Breaking Down Marketing Jargon: Translating Conversations With Your Marketing Agency

Jargon is nothing new, and it’s frequently used in every industry, and it’s not necessarily evil! Jargon is a great way to succinctly say what you want, in an intelligent way, often around your peers and others who understand your industry. But marketing jargon can begin to be a problem when it’s used with clients who may not necessarily understand the terms as well as the professionals.

We’re huge fan of transparency here at Firefly, and we want to make sure our clients, and in fact anyone looking into digital marketing, understands any of the potential marketing jargon thrown their way. There’s nothing worse than hearing a bunch of technical terminology that’s only being used to confuse you into a sale!

Before you start signing any big deals, make sure you brush up on your marketing jargon, so you don’t end up being taken for any rides.


SEO – It means ‘Search Engine Optimisation’, and it means gaining visibility and traffic in search engine results organically, or without paid ads. This is based on how the search engine ranks your content in terms of relevancy to the search.

SEM – It means ‘Search Engine Marketing’, and it means gaining visibility and traffic predominantly through paid activity, such as Adwords.

ROI – This means ‘Return on Investment’, and it’s the process of evaluating the benefit of an investment in relation to the cost of the investment. Often used to make sure your marketing efforts are earning you more than they’re costing you.

CPA – This translates into ‘Cost Per Acquisition’, and it’s similar to ROI in that it’s focused on how much you’re paying for the results you are receiving.

CRM – CRM refers to ‘Customer Relationship Management’, and is the process of monitoring, managing, and analysing customer interactions, which can involve monitoring phone calls, emails, and other interactions often using specific technology.

Pain point – The ‘pain point’ is often the problem experienced by clients or potential customers, and many marketing efforts involve looking for the customers’ pain point, and offering a solution to this.

CPC – CPC is ‘Cost per Click’, and refers to the amount you (as the advertiser) are paying every time someone clicks into your ad.

CTR – This means ‘Click Through Rate’, and it measures how many viewers on your website come from the advert or through other arenas. It’s used to measure the success of a campaign much like ROI.

Algorithm – Algorithm’s mean a lot of different things, and are used for a number of different reasons. It basically means a process or set of rules by which a program must follow.

Conversion Rate – This is the measurement of how many visitors take action on your website. It’s another means of measuring the success of a campaign.

Quality Score – This is a variable used in your SEM that influence where your ad ranks, and how much you’re spending on CPC. Each ad is run against a bidding formula, which means that the quality of your ad determines its success, as well as its cost.

Remarketing – Ever felt like a store was following you? Remarketing is the process of specifically targeting ads towards users who have previously visited your website, in order to encourage them to return and make a purchase.


Phew! Quite a long list of stuff to remember! Don’t worry, it’s hardly likely they’ll all be used together in the same sentence, but it can often pay to keep educated on what you’re paying for. Here at Firefly we want to make sure that if you’re feeling confused about your digital marketing efforts at any time, that we’re prepared to make everything transparent for you. There should be no confusion, and you should always be equipped to hold your agency accountable for what they’ve said, even if it was all marketing jargon!

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