Personalisation is one of those tools that is invaluable when done right, but a dangerous area if done incorrectly.

We uncover the top terms currently rocking the digital marketing world, and put them into the language of mere mortals.


Application programming interface is a set of protocols and routines for building applications. In its simplest terms, an API is a piece of code that can help your application talk to another application, for example being able to display the weather on your website using the Bureau of Meteorology’s API. Usually the domain of your technology department, APIs can be essential to a good user experience (see UX).


When people are referring to CRM (customer relationship management), they are more often than not referring to the system in which they compile all the information on their customer base. A good CRM is invaluable.

It is in your CRM you can store your customer’s name, address, interests, profession, age, communication preferences and any other information you want to store (within legal parameters, of course). Then, you can use that CRM system to talk with your other systems, such as your e-newsletters and websites. It’s an invaluable tool for sales and customer service teams alike, and a valuable marketing tool.

Conversion rate

A conversion rate is the golden egg of ROI. It’s not enough to receive a sales lead. You need to convert that lead into a new customer. For some, the conversion rate is the ultimate measure of success. It is measured as a fraction of your leads.


Just to confuse us all, CPM stands for cost per thousand (think roman numerals). More commonly used for advertising campaigns, this measurement is considered an industry standard to benchmark against.

It is often used to determine the cost of a campaign, with advertisers agreeing to pay X dollars per 1000 impressions (otherwise known as a CPM model).


Content management systems come in all shapes and sizes. For the less savvy marketer, this may just be a free templated system you use to get your content out there. For those more experienced marketers, your content management system’s possibilities are endless. Features can include, but are not limited to: personalisation, CRM integration and email campaigns. And don’t forget, your CMS is the back end to your front end, so you want to get it right.


While not limited to digital marketing, service level agreements (SLAs) are an important document, for clients and suppliers alike. It is within these documents you detail what services you agree to deliver and the standards to which you will deliver them.

While this document is not officially a contract, it is often treated like one, so it’s key to ensure that this important communication vehicle between client and supplier is spot-on.


In its simplest form UX, or user experience, is about making the experience of anyone interacting with your website or application as easy as possible. In a more complicated scenario, it is about mapping the possible routes that people can interact with your content, and ensuring the easiest path to your desired goal, such as a transaction.

Mapping a user experience often goes hand-in-hand with building customer personas and, done correctly, can lead to a better ROI strategy on your chosen platform.

Engagement rate (senior)

An engagement rate is a measure of how people interacted with your content. The subject of engagement rates causes much controversy in the digital marketing world, with some arguing it is not an easy thing to measure – how well is your audience engaging in your content?

General consensus seems to be on combining clicks, likes, time on site and shares into a formula to achieve a certain rate. It is not an exact science, and something that companies could arguably tweak to demonstrate how successfully they have fulfilled their desired goals.

Social listening

It sounds like stalking and it kind of is. Social listening is to go beyond managing your social media feeds and responding to posts directed to you – it’s about understanding how your audience is interacting with your brand beyond your social feed.

Social listening is about “listening” to mentions and discussions about your company on social media, even when they don’t tag you, and responding to them with more than a marketing spiel. It’s a step above social monitoring that can help you secure a loyal customer base.

UGC (user-generated content)

User-generated content is a little like crowdsourcing, where you get the users of the content to create the content. For example, you could create a social media poll asking your customers what their favourite colour for a wall is, and then create a content listical from that, such as “The top 5 bedroom colour schemes”. The danger is receiving substandard content. However, when done right, it can mean further engaging with your audience or customers.


UTM codes or urchin tracking module is a great tracking tool for your campaigns. You can add this custom code to any campaign link to track how well it is doing. This is great when you are using the same content for multiple campaigns as it will help you clearly distinguish where your traffic is coming from when you look at your analytics. Simply put an easy identifier in your UTM code and you’re on your way.


Personalisation is one of those tools that is invaluable when done right, but a dangerous area if done incorrectly. In basic terms, personalisation is all about cookies tracking user behaviour, and delivering content on the basis of what people have viewed before.

It’s why you see some ads popping up continually when you’re browsing on the web – chances are if you’ve gone to purchase on a site, those ads will pop up. Personalisation can extend right down to choosing the right piece of content to serve you when you view a website. The risk being that your user may be looking for something different this time around.

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