Digital Marketing Definitions – C

Digital marketing and thus the digital marketing terminology and digital marketing definitions are constantly changing.

This is a page of key digital marketing terms and definitions beginning with the letter C.

C Terms

Call To Action (CTA) – All marketing activities should have some kind of CTA – asking the reader to do something. You could invite them to sign up for your email newsletter, to go to page to donate to your nonprofit campaign, click a link for a product or service you use and recommend [use your Amazon Affiliate link], use the button for your online appointment scheduler or click a link to buy something. The point of marketing is to inspire action – so content should have directions on what action to take.register-now-red

E.g. “call now”, “view now”, “buy now”, “follow me”, “sign up here”, “learn more now”, “download this”, “sign up to participate”, “donate now”, “sign up here for free webinar”, “get your free card now”, “speak out”, “join us now”, “Volunteer today” “view” “read” etc.

Edmonton Public Library - Calls to Action on Support page

Edmonton Public Library – Calls to Action on Support page

Canva – Canva is a really useful and easy to use / user friendly graphic design website, which allows you to create unique graphics tailored to your brand. There’s plenty of free imagery available for you to adapt making it easy for you to create great content for your marketing requirments.

Case Study – For content marketing context, share the story of one of your clients, customers, patrons or reader of your blog. Tell other potential customers about their experience using your services, programs or advice.

Channel – Can refer to types of media, e.g. TV, print, radio, internet, social media and even the specific platforms or sources themselves; or could mean the method or manner of distributing goods, products – linking a producer to end customer.

Click-through-Rate (CTR) – CTR is the number of people who clicked a link compared with those who just saw the link and took no action. The CTR is commonly used as a metric for email marketing (% clicked link in email = signal of real engagement), or for an online ad (% who clicked on ad vs. saw ad).  Clicks ÷ Impressions = CTR  [if 100 people see the link and 10 click it, your CTR = 10%]

Collateral – The printed (sometimes means electronic) information used to explain or give background on a company or organisation and to help a person buy a product or service or make a donation; e.g. brochures, information sheets, leaflets, brochures, business cards, print (or email) newsletters, fact sheets, press kits, media kits, staff or team member biographies, websites, and annual reports

Org Fact sheet:examples of printed marketing collateralUsed to help Employees, Key stakeholders or media members to learn important facts about the organisation at quick glance; inc founding or history information, key dates, location(s), images of key buildings or facilities, names and brief background of key staff, founders, historical figures in organisational history, key photos, contact info; usually all on 1 attractively designed page, ready to hand/send out or download as PDF.

Product/Service Fact sheet – Keep one for each key service or major product; inc function or value, key benefits to users/customers, distinctive features that set it apart, comparison to similar products/services, statement on quality or reliability, pricing, and/or availabilityBoulder Public Library press kit marketing example

Press/Media Kit – All the information a reporter or media member needs to know about your organisation at a glance; they can be collected in 1 place or page on your website, available to download, or printed physically and sent on request or handed out at events; Inc: logo and appropriate way to display it; company/org fact sheet, key product/service fact sheet(s), copy of recent articles or press mentions of your org; a current press release; card or contact information.

Colour Codes –  Also known as ‘colour models’; because we need more precise ways to consistently represent and display the same colour in web and printed materials, each colour has a set of codes (and because ‘blue’ could be anything between ‘sky’, ‘ocean’ or ‘denim’); if you are getting material printed, you may be asked for CMYK, if it’s purely on the web, use RGB or Hex.

A good site to find hex codes for all variations of a colour (, find or translate codes across models (, select colour palettes (Coolors).

CMYK – ‘Process colour’ – representing the 4 colours in physical printing ink, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key (Black) – for paint, pigment, inks where you add various % of colours and if you keep adding you’d eventually get black (but in practice it comes out muddy, hence the use of the forth color, K (pure black).

e.g Black = 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 1.00       Red =  0.00, 1.00, 1.00, 0.00  Magenta =  0.00, 1.00, 0.00, 0.00

marketing color codes CMYK

RGB – A projected light colour system; represents colours with 3 separate numbers from 0 to 255, one number each to represent R(red), G(green) and B(blue) values that make up a color; most computer devices and screen use RGB colours.

e.g. Black = (0, 0, 0)    Red = (255, 0, 0)         magenta (255, 0, 255)

marketing color codes RGB Hex magentaHex Codes (hexadecimal) – Computer friendly, 6-character alpha-numeric combination beginning with # to also represent the spectrum of values of Red, Green and Blue; hex codes are used in ‘legacy’ HTML and CSS;

e.g. Black = #000000              Red = #FF0000           Magenta = #ff00ff

Hex color code explanation

Competitor Analysis – Monitoring competitors is an essential business practice.  Popular Quote – “if you want to win – whether that’s winning a war or winning over a customer – you need to know who you’re up against.”
Tracking competitors tells you:

  • What s working for them, and how you can beat it
  • New features they are launching
  • When they are receiving major publicity
  • What customers love most about their products

These days, competitive analysis is both easy and effective. Social media has made important conversations public, and there are plenty of great benchmarking tools. You can easily watch your competition interact with customers, manage crises, and even track their SEO performance. You would be crazy not to spy on them.

Content – Any piece of information you share with readers – for instructional, educational, entertainment or persuasive purposes. It can be long or short, text or visual, audio, video, etc. Blog posts, white papers, slide shows, videos, podcasts, short ebooks, social media posts and infographics are all types or formats of content.

Content Management System – A web application or framework that allows users to easily develop, add, edit, and manage website content via a common user interface and can support multiple users working in the same system, collaboratively (files, media, articles, other digital content). E.g. Drupal, Joomla, WordPress, Wikis, Moodle, Rainmaker etc.

Conversion – Someone taking a desired action (doesn’t always refer to a customer or a purchase); actions could include: subscribing to an email, download something, donating, signing up for an event, watch video, send follow-up contact form, initiate chat, send email, etc.

Conversion Rate – The number of visitors / users / leads who ‘convert’ into or through a desired action out of the total number of visitors / users / leads who visited a web page, saw an ad, visited a landing page, etc.

Example – how many visitors filled out an email opt-in form vs. the number who visited the page (or clicked the link to open the opt-in).

Tip: Conversion rates tend to be low (<10% is common) but can vary and increase depending on factors like what’s being offered, good headlines, emotional appeals, clear benefits, social proof or on-page graphics.

Copywriting – Writing in order to promote something and inspire action – for a business, organisation, nonprofit, person, opinion or idea. Copywriting’s goal is persuasion, through compelling, engaging, targeted writing.

Copy – Text and/or writing and images etc, usually for marketing purpose; can be headline copy, body copy, footer copy, disclaimer copy, policy copy, sales copy, etc.

Cost Per Action (CPA) – An online advertising model where the person / business buying the advertising pays only for the specified action (i.e. a click, an impression, a sale).

Cost Per Click (CPC) – An online ad model where the advertiser pays a pre-set amount whenever that ad is clicked.

Google PPC paid ads example

Cost Per Thousand (CPM) – The cost to reach 1,000 people via a specific advertising channel or medium (1000 viewers on TV, 1000 page views, etc); or cost per thousand impressions

Crowd-sourced – Usually referring to content; when you let your customers, users or other 3rd party subject experts create quality content for you to share on your site or other social platforms under your brand or organisational name. Content may come from a contest, as part of testimonials, or guest posts. Always give credit fairly to all contributors, including social media handles. (see also User Generated Content)

Curation – Collecting, organising and sharing already published content (usually from a 3rd parties) via a blog, social media or email newsletters.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – Refers to software designed to help you keep track of contacts, leads and customers at different phases of interaction with your organisation; system holds all contact information, details of meetings, personal info (birthdays, anniversaries, hobbies, interests – anything to help you personalise your contact or products with potential customers). Some systems include social networking information and profiles. Examples include: Nimble, Insightly, Salesforce, Zoho, Infusionsoft, Act!, SugarCRM, Pipedrive, HubSpot CRM, Contactually, Nutshell

marketing CRM software example Insightly

Sneak peek inside an Insightly account.

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This page is part of the A to Z of digital marketing series.