctly.
  • s
  • Search Engine Advertising (SEA)
    See ‘Paid Search’.
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
    SEO is the practice of improving a website’s rankings in a search engine’s organic (non-paid) listings for a single or set of “keywords”.
  • Second Screening
    Second screening refers to the use of a device (mobile, desktop or tablet) while watching TV to look at related content. It is most commonly used in reference to mobile devices.
  • Sentiment Analysis
    Sentiment analysis refers to the use of natural language processing, text analysis, and computational linguistics in order to categorise opinions express in a piece of text, so as to determine whether the writer’s attitude towards a particular topic is positive, negative or neutral.
  • SERP
    A search engine results page (SERP) is the page displayed by a search engine in response to a query.
  • Shoppable TV
    Technology that enables a connection to be made between the online and TV (offline), allowing consumers to seamlessly interact online with what they’re seeing on TV in real-time.
  • Shopping Cart Abandonment
    In eCommerce, shopping cart abandonment refers to when shoppers place items in their virtual shopping carts or baskets, but then don’t complete the checkout process. This is quite common in eCommerce, and retailers use various techniques, mostly related to email marketing, in order to entice customers to come back and finish the purchase journey.
  • Showrooming
    Showrooming is the practice of visiting a shop or shops in order to examine a product while searching for the same product online at a lower price, often while physically in the shop.
  • Smart Homes
    An evolution of the Internet of Things, a Smart Home is a house that's equipped with digital technology so the owner can seamlessly, often remotely, control things such as the heating, the lighting, the air conditioning, and even the windows. Examples of Smart Home technology include: Amazon Echo, Google Home and Hive.
  • Sports Marketing
    Sports Marketing is a form of marketing aimed specifically at promoting sports. Though it's specific in its focus, it encompasses a wide range of disciplines, including advertising and sponsorship, broadcasting, digital media, and merchandise and tickets. Due to the tribal nature of sports, marketing requires a clear understanding of audience and the ways fans of different teams react to messaging.
  • Stay-at-home economy
    The stay-at-home economy describes the phenomenon of consumers buying from home on their smartphone, rather than going to a physical store. This covers retail, where consumers browse and buy from their mobile, but can also involve downloading/streaming music and films, playing/watching others play video games, and ordering food for home delivery through services such as Deliveroo.
  • t
  • Twitter ads
    One of a range of advertising solutions on social media platform twitter.
  • u
  • UTM Tags
    A UTM tag or ‘Urching Tracking Monitor’ is a simple code that can be attached to an URL in order to track a source, medium, campaign name, content and term. This enables your Analytics platform to tell you where searchers came from as well as what campaign directed them to you. Ultimately, UTM tags help to provide a clear view of return on advertising spend.
  • UX
    User experience, which is known as UX, refers to the usability of a platform through which a user will access a product. This platform commonly takes the form of a website, but can also refer other channels. Improving UX is seen as an effective means of driving consumers through the sales funnel.
  • v
  • Virtual Assistant
    A piece of software that allows a person to use their technology, often through their voice, rather than physical interaction. Apple's Siri, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Microsoft Cortana are examples of Virtual Assistants.
  • Virtual Reality
    Virtual reality (VR) is the use of computer technology to create the effect of an interactive three-dimensional world in which the objects have a sense of spatial presence. A person who used VR technology becomes part of this virtual world or is immersed within the particular environment and whilst there, is able to manipulate objects or perform a series of actions. There are a wide range of Virtual Reality applications that include medicine, sports, arts, architecture or entertainment.
  • Voice Search
    Google Voice Search or Search by Voice is a Google product that allows users to use Google Search by speaking on a mobile phone or computer, i.e. have the device search for data upon entering information on what to search into the device by speaking.
  • w
  • Wearable Technology
    Wearable technology is a category of technology devices that can be worn by a consumer and often include tracking information related to health and fitness. Other wearable technology gadgets include devices that have small motion sensors to take photos and sync with your mobile devices.