Foundational Digital Marketing Terms and Definitions

Digital Marketing
The marketing of products or services using digital channels to reach consumers. The key objective is to promote brands through various forms of digital media.

Business Models
A design for the successful operation of a business, identifying revenue sources, customer base, products, and details of financing.

Marketing Strategy
An organization's strategy that combines all of its marketing goals down into one comprehensive plan. A good marketing strategy should be drawn from market research and focus on the right product mix in order to achieve the maximum profit potential and sustain the business.

Elevator Pitch
A succinct and persuasive sales pitch.

Marketing Channels
The way in which products and services get to the end-user, the consumer; also known as a distribution channel.

Commercial transactions conducted electronically on the Internet.

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a software distribution model in which applications are hosted by a vendor or service provider and made available to customers over the Internet.

The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers' mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers. Also think: What would someone say about you after you leave the room?

Minimum Viable Personality
You can’t just have a good product: you need a compelling personality behind the product. No personality = boring product = no one cares. Why does your company exist? How will you act, communicate and look? What is the one idea you’re trying to convey?

Brand Brief
A tool that guides a brand internally. It articulates the brand and its story. Each element of a brand brief represents a dimension of the brand and how it’s perceived.

Value Proposition
An innovation, service, or feature intended to make a company or product attractive to customers.

Customer Persona
These personas intricately define a company’s target customers beyond shallow characteristics such as sex, age, income, education and location

Empathy Map
Fully describes an individual who is part of your customer persona - including motivations, concerns and behaviors.

Marketing Funnel
The purchase funnel, or purchasing funnel, is a consumer focused marketing model which illustrates the theoretical customer journey towards the purchase of a product or service.

Earned Media
Earned media (or free media) refers to publicity gained through promotional efforts other than advertising, as opposed to paid media, which refers to publicity gained through advertising.

Owned Media
Owned media is when you leverage a channel you create and control. This could be your company blog, YouTube channel, your website, or even your Facebook page.

What users are doing. Example: Where are they spending most of their time on your site? What ad channel did they come from? What actions do they take or don’t take on your site?

What users are telling you. Example: Email address, zip code, name, demographic info.

A number that gives you information about an aspect of your business. More formally, metrics are quantitative measures, describing events or trends on a website.

Key Performance Indicator (KPI)
A KPI helps measure how you’re doing against your objectives. It’s a time-phased measure of success.

Segments operate as filters on sources. Examples can include: Mobile, Desktop, USA, International, New, Returning

Ranges of the “when” of analytics. Examples include Today, Yesterday, Last Week, This Week, etc.

The point at which a recipient of a marketing message performs a desired action. In other words, conversion is simply getting someone to respond to your call-to-action.

A visit is one individual visitor who arrives at your web site and proceeds to browse. A visit counts all visitors, no matter how many times the same visitor may have been to your site.

Page View
This is also called Impression.  Once a visitor arrives at your website, they will search around on a few more pages. On average, a visitor will look at about 2.5 pages. Each individual page a visitor views is tracked as a page view.

Burn Rate
The rate at which you’re losing customers

Churn Rate
The rate at which you’re losing customers to your competitors

Acquisition Cost
How much it costs you to acquire a customer

Clickthrough Rate
CTR is the number of clicks that your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown expressed as a percentage (clicks ÷ impressions = CTR).

Average Order Value
AOV = total sales revenue divided by total number of sales.

Return on Investment
ROI is a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments. To calculate ROI, the benefit (return) of an investment is divided by the cost of the investment; the result is expressed as a percentage or a ratio.

In Google Analytics, when you view your. Referrals under Traffic Sources, you see the main domains that traffic to your website originated from. When you click on any of these source domains, you see the specific pages where people found your links and clicked on them. These are the referral paths.

Every referral to a web site has an origin, or source. Possible sources include: “google” (the name of a search engine), “” (the name of a referring site), “spring_newsletter” (the name of one of your newsletters), and “direct” (users that typed your URL directly into their browser, or who had bookmarked your site).

Every referral to a website also has a medium. Possible medium include: “organic” (unpaid search), “cpc” (cost per click, i.e. paid search), “referral” (referral), “email” (the name of a custom medium you have created), “none” (direct traffic has a medium of “none”).

When SSL search is employed, Keyword will have the value (not provided).

It’s the name of the referring AdWords campaign or a custom campaign that you have created.

It identifies a specific link or content item in a custom campaign. For example, if you have two call-to-action links within the same email message, you can use different Content values to differentiate them so that you can tell which version is most effective.

You can use Custom Campaigns to tag links to use your own custom values for Campaign, Medium, Source, and Keyword.

Cost Per Click (CPC)
refers to the actual price you pay for each click in your pay-per-click (PPC) marketing campaigns.

pay per click
Pay per click (PPC), also called cost per click, is an internet advertising model used to direct traffic to websites, in which advertisers pay the publisher (typically a website owner) when the ad is clicked.

Visitors referred by an unpaid search engine listing, e.g. a search.

Pages Per Visit
Pages per visit is a Web analytics measure of how many pieces of content (Web pages) a particular user or group of users views on a single website. Pages per visit is usually displayed as an average, which is calculated by dividing the total number of page-views by the total number of visitors

Unique Visitors
Users that have had at least one session within the selected date range. Includes both new and returning users.

Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is the percentage of single page visits (or web sessions). It is the number of visits in which a person leaves your website from the landing page without browsing any further.

Direct traffic
Ideally, this is the traffic that came to a site via bookmarks or by directly typing in the URL. In reality, it is the traffic for which the code couldn't determine a source. Depending on the site and the browser, some links may not show a referrer and instead would be categorized as direct. Using campaign variables will get around this misrepresentation every time.

Time On Site
This is the sum of the time on page for all pageviews in a visit. Or, more accurately, it is the difference between the time they viewed the first page and last page in a visit. Note that viewing pages in different tabs doesn't affect this. Google Analytics simply sees a string of pages being viewed in chronological order, without any reference to multiple tabs or windows.

UTM codes
Also known as UTM parameters, UTM codes are little snippets of text added to the end of your URL to help you track the success of your content on the web. An example of UTM codes is highlighted in the URL below in orange: &utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook

First Click Attribution
A first click model is a conversion attribution model which give all credit for conversion to the first touch point or digital marketing channel to which is exposed a consumer.

Last Click Attribution
The last click attribution model is a conversion attribution model by which all credit is given to the touch point or channel giving the last click before conversion. It is a single channel attribution model.

A/B test
A/B testing is a simple way to test changes to your page against the current design and determine which ones produce positive results. It is a method to validate that any new design or change to an element on your webpage is improving your conversion rate before you make that change to your site code.

Multivariate test
Multivariate testing is a technique for testing a hypothesis in which multiple variables are modified. The goal of multivariate testing is to determine which combination of variations performs the best out of all of the possible combinations.

Control Variable
In an experiment, the control variable is something that is constant and unchanged. Further, a control variable strongly influences values; it is held constant to test the relative impact of independent variables.

Landing Page
A landing page, sometimes known as a "lead capture page" or a "lander", is a single web page that appears in response to clicking on a search engine optimized search result or an online advertisement. The landing page will usually display directed sales copy that is a logical extension of the advertisement, search result or link.

Rows run horizontally in an Excel worksheet.

Columns run horizontally in an Excel worksheet.

A function is a preset formula in Excel and Google Spreadsheets. Like formulas, functions begin with the equal sign ( = ) followed by the function's name and its arguments. The function name tells Excel what calculation to perform. The arguments are contained inside round brackets.

Breaking a data block into smaller chunks so that it can be more easily interpreted or managed.

Data Visualization
Data visualizationdescribes any effort to help people understand the significance of data by placing it in a visual context. (ie: Graphs)

information resulting from the systematic analysis of data or statistics. In digital marketing, analytics is the information resulting from systematic analysis of data gathered from marketing activity such as email marketing, landing page A/B testing, or Google Adwords purchases.

average order value
the total revenue divided by the total amount of transactions; used in digital marketing to help calculate the necessary reach, along with CTR and conversion rate.

banner ads
also known as “display ads”, these advertising units are images that advertisers place on known publishers’ web sites in order to attract or re-attract their target audience. Banner ads can also be contextual, a form of advertising in which the content of an ad is in direct correlation to the content of the web page the user is viewing.

behavioral email
an email generated when a known user performs a certain action - such as completing a video - on a web site, and the owner of the website then contacts the known user regarding that video as a follow up to the user’s behavior.

from the term “web log”, in which a user actively updates a visible section of a web site in order to inform or attract users and customer on a regular basis.

a business’s brand is the sum total of all its users’ and customers’ opinion of that business; a business can choose to intentionally shape its brand or allow the market forces to shape its brand.

business model
an entity’s business model defines how the business creates its product or service, delivers the product or service to the intended audience, and then collects payment for the service or product from the intended audience.

a delivery mechanism; in digital marketing, a business’s message is delivered via one or more marketing channel such as email, social media, blogging, advertisements, etc.

Click Through Rate (CTR) - the percentage of the targeted audience that is exposed to the marketer’s message that click on the link provided in the message and land on the marketer’s web property.

the importance of continuing with a course of action, such as blogging, in a regular frequency in order to repeatedly expose the intended audience to the marketer’s message.h

conversion rate
the percentage of unique visitors to a website that are “converted” into customers, users, or leads.

when the good or service provided by a business is provided to and accepted by the user or customer; in digital marketing, also the receipt of a message from the marketer to a group or individual in the target audience

digital marketing calendar
a tool that provides for time-based structure and discipline for the digital marketer in planning, assigning, creating, and delivering content to the marketer’s target audience.

digital marketing funnel
a visualization of the calculations that starts with the total universe of targeted audiences, then measures those who click on a link from marketing content, the click through rate (CTR), the conversion rate, total conversions, order amount, and revenue.

the means by which a product or service is delivered to its end user or customer.

earned content
content not created by the marketer, but rather created and shared by fans of the marketer’s message to the fan’s social and other digital connections.

in digital marketing, the term for user interaction with a particular piece of shared content: Likes, shares, comments on Facebook; RTs, replies, favorites on Twitter, and link clicks on all social media.

Facebook Ads
the program operated by Facebook that enables paying customers to use hyper-targeting via Facebook profile tags and traits to reach a certain specific audience via advertisements placed in the user’s timeline.

in digital marketing, how often a task is performed; for example, the frequency of a blog post or twitter update.

Google Adwords
the program operated by Google that enables paying customers to use hyper-targeting via Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) to reach a certain specific audience via advertisements placed at the top and right sides of the search results.

Google Keyword Planning Tool
a free tool provided by Google within the Google Adwords interface that helps users find and plan which keywords to target with their advertising campaigns

lifetime customer value
the total sum of all revenue estimated over the lifetime of a repeat customer; often used as a metric in evaluating the pricing and value of a SaaS business.

OODA loop
Observe. Orient. Decide. Act. A teaching tool originating from military training that promotes the use of a constant cycle of learning; in digital marketing, used to instill the use of hypothesizing, experimentation, data capture and measurement, and then re-stating a new revised hypothesis based on information gathered in previous experiments.

owned content
content created or curated by the marketer in order to promote the marketer’s message to the target audience; owned content typically consists of blog posts and social media posts and images, but should also be applied to any message that proceeds out of the marketer’s company and into the target audience, such as email signatures.

page views
the number of times a web page or set of web pages are viewed during a given time period.

pages per visit
the average number of pages viewed by a single visitor during a given time period.

paid content
content pushed out by the marketer via any paid means such as Facebook ads, Google Adwords, Twitter Ads, or banner (display) ads.

the ideal compilation of all the traits of the “perfect” user or customer for a marketer’s product or service.

the technology, driven by web browser cookies, that enables a marketer to continually put a digital message in front of a user who has visited that marketer’s web property.

sales cycle
the time required for a sales conversion to be completed after the prospect initially becomes aware of the marketer’s brand or product.

a business cycle driven by calendar-based events during the year.

Search Engine Optimization - the practice of preparing a web property to be quickly, easily, and properly indexed by a search engine, usually Google.

Search Engine Results Page

time on site
the average time that a website visitor remains active on a particular web site.

total reach
the total exposure (measured in web users or “eyeballs”) of an advertisement or piece of content.

transactional email
automated email driven by a certain type of transaction on a web property; for example, an order or email subscription

 web copy
words that appear on a website that are aimed at the marketer’s target audience and represent the marketer’s brand.

Jon ChangComment