Interactive Glossary

The Marketing Communications Glossary is included here to help you familiarise yourself with key words and descriptions. Using the website links and examples illustrated, examine how marketing communications has been applied by the various organisations in the different contexts. Evaluate how successful you think they have been in achieving their respective brand objectives. Can you think of any examples of your own?

Feature Description Illustration
DAGMAR model In proposing DAGMAR (Define Advertising Goals for Measured Advertising Results), Russell Colley emphasised the importance of measuring advertising effectiveness against predetermined advertising objectives or goals. The same proposition is equally relevant for all forms of marketing communications. See also Hierarchy of effects.)
Database Collection of data, usually on computer, stored to provide useful, convenient and interactive access to information
Database management The interactive management and maintenance of accurate customer and prospect customer information, competitor information, market information, and internal company information
Database marketing The use of accurate customer and prospect customer information, competitor information, market information and internal company information stored on a computer database to focus marketing activities towards targets
Database technology The use of accurate customer and prospect customer information, competitor information, market information and internal company information stored on a computer database to focus marketing activities towards targets
Deadweight Media audience not in the target group
Deal loyalists Customers who purchase a brand only when it is on special promotion, and switch between brands to purchase those on 'deal'.
Deal proneness The propensity to purchase promoted products
Decision-making process Five- or seven-stage sequence that consumers or organisations go through when evaluating purchases
Decision-making unit (DMU) Influential members of family or organisation involved in the purchase of a product
Decoding The process of converting a message into meaning
Defence mechanisms People’s protection of themselves against messages that go against their current attitudes and behaviours
Deficit Target audience members not reached by the medium
Deliberately transmitted communications or messages Communications purposely sent from organisation TO an audience to convey a brand image
Demographic changes Changes in basic population characteristics such as occur over time in social class constitution and age ranges
Demographic segmentation Segmentation based on general population characteristics
Demographics Physical audience characteristics
Denotative meaning A meaning that is the same for everybody
Desired state How the consumer ideally wants to feel
Diagnosticity Information is perceived to have good predictive value, ‘this is how it really is’
Dia-logos To the Greeks this meant ‘a free flowing of meaning through a group allowing the group to discover insights not available individually’
Dialogue or dialogical communications Literally means ‘thinking together’ and is about the ongoing two-way communications between company and audience
Dialogues Two-way, relational communications based on ongoing conversations between brand and key target audiences
Diffusion of innovation Roger’s (1962) model plots the stages in the audience’s adoption of the product and can also be used to gauge customer communication needs at each point in time
Digital printing Process in which digital computer files are sent directly to the printing press, eliminating the need for intermediate stages of production
Digital technology Range of electronic online and offline communications
Diminishing returns effect Describes the situation where increases in marketing communications activities have a positive but reducing effect with each successive extra effort or increase spend
Direct mail The use of postal services to deliver marketing communications materials. It may be considered an aspect of advertising in that it is used as a mass medium even though it can be used for individually targeted messages. It should not be confused with direct marketing, which is a much broader concept
Direct marketing Promoting product directly towards consumers
Direct matching Media choice based on actual target group reach
Direct price-offs/stock cleansing Stock cleansing involves buying a competitor’s stock in order to create space in the distributor’s warehouse and facilitate an initial opening stock order. Introductory lower prices or discounts will help achieve momentum and create demand
Direct response advertisements Advertisements that contain the means by which a direct response may be made by the reader, viewer or listener: e.g. an email address, a coupon, or a telephone/fax number
Direct response marketing Marketing system based on individual customer records held on a database. These records are the basis for marketing analysis, planning, implementation of programmes, and control of all this activity. This system ensures a focus on marketing to customers rather than on the marketing of products
Disintermediation The fragmenting media environment, together with technological media developments in such consumer message-avoidance hardware as TiVo, Sky+ and downloadable formats, have undermined the traditional broadcaster’s role in being the primary conduit for messages
Display copy These are the words that appear in larger or bolder type than the main text (body copy) to attract attention and allow it to flow from the headline to the body copy
Displays Manufacturers have to ‘buy’ display space in retailers’ showrooms either through paying for the right, the space or the cost of display Payments for displays at exhibitions (e.g. the Interbuild Building and Construction Industry exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham), or in retailers premises
Disposable and discretionary incomes The sums of money available to people to spend after other committed expenditure (e.g. mortgage and tax payments) has been paid
Distinctiveness Communication is clearly focused on a specific company/organisation
Divestment Disposing of packaging or product In Germany, consumers wouldn’t use Pampers disposable nappies because they were not bio-degradable
DMU See Decision-making unit
Dominate To have the greatest (perceived) share of voice
Dynamism Ability of a medium to react and change quickly Whereas TV advertising’s effectiveness has been undermined by its inflexibility, the flexibility of video production has been enhanced