So Many Acronyms, Such Little Time!


It doesn’t take long in any industry to pick up on the jargon and technical terms that make that particular field different. In the advertising industry, however, it seems we have more of them than every other industry put together! I have been working in digital marketing for almost a year now and my head is full of them. You have UI’s, IO’s, CTR’s, CPM’s, ROI’s, SEO and PPC…how do you even begin to understand a day-to-day conversation when everything is shortened into this new digital language!?

Now if you were expecting me to explain all of these, sorry to disappoint but that would be a very long and boring blog. What I will do is pick out some of the ones that have influenced me and have been the most fun to learn about.

RTB – (for those not in the industry) stands for real time bidding. This has undoubtedly changed the world of online advertising since its conception a few years ago. It has also opened my eyes to the idea of automated bid discrimination (FYI – paying more money for some users than others because of their browsing habits and behaviour). This really makes you wonder how valuable you are as a consumer to brands.

HTML & XML – code in short. HTML is what many web pages are written in and there’s lots of talk about coding being taught in more schools. The Observer wrote a good piece about it here and there’s also been a great promo video made by Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg about why code is so important.

RFM – This stands for Recency, Frequency and Monetisation. This is the basis of many tools that work out online customer value. By looking at the recency of visits, regularity of these visits and how much is spent per visit we can work out how likely someone is to purchase one of your products and how important they are to engage with.

PPC & SEO – the two key things to worry about when ‘talking search’. You have Pay Per Click, which is when (as an advertiser) you pay a bid price for key words so that your website ad shows up (in yellow) to a user on a search engine results page.

Then you have Search Engine Optimisation, which is all about making your website as relevant as possible in terms of content, so that it shows up naturally (in white) to a user when they search for things. These are important because they fundamentally change how you perceive search advertising.

So, do these acronyms actually help us?

In my opinion, once you have a grasp of what they all mean, yes it makes things quicker when talking and writing emails. However, I think the main thing to take away from this is that all these acronyms are moving technology forward. It’s a task to constantly play catch up, but we need that challenge, it keeps us on our toes. As technology evolves, so does our language and I’m sure Darwin wouldn’t mind a few acronyms for the sake of evolution.

If there are any terms I missed that you think should have been on my list, please feel free to comment below. Tnx.

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