How to use common marketing terms like a pro

May 12, 2021


Algo Mas Creative Agency Terminology

Jargon. Industries are littered with it and marketing is no exception. But don’t let the buzzwords and acronyms blind you. By adding some common marketing terms to your repertoire, you can speak ‘Marketing’ with the best when discussing your next project.

Communications Account Manager Briony Petch has consulted the Algo Más team to compile this glossary of everyday marketing terms so you don’t have to nod politely during meetings and ‘Google’ later.

It’s a long-term game

Before we get into the terminology, it’s important to acknowledge that good relationships take work. Relationships between agencies and clients are built on respect and trust. Remember former US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld’s famous 2002 speech where he spoke about ‘unknown unknowns’? It’s true. You don’t know what you don’t know. We don’t expect you to come to a meeting knowing everything about marketing and dropping terminology left, right and centre. You wouldn’t need us if that were the case. We’re here to help so if we ever say something that doesn’t make sense, ask us. And just as we can share our knowledge with you, we know we’re going to learn just as much, if not more, from you in return.

Brand

A logo is part of your brand. Not all of it. A brand is the sum of all the feelings, views and thoughts people have about you, your organisation or your products. Branding refers to the activities a brand can undertake to influence those feelings, views and thoughts. The colours, fonts, imagery, tone of voice and graphics you choose are central to communicating your brand and the position it holds in your consumers’ minds. Consistent branding creates a sense of trust in the minds of your target audience and this builds value, also called equity, in your brand.

Brand Archetypes

Also called a brand personality or a brand persona. Brands use archetypes as a tool to create authentic connections with their target audiences. By understanding the desires of your target audience, and what makes them tick, you can craft a brand personality that appeals directly to them. Archetypes inform the way your brand looks and guide the way your brand communicates.

Brand Architecture

Also called brand hierarchy. Think of this like a family tree: it conveys relationships. Brand architecture is the way brands are organised within a larger portfolio – or stable. It shows how brands relate to one another visually, verbally, strategically and practically and the order in which they are to appear i.e. which logos are given more prominence or need to share equal billing. This is especially important when dealing with more than one level of government or an initiative involving several stakeholders who all want brand exposure. Brand hierarchy is also extremely important in packaging design. There are four standard types of hierarchies.

1. Masterbrand

Take McDonalds fast food. McDonalds is overarching corporate brand and then, as you go down the tree, it starts to branch out into sub-brands like Big Mac, Fillet-o-Fish, McChicken and Quarter Pounder and so on.

2. House of brands

Unilever is a great example of this. The company has a collection of unique brands, including Lipton, Rexona, Omo and Continental, which all exist independently but work under the one parent brand.

3. Endorsed

Kellogg’s is king at this with its range of breakfast cereals like Special K, Rice Bubbles and Coco Pops. The product features an endorsed association by the parent brand along with an independent sub-brand e.g. Kellogg’s Coco Pops.

4. Hybrid

This type of hierarchy is a combination of a masterbrand, a house of brands and endorsed. Think of the Coco Cola Company which is home to Coke, Fanta and Pump.

Brand Strategy

Brand strategy is probably one of the most misunderstood terms in the industry. Strategy is so much more than writing a vision and a purpose for your business and listing your organisational values. Good strategy will also define your brand’s target audience and personality, or archetype, which establishes the tone of voice your brand uses to communicate with customers along with its visual identity and architecture.

Draft

A draft is a term that’s used in copywriting. Just as a proof is an early version of a design, a draft is an early version of a piece of copy. The copy may be for a news release, a capability statement or a radio advertisement. Clients can make changes, also called amendments, up to a certain point depending on the number of drafts that have been quoted.

Make It Pop!

This is a classic. The problem is ‘pop’ is subjective. What you might think will make something pop, may not be how a copywriter, web developer or graphic designer defines pop. And before you know it, everyone’s ‘popped off’, no-one’s taking responsibility and it’s a real stink. Find other words to explain what pop means to you. A good agency will ask what you mean. By choosing to drop the pop from your lexicon, and clearly defining what look and feel you want to achieve, nothing is left open to interpretation.

Positioning Statement

There’s a lot of ambiguity surrounding this term – even amongst marketers themselves – so we’re not surprised if you’re scratching your head too. A positioning statement outlines how you want your brand to be perceived by the market and where it sits alongside your competitors. It should be a direct appeal to buyers showcasing why they should pick your brand over others. Do you offer the most competitive prices, the largest range, local service or Australian made products? These are all elements that can be included in your positioning statement to help set you apart from the rest in your customers’ minds. What’s even better is that a good positioning statement has the potential to be distilled down into a shorter brand tagline which you can use for your marketing.

Proof

This term is generally used for projects involving graphic design. Proofs are supplied to clients so they can see how their new piece of collateral, like a brochure or poster, will look before it’s printed. A proof is not set in stone: clients can make changes to a proof if they choose. There’s technically no limit to proofs but agencies will typically quote up to a certain number (e.g. proof three) and anything over that may be charged additionally. When a client approves the final proof, it gets sent off to print.

Purpose

This is a short statement outlining what your organisation has been put on this earth to do – your reason for being. Your brand purpose should explain why your brand exists and what lies at the core of your business. Our Algo Más purpose is:

We exist to help businesses, organisations and individuals maximise performance. We do this by creating brands that are more distinct. By crafting designs that are more influential. And by developing campaigns with more thought.

In a cluttered market where there are multiple competitors selling the same product or service, your brand purpose may all be very similar. Enter your brand’s positioning statement.

Render

A render is short for rendition. A render is the same as an Artist’s Impression or a Computer Generated Image (CGI). A render is a visual interpretation of how something will look when it’s finished. Renders are commonly used in ‘off the plan’ property developments and are an important sales tool. Because the building is yet to be built, there is nothing to physically show prospective buyers, so interior and exterior renders are created to depict what it would be like to live in a property when it is completed.

Tagline

A tagline is a short memorable message used to help market a brand. Not a particular product or campaign. A brand. Our rule of thumb is to keep taglines to around six words. Taglines often accompany a logo and other visual elements to form an entire brand so they need to be as succinct as possible. Taglines can be distilled down from longer positioning statements. Taglines aren’t the same thing as a slogan.  Slogans are catchphrases for a particular campaign. Here’s an example to show the difference:

Nestle’s tagline is: We are the Good food, Good life company.

Nestle’s slogan for its product KitKat is: Have a break, have a KitKat.

Values

Values communicate the behaviours everyone in your team is expected to display internally and externally. Values drive individual and company decisions. Think of them like true beliefs. We have five values at Algo Más:

1. Creativity – We are inspired by new ideas.

2. Integrity – We speak the truth.

3. Responsiveness – We move quickly without compromising quality.

4. Innovation – We see change as an opportunity and not a threat.

5. Respect – We are all equal.

Vision

A vision is a short statement outlining where your brand is headed, where you want to be in the future and what your organisation looks like at its most successful. Our vision at Algo Más is:

To be the team that people seek first to create and shape the best brands.

Diffusing the acronym ‘conundrym’

Now you’ve got your head around some common industry terminology, let’s look at acronyms. Marketing can be acronym hell for the uninitiated. This list will make it feel more like heaven.

COP – COB – EOD

Short for close of play – or close of business – or end of day. They’re all the same and interchangeable. It’s a deadline regardless so the clock is ticking no matter which term is used.

CRM

Short for customer relationship management. CRM refers to the online systems businesses use to track and manage interactions with customers. CRM software is a valuable internal resource. Team members from different departments can all use the same system to provide updates and add information about where people are ‘at’ in their customer journey. Today’s systems come jam-packed with features so it’s worth investigating what a CRM platform can do for your business.

CTA

Short for call to action. What do you want your customers to do? Do you want them to buy something, register their interest, subscribe, sign up for a free trial, download a free resource from your website? Your CTA is the action you want your customers to take.

CTR

Short for click-through rate. Digital marketing is a numbers game. CTR measures how many people see your online advert and then click on it. There’s even a formula to work it out. Divide the number of clicks your advert receives by the number of people who see it and the result is your click-through rate.

CPM

Short for cost per thousand impressions. It’s a measurement used in digital marketing; specifically, online advertising campaigns. CPM refers to how much it will cost an advertiser to have their online advert seen 1-thousand times and the cost is determined by whoever the media supplier is. The reason an advertiser may be more interested in CPM than cost per click (CPC) comes down to objectives. CPM is all about eyeballs, and being seen, so it’s a good metric for a brand that’s wanting to raise awareness.

CPC

Short for cost per click. CPC refers to how much an advertiser pays each time a potential customer clicks on their online advert. These CPC adverts form part of the advertiser’s overall pay per click (PPC) digital marketing campaign. CPC is the metric and PPC is the tactic being used.

GIF

Short for Graphics Interchange Format. You pronounce GIF with a ‘hard’ g like gold and not a soft ‘g’ like giraffe. The latter sounds more like a bathroom cleaning product. A GIF is a particular type of digital file featuring moving images played on repeat i.e. looped. GIF animations can be made using photographs or videos and are often overlayed with additional text. They’re great for using on social media and websites. A GIF is different to an image with animated text which you often see being used on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Whichever one you choose, a GIF or an image with animated text, both file formats create a sense of fun about your brand and help attract attention online.

KPI

Short for key performance indicator. A KPI is the measure for determining if a project is on track to achieve its pre-determined objectives and goals.

ROI

Short for return on investment. Think of ROI as ‘What’s in it for me?’. What will I get in return for the time and money I am about to invest in marketing my brand? Again, it comes down to a brand’s goals and objectives and, ideally, brands should be getting more back than what they’re putting in.

SEM

Short for Search Engine Marketing. SEM is essentially a digital marketing ‘combo meal deal’ made up of two tactics: search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) online advertising. Both tactics are used to achieve the same objective: to drive online users to your website.

SEO

Short for search engine optimisation. And it’s a different kettle of fish to paid search advertising. The essence of SEO is getting your website seen. And the higher it appears in organic, or free, search engine results, the better. Ideally, you want your brand to appear on the first page of results but that can be a hard thing to achieve in a cluttered market where there are lots of competitors. That’s why you need an ongoing strategy so your website is set up to rank as high as it can when consumers enter keywords to search for a product or service you can provide.

SOV

Short for share of voice. It traditionally serves as a measure of your brand’s advertising and visibility in the market compared to your competitors. Nowadays, it’s used in digital marketing to measure brand awareness across pay per click (PPC) campaigns. Media suppliers use it as a metric to predict what SOV your brand can expect compared to your competitors who are also bidding on advertising space in the market. Take realestate.com.au as an example where property developers advertise their latest projects: ‘native’ ad formats will receive a SOV percentage depending on how often the advert is seen compared to other brands who have also purchased the same ad space. The higher the SOV percentage, the higher the cost to advertise – and the more impressions the ad will receive.

TOV

Short for tone of voice.  This describes how your brand ‘speaks’ to its customers and is defined by the brand’s identified personality. Is your brand fun and casual? Or is it a trusted voice of authority? When your brand’s tone of voice has been established, it should then be used consistently in all communications.

UX

Short for user experience. UX describes the entire experience consumers have with your brand’s products and services from start to finish. UX can make or break a brand because it hinges on the quality of the experiences your consumers have. A company website is a classic example; by having a good UX understanding, web designers and developers can create a site that meets customers’ needs and solves their problems. By meeting consumers’ needs, a brand can add value to their experiences because the site is helping them find the information they want, and how they want to find it, to do what they need to do. UX shouldn’t be confused with UI (user interface) which focuses on visual elements such as colours and typography. UX strictly focuses on the underlying structures that guide the user’s journey.

And there we have it: your guide to some common marketing terms you may encounter on your next marketing project.  By speaking the same language, you’re getting your agency relationship off to the best start possible and, remember, if you’re ever in doubt: ask.

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