Digital Marketing Slang ... and My Mum

15 October 2018

The vast majority of our time spent in digital marketing is among like-minded colleagues and business owners who understand the jargon and abbreviations that pervade our industry. It's easy to forget that not everyone understands the language we speak.

A while ago I was able to sit down with my mother to ask her what she thought some of these terms mean. For background, my mother is one of the funniest people. After having one of the most hilarious conversations of my entire life, I’ve captured the best of her responses below (along with a little explanation of what these things actually mean for the less marketing-savvy among our readers.)

“What is Link Sleuth?”

I literally have no idea. You're a spy? A marketing link sleuth?

This may be as close as she actually came to getting one correct. Link Sleuth is a tool that looks at the links on a website and helps us find broken links and errors in the outgoing links from that website. I’ll give my mum a B+ on this one. I’m not a spy … but she wasn’t far off.

“What is Screaming Frog?”

Huh? That's a question??? We had a bunch of screaming frogs outside this summer!

Screaming Frog is always a tool name that throws non-marketing people off. I’ve had people ask why I would torture a frog or why I made someone scream. It’s a catchy name because you definitely don’t forget what it’s about (one of my favourite account managers calls it “That Yelling Frog Thingy.” In reality, Screaming Frog is one of the most powerful SEO tools and shows us the titles, descriptions and other relevant meta information from a website. It’s a must-have tool to help with site analysis and fixing loads of SEO problems.

“What’s VWO?”

Some kind of car?

It was at this point that my mum started laughing at my questions. I also asked her about CRO but she kept thinking I was saying “What is zero?” When I said SEE ARE OH … she said “you keep spelling crow. It’s a bird.” VWO (Visual Website Optimizer) is an A/B testing tool that helps us deliver a higher conversion rate through CRO (conversion rate optimisation). So no, mum, it’s not a car.

I gave up on the acronyms for a while when my lovely mother believed OKR was a food (okra) and B2B meant something like a bed & breakfast for 2 people.

“How would you do a deep dive?”

Finally something I know. This is scuba diving. When you deep dive you go way under the water.”

Dear Mother,

I love you. But again, no.

Love, Matt

P.S. A deep dive is a thorough, expansive look into the data from Google Analytics or some other data source. You take a long, hard look at what’s happening and answer some of your more difficult questions.

Let’s quick-hit a few more great replies my poor mother suffered through.

“What is Agile?”

Well a gymnast is agile. You can’t say no! Somehow I don’t think that’s what you’re looking for.

She’s not wrong on either answer. I, however, give up. You can find out more about the agile methodology here.

“What does long tail mean?”

Didn’t your brother used to have a rat tail? Sounds like you’d find it on the back of someone’s head.

Thanks … now wait while I compose myself.

“Ok … what does above the fold mean?”

 (We’ve removed this answer. My mother said something dirty here.)


As if! I’ve seen you dance.

I had to clarify this one – she thought I said “I’ve got rhythm.” Now you know why I laugh at my mum. She laughs at me, too.


I asked her about RSS and my beautiful, sweet, funny mother said with a wrinkled up nose “can I buy a vowel, Vanna?”


My expert opinion is that my mother has never been a marketing professional. While I didn’t expect her to get any of these right, she surprisingly came close on Agile, 301 redirects, churn, and a few others.

However, I asked her about linkbait and my mother’s response was “I was watching Walking Dead the other day and they did this. They were all holding hands walking through the zombies and when they started to attack they pulled the one lady in front of them. She was the linkbait.”

And let’s be honest – you can’t argue with that kind of logic.

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