Look It Up

By Jonathan Jackson | Posted June 02, 2003
The Marketing Glossary
By Mark N. Clemente
504pp. Glen Rock, NJ: Clemente Books. $29.95.

"Let's do a heavy up in the top ten DMAs so we can increase our GRPs."

If that sentence confuses you, you're not alone.

Like any business, the marketing world has it's own jargon. Sometimes confusing, occasionally humorous, the vocabulary of the modern marketing professional may often seem confusing — especially for small business owners, who often wear many hats and whose expertise must cover a broad spectrum of tasks. But with the help of Mark Clemente's excellent reference work, you too can talk the talk just like the corporate pros.

Even those who study marketing, on either a graduate or undergraduate level, will often find that they are woefully unprepared when it comes to the real world. Textbooks are long on theory and short on practical advice. Even more troubling, few of those teaching marketing have had practical experience.

Thus the enterprising young marketing person is often left to sink or swim. Unless they begin their careers with a firm that offers training — more of a rarity these days — the novice marketer will usually be expected to "pick it up on the street" just as their elder colleagues did. That can work, but with The Marketing Glossary on their shelf, they will be well ahead of the game.

Among the many appealing aspects of Clemente's book is the lucidity of his prose. When attempting to find out what a GRP is, unsuspecting marketers will often be confronted with a turgid definition written by a media professional, replete with brain-numbing formulae. By contrast, Clemente lays it out nicely:

"Gross rating point (G.R.P.) A measurement of audience size (viewership or listenership) to quantify a medium's ability to reach a target audience. G.R.P.s estimate the number of people a communication will reach, irrespective of audience duplication. G.R.P.s are stated in terms of percentage: each G.R.P. represents 1% of the people or households tuned to a TV program (as compared to the total number of TV sets in the market being studied). G.R.P.s are calculated by multiplying the total reach of the media schedule by its frequency. Thus, the product of reach and frequency expresses the gross duplicated percentage of audience that would be reached by the advertising vehicle."

Where was this book when I started out in the business? (And if you want to know what a "heavy up" is, you'll have to buy the book.)

On occasion, there are some curious omissions. Anyone who works on a consumer packaged goods account will undoubtedly come across the term "slotting fee." Alas, that is nowhere to be found in The Marketing Glossary.

Understandably it would be nearly impossible to include every single bit of cant that might come up in the course of a marketing career, but Clemente does an outstanding job of aggregating the most important words. More importantly, the Glossary is up-to-date and includes the latest online slang. This will undoubtedly appeal to some of the senior marketers who still find the whole "Internet thing" confusing.

Finally, The Marketing Glossary is also available as an e-book. Just buy the PDF and keep it on your laptop. Imagine the points you can score in meetings with all that knowledge at your fingertips.

Jonathan Jackson is an independent consultant based in New York City. He has written extensively on internet advertising and e-mail marketing since the inception of the internet. A frequent guest speaker, Jonathan has addressed global audiences on marketing and advertising topics and also teaches marketing at colleges around the world.

Adapted from ecommerce-guide.com.

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