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
Macro environment  (of marketing communications) The marketing communications macro environment is the wider environment in which the organisation operates and may affect the company/organisation. It incorporates the economics framework of macro and micro environments as well as internal organisational factors. See also Micro environment, PEST and PRESTCOM
Macro-level positioning Total market segment Health and beauty market
Macro objectives General goals relating all marketing communications to company/organisation performance
Mailshot Promotional material sent through the post
Managerial perspective of communications A view that sees communication as being asymmetrical, transmitted FROM the company
Market exchanges Relationships based on transactions
Market mavens Individual consumers who have expertise and credibility as a source of initiating dialogue and are shapers and formers in disseminating information helping the diffusion of new products. Their views are valued and they receive prestige and satisfaction from supplying information to friends and others. Play a significant role in buyer and consumer behaviour
Market position Strength of competitive market share
Market research brief Document or verbal instruction outlining the market research problem and task
Market research proposal Document outlining proposals designed to fulfil the research brief
Market segmentation The process of dividing a market into homogeneous segments using one or a range of possible alternative segmentation methods, each segment being composed of customers or consumers sharing similar characteristics. See also Segmentation bases and Target marketing approaches
Market share Sales relative to other products
Market test Trial in the marketplace before full launch
Marketing communications budget A frequently misleading term which usually refers to the advertising and promotions budget and not, as it implies, to the marketing expenditure allocated for all marketing activities
Marketing communications mix All the forms of message creation such as advertising, promotions, public relations and personal selling as well as ‘hybrid communications’ such as direct-response based advertising, sales/PR exhibitions, online ad exhibitions and so on
Mass media Broad media reaching a majority of the (e.g. national) population
Mass medium Ability to reach huge target audience with message
MCM2 Different perspective on the promotional mix focusing mainly on message content and the media mix, an approach that ‘incorporates a revised classification of direct and indirect media’
Meaningful brand experiences The consumption of products or services which resonate with an individual’s own experience or aspirations
Meaningful dialogue Communications which are mutually relevant and beneficial to company and customer
Measurability Evaluation metrics such as audience delivery, audience interaction and ROI
Mechanics of marketing communications The underlying frameworks, strategies and tactics – both theoretical and applied – which underpins marketing communications
Media authored myths Brand meaning mediated through channels of communication such as media, intermediaries and agency either through planned dissemination of communication or voluntary word of mouth
Media conduits Physical channels (press) or communication intermediaries (people) who help spread the brand message (opinion leaders) which carry and disseminate information and opinions
Media neutral planning and trans-media Scheduling where the message finds the market not the media
Media planning Deciding what media to use, and when
Media schedule Specific mix of media planning parameters
Media touch-points Consumer engagement with messages being communicated via a combination of sight, sound, motion and interactivity
Media vehicle An individual carrier within a medium Sunday Times Magazine
Media Vision Research (MVR) In conjunction with BARB, MVR tracks, analyses and reports in-home video viewing. As the BARB panel of respondents are used, this provides single-source data, which allow video and TV viewing habits to be determined and cross-referenced
Mediascape The array of channels available which will carry the message
Mediated environment The communications arena within which messages are channeled
Mediated transmitted meaning Construction of meaning by explicitly projected marketing meaning (the intrinsic attributes of product and packaging, distribution) and implicitly symbolic meaning projected through endorsement, semiotics and word of mouth
Medium A class of message carriers such as TV, radio, newspapers or magazines
Mentometer A device that allows people to instantaneously rate what their watching
Merchandising Follow-up sales team whose function is to stock take, replenish orders, furnish displays including point-of-sale materials as part of overall promotion
Merchandising and POS Stores with or without displays have to be merchandised with POS materials, brochures and so on. Some companies have ‘tied distribution’ arrangements where display merchandising units are offered free of charge in exchange for regular orders Lucozade – refrigerated drinks cabinets
Mars – counter-top confectionary pack holders
Mere exposure effect Repeated exposures increase liking
Message clutter Media saturation of communication
Message research Part of marketing research focused on testing all aspects of creative messages
Metaphor Assertion of an underlying resemblance of some trait or characteristic Philips’ Sonicare used ‘The mouth is the gateway to the body’ to encourage use of its oral mouthwash brand
Metonym Use of an associated element to represent the object Buick: ‘The imports are getting nervous’
Micro-level positioning Within a specific category
Micro objectives Goals relating the specific communication to the audience
Micro environment (of marketing communications) The marketing communications micro environment is the immediate environment or surroundings in which marketing communications occur. This should not be confused with economists’ views of the micro environment. See also Macro environment
Micro marketing One-to-one marketing Customised service of online holiday firms like
Mind space A consumer’s mental picture of competitive offerings in a category People carrier market sector
Mnemonics Elements that help rote learning by aiding memory
Minimum threshold effect Describes the situation where a minimum has to be spent before any discernible marketing communications effect can be noticed
Modelling Attempt to realistically represent the processes involved in marketing communications. Maximising media usage effectiveness
Moments of truth Exposures to the brand experience
Monochrome Single colour or black and white
Mono advertising Black and white ads usually found in local free papers and tabloids
Mood boards Collection of visual materials (e.g. drawings, collage, montage) to replace or complement a written description that reflects the essence of a product or its customers/consumers. See also concept boards
MOSAIC A commercially available geodemographic system which is obtainable for 16 countries and GlobalMOSAIC can analyse consumers across national markets to support the development of international strategies. In the UK there are 12 broad MOSAIC groups subdivided into 52 detailed types
Motivation: incomplete satisfaction Communication messages which highlight the deficiencies in current usage of brand A campaign for the Nationwide Building Society plays on the dissatisfaction with other high-street finance companies who may not be meeting the requirements of existing customers
Motivation: mixed approach–avoidance Attraction to brand attribute and repulsion of another Customers may like the rates for Barclay’s savings products but be put off because of the organisation’s involvement in South Africa
Motivation: normal depletion Appeals to stock up on product are normally aimed at brand loyals
Motivation: problem avoidance The need to avoid a negative buyer state or problem The fear of burglary may cause a customer to anticipate a future problem and seek out alarms or insurance companies
Motivation: problem removal The need to eradicate a negative buyer state or problem A broken car exhaust or punctured tyre can be remedied by the expertise and utility of a Kwik Fit fitter
MPR Marketing public relations
Multi- or full-service agency In contrast to an 'à la carte' agency, the full-service agency offers a complete and integrated range of marketing communications services. One-stop shop and though-the-line agency are associated terms
Multi-purchase sweepstakes or contests Some retailers offer ‘multi-packs’ to encourage more use of the product and offer better ‘value’ to consumers. Incentives like sweepstakes or contests are used to encourage trial or repeat purchase
Multimedia Using a range of media to carry message(s), usually most associated with electronic multimedia. The Sex and the City Movie has had exposure in every type of media to help promote its launch
Multimedia stations Free-standing kiosks where computer access is facilitated either using CD-ROMs/DVDs or linked to other computers Kiosks provided in retail stores
Multinational strategy Strategy recognising cultural diversity to develop marketing communications adapted to suit different countries
MVR See Media Vision Research