An Abbreviated A-to-Z of Marketing Technology TLAs

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From AAF to CPA to DMA to FFA to IBM to KPI to NFL to RAM to USB, every discipline generates its own TLA or Three Letter Acronyms to simplify complex or lengthy descriptive terminology while improving mnemonics or the memorability of the phrase. Given the limitations of our 26-character alphabet, there are only so many unique TLAs, so we often find that the same three letters are used over and over again across disciplines and geography with vastly different meanings. Some of these TLAs, like MBA or NFL or USA, have become mainstream identifiers that cross cultural and disciplinary boundaries over time.

I've been intrigued by the growth of Marketing TLAs as technology plays a greater role in processes surrounding the internal and customer-facing tasks associated with attracting, retaining, engaging and understanding our customers. In light of this growth, I thought I'd spend this column examining a selection of Marketing TLAs to define some key technologies and to identify Madison-area firms providing some of these tools.

One thing to keep in mind as you review these TLAs, is that unlike the CPA, there are no tests or requirements other than market perception and viability to be classified as part of the specific marketing sub-system. While firms like Forrester and Gartner have been in the business of categorizing and ranking technology tools for awhile, their coverage of marketing technology is relatively new and incomplete, their taxonomy is not always universally accepted and there are significant gaps in their coverage of firms outside the main IT hubs.

(CMS) Content Management System — There are multiple forms of content management systems including Learning Management Systems (LMS), Web Content Management (WCM) Systems and Enterprise Content Management Systems (ECM). These systems have in common the tasks associated with supporting simplified publishing processes for digital content including user role definition and permissions for content creation, revision and approval; version management and facilitated release without significant technical expertise. Content can be defined in any medium and format including text, video and audio.

Sample of Madison Vendors
Senscia uChuz
IMS Neptune

Other Vendors
CrownPeak
Ingeniux

(DAM) Digital Asset Management — This component of content management refers to the tools and processes for digital management including centralized storage, inventory management, indexing, categorization, metadata assignment, organization, tracking, control, revision, retrieval and release of digital assets including videos, animations, logos, presentations, illustrations, technical documents, photography, etc.

Madison Vendor
Widen DAM

Other Vendors
Adam Software
Canto

(EMS) Event Management Software — A comprehensive event management software suite to help facilitate event planning, registrations and payments, event microsites, virtual events, generation of attendee nametags, etc. Other Term: (SEM) Social Event Management.

Madison Vendor
While not a comprehensive EMS solution PCNametag provides event related badges, nametags, table tents, etc. for meetings and conferences.

Virtual Event Vendors
InXpo
6Connex
Unisfair

(MCM) Marketing Campaign Management — Tools to create, manage, distribute and analyze results of multi-channel marketing techniques including e-mail, direct mail, podcasts, social media, print advertising, etc.

Madison Vendor
Shoutlet, Inc

Other Vendors
Eloqua
Marketo Lead Management

(SMM) Social Media Monitoring — These are listening tools to monitor and measure online conversations while engaging with customers to manage your reputation; respond to and anticipate customer needs; monitor market conditions; evaluate competitive initiatives and responses; and generate new product ideas by tracking keywords like your brands, your technology, your industry, key executives, competitors, etc; analyzing sentiment (positive, neutral or negative) and by facilitating response and engagement with the marketplace. Other related term: (ORM) Online Reputation Management.

Sample of Madison Vendors
Networked Insights Social Sense

Other Vendors
Radian6
Scoutlabs

(SEM) Search Engine Marketing — The paid and unpaid marketing and IT activities designed to improve a website's page ranking in natural or organic and/or paid search engine results through the use of PPC — Pay Per Click Advertising, paid inclusions and SEO — Search Engine Optimization.

(SEO) Search Engine Optimization — The unpaid activities to improve a website's page ranking on natural or organic search engine results through keyword selection, content selection, coding, link management, etc designed to facilitate search engine indexing, categorization and rankings of site content (text, video, audio, images, shopping cart, etc.).

Sample of Madison Vendors
Covario Organic Search Optimizer (formerly NetConcepts GravityStream)

Other Vendors
FathomSEO
MoreVisibility

Notes: The TLA definitions are compiled from multiple sources including my experiences, industry associations like SEMPO — Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization, WOMMA — Word of Mouth Marketing Association; from publications like CRM Magazine, Search Engine Watch and from the ever-useful people's dictionary Wikipedia. In some cases, the classification of the Madison Vendor's technology is based on my taxonomy and may not completely or adequately reflect the firm's technological offering. Inclusion on this list is not meant to be an endorsement of the technology, vendor or their services, but is provided for exemplary purposes only.

Please let our readers know if there are other Madison-area vendors that should be part of this list or that provide technology solutions in any of the many and varied marketing technology TLAs that were not covered in this abbreviated guide.

For more on the latest tips, techniques and resources on e-business and marketing you can follow me @thewebchef

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