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Glossary of Selected Marketing
and Communications Terms

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Advertising Specialties
Items that you give to clients or potential clients to remind them of your company or organization. Often inexpensive items like t-shirts, baseball caps, pens and key chains are used.

Commercials placed next to certain programming, such as the news, weather, sports, or family programming.

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Banner Ads
Narrow ads at the top of web pages. The ads link to the advertiser’s Web site.

How a customer will gain from a particular feature of your product or service. In advertising, highlight benefits to your customer rather than features of your product.

The announcement that identifies sponsors and their product at the beginning of a TV broadcast.

Body copy
Text set in blocks in relatively small type, as opposed to display copy such as headlines subheadlines and other large type.

This acronym stands for “back of the room” and is used to refer to tables for selling books, tapes, and other merchandise at the back of a room where a seminar, presentation, or meeting is held.

A group meeting to generate spontaneous ideas and creative solutions or plans.

A pamphlet used to promote a business. Brochures are usually one page, folded. They are long enough to fully explain several benefits of your product or service, whereas advertisements are best limited to a single benefit.

In design, a piece is said to be busy when there are too many elements for the space and they compete with each other for attention. This reduces the effectiveness of the ad or promotional materials.

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Planned advertising on radio, television, print or other media.

Center Spread
An advertisement covering the two facing pages in the center of a publication, on a single sheet of paper.

A unit of type. An individual letter, number, punctuation mark, or space in printed matter.

The number of copies of a publication distributed or sold.

Closing Date
The deadline for submitting an ad to a publication or broadcaster.

Colour Separation
Breaking down full-colour art into its primary colour components.

Column inch
A unit of space used in print advertising, one column wide by one inch deep.

The text of an ad. Sometimes used to refer to all elements in a finished ad.

The exclusive right to publish or sell the rights to a work, such as an article, book, or image (photo, drawing, and so on). This right is granted by law for a certain amount of time to the creator of the work. The copyright holder can sell or license his or her copyright.

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The statistical characteristics of human population, such as age, gender, race, religion, or income.

Direct Advertising
Printed advertising that does not appear in a publication. It is delivered to the prospect by mail, salesmen, dealers etc. (This does not include posters or point-of-purchase advertising.)

Direct Mail
When advertising messages are delivered through the postal system. Includes sales letters, self-mailers, leaflets, circulars, and inserts.

This acronym is used by designers and printers and it stands for dots per inch. It measures resolution of images and text. The greater the dpi, the higher the resolution of the text or image.

Drive Time
The morning and afternoon hours when many people listen to the radio while driving to and from work and shopping. Also called AM Drive (morning) and PM Drive (afternoon).

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Concentrating your advertising into bursts, with a break in between. (Done to help stretch the advertising budget. Can be combined with Front Loading.)

The type of programming a station uses (for example, classical, contemporary hit radio, country.)

An on-line meeting location where there is open discussion of the topic of the forum. There are on-line forums for almost every topic imaginable.

Four-Colour Process
A printing process that reproduces a full range of colours using cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Also called CMYK and full-colour.

The number of times your audience hears or sees your message, on average. Repetition aids memory, so greater frequency makes your message better remembered.

Front Loading
Concentrating your advertising in the early stages of your campaign, and following up with lower concentration throughout the rest of the campaign. (Done to help stretch the advertising budget. Can be combined with Flighting.)

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Gross Rating Points
System for measuring advertising. Reach times frequency equals gross rating points (R x F = GRP). If your message is received in three out of five homes in your market, your reach is 60; if each home receives your message an average of two times, the frequency is two. 60 x 2 – 120 GRPs.

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Head Shot
A photograph of a person’s head and shoulders. Used for publicity purposes.

The headline in an advertisement, flyer, or other promotional piece should contain the main selling point. A headline is read five times more often than body copy so make sure you put the most important point in the headline.

Home Page
The first page of your Web site, the first one a user sees when visiting your company’s address in cyberspace.

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Your company’s image is a combination of the perceptions of your product or company among several different groups, including former, current, and future customers, employees, vendors, and the general business community.

Intellectual Property
Something created by a person or company that may be protected under law by copyright, trademark etc.

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Leading (pronounced ledding)
The space between lines of type.

A line of dots used to guide the reader’s eye.

Logotype (logo)
The name of the company in art or type form that is used consistently in all advertising and promotional materials.

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A document that has been written for publication as a book or an article.

The system of business activities used to plan, price, promote, and distribute products and services to potential customers or clients.


A section in newspapers and magazines that lists the publishers, owners, and editors as well as the editorial office and subscription contact.

Mission Statement
Why you are in business and what you hope to accomplish. It defines your business in terms of your customers, your employees, and your business philosophy.

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Name Awareness
Top-of-mind response among your target customers. The goal is to have prospects name your product first when asked which brand within your product category comes to mind.

On-line etiquette. Basic manners for communicating with others over the Internet.

Meeting people, sharing information and developing relationships to build business and further careers.

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Objective Task
A method of determining your marketing budget. First define the marketing objectives, then the tasks necessary to accomplish them. Total the costs of these tasks.

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Pass-Along Reader
A person who reads a publication he didn’t buy. Readership is greater than circulation.

Percent of Sales
Another method of determining your marketing budget. Determine sales for one year and assign a percentage of the sales for your marketing budget.

Permission Based E-mail Marketing
This refers to opt-in e-mail lists or newsletters. Sending mass e-mail promotions without permission is referred to as “spamming”. While permission based e-mail marketing can be a very effective promotional too, spamming should be avoided because it irritates recipients and damages your company’s image.

Post Script
A brief addition added to a letter or article, after the main body. The post script is usually read more frequently than the body of the letter itself.

Press Run
The printing of a specific job. The number of copies printed.

Primary Research
Original research that you conducted yourself, as opposed to information you found in print or on-line publications. In marketing, primary research consists mostly of asking customers and potential customers what they would like in a product.

Prime time
The time period in the evenings when a television station has the highest audience, between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. in the East.

Communicating with potential clients or customers in order to influence their attitudes, behaviours, and purchasing decisions.

This acronym stands for public service announcement. PSA’s are brief announcements made by the media to give valuable information to the public. PSA’s are free of charge and are usually made on behalf of charities.

The psychological factors that separate consumers. These include lifestyle and personality differences. People within the same demographic group can have very different psychographic profiles.

Editorial copy, for which you were not charged, that appears in the media. This kind of editorial coverage generally has more credibility with viewers than paid advertising does.

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Quintile Analysis
Categorizing five target markets (usually by geographic areas) by sales volume: heavy users, higher-than-average users, average users, lower-than-average users, and nonusers.

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The number of different homes (or people) exposed to your advertising message. If your media plan “reaches” four out of every five homes, it has a reach of 80.

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Sans Serif
A type that has no cross strokes or serifs at the tops and bottoms of characters. Sans Serif fonts are commonly used in headlines.

Secondary Research
Using information compiled by others. Encyclopedias and journals are common sources of secondary research.

The process of dividing your prospects and customers by demographic or psychographic criteria, by age, gender, or frequency of use for example.

The short cross strokes at the top and bottom of characters in certain typefaces. These strokes make it easier to read long blocks of text, so serif typefaces are commonly used for body copy.

Sheet-Fed Press
A press that takes individual sheets of paper instead of rolls.

Signature Footer
A one-to-four line entry put at the end of your e-mail messages. Signature footers usually contain your name and contact information, including e-mail address and your company Web site address.

A proofreading term meaning leave as it was, ignore the change. (From Latin, meaning literally “let it stand”.)

Suggestive Selling
Suggesting additional items to customers who are purchasing your primary product or service. Common examples include selling accessories, warranties or service contracts.

When multiple items, strategies or effects work together to create a result or impact that is greater than the sum of the individual components. For example, marketing plans usually contain multiple promotional strategies, using a variety of different communications channels, all timed to work together for maximum impact.

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Target Audience
Those persons with whom you most wish to make contact. Your target audience may be defined using demographics, psychographics, or both.

Positive commentary given by another person in support of your product or service.

Tear sheet
A full page showing the ad as run. Used for checking.

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White Space

The space in an ad not taken with any other element, type, pictures etc. White space is an important design element in itself. Without enough white space in the ad, it becomes busy. (See busy above.)

A single word or small section of type that carries over onto the next line by itself. Widows should be avoided if possible.

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