Digital Marketing Terms Explained

Get in front of any marketer at the moment and chances are they’ll start talking to you about pixels. Or retargeting. Or marketing automation.

Which can all sound a little overwhelming for those who were brought up to believe a pixel was a teeny, tiny element of an image!

So we thought we’d create a quick and easy glossary on digital marketing terms to help SMEs to better understand the processes and opportunities of modern digital marketing.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is the process of using technology to deliver regular, repetitive, and personalised communications to your database to increase lead generation, nurture leads, increase conversions, cross-sell, up-sell and improve retention.

Done well, it can significantly increase your customer experience and ultimately your bottom line through emarketing, SMS, tracking, social media and digital advertising campaigns.

There are a whole host of tools and platforms that are available today to optimise the marketing automation process. Every company, even an SME, should be using marketing automation to improve sales results and reduce marketing overheads.

If you’re not taking advantage of marketing automation, it’s time to learn more.

Facebook Pixel Retargeting

In this context, a pixel is a piece of tracking code that, when added to a website page, can collect data to track and measure actions (known as events) that website visitors take on your website. You can then deliver tailored ads to these visitors on Facebook or Instagram by bringing these visitors into a ‘custom audience’. This little piece of code is very powerful in enabling you to optimise your campaigns by retargeting the people who have the highest propensity to buy from you or take action.

We’ll be explaining common social media terms and settings in an article in a later newsletter.


Retargeting is the process of identifying website visitors and their on-site behaviour (eg whether they are viewing specific product pages or leaving a product in an abandoned cart) and marketing again to that visitor once they’ve left your website by serving digital ads to them.

Retargeting can be static where you deliver ads based on their page visitations or it can be dynamic where machine learning and more sophisticated technologies are used to analyse behaviours and deliver a personalised ad variation that is most likely to optimise results.

These ads can be delivered via social media platforms or via display ads (see below).


Remarketing is similar to retargeting but it uses email marketing rather than digital ads. Have you ever abandoned a shopping cart only to receive an email later about the product you left in your cart? Or have you downloaded a document on social media and then received a promotional email about the same subject matter? That’s remarketing.

Some marketers use the terms retargeting and remarketing interchangeably so it can be confusing but it really doesn’t matter – they both aim to increase conversions by tracking prospective customers and marketing to them again whether that is via digital ads or email marketing campaigns.

eDM Marketing

The acronym ‘eDM’ simply stands for ‘electronic direct mail’ or an automated email blast.

eDM marketing however is more than just the process of sending out an email. It involves continuous and strategic database building and refining through the use of other platforms such as social media, retargeting, digital advertising, Pay per Click campaigns and SMS to enable tightly targeted communications to be delivered to build relationships, generate more leads and increase conversions.

Email Tracking Code

Similar to the Facebook Pixel, an email tracking code can be installed on email communications to give you insights into how your audience responds to your emarketing campaign.

For example, it can let you know who has opened your email, how many times they’ve opened it, what links they’ve clicked on, what attachments they’ve viewed and more.

Most email marketing platforms such as Mailchimp and Hubspot offer email tracking as a built in service. If you also add the Google Analytics tracking code to your email marketing campaigns, you will be able to track clicks from your campaigns all the way through to purchase.

Google Text Ads

A Google Text Ad is a typical Pay Per Click Ad that allows you to specify a headline, display URL and description text. You can choose for your ads to appear on the Google Search network (eg in Google search results, maps or shopping) or on the Google Display Network (eg YouTube, Blogger or Gmail).

You can also run Text Ads across the Microsoft Network on Bing, Yahoo and AOL search engines. While there is no doubt that Google is dominant in the paid search space, Microsoft actually grew significant in the US search market over the past year with Bing achieving 19.7% market share whereas Google declined by 11%. There are benefits to both so if you’d like to know more, call us to book a meeting to discuss this in more detail.

Google Display Ads

Google Display Ads are those ads that appear while you are browsing various websites, watching YouTube, reading your Gmail account or using a mobile app. You can use them to target prospective customers or you can use them to re-engage with prospects who have already visited your website. Unlike advertising on the Google Search Network, Google Display Ads can be beneficial in targeting people before they start searching for your product or service.

You can either use your own fully created Uploaded Display Ads or you can use Google’s Responsive Ad service where you upload your logo, brand name, visual assets and text, and Google will automatically create the ads to suit the specs of specific web pages.

There are pros and cons of each type of Display Ad which we will cover in a later article.