Every industry has their jargon. Between compound words, acronyms and things that are purely made up, it’s hard to jump into a different industry and understand everything that people are talking about. Some industries even have different jargon from platform to platform… enter marketing. There are so many forms of marketing: public relations, advertising, strategy, content marketing, websites and more. And within each of those, there are different channels and mediums. The example I am going to talk about today is advertising. Within advertising specifically I will talk about digital ads, and within digital ads I’ll compare some of the jargon between web and app advertising. Already exhausted? Me too.


Many of us may be familiar with cost per click or CPC. You set up an ad on Google Ads, Facebook, or whatever channel you are using, and you see a metric for how much it costs you to get someone to click on that ad. This term “click”, however, is computer specific. In the mobile world, many people use CPT or cost per tap. You can still use CPT as an optimization on many channels, where you are trying to drive down the cost of every tap, it’s just called something different.

Leads vs Add to Cart vs Install

In general, the first step to conversion is defined by a lead for B2B, add to cart for e-com and an install for apps. Leads are easy to understand, they filled out a form to get more information from you, and now you can follow up with them and try to convert them to customers. In the e-commerce world, if someone adds an item to their cart, they are in the same mindset. They like the product, they are testing the waters, but they don’t quite know yet if they want to become a customer. When someone adds to their cart you can retarget them to help them decide to convert. In the app world, most of the time an app developer’s money is made from In App Purchases or IAPs (another acronym for ya ;)). This means that getting someone to install the app is just the first step, and once they do they can message them in ways that encourage them to make an in app purchase.


Search Engine Optimization is something all marketers are familiar with. We are constantly trying to optimize our content, our websites and our digital footprint to move up in organic keyword rankings and increase our credibility and visibility. App Store Optimization, or ASO, is the same thing but for apps. It refers to trying to optimize the app listing, paid ads and mobile footprint in order to move up in organic keyword rankings on the app store. 

With these and so many more, app marketing can seem confusing to any marketer not familiar with the terms. However, there are more similarities than you think and many of the principles of digital marketing and SEM carry over to the app marketing world. So if you are interested in getting into app marketing but feel intimidated by the jargon, I encourage you to jump right in! Study up on this list of terms and start experimenting with a whole new style of marketing.

Brittany Silva is an Account Director at KPS3. She loves cooking, traveling, the outdoors and spending time with her husband, Garrett and her dog, Jaco.