32 Marketing Measurement Terms You Need to Know (Part 1)

October 12, 2017 Ginna Hall

Marketing measurement is an advanced discipline. There are many terms you need to know to be effective—with more new ones every day. We’ve defined some of the most important concepts to help you boost your marketing and advertising know-how.

Marketing measurement helps marketers and advertisers understand consumer attributes and how different audiences interact with their brand across channels and devices. It provides the insights you need to optimize budgets and create relevant experiences that drive meaningful business results.

This glossary provides definitions of common terms associated with marketing measurement. Some of them may be new to you. We want to demystify words you’ve heard but haven’t had a chance to clarify.

See below for thirty-two terms specifically related to marketing and media. For terms about attribution, check out 31 More Marketing Measurement Terms You Need to Know (Part 2).

Part 1: Marketing and Media Definitions

Addressable Channels: Marketing and media channels where individual, user-level data (such as cookie data) is available to track touchpoints in the consumer journey.

Audience Attributes: Demographic, behavioral, interest and intent qualities that characterize an individual. Examples include: gender, age, occupation, income, lifestyle interests, purchase intent and more.

Audience Segment (aka Segment): An identifiable group of individuals who share similar characteristics, needs or behaviors and who generally respond in a predictable matter to a given marketing or media stimulation.

Baseline (aka Brand Equity): The intrinsic value and level of performance against a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) derived solely from a brand’s recognition in the marketplace. It provides an initial value from which to evaluate the impact of incremental marketing investments.

Brand Engagement: The measurement of the extent to which a consumer has a meaningful interaction with a brand (visits a landing page, views a video, downloads content, etc.) when exposed to a brand marketer’s middle- and upper-funnel marketing or media.

Channel: A digital and/or offline marketing category. Channels can be classified by paid, owned and earned, as well as addressable versus non-addressable.

Constraints: Factors associated with specific channels or tactics that limit the extent to which the media spend invested in them can be changed during the optimization process, and then the specific range of values in which media spend can vary to ensure the recommendations produced by an attribution solution can realistically be put in market given those factors. For example, the available inventory of branded search terms in a paid search marketplace is a constraint that limits the ability for increase spend on those terms more than 60% and decrease spend on those terms more than 100%.

Consumer Journey: A chronological sequence of all the marketing and media touchpoints experienced by an individual user.

Cost: The price that is paid for media.

Cost Per Thousand (CPM): The standard pricing model for many media channels (e.g. online display, video, etc.). Alternative pricing models are flat rate, pay per click (PPC) or cost per acquisition (CPA).

Cost Reconciliation: The process of associating actualized cost data with paid media channels and their publishers to accurately calculate efficiency metrics like cost per acquisition.

Data Management Platform (DMP): A data warehouse technology that centralizes and deduplicates first, second and third-party data sources to generate audience segments that can be used for marketing and media audience targeting and creative optimization.

Earned Marketing: The free, publicity generated marketing produced by a brand’s fans. Examples include: social media likes, retweets, online reviews, word of mouth, etc.

Engagement Score: A KPI metric used to measure and optimize brand marketing campaigns. The score is typically a compilation of a set of events known as brand engagement activities, such as: first time website visits, rich-media ad interactions, video completions, etc.

Exogenous Factors: Factors external to the dimensions associated with marketing, including: seasonal factors (weather, holidays, etc.), economic factors (interest rates, gas prices, etc.) and competitive activities (changes to media tactics, new product launches, etc.) that lie outside of marketers’ immediate control and may impact marketing effectiveness.

First-Party Data: Consumer data that a brand produces at no cost. This data is typically collected from direct contact with the company’s customers, and includes site analytics data, CRM data, etc.

Impressions: In digital media, impressions are a measure of the number of times a media advertisement or marketing message is served. In offline media, impressions are a measure of the number of times an ad or message may have been seen.

Incrementality: A desired outcome (revenue, sales, leads, brand engagement, etc.) gained from a marketing activity that would not have been generated without that marketing activity.

Inter-Channel: The affinity between tactics used within one channel and those used within another, such as which online display ads drive searches on which keywords.

Intra-Channel: The affinity between different tactics used within the same channel, such as which non-branded keywords drive searches on which branded keywords.

Key Performance Indicator (KPI): The metric that a marketer uses to judge the success of a marketing initiative.

Non-Addressable Channels: Includes channels like broadcast TV, radio, print, out-of-home, in-store displays, etc., where marketing messages are delivered to individuals who cannot be identified at a user-level.

Owned Marketing: All the communication assets that a marketer creates and has control over without having to make per-unit investments in order to expose them to consumers. Examples include a brand’s website, blog, mobile website, etc.

Paid Media: All of the advertising assets for which a marketer pays in order to expose them to consumers. Examples include TV commercials, print ads, online display ads, paid search, retargeting, etc.

Publisher: A media vendor that owns or manages media inventory, such as ad space, made available for purchase by marketers.

Response Channels: Any channel that enables a customer or prospect to initiate a desired action in response to exposure to a marketing or media stimulation. Some marketers call these “sales channels” or “revenue channels.” Examples include an eCommerce website, mobile website, traditional retail store, call center and more.

Second-Party Data: Consumer data that is shared between trusted marketing partners. Examples include “intent to purchase” data that is shared between an airline and a hotel chain or “online shopping” data that is shared between a retailer and a manufacturer.

Stimulation Channels: Any channel whose assets produce a marketing or media impression with a customer or prospect. Some marketers call these “impression channels,” “communication channels,” or “marketing channels.” Examples include paid search, online display, TV, radio, out of home, email, direct mail and more.

Third-Party Data: Consumer data that is collected by an external source from the marketer that intends to use it.

Touchpoint: Any media or marketing interaction to which a consumer is exposed. Touchpoints can include a wide range of interactions, from seeing a television commercial to conducting online price comparisons on a comparison shopping engine site, to clicking on a display ad or search result.

Trafficking: The process that places advertisements within media inventory.

Tribal Knowledge Factors: Any internal knowledge that lies within a company and may impact marketing effectiveness. Examples may include mergers and acquisitions, pricing changes, product launches, etc.

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