Glossary for Association Media

The ABC’s of Digital Media, Marketing and Publishing – A Glossary of Terms

Betsy Kominsky August 21st, 2014

Just like every other industry out there, us media types have a whole alphabet soup of commonly used acronyms and jargon at our disposal.  And sometimes we fall into the trap of assuming everyone speaks our language, when they don’t. But, these terms are important to understand – and even more importantly – act on, for any organization who has a website, publishes a magazine, and/or is investing in digital marketing.  So, in the interest of adding value for our clients, and combatting the glazing over of the eyes when we slip into acronym overload, we thought we’d define via blog post some of the most commonly used acronyms and terms within media, marketing, and publishing today.

Check it out – and if we missed one, let us know, we’ll add it.

Media, Marketing Terms:

Audience Acquisition: The act of attracting and growing an audience to elevate the visibility of an organization, brand or event.

Big Data: In marketing, Big Data refers to analyzing large, complex data sets to gain deeper insights into customers and customer behaviors.

Circulation: The number of copies a publication distributes per edition.

CTOR (Click-to-Open-Rate): Also known as the “effective rate,” CTOR is a measurement that determines how effective the content of an email is at convincing recipients to click on a link. The CTOR can be calculated by dividing the number of unique clicks by the number of unique opens.

CTR (Click-Through Rate): The number of users that clicked on a specific link whether on a website or in an email. CTR can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of an organization’s email or online advertising campaign.

Community-based Media: Media channels, such as social networking sites, websites, or magazines, which are devoted to a specifically targeted community or audience.

Content Curation: The process of collecting, organizing and distributing information that is related to a specific topic or interest area.

Content Marketing: A marketing technique in which an organization develops and shares valuable, relevant information to build an audience that, over time, generates interest in the organization’s product or service. (See: The Secret to Content Marketing)

Content Syndication: The act of providing website material to multiple other sites, with credit given to the original site’s author.

Conversion: The act of converting a website visitor into a regular customer, whether through a membership registration, a direct sale, a newsletter subscription or other desired activity.

Conversion Rate: The proportion of visits to a website that result in a sale or other desired action. In general, the conversion rate can be calculated by dividing the number of desired actions achieved by the number of visits.

CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions): A commonly used measurement term in online advertising, CPM is calculated by dividing the cost of a campaign by the total number of impressions (expressed in thousands).

Digital Strategy: The process of identifying a roadmap to achieve an organization’s business goals through the integrated use of online platforms, such as websites, emails and social media.

Engagement: The act of drawing in customers to interact with an organization or a brand with the goal of building stronger loyalty to that organization or brand.

Impression: A metric that is used to measure the number of times an ad is seen.

Infographic: A graphic depiction of data or information that presents complex ideas clearly and in a highly visual way.

Integrated Media: A form of content creation that cohesively and consistently integrates an organization’s content across multiple communication channels, such as publications, advertising, events, websites, social media, etc.

Lead Generation: A process that creates interest in an organization’s product or service with the goal of converting that interest into a sale. Leads can come from a variety of sources, such as the Internet, sales calls, advertising, referrals, emails, events and list building.

Link Strategy: Important for search engine optimization (SEO) success, a link strategy defines how an organization will increase the number of high-quality sites that link to the organization’s website. A link strategy can help an organization improve search engine rankings and website traffic.

Metadata: Generally, data about data. In marketing, organizations can use metadata to glean insights about a customer and their buying habits, enabling greater engagement and increased click-throughs and open rates.

Online Traffic Source Mix: The variety of online sources (e.g., search engines, direct traffic, social media, blogs, partners) that are referring users to an organization’s website.

Open Rate: The number of people who open an email sent by an organization. The open rate can be calculated by dividing the number of email messages opened by the number of email messages sent.

Page Views: The number of times a user visits a web page. Page views are useful in determining a website’s traffic but have limitations, as a single user can rack up many page views on one website.

PPC (Pay-Per-Click): Also called cost-per-click, PPC is an online advertising method in which organizations pay a website when their ad is clicked on by a user.

ROI (Return on Investment): Refers to the benefit gained from an action (such as an advertising campaign) compared to the cost. A high ROI means the benefits were high relative to the cost.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing): An online marketing strategy that promotes a website through the use of tactics like search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC).

SEO (Search Engine Optimization): An Internet marketing tactic that is used to increase the number of visitors to an organization’s website by improving the site’s ranking on the results page of a search engine like Google, Yahoo or Bing.

Unique Visitors: The number of different individuals requesting pages from a website during a given time period, such as a week or a month.


Print Buying/Printing Terms:

Aqueous Coating: A clear, fast-drying water-based coating that is used to protect printed pieces and improve durability. More environmentally friendly than varnish or UV coatings, aqueous coatings are often used for postcards and mass mailings.

Bleed: A printing term that refers to printing that extends beyond the edges of the printed piece. The bleed is trimmed off after printing to ensure the ink runs fully to the edge of the page.

CMYK: Refers to the four inks used in color printing – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (black). Ink is typically applied in the order of the abbreviation.

Co-Mail: A mailing process that combines individual pieces of mail into new, pre-sorted bundles in order to save money on postage.

Co-Palletize: A mailing process that groups bundles of pre-sorted mail onto pallets. The pallets are then drop-shipped to achieve a postage discount.

DPI (dots per inch): Measures the resolution, or clarity, of an image both on screen and in print. In general, the higher the DPI, the more detailed the printed image is.

Font: A complete set of type of one size, weight and style.

Four-Color Processing: Also called process printing, four-color processing is a system of printing that separates a color image into four different color values – cyan, magenta, yellow and key/black (CMYK) – to reproduce the original color image. This process is universally used in the printing industry.

Pantone Color: A standardized color system that allows any printer to exactly reproduce the original desired color.

Perfect Binding: A widely used soft cover binding method in which the pages and cover are glued together at the spine. Typically used for paperback books, annual reports, manuals, catalogs and other thick brochures.

Periodical: A publication issued on a regular schedule, such as daily, monthly or quarterly. Periodicals, which qualify for special mailing prices, include newspapers, magazines, journals, and newsletters and must meet specific requirements for eligibility such as regularity (published at least four times a year).

Resolution: Measured in dots per inch (DPI), resolution refers to the image’s clarity. A higher resolution means a more detailed image is presented.

RGB: An acronym for “red, green and blue,” RGB is a color model that adds the three colors together in a variety of ways to create a broad selection of colors. A common problem with files sent for commercial printing is that the graphics are not converted from RGB mode to CMYK mode before sending the file to the printer.

RIP (Raster Image Processing): In desktop publishing, RIP refers to the process of translating a digital file, such as a PostScript file, which includes information about fonts and graphics, into a high-resolution raster image (also known as a bitmap) for printing.

Saddle Stitching: A binding method that joins the pages and cover with staples down the centerfold. Often used for magazines.

Standard AA class of U.S. Postal Service bulk mail, which has a minimum quantity of 200 pieces or 50 pounds of mail per mailing. Standard A mail includes flyers, circulars, newsletters, bulletins and catalogs.

Trim Size: The actual size of the final page after printing and cutting off excess edges.

UV Coating: An extremely high-gloss ultraviolet (UV) coating for printed pieces that offers more protection than varnish or aqueous coatings. May crack when scored or folded due to the thickness and hardness of the coating.

Varnish Coating: A clear ink coating for printed pieces that offers a lesser degree of protection than aqueous or UV coatings. Can be used to add shine to specific elements on a page or to cover the entire page for light protection and sheen.

Did we miss one?  Send it via twitter to @bkominsky and we’ll add it!