Knowledge Centre

Your IMJ A-Z to of Marketing Terms

Millions of subsets of marketing, different forms and different types are growing by the minute. Gawd dammit but how the hell are you supposed to keep up with it all? By keeping this invaluable little guide to marketing jargon close to hand at all times, is how.



Affiliate Marketing: is a method of promoting online businesses in which an affiliate (publisher) is rewarded for every visitor, subscriber, customer, and/or sale provided through his/her efforts. Affiliate marketing - using one site to drive traffic to another - is the stepchild of online marketing.

Affinity Marketing: Marketing targeted at individuals sharing common interests that predispose them towards a product, e.g. an auto accessories manufacturer targeting motoring magazine readers. Also, a campaign jointly sponsored by a number of disparate organisations that are non-competitive but have a particular interest in common.

Alibi Marketing: This involves distilling a brand identity into its key components. Marlboro uses its distinctive red and white colouring in Formula One sponsorship. Silk Cut has become synonymous with a particular shade of purple. The old Jordan Formula One used the words Buzz and Hornets using the same colouring and type face as a pack of Benson and Hedges.

Ambush Marketing: Essentially, a marketing strategy in which a competing brand connects itself with a major sporting event without paying sponsorship fees. For eg. if Adidas sponsors the World Cup, Nike will have little choice but to ambush it by say sponsoring the team most likely to win it i.e. the Republi.. nooo Brazil of course. Most ringing endoresment of the practice is from Steve Jobs who said ‘it’s more fun being the pirate than the navy.”

Anti-Marketing: The term anti-marketing is used in many different ways but essentially the idea is to co-opt the tools of the adman’s trade (billboards, out door ad sites and the internet in particular) and to use these to undermine the very idea of advertising and consumerism. “Our work calls into question the purpose and effects of advertising in public space,” says leading US lobbysist the Anti-Advertising Agency. Another defines it thus: Anti-Marketing = Truth + Beauty - Spam

Asset Led Marketing: Asset led marketing uses product strengths such as the name and brand image to market both new and existing products. Marketing decisions are based on the needs of the consumer AND the assets of the products.

Buzz Marketing messages consist of advertisements or messages that create coverage by encouraging discussion, often by enlisting “normal” people to influence or create “buzz” within social networks.Buzz marketing in a viral context is traditional word-of-mouth marketing enabled by technology.

Cause Related Marketing: Partnership between a company or brand and a charity or 'cause' by which the charity benefits financially from the sale of specific products.

Concentrated Marketing: is when the message is aimed at just one small market. Advantages: Small firms can concentrate their marketing, allows a specific mix to be developed. Disadvantages: Ignores other areas of the market, can cause problems in future as may make it more difficult for company to expand.

Conversational Marketing: According to the writer Neil Chase, the news media of the future will involve "three-way conversations" among writers, readers and marketers. But don’t be fooled. When a marketer enters a discussion you can rest assured that the conversation will soon become more about marketing and less about conversation because the on-line community "is devolving from a friends' network into a marketing madhouse".

Confusion Marketing: Controversial strategy of deliberately confusing the customer. Examples are alleged ato be found in the telecommunications market, where pricing plans can be so complicated that it becomes impossible to make direct comparisons between competing offers.

Dark Marketing: Back to Donald Rumsfeld’s ‘unknown unknowns’ again but dark marketing is indeed a macabre practice where a product is promoted without branding and where the dark marketer refuses to show his hand or reveal himself. A weird example of this relates to the number of clips of young women smoking on YouTube. Molto strano. Have a look if you dare. Who’s behind these strange endorsements? Individual fans of smoking or maybe bigger fish? Hmmmm.

De-Marketing: marketing with a negative impact, deliberate or unintentional.

Differentiated Marketing: aims the product at specific segments in the market. The company may be trying to sell exactly the same product to different segments but it will change its promotional methods and the image it creates. Advantages: separate mix can be developed for each segment, different markets can be easily identified. Disadvantages: Can be costly, message may by-pass some customers. Direct marketing is a sub-discipline of marketing focused on driving purchases that can be attributed to a specific "call-to-action."

Direct Marketing: is distinguished from other marketing efforts by its emphasis on trackable, measurable results (known as "response" in the industry) regardless of medium. (Lest you forget)

Double Loop Marketing: is based upon the notion that in today's blog-rich world, marketing must of necessity be people and knowledge-driven rather than product driven. A company must first develop "mind share” by building a site that offers genuinely-useful information and advice to consumers. This is the first loop of the firm's interaction with customers. Only after such a site achieves credibility among its community of blog readers can the company, in the second loop of customer interaction, try to convert that "mind share" into "wallet share." In other words, first community, then commerce. Double Loop Marketing is an idea of online-marketing consultant, Christian Sarkar.

Experiential Marketing uses brand relevant experiences to appeal to both the rational and emotional buying triggers of the intended audience. It involves high levels of interactivity and sensory impact and aims to trigger an emotional response among the target through a more personal level of engagement than other media.

FAST Marketing: Focused Advertising Sampling Technique, an approach concentrating promotions into a short space of time to saturate market.

Field Marketing: The practice of sending representatives or agents to retail outlets with a view to building brands and supporting sales.

Grey Marketing: The illict sale of imported products contrary to the interests of a holder of a trademart, patent or copyright in the country of sale.

Guerrilla Marketing: An approach whereby marketing techniques that subvert the usual cluttered channels are used by marketers. According to expert Jay Conrad Levinson the soul and essence of guerrilla marketing is about achieving conventional goals using unconventional marketing methods, such as investing energy instead of money. Not to be confused with ‘gorilla marketing’

Gorilla Marketing: Anything involved in promoting the well being of the gorilla (genus: gorilla troglodytes).

Incentivised Marketing: encourages recipients to provide a friend or family’s address in return for some reward. Examples include offering more expensive prizes upon referral of a friend, or accumulating points toward a specific prize. Not to be confused with grassing up.

Integrated Marketing: A marketing and creative communications strategy that applies a blend of media channels to deliver consistent and measurable messages to target audiences. Successful integrated marketing communication programmes constantly review the channels used to deliver a message. A combination of press and public relations, advertising, web and corporate collateral are avenues explored in order to drive sales and elevate brand awareness in the fight for market dominance.

Left-brain Marketing: The left side of the brain is considered more analytical, more quantitative and more in tune with the way the world works today. A left brain approach to marketing it is argued is the thing to have because it can react more speedily to changing consumer habits. They say too that search engines function like the left brain by taking query words, analysing them, applying logic to the query, seeking documents that provide facts, and then returning bucket loads of results. Best to tackle like with like, then. 

Mass Marketing: is a type of marketing (or attempting to sell through persuasion) of a product to a wide audience. The idea is to broadcast a message that will reach the largest number of people possible. But you knew that already.

Meme Marketing: According to memetic theory, a meme isa a unit of cultural information that is transferred in a similar way to the way in which a gene propagates from one organism to another as a unit of genetic information. It was coined by the Oxford zoologist and writer Richard Dawkins in the book "The Selfish Gene", a fairly mathsy book but worth a read nonetheless. Meme Marketing can be used in place of term Word of Mouth marketing if you wish but can elaborated on with gusto. Excellent term to introduce casually at parties or at water fountains etc.

Neuro Marketing: Neuro-marketers believe that we are all hard-wired and that we will leave this world wired in the same way as we came into it. That being the case we all have a ‘buy’ button in our brains and the task for neuro-marketers is look deeper into the noggin to try and find out what triggers the buy button.

Niche Marketing: is the process of finding and serving profitable market segments and designing custom-made products or services for them. For big companies those market segments are often too small in order to serve them profitably as they often lack economies of scale. Niche marketers are often reliant on the loyalty business model to maintain a profitable volume of sales.

Ophelimity: The need satisfying ability of a brand! According to direct marketer Lester Wunderman automotive companies in the future will move from selling automobiles to selling transportation with contextual relevance! A different vehicle for a different occasion! And look over there, white coated men with nets.

Permission Marketing: Typically identified with email marketing, permission based marketing is when marketing messages are ONLY sent to people who have opted in to receive this information. These are people have expressed an interest in receiving marketing information from specific advertising sources. Therefore, permission marketing can generate a better return on investment than typical direct marketing efforts.

Product-centric Marketing: seeks to persuade consumers by invoking rational factors that position the advertised brand as better than competing brands. It presumes a degree of rationality in consumers’ decision-making that contemporary brain science refutes, say experiential marketing advocates, as you’d expect.  Consumers’ decisions are much more influenced by emotionally generated feelings than by their rationally derived thought.

Relationship marketing: is a form of marketing that evolved from direct response marketing in the 1960s and emerged in the 1980s, in which emphasis is placed on building longer term relationships with customers rather than on individual transactions. It involves understanding the customer's needs as they go through their life cycles. It emphasizes providing a range of products or services to existing customers as they need them.

Right-Brain Marketing: is seen as more holistic, global and qualitative than it’s counter part on the other side of the head. Right brained thinkers like to try new things and are constantly on the look out for new ways to engage. Like stand up comedians in fact. They prefer to start with the general concept and then go on to the specifics. The right brain excels at processing large amounts of unconnected information and instantly distilling meaning from it. Good then to have a right brainer on your books, if only for a laugh!!

Search Engine Marketing: is a form of Internet Marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in the Search Engine results pages (SERPs) and has a proven ROI (Return on Investment).

Shock Marketing: Speaks for itself. Ex punks (i.e agency creative directors)  will remember the Sex Pistols on the Bill Grundy Show as a classic example while others will think of Janet Jackson or Big Brother etc.

Stealth Marketing: consist of an e-mailed online advertisement, a news piece, or an active use of a product – without disclosure of its true form as an advertisement. While similar to Buzz marketing, more creative and unconventional stealth techniques have received a lot of media coverage, but have also prompted several advocate groups to criticize the techniques, particularly when directed at children

Undercover Marketing: (also known as buzz marketing, stealth marketing, or ‘roach baiting’) involves is a marketing to consumers who do not realize they are being marketed to. But beware, failure to hide your vested interest in selling a product leaves you in line for some serious backlash. 

Undifferentiated Marketing: assumes everyone is the same and aims a particular product at everyone. Advantages: easy to plan, doesn't miss anyone. Disadvantages: can be wasteful, ignores segmentation, can lead to disappointing sales.

Viral Marketing: Venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson originally defined it as “network-enhanced word of mouth.” Today email, the forward button, and discussion forums are ideal tools for viral marketing.

Word of Mouth Marketing (WOM): Identical to viral marketing but is more likely to be conducted offline than online. Some firms however go so far as to hire posers to hang out at trendy, hip establishments and talk up the latest gadget in public with listeners none the wiser to the fact that they're even being marketed to.  

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