Rutgers logo
Communicating about Rutgers

Glossary of Marketing Terms

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


A/B Test: Sending an ad or webpage, with different headlines or copy to two different groups to determine the effectiveness of each.

Above the Fold: The upper half of a newspaper or the section of a webpage that is visible without scrolling.

Ad Copy: All printed text in an advertisement.

Ad Impressions: The number of times an advertisement is seen by audiences.

Ad Server: A web server that saves online ads and delivers them to website visitors.

Ad Words: An advertising system in which advertisers bid on certain keywords in order for their clickable ads to appear in search engine results.

Advertising: A paid commercial message promoting the university and/or its campuses, units, programs, events, and people. An advertisement can appear in print or electronic publications, on websites; on radio, television, or other means of electronic distribution (such as podcasts); and on public media such as banners, billboards, kiosks, and signage in transportation hubs.

Advertising Plan: An explicit outline of what goals an advertising campaign should achieve, how to accomplish those goals, and how to determine whether or not the campaign was successful in obtaining those goals.

Advertorial: An advertisement that resembles a news article or editorial in a print or electronic communication that promotes a single program, service, or point of view.

Agency Commission: The agency's fee for designing and placing advertisements. Generally, this is calculated as 15 percent to 20 percent of the amount spent to purchase space or time in the various media used for the advertising.

Aggregator: A publication that collects content about a similar topic from many sources and distributes it one package. Most common in email newsletter format.


B2B: Business-to-Business; commerce transactions between businesses.

B2C: Business-to-Consumer; goods or service transactions between a business and the end-user or consumer.

Banner Ad: A graphic image used on websites to advertise a product or service. Banner ads come in numerous sizes but often are rectangular.

Billboard: An outdoor sign or poster. Costs for a specific billboard are determined by the board's size and the amount of traffic that passes its location.

Bleed: Allowing a picture or advertisement to extend beyond the normal margin of a printed page, to the edge of the page.

Bounce Rate: The percentage of initial visitors to a site who “bounce” to another site instead of staying on the original website.

Bus Card: An advertising poster attached to the side or back of a bus.

Bus Wrap: An advertising message imprinted on high-quality vinyl adhesive that is attached to the bus exterior.


Cable TV: Television stations whose signals are carried to households by cable and paid by subscription.

Channel: Any medium through which a message can be sent to a receiver, including oral communication, print media, TV, and the internet.

Circulation: The total number of distributed copies of a publication at a specified time.

Classified Advertisement: In print media, any advertisement that is limited to certain classifications of goods and services (such as program and events listings) and usually limited in size and content.

Click Through: The action of clicking on a digital ad, which results in being redirected to the web page to which the ad is hyperlinked.

Click Through Rate: The percentage of impressions that resulted from a Click Through, calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions.

Closing Date: The date by which all advertising must be ordered from a specific medium in order to secure dates, times, and placements.

Column Inch: A unit of measure by newspapers whereby advertisement space is purchased by the width, in columns, and the depth in inches. For example, an advertisement that is three standard columns wide and five inches tall (or deep) would be 15 column inches.

Comp: Short for comprehensive, this is a layout that resembles, as closely as possible, the finished project. Comps are often created for ads, brochures, packaging, etc.

CPC: Cost Per Click is one of the online payment models used to charge advertisers for each click through on a digital ad.

CPM: Cost per thousand; an online payment model which charges advertisers for every 1,000 impressions their ad receives.

CRM: Customer Relationship Management refers to how a company manages data about its customers.

CTA: Call to Action is a marketing message that directs visitors to a specific action such as requesting a brochure.

CTR: An abbreviation for Click Through Rate


Demographics: Information regarding the size and characteristics of a particular population of interest such as age, gender, income, education, etc.

Designated Market Areas (DMA): The geographical areas in which TV stations attract most of their viewers.

Direct Marketing: The process used to send advertising messaging directly to customers or potential customers; commonly used in email campaigns.

Direct Response: Ads that allow recipients to respond directly to the sender to purchase a product or service or get more information.

Display Advertisement: In print media, any advertisement other than a classified ad.

Drive Time: The hours when the most commuters are in their cars. During "drive time," radio advertising costs more because of increased listeners.

Duration: The length of viewing/listening/broadcast time (in hours:minutes:seconds) for a radio, television, webcast, podcast, CD, video, or other electronic formatted production.


Editorial Calendar: The part of a magazine or newsletter media kit that describes the editorial content planned for each issue in the coming year.


Flat Rate: A media rate that allows for no discounts.

Frequency: Term used to describe the number of times and ad is shown to the same visitor during a particular session or time-frame.

Full-Service Agency: An agency that handles all aspects of the advertising process, including planning, design, production, and placement.


Geotargeting: Showing ads or content based on the physical location of the user’s internet access.

GIF: Graphical Interchange Format—a graphic file extension


HTML: Hyper text Markup Language is a computer programming language that helps control the format of a document’s content and design online. Often used to format email marketing messages for reliable display in many email clients. 

Hyperlink: HTML code that, when clicked on, redirects the user’s browser to another web page.


Impressions: Use each news outlet's circulation number (or listenership, viewership, audience, or number of subscribers or members).

Inline Ad: An online ad located anywhere on the page that consists of a few lines of copy and/or an image together with a link or email address for action.

Insert: Advertisement or other promotional matter published by an advertiser to be inserted in a magazine or newspaper. It may be bound into the publication or inserted loose without binding.

Insertion Date(s): The day or issue month your advertisement appears in the publication.

Insertion Order: A written authorization for a publisher to run a print advertisement in a specific publication on a certain date at a specified price.

IP Address: The numeric address that is translated into a domain name by a domain name server.


JPEG (.jpg): A common image file format that is very effective at displaying high color images in a compact file size. Photographs to be used on the internet often are compressed as .jpgs.

Jump Page: The page that is displayed when a user clicks on a website banner. Often this is just the homepage for a product or service, but special promotions may have more complicated pages.


Keyword: A word or phrase entered into a search engine to receive matching and relevant results.

Keyword Density: The measurement of how frequently a keyword appears within a web page.


Landing Page: The page on a website where one is taken after clicking on a digital ad.

Local Time: Radio spots available for purchase by a local advertiser.


Marketing Campaign: A specific series of strategies, tactics, and activities designed to get desired marketing messages to intended target markets. A marketing plan should be researched and developed to include an outline of what goals the campaign is to achieve, how to accomplish those goals, and how to measure the success of the campaign in achieving those goals.

Media Kit: Information offered to potential advertisers by publishers to help the advertisers understand the publisher's rates, visitor demographics, terms, etc.

Media Outlet: A publication or broadcast organization that transmits information, news, entertainment, and advertising messages. Media outlets can include print publications, electronic newsletters, websites, billboard, radio stations, as well as broadcast and cable TV stations.

Medium (plural, Media): A vehicle or group of vehicles—such as newspapers, websites, television, cable television, radio, billboards—used to convey information, news, entertainment, and advertising messages to an audience.


Out-of-Home: OOH is advertising that reaches the consumers while they are outside their homes and would include advertisements placed on billboards, buses, shopping area directories, etc.

Opt-In: A process where a user voluntarily agrees to receive email.

Opt-Out: A process where a user voluntarily agrees to stop receiving email.


Page View: When a user’s browser requests a webpage.

Pay Per Click: An online payment model where advertisers pay for each click through on their ad.

Pay Per Impression: Online payment model where advertisers pay for every 1,000 impressions of their ad.

PDF (Portable Document Format): An open file format used to create or view documents. PDF files can be used to review and approve ads. In some cases, they also can be used as the final file format sent to the media outlet.

Podcast/Podcasting: A media file that is distributed over the internet using syndication feeds for playback on portable media players and personal computers.

Pop-Up: An ad that appears in a separate window either on top of or underneath the user's current webpage.

Preferred Position: A position in a printed publication that is thought to attract more reader attention and is sold at a higher rate; for example, the back or inside front cover of a magazine.

Prime Time: Highest level of TV viewing (8 to 11 p.m. EST).

Proof: Copy of the advertisement distributed for changes or corrections prior to final approval.

Public Service Announcement (PSA): Announcement on television or radio serving the public interest typically run by the media at no charge.


Rate: The amount charged to an advertiser based on unit of space or time purchased. The rate may vary from national to local campaigns, or it may be a fixed rate based on a specific market.

Rate Card: Information cards provided by both print and broadcast media that contain information about advertising costs, mechanical requirements, special issues, closing dates, cancellation dates, circulation data, etc.

Reach: The total number of people or households exposed to an advertisement during a specified time. Reach measures the true extent of audience exposure to a medium and is usually expressed as a percentage of the total market.

Reservation Date: The day you request that a publication set aside space for your organization because you will be advertising in a particular issue. Typically, advertisement space must be reserved a number of days in advance of the insertion date.

Rich Media: An advertising technique that includes richer graphics, audio or video within the ad.

ROI: Return on Investment is the process used to determine if the benefits of an ad campaign are above or below the amount of money spent.

Rotation: A banner that is in rotation on a page or group of pages; other ads may be shown when the ad is reloaded.

RSS: Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is a format designed for automatically distributing headlines and other web content.

Run Date: The day your advertisement appears in the publication; also known as insertion date.

Run-of-Press (ROP): A newspaper publisher's option to place an advertisement in whatever section is available rather than in a preferred section, such as business, education, or classifieds. Also known as run-of-paper.

Run-of-Schedule (ROS): A broadcast station's option to place an advertisement in any time slot they choose; also known as run-of-station.

Run-of-Site: A website's option to place an advertisement on any webpage of the targeted site.


SEM: Search Engine Marketing is the practice of promoting a website through a search engine.

SEO: Search Engine Optimization is the practice of promoting a website by publishing content to attract a search engine’s organic listings.

Session: A series of web page requests by a visitor without 30 consecutive minutes of inactivity.

Sidebar Ad: An online ad (also known as a skyscraper ad) that is vertically oriented and positioned on the left or right edges of the webpage.

Space Reservation: Notification to a media vendor, either written or verbal, of intentions to run an ad.

Spam: Sending unsolicited emails in bulk, often containing commercial advertising messages.

Splash Page: Also known as a “jump page”—a special entrance page to a site.

Split Run: Sending an ad or webpage, with different headlines or copy to three or more different groups to determine the effectiveness of each.

Spot (Spot Announcement): 15-, 30-, or 60-second radio or television commercial.

Spot Color: The technique of coloring for emphasis some areas of basic black-and-white advertisements, usually with a single color.

Spot Television (or Radio): Time slots purchased on a market basis rather than through a network and allowing for greater flexibility for advertisers.

Sticky: A term used to describe a website on which visitors stay for longer than normal.

Storyboard: A series of panels roughly depicting scenes, copy, and shots proposed for a television commercial. The storyboard provides a good representation of the concept for a commercial before extensive production charges are incurred.

Submission Date: Date by which advertisement must be provided to the medium in order to appear on or in a specific date, time, or place.

Subway Card: Advertising poster attached to the interior of a subway car or train.

Syndication Feed: A form of syndication in which content on a website is made available for other sites to use.


Target Audience: A specific audience or demographic group for which an advertising message is designed.

Time Slot: A specific time bought for airing a commercial on radio or television.

Total Audience Plan (TAP): A radio advertising package rate that guarantees a percentage of spots in the better parts of the day.


Unique Visitors: The total number of distinct visitors to a site with a specified time frame.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator): The URL is the internet "address" of a website or webpage. A browser requires this information in its location box in order to load a webpage.


Voice Over: A recorded narrator who is heard but not seen in a television commercial, or narration that is distinct from the scene portrayed in a radio commercial.

Volume Discount: A price discount offered to advertisers willing to commit to a certain quantity of advertisements at a certain rate.


Webcasting: The process of delivering audio and/or video online. Audio or video webcasts can be delivered live (as an event happens) or on-demand (at the user's convenience). They can be streamed (delivered progressively as it is viewed) or downloaded (delivered in its entirety before it can be played) by the user. Advertisements can be inserted at the beginning of the webcast.

Whitelisting: The process by which an email domain is registered as trusted by a recipient server. Email coming from a whitelisted domain will not be flagged as spam.