TFW… “That Feeling When” You Have No Idea What Your Co-Worker Just Said…


Ever wondered what it's actually like working at one of those swanky ad agencies that boast having a fully-stocked beer fridge and dogs running around every day? Well, it's more than just putting together cool campaigns and then having a happy hour to celebrate once it’s launched. You've got to talk the talk in order to walk the walk alongside those cool advertising guys and gals.

In this fast-paced work environment, people can't be bothered to say full words like "Application Program Interface" (a.k.a. API). So, to help you sound cool and knowledgeable next time you're rubbing elbows with the Mad Men, here's a crash course in ad agency acronyms and lingo (in layman's terms) that are constantly being thrown around 2000 Central Ave. here at IMM.

API – Application Program Interface – This is your digital waitress, bringing you everything you ask for when you're on the World Wide Web. Say you're comparing NYC hotel prices on a website, such as Kayak. The API takes your request for hotel prices, delivers that request to all the NYC hotel websites, and comes back to you with a compiled list of numerous prices, dates, etc. for hotels in NYC. Thanks, API!

CMS – Content Management System – On the back-end of a website is the Content Management System, which allows you to create, manage and publish all of your site's handy information. There are templates/field forms that make it easy to "fill in the blanks" with your content (text, images, etc.). This is also where you can update the website's HTML or CSS code to change the layout. And while every CMS is different, it makes it simple to manage your content to find last week's (or last year's) upload to make changes and then publish those updates for the world to admire.

CSS – Cascading Style Sheets – Speaking of CSS – here's what it is! We've all heard of HTML (defined later in case you're not totally sure), but have you heard of HTML's sister, CSS? She's really pretty. In fact, CSS makes websites look really, really pretty. In other words, this is the code that you edit to change the look and feel of the webpage – the colors, fonts, spacing, background images, etc.

CPA – Cost per Acquisition – This is a digital marketing pricing model that measures how much it costs to acquire one customer, usually determined by the equation: Total Campaign Cost/ Conversions = CPA. Acquisitions usually mean someone made a purchase and/or filled out a form that puts them on an email list for future advertising. 

CTR – Click Through Rate – The percentage of people who clicked on your ad and landed on your website is your Click Through Rate (“CTR”). This does not count people who were served your ad and navigated to your website on their own (i.e. saw the advertisement then manually typed in the URL). 

Conversion Pixel – “Thank you for your purchase!" On this final page in the online shopping journey a piece of code is placed to track the number of conversions. A conversion is considered any user who has done exactly what you wanted – purchased your product, signed up for your email list, etc. Conversion pixels are also placed on any ‘Thank You’/ final destination page (i.e. after you submit your email or confirm your purchase). 

Cookie – So, you did some online shopping on REI’s website and put your items in the shopping cart, but you just can't commit to pressing “Buy Now” and purchasing those brand-new skis yet. So, a couple of days later (once you’ve slept on it), you return to REI's website and those skis are still in your cart. That's thanks to cookies.

A cookie is an anonymous tag/piece of code that a website sticks to your browser (which you'll never notice) and stores information about your visit and your preferences. Now, when you return to a specific site, that site can match the cookie to your browser and present you with relevant information or products you previously viewed. 

The "Funnel" – The marketing funnel is a consumer's purchasing journey. Think of an actual funnel – bigger at the top and transitions into the small output at the bottom. Traditional marketing campaigns work the same way (Except at IMM! We turn that funnel upside down!).

The funnel starts with building awareness by getting your product onto people's radars with engaging marketing techniques. Once the consumer is in the "Mid-Funnel," they're learning more about your product and doing some evaluating/ comparing, so ads tell them about the benefits, advantages, sales, etc. Finally, when they reach the bottom of the funnel they're ready to make a purchase, so ads ask them to make a "Direct Response" – a.k.a. click this ad to Buy Now!

HTML – Hypertext Markup Language – To keep it very simple: HTML is the code that creates a website’s structure. Boom.

Pixel/Tag – You'll hear "pixels" and "tags" being thrown around, but they are one in the same. Pixels help to measure campaign performance and gather audience insights. There are different types of pixels to track different things. For example, they can track visits to your website, how many impressions your ad unit is getting, how many people are opening your email campaign, and other web activity.

We use the information that pixels gather to optimize marketing efforts to obtain more conversions/get more people to that "Thank You" page. 

About Ideas Made Measurable!

At IMM, creating action isn’t just what we do — it’s who we are. Our agency is built to deliver full service capabilities while also delivering measurable results. Big data is the marketing buzzword everyone talks about but few understand. We are here to explain in plain English how data-driven, bottoms-up marketing strategies can help generate leads, drive sales and build your brand. We leverage the expertise of the staff at IMM, a data-driven, full-service digital advertising agency based in Boulder, Colorado.

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