Marketing Terminology: My, How We’ve Changed…

Behind every great digital campaign is a great agency. We can thank the Internet and its ever-growing role in our lives for the almost bewildering way agencies have evolved just in this past decade, as they’ve begun to hone in on and innovate in the realm of digital marketing. In that burgeoning evolution has also been a change in the way marketing terminology refers to various aspects in the industry – indeed, what one reference meant perhaps 20 years ago doesn’t have the same meaning today. Take, for example, SPAM, which was once known as a lunch meat (and still is) but in current times refers to unwanted or unsolicited email.

Let’s take a closer look at other terms that are being redefined in the world of modern marketing, as this represents valuable information for digital marketing agencies operating today.

Lead: The term “lead” has been used so loosely in the marketing industry, it has even come to reference someone downloading a brochure off a website. Today, with so much tracking in place, a lead is much more…it needs to meet certain attributes such as geographic location, job title, a completed series of calls-to-action and other elements to be truly considered a lead.

Social Engagement: Historically measured by “likes,” “followers,” “shares” and other similar metrics, today’s meaning of social engagement has evolved to the point that it measures the impact – positive or negative – the social community has on a particular topic. In the world of business, social engagement measures how business objectives are influenced.

Email Campaign Metrics: Traditionally, marketers would simply talk openly and refer to click-thoughs and bounce rates when it came to email marketing. While metrics remain vital, email stats have evolved to measure specific goals and today’s CMOs, marketing directors and marketing managers need more than a great click-through rate. Defined campaign objectives need to be measured as well, because they relate to the initiatives.

SEO: Search Engine Optimization has historically focused on the technical elements involved in getting a web page or website indexed, while today it’s all about making online content relevant. While the technical aspects still exist, the tactics are only employed once content becomes relevant.

Call Tracking: Remember a time when receptionists would count incoming calls and ask the caller where they discovered the number? Though uber-quaint, this was actually a form of call tracking, which has been around way before the Internet became mainstream. Today’s definition of call tracking is in a regular state of evolution, as it’s not just about counting calls and logging the source but also understanding the context of the call (in other words, it’s not about WHO called you but WHY they called you). This modern implementation of call tracking employs tracking techniques to better understand context while measuring performance.

Regardless of changing terminology, the fact remains that for a business to succeed in today’s world, it is important to boast a strong digital footprint within the virtual pages of the Internet.