Glossary of marketing terms

What on earth is SEM? Or programmatic buying? And what does retargeting mean? Read Valve's glossary to find out what these and other digital marketing terms mean!

A/B Testing 

A/B testing aims to find the most effective option. Testing can be done on websites or in advertising. For example, text, imagery, or targeting can be changed, and the option that leads to the best outcome is determined. 


AdTech refers to advertising technology, including platforms, software, and tools used for digital advertising campaigns and management. 


A process or set of rules that software operates on, which must be followed in calculations or other problem-solving. Each digital marketing channel has its own algorithm, which determines, for example, what content is shown to users. 


In the context of digital marketing, analytics refers to the collection and interpretation of digital data. This is done through various tools, with Google Analytics being one of the most commonly used. 

Attribution Modeling 

Attribution modeling is one of the measurement tools used to determine the significance of each touchpoint for a purchase event. In practice, it seeks to determine which ads or content a user has seen and how much different ads have influenced the purchase decision. 

Common Metrics 

Bounce Rate – The percentage of users who immediately leave the site. The higher the rate, the less effective the landing page. Naturally varies between different traffic sources. 

Content Collaboration 

Content collaboration is a relatively broad term and thus often difficult to understand. In practice, it involves an agreement between a company and another party, such as a blogger, magazine, radio, or television channel, for content collaboration. Instead of traditional advertising, the company and the other party strive to produce interesting content for the audience, such as articles or a radio program that highlights the company's products or services. 


A conversion is a desired action, such as a purchase, newsletter subscription, or adding an item to a shopping cart. 

Conversion Optimization 

Conversion optimization aims to increase conversions. Various aspects of digital marketing, such as actions, materials, targeting, and others, are adjusted and optimized to lead to as many cost-effective conversions as possible. 


Cost per acquisition (or action). The price per desired action, such as subscribing to a newsletter through advertising. 


Cost per click. The price per click. 


Cost per mille. The price per thousand impressions. 


CTA stands for Call to Action. A CTA is a clear instruction that directs a person to take action from an ad or other content. For example, prompts like "Learn More" or "Buy Now" are CTAs. 


Click-through rate. Calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions. 

Customer Journey 

The customer journey describes the path a person takes to become a customer of a company. In practice, the journey begins with making the person aware of the company, and through various stages, the person progresses to making a purchase decision. Digital marketing tools can guide people through the customer journey. 

Display Advertising 

Display advertising refers to banner advertising displayed on digital channels. Advertising can be done through various tools such as Google Ads, individual media, or programmatic buying. 

DoubleClick Digital Marketing (DDM) 

DoubleClick is Google's ad management platform that allows agencies and advertisers to create and manage digital marketing campaigns. The platform is gradually becoming obsolete as Google announced integrating it with Google Analytics 360 Suite into a single solution called Google Marketing Platform a couple of years ago. 

Inbound Marketing 

Inbound refers to a new perspective where traditional marketing is turned upside down: instead of the company actively seeking an audience through various campaigns and initiatives, the focus is on producing engaging and relevant content that the audience seeks out themselves. 

Influencer Marketing 

Influencer marketing involves collaboration with various influencers such as bloggers, vloggers, or celebrities. The goal of collaboration is to promote the company's products or services using the influencer's own audience. 


Key Performance Indicator. Usually a business-related metric, such as CPA (see above). 

Landing Page 

A landing page is the web page people are directed to from advertising. KPI – Key Performance Indicator. Usually a business-related metric, such as CPA (see above). 


MarTech refers to marketing technology, including platforms, software, and tools used for marketing campaigns and management. 

Native Advertising 

Native advertising refers to ads published on various online media pages that resemble news or other journalistic content. These ads are usually labeled as "advertisements." When clicked, the user is directed to the advertiser's website. 

Organic Visibility/Traffic 

When a company's content or messages are not marketed, the attention they gather is organic or free. Organic visibility is primarily achieved through SEO and additionally through social media via the viral effect. 

Programmatic Buying (RTB) 

Programmatic buying (programmatic buying and real-time bidding) refers to the automation of digital media purchases and campaigns through a single tool and interface. Programmatic buying enables the automation of routine online advertising tasks, precise targeting, and real-time data-driven ad placement, in addition to precise measurability and effectiveness. 


PPC stands for Pay Per Click, referring to digital advertising where payment is made only for clicks. For example, SEM is PPC advertising. 

Retargeting / Remarketing 

Retargeting refers to re-marketing. Advertising in digital marketing channels is targeted to those individuals who have previously interacted with the company, such as visiting websites or downloading apps. 


Return on ad spend. The return on investment in advertising. 


Return on investment. The percentage return on investment. 


SEA stands for Search Engine Advertising. This term is not widely used, as SEM is often used instead. However, SEA specifically refers to paid search engine advertising, i.e., the ads that appear when you search for a specific term. 

Search Engine Ad 


SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. In Finnish, it is often referred to as search engine marketing, although "SEM" is commonly used. SEM refers to marketing on search engines (Google, Bing). The goal of marketing is to increase website visibility and, thereby, attract more visitors and customers. SEM encompasses both SEA and SEO. 


SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which means improving a website's visibility on search engines organically. Many know that search engine optimization involves creating website content around the most searched words and phrases. However, search engine optimization includes much more, such as making the website clear and user-friendly. 

Tracking Code 

A tracking code is a small piece of code installed within a company's website code. The code tracks who visits the site and what people do there. There are many of these tracking codes; typically, each digital marketing platform or service has its own. The code does not store personal information but allows, for example, remarketing.

Missing a term? Get in touch!

The Digital Marketing Glossary is designed to facilitate collaboration among experts from various fields in digital marketing projects. We hope it benefits as many people as possible and are happy to receive additions to the list. If the glossary raises questions or you need help with digital marketing, feel free to contact us and ask for more information!