Marketing Glossary

Below are some fun and current terms used in marketing.

The following terms are from either the American Marketing Association's glossary of terms, the industry's leading professional association for marketing, or the Market Research Association's glossary of terms, the industy's leading professional association for market research.

Above the Fold
A term used in print newspapers that references the top portion of a printed page that you can see when folded. It also references a Web page that is visible without scrolling. Web designers typically recommend that important information should be included above the fold.

Activities, Interests and Opinions (AIO)
A measurable series of psychographic variables involving the interests and beliefs of consumers.

Ad Clicks
Number of times users click on an ad banner.

Adopter Categories
Persons or firms that adopt an innovation are often classified into five groups according to the sequence of their adoption of it: (1) Innovators (the first 2 to 5 percent); (2) Early adopters (the next 10 to 15 percent); (3) Early majority (the next 35 percent); (4) Late majority (the next 35 percent); (5) Laggards (the final 5 to 10 percent). The numbers are percents of the total number of actual adopters, not of the total adopter categories (the number of persons or firms in the marketplace). There is wide disagreement on the exact portion in each category.

Adoption Process
This term sometimes is used to refer to a model of stages in the purchase process ranging from awareness to knowledge, evaluation, trial and adoption.

The placement of announcements and persuasive messages in time or space purchased in any of the mass media by business firms, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and individuals who seek to inform and/ or persuade members of a particular target market or audience about their products, services, organizations or ideas.

Advertising Claim
A statement made in advertising about the benefits, characteristics, and/or performance of a product or service designed to persuade the customer to make a purchase.

Advertising Effectiveness
An evaluation of the extent to which a specific advertisement or advertising campaign meets the objectives specified by the client. There is a wide variety of approaches to evaluation, including inquiry tests, recall tests, and market tests. The measurement approaches include recall of ads and advertising themes, attitudes toward the advertising, persuasiveness, and impact on actual sales levels.

Advertising Substantiation
The documentation by means of tests or other evidence of product performance claims made in advertising. Federal Trade Commission decisions indicate that it is a deceptive and/or unfair practice for advertisers to fail to possess reasonable documentation for product performance claims made in advertising messages before the claims are disseminated to the public.

Advertising, Regulation of
Under the Wheeler Lea Amendment to the Federal Trade Commission Act, unfair or deceptive acts or practices (which may include advertising) are prohibited. Besides the FTC, the Alcohol Tobacco and Tax Division of the Internal Revenue Service, the FCC, the FDA, the SEC, and the U. S. Postal Service are involved in regulating advertising.

Advertising/Display Allowance
A form of trade sales promotion in which retailers are given a discount in exchange for either promoting the product in their own advertising, setting up a product display, or both. It is also known as a display allowance.

The process a search engine applies to web pages so it can accurately produce a list of results based on a search term. Search engines regularly change their algorithms to improve the quality of the search results. Hence search engine optimisation tends to require constant research and monitoring.

Antitrust Laws
Federal antitrust policy is set forth in four laws: the Sherman Antitrust Act, the Clayton Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, and the Robinson-Patman Act. These laws are negative in character and outlaw restraints of trade, monopolizing, attempting to monopolize, unfair methods of competition, and, where they may substantially lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly, price discrimination, exclusive dealing, and mergers.

Application Service Provider (ASP)
The term used to describe companies that provide software or services to a network of customers on an ongoing basis. Customers pay for those services in a stream of smaller payments rather than simply purchasing software outright.

Area Sampling
A form of a cluster sample in which areas (for example, census tracts, blocks) serve as the primary sampling units. The population is divided into mutually exclusive and exhaustive areas using maps, and a random sample of areas is selected. If all the households in the selected areas are used in the study, it is one-stage area sampling, while if the areas themselves are subsampled with respect to households, the procedure is two-stage area sampling.

ARPA (Advanced Research Project Agency)
The U.S. Department of Defense agency that, in conjunction with leading universities, created ARPAnet, the precursor of the Internet.

A digital representation of a user in a virtual reality site.

B2B (Business-to-Business)
A business that markets its products or services to other businesses.

B2C (Business to Consumer)
A business that markets its services or products to consumers.

Bait and Switch
A deceptive sales practice whereby a low-priced product is advertised to lure customers to a store, where they are then induced to buy higher priced models by disparaging the less-expensive product.

Detachable advertisements on the reply envelop commonly included with credit card or telephone bills.

Banner Ad
A graphical Internet advertising tool. Users click on the graphic to be taken to another Web site. The term "banner ad" refers to a specific size image, measuring 468 pixels wide and 60 pixels tall (i.e. 468x60), but it is also used as a generic description of all graphical ad formats on the Internet.

Barriers to Competition
The economic, legal, technical, psychological, or other factors that reduce competitive rivalry below the level that would otherwise occur naturally. Barriers include branding, advertising, patents, entry restrictions, tariffs, and quotas. Product differentiation is a barrier to competition.

A hybrid form of Internet communication that combines a column, diary and directory. The term, short for "Web log" refers to a frequently updated collection of short articles on various subjects with links to further resources.

Brand and Branding
A brand is a customer experience represented by a collection of images and ideas. A symbol such as a name, logo, slogan, and design scheme are elements of the brand. Brand recognition and other reactions are created by the accumulation of experiences with the specific product or service, both directly relating to its use, and through the influence of advertising, design, and media commentary.

Brand Equity
The value of a brand. From a consumer perspective, brand equity is based on consumer attitudes about positive brand attributes and favorable consequences of brand use.

Offering several complementary products together or offering additional services in a single "package deal." The price of the bundle is typically lower than the sum of the prices of the individual products or services included in it. Groups of services or products may be bundled in different combinations appealing differently to different segments in order to price discriminate among these segments and to avoid cherry picking.

A cognitive process by which objects, events, and persons are grouped together and responded to in terms of their class membership rather than their uniqueness.

Census Metropolitan Area (CMA)
The main labor market area of an urbanized core having at least 100,000 population. Each constituent municipality has at least 40 percent of its labor force working in the urbanized core.

Channel of Distribution
An organized network (system) of agencies and institutions which, in combination, perform all the functions required to link producers with end customers to accomplish the marketing task.

Click-through Rate
The number of click-throughs per ad impression, expressed as a percentage.

Competitive Analysis
The analysis of factors designed to answer the question, "how well is a firm doing compared to its competitors?" The analysis goes well beyond sales and profit figures in assessing the firm's ratings on such factors as price, product, technical capabilities, quality, customer service, delivery, and other important factors compared to each of the major competitors.

Concept Statement
A verbal and/or pictorial statement of a concept (for a product or for advertising) that is prepared for presentation to potential buyers or users to get their reaction prior to its being implemented. Product concepts are followed by prototypes; advertising concepts by one of several forms of semifinished production.

An information file stored on a user's computer by a Web site as an identifier. Cookies are often used to manage user preferences and personalization on Web sites.

Cooperative Advertising
An approach to paying for local advertising or retail advertising whereby the advertising space or time is placed by a local entity but is partly or fully paid for by a national entity whose product is featured in the advertising.

Cooperative Marketing
The process by which independent producers, wholesalers, retailers, consumers, or combinations of them act collectively in buying or selling or both.

A copyright offers the owner of original work that can be printed, recorded, or "fixed" in any manner the sole right to reproduce and distribute the work, to display or perform it, and to authorize others to do so, during the author's lifetime and for fifty years thereafter.

Cost per Click (CPC)
A specific type of cost-per-action program where advertisers pay for each time a user clicks on an ad or link.

Cost-per-Thousand (CPM)
A simple and widely used method of comparing the cost effectiveness of two or more alternative media vehicles. It is the cost of using the media vehicle to reach 1,000 people or households. The CPM of any vehicle is computed by dividing the cost of placing a specific ad or commercial in the media vehicle by the vehicle's audience size and multiplying the result by 1,000.

Cross Selling
A sales promotion technique in which the organization attempts to sell the company's products related to a product the buyer already uses or which the marketer has available.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
A discipline in marketing combining database and computer technology with customer service and marketing communications. Customer relationship management (or CRM) seeks to create more meaningful one-on-one communications with the customer by applying customer data (demographic, industry, buying history, etc.) to every communications vehicle.

A monitoring tool that sits on top of a desktop that displays the status of varying metrics, allowing for benchmarking.

Data Mining
The analytical process of finding new and potentially useful knowledge from data. The process includes the use of mathematical tools to find difficult patterns of intelligence.

The ability to specify different times of day-or day of week-for ad placements, as a way to target searchers more specifically.

The study of total size, sex, territorial distribution, age, composition, and other characteristics of human populations; the analysis of changes in the make-up of a population.

Direct Marketing
The total of activities by which the seller, in effecting the exchange of goods and services with the buyer, directs efforts to a target audience using one or more media (direct selling, direct mail, telemarketing, direct-action advertising, catalog selling, cable selling, etc.) for the purpose of soliciting a response by phone, mail, or personal visit from a prospect or customer.

Domain Name
The Internet address of an entity such as

Early Adopters
The second identifiable subgroup within a population that begins use of an innovation. They follow innovators and precede the early majority. Their role is to be opinion leaders and have influence over the early majority.

Early Majority
The third identifiable subgroup within a population that adopts an innovation. They are preceded by early adopters and innovators. The early majority like to await the outcome of product trial by the two earlier groups, yet are not as slow to adopt as the next two groups, late majority and laggards.

A term referring to a wide variety of Internet-based business models. Typically, an e-commerce strategy incorporates various elements of the marketing mix to drive users to a Web site for the purpose of purchasing a product or service.

Eighty-Twenty Principle (80-20)
The situation in which a disproportionately small number (e.g., 20 percent) of salespeople, territories, products, or customers generate a disproportionately large amount (e.g., 80 percent) of a firm's sales or profits.

Elastic Demand
A situation in which a given change in the price of an economic good is associated with a more than proportionate change in the quantity that buyers would purchase.

Evergreen Story
A type of publicity material that can be used by the media at their convenience because it is not time related. A feature is often human interest-related and contains more background information than typically found in a news release. It is also known as an evergreen because of its relatively long life span.

FCC (Federal Communications Commission)
A federal regulatory agency responsible for supervising radio and television broadcasting.

FTC (Federal Trade Commission)
The FTC is responsible for enforcing the Federal Trade Commission Act, which prohibits "unfair methods of competition" and "unfair or deceptive acts or practices."

An indirect strategy aimed at capturing market segments whose needs are not being served by competitors. Flanking can be executed by targeting either a geographical segment or a consumer segment (group) that is not being well served by competitors, when the competitor is unwilling or unable to retaliate.

A multimedia technology developed by Macromedia to allow high interactivity in a small file size. Flash is often used as a format for animated banner ads or as a dynamic graphic on Web sites.

Four P's
A traditional view of marketing that divides the function into four, interconnected parts: Product, Price, Promotion, Place (distribution). There is actually a fifth P - People, which is important for professional services marketing.

A concrete point of measurement that the business intends to meet in pursuit of its objectives. An overall objective converts into specific goals.

Guerilla Marketing
Unconventional marketing intended to get maximum results from minimal resources.

Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol, the format of the World Wide Web. When a browser sees "HTTP" at the beginning of an address, it knows that it is viewing a WWW page.

Stands for “Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure.

This is the clickable link in text or graphics on a web page that takes you to another place on the same page, another page or a whole other site.

Any text that that can be chosen by a reader and which causes another document to be retrieved and displayed.

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is a global non-profit corporation formed to oversee a select range of Internet technical management functions currently managed by the U.S. Government, or by its contractors and volunteers.

One view or display of an ad. Ad reports list total impressions per ad, which tells you the number of times your ad was served by the search engine when searchers entered your keywords (or viewed a content page containing your keywords).

Integrated Marketing Communications (MarCom)
A planning process designed to assure that all brand contacts received by a customer or prospect for a product, service, or organization are relevant to that person and consistent over time.

Intellectual Property
Abstract forms of "property" such as patents, copyrights, and trademarks, as distinct from the concrete form of real property.

Intranets are private networks, usually maintained by corporations for internal communications, which use Internet -- usually web -- protocols, software and servers. They are relatively cheap, fast, and reliable networking and information warehouse systems that link offices around the world. They make it is easy for corporate users to communicate with one another, and to access the information resources of the Internet.

JPEG (pronounced "jay peg") is a graphics format newer than GIF which displays photographs and graphic images with millions of colors, it also compresses well and is easy to download.

A publicity device in which members of the media are brought to a company to observe the product being made, research facilities, and the like.

The degree of tightness in the space between type characters such as the individual letters in headlines, subheads, and body copy. Art directors frequently adjust the degree of closeness between type characters to give the appearance of more natural (and more readable) character and word spacing.

Keyword Density
Keywords as a percentage of text words that can be indexed.

Keywords Tag
A meta-tag used to define the keywords of a Web page for search engines.

A technique to discover the associations consumers have between specific product attributes and more general end states or consequences (i.e. benefits).

The fifth, and last, group of users to adopt an innovation.

Law of Diminishing Return
After a certain point has been reached, each successive application of a factor of production will add less to total output than before.

The amount of space between lines of text on a printed page.

Likert Scale
A technique for attitude measurement in which subjects are asked to indicate their degree of agreement or disagreement with each of a number of statements.

Line Extension
A new product marketed by an organization that already has at least one other product being sold in that product/market area. Line extensions are usually new flavors, sizes, models, applications, strengths, etc.

Link Bait
This is something on your site that people will notice and link to. By linking to your site, other sites are saying they value the content of your site and that they think other people will be interested in it, too.

A unique symbol, trademark or type style used to represent a company or brand name on packaging, in advertising, in promotional materials or other communications.

Loss Leader
An item that is sold at a "loss" of markup that would normally be obtained on the particular item, for the express purpose of increasing store traffic.

The rescheduling of an ad or commercial by an advertising media operator when it has been incorrectly printed, broadcast, or distributed or when unavoidably canceled or preempted.

Market Segmentation
The process of subdividing a market into distinct subsets of customers that behave in the same way or have similar needs. Each subset may conceivably be chosen as a market target to be reached with a distinct marketing strategy.

Short for network etiquette, the code of conduct regarding acceptable online behavior.

News Release
Information of timely value distributed by an organization to promote its views or product/services.

An objective is broader than a goal, and one objective can be broken down into a number of specific goals. Like goals, objectives serve to provide guidance, motivation, evaluation, and control.

Portable Document Format. Word processing software, business applications or desktop publishing files on the Web that look exactly like the originals. Must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.

A method of publishing audio files to the Internet for playback on mobile devices and personal computers.

Point Size
The unit of measure of printing type. One point is 1/72 of an inch. The most easily read body copy is presented in 10- or 12-point type.

Point of Purchase (POP)
Promotional materials placed at the contact sales point designed to attract consumer interest or call attention to a special offer.

Pop-Up Ad
An ad that displays in a new browser window. Pop-up ad windows typically are smaller and do not offer the standard navigation tools of a standard browser window.

Positioning refers to the customer's perceptions of the place a product or brand occupies in a market segment. In some markets, a position is achieved by associating the benefits of a brand with the needs or life style of the segments. More often, positioning involves the differentiation of the company's offering from the competition by making or implying a comparison in terms of specific attributes.

Press Conference
The convening of representatives of the media by a person or organization to explain, announce, or expand on a particular subject.

Product Life Cycle
The four stages that a new product goes through: introductory, growth, maturity and decline.

Professional Services Marketing
The marketing of advisory services offered by licensed or accredited individuals or organizations.

PSA - Public Service Announcement
An advertisement or commercial that is carried by an advertising vehicle at no cost as a public service to its readers, viewers or listeners.

The number of different persons or households exposed to a particular advertising media vehicle or a media schedule during a specified period of time.

RSS is an acronym for Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication, an XML format for distributing news headlines on the Web - also known as syndication.

Acronym for Return On Investment, the amount of money you make compared to the amount of money you spend on your marketing and advertising.

Search Advertising
An advertiser pays for the chance to have their ad display when a user searches for a given keyword. These are usually text ads, which are displayed above or to the right of the algorithmic (organic) search results. Most search ads are sold by the PPC (pay-per-click) model, where the advertiser pays only when the user clicks on the ad or text link.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The process of developing a marketing/technical plan to ensure effective use of search engines as a marketing tool. Typically, consists of two elements. On a technical side, SEO refers to ensuring that a Web site can be indexed properly by the major search engines including keywords, content and links. On the marketing side, SEO refers to the process of targeting specific keywords where the site should "win" in searches. This can be done by modifying a Web site to score well in the algorithms search engines use to determine rank, or by purchasing placement with individual keywords. Often, SEO programs are a blend off several elements and strategies.

Service Mark
A trademark for a service.

Standard Industrial Classification (SIC)
A system developed by the U.S. Department of Commerce to assign products and establishments to categories. It divides the U.S. economy into 11 divisions, including one for nonclassifiable establishments. Within each division, major industry groups are classified by two-digit numbers. Within each major two-digit SIC industry group, industry subgroups are defined by a third digit, and detailed industries are defined by a fourth digit. More detailed product categories range up to seven digits.

Strategic Planning
The consideration of current decision alternatives in light of their probable consequences over time. The practice of strategic planning incorporates four distinguishing features: (1) an external orientation; (2) a process for formulating strategies; (3) methods for analysis of strategic situations and alternatives; and (4) a commitment to action.

SWOT Analysis (Situation Analysis)
The systematic collection and study of past and present data to identify trends, forces, and conditions with the potential to influence the performance of the business and the choice of appropriate strategies. The situation analysis is the foundation of the strategic planning process. The situation analysis includes an examination of both the internal factors (to identify strengths and weaknesses) and external factors (to identify opportunities and threats). It is often referred to by the acronym SWOT.

Short-term actions undertaken to achieve implementation of a broader strategy.

Tear Sheet
An advertisement torn from a newspaper or magazine, sent to an agency or advertiser as evidence of insertion.

A legal term meaning the same as brand. A trademark identifies one seller's product and thus differentiates it from products of other sellers. A trademark also aids in promotion and helps protect the seller from imitations. A trademark may be eligible for registration, as it is in the United States through the Patent and Trademark Office of the Department of Commerce. If registered, the trademark obtains additional protection, mainly exclusive use, but special efforts are necessary to keep the registration and the exclusive use.

Any one of a wide variety of systematically designed styles or patterns used to present letters of the alphabet, numbers and punctuation marks. A font is a particular point size and style variation (such as italic) with a given type face.

Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
An approach to developing the marketing message that concentrates on the uniquely differentiating characteristic of the product/service that is both important to the customer and a unique strength of the advertised products when compared to competing products.

Usability Testing
A research step in the design and launch of a Web site where users evaluate the ease of use of a Web site's navigation, layout and other attributes.

A vertical is a specific business group or category, such as insurance, automotive or travel.

Video News Release (VNR)
A publicity device designed to look and sound like a television news story. The publicist prepares a 60- to 90-second news release on videotape, which can then be used by television stations as is or after further editing. It is more sophisticated than a news clip.

Viral Marketing
A marketing phenomenon that facilitates and encourages people to pass along a marketing message. Nicknamed viral because the number of people exposed to a message mimicks the process of passing a virus or disease from one person to another.

A guiding theme that articulates the nature of the business and its intentions for the future. These intentions are based on how management believes the environment will unfold and what the business can and should be in the future. A vision statement articulates the future "destination" for the company.

A vlog is a video blog.

Web 2.0
A term that refers to a second generation of Internet-based services. These usually include tools that let people collaborate and share information online, such as social networking sites, wikis, communication tools and folksonomies.

Web Analytics
The process of using Web metrics to extract useful business information.

A widget is a live update on a website, webpage, or desktop. Widgets contain personalized neatly organized content or applications selected by its user.

A Web application that allows users to add content, as on an Internet forum, but also allows anyone to edit the content. Wiki also refers to the collaborative software used to create such a Web site.

The act of using a remote control to change television channels when an advertisement begins. Advertisers are concerned that this will be harmful, but it is still unclear what effect zapping will have on advertising effectiveness.

Magazines that are published digitally, rather than on paper. Some are mainstream, others are oddball and cover almost every topic imaginable.

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