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Quick lesson: Abbreviations in digital marketing

Do you know your USP from your CPC? Digital marketing is full of abbreviations – and here’s a quick explainer.

LOL, IDK if you’ve noticed, but IMHO the digital age has brought about a renaissance in abbreviations – and TBH, most of us don’t know what they all stand for.

Abbreviations in digital marketing are no different; full of digital marketing acronyms you’d never use IRL.

It’s NBD, but if you ever wanted to know what all those abbreviations means, here’s a quick explainer.

A/B split testing

No, it’s not shorthand for A Banana Split you’re Testing, A/B split testing is a learning exercise, where you use different variables on two groups to see which has the highest conversion rate.

For example, you might send out two emails, essentially the same but with two different subject lines to see which one most people open. You can also test the number and types of images, different calls to action, or times of sending.


Not to be confused with B2C, B2B is digital marketing terminology that describes businesses that sell to other businesses.

Think: an accounting software company that sells its products to accounting firms; an office supply company that sells to city offices; or a produce company that sells to restaurants.

The customers of B2B companies tend to be more considered and make evidence-based buying decisions.


A big gold tick to those who guessed that if B2B meant business to business, then B2C is shorthand for business to customer.

B2C companies sell direct to the public, who tend to make purchasing decisions more quickly and based on emotion.


CMS – it’s an acronym you’ve probably heard coming out of the mouth of your web developer more than once.

CMS stands for content management system, and as the name suggests, is the software used to create or modify website content, such as WordPress.


Another in the C-suite of digital marketing acronyms, CPA stands for cost per acquisition.

CPA measures the amount spent to acquire one customer. Generally, the equation is: the total campaign cost divided by the number of acquisitions.


Cost per click (CPC) is the metric used to discover the amount of money spent to gain one click-through on a search engine, such as Google, or on social media.

The aim is to get the greatest number of click-throughs for the smallest advertising spend.


Most businesses have many customers or leads, who have interacted with the business differently, and who are all at different stages of the sales funnel, also known as the customer buying cycle.

Your customer relationship management (CRM) software allows you to keep track of all this information, which you can use to inform future marketing campaigns.


Your call to action (CTA) is one of the most important parts of every marketing campaign.

What do you want your customer to do? Book a ticket? Purchase a product? Watch an instructional video? Make sure your CTA prompts your customer to take the action you want them to. Common CTAs include: ‘learn more’, ‘book now’, ‘subscribe’ and ‘sign up now’.


The click through rate (CTR) is the number of clicks achieves per advertisement.

This is generally measured by comparing the number of people who clicked on ad in relation to the number of impressions (or reach) the ad obtained on social media or search. For instance, an ad that reached 5000 people and achieved 900 click-throughs, equals a CTR of 18 per cent.


This is not necessarily a digital marketing specific term, but it is commonly used in the marketing and advertising world.

KPI stands for key performance indicator, and it refers to how the success of a campaign or project will be measured.

KPIs can include number of units purchased, tickets sold, or quotes requested.


Pay per click (PPC) is an advertising model whereby the advertiser pays every time an ad is clicked on.

It’s a popular model with search engine advertising, and involves advertisers paying for the traffic that comes to their site, rather than relying on organic search alone.


Return on investment (ROI) refers to the total amount spent per conversion. It takes in the entire marketing spend including equipment, staffing, and paid advertising.


ROAS stands for return on advertising spend, and it measures the amount of advertising coin spent per conversion. It differs from ROI in that it takes in the cost of paid advertising only.


You probably know a bit about SEO, or search engine optimisation, already, if only that things like keywords, headings and tags all can increase your ranking in organic search. Optimise it, in fact.


Search engine marketing (SEM) is a little different to SEO because it refers to paid advertising on search engines, rather than optimising organic search.


Search engine result pages (SERPs) are the pages that come up when a user enters a query or keyword into a search engine.

Each SERP is unique and contains a mix of paid advertising and organic search results.


What are you offering, and how is it different and better than your competitors’? That’s your unique selling proposition (USP), and it should be at the heart of every digital marketing campaign.

Remember the golden rule of marketing? Identify a customer problem or issue, offer the solution, and establish yourself as the best business to solve it. That’s your USP.


User experience, or UX, refers to the interaction and experience users have with a company’s products and services.

It includes customer interactions with finding your business, placing their order online, their in-store experience, any interaction with customer support, and then ultimately, their use of your product or service.

Speak to the digital marketing experts

Keen to optimise your SEO, improve your UX, or boost your advertising CTR?

Assemblo is a full-service marketing agency based in Melbourne and we not only know all the abbreviations, we know how to use them to elevate your brand and your business.

To chat about any aspect of digital marketing, give us a call on (03) 9079 2555 or drop us a note via the contact form below.

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