Alphabet Soup: Making Sense of Marketing Tech Acronyms

November 22, 2022

Insurance is well known for its love of acronyms. ALAE (Allocated Loss Adjustment Expense), IBNR (Incurred But Not Reported), and TERI (Targeted Enterprise Risk Insurance)—it can be as cryptic as trying to descramble pasta letters floating in tomato broth. The marketing technology sector is no different and for those not familiar with its terminology, the acronyms can seem like another language.

Here is a quick review of the top five marketing technology acronyms most common to the independent agency distribution channel:

  • AMS – Agency Management System
  • CMS – Content Management System
  • CRM – Customer Relationship Management
  • CTA – Call to Action
  • SEO – Search Engine Optimization

An AMS, or Agency Management System, is an SaaS—a tech acronym that means Software as a Service. It is a software system used to manage and organize an agency’s book of business and associated data. Some examples of this kind of software are EZLynx (Applied), AMS 360 (Vertafore), and HawkSoft.

An AMS and CMS are not the same thing. A CMS—Content Management System—is a software application used to manage a website and all of its content. WordPress is the most popular CMS ever—over 40% of all websites on the internet use it.

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, and is a software system used to manage an agency’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. An AMS and CRM can be bundled together into one software program that manages both functions. Better Agency is an example of an AMS and CRM combined into one system.

A Call to Action, or CTA, is a prompt on a website or in a newsletter that instructs the reader to take a specific action. A CTA is generally designed as a hyperlinked button and uses language like Contact Us, Subscribe Now or Learn More.

SEO—Search Engine Optimization—refers to the techniques that help a website rank higher in Search Engine Results Pages (another acronym—SERPs), and consequently more visible to people searching the web for a specific business or product—like insurance.

Every industry has its own terminology, its own confusing jumble of initials decipherable to only those in that profession. Now the difference between a CMS and AMS or a CTA and CRM should be clear as a bowl of miso.