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Cut through the babble with our jargon buster

Baffled by bangtails? At a loss with bitloss? Do jargonauts give you the jitters? Don't go postal—glance through the glossary devised by our cybrarians!

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C-commerce (Collaborative commerce) The collaborative, electronically enabled business interactions among an enterprise's internal personnel, business partners and customers throughout a trading community. The trading community could be an industry, industry segment or supply chain.
C2B See Consumer-to-Business.
C2C See Consumer-to-Consumer.
C4, C5, C6, C7 ('C' series) Envelopes with dimensions specifically to contain flat sheets of equivalent 'A' size paper, e.g. C4 envelope holds flat A4 sheet. N.B. Envelope is larger than sheet. (Source:
Cabbage letter A letter with illustration/s; a hybrid letter/leaflet.
Cable One of the ways of opening up broadband access to interactive services. The key competitor is digital satellite.
Cable operator Company that lays cable, and owns and operates the cable system. Companies that own more than one system are called Multiple Systems Operators (MSOs), e.g. Telewest and NTL.
Cable penetration Either the proportion of cable subscribers to all TV homes in the area, expressed as a percentage; or more commonly in the UK, the proportion of cable subscribers to homes with access to a cable service.
Cable TV Television programming from a central receiver (sometimes called the ‘Head End’) through a fibre optic or coaxial cable network into the consumer’s home.
Cache memory An area of your computer memory or directory on your hard disk. This is the place your browser stores web pages you have already viewed, for you to return to at a later stage. When users re-visit those pages they load more quickly because they come from the cache and don't need to be re-downloaded from the internet.
Cached date This is the date when the search robot last visited a page. It is usually indicated within the search engine results page or by entering the cache: syntax within Google.
Cached pages Google robots take a snapshot of each page visited as they crawl the web. They store these and they are used as a backup if the original page is unavailable. You can view the cached page if you click on the "cached" link in the SERPs. Words contained within the search phrase the searcher enters are highlighted.
Caching The process of copying a web element (page or ad) for later reuse. (Source:
CAD See Computer Aided Design.
Call back A simple device whereby customers can click on a website or in an email to request that your call centre contacts them, often enabling the customer to specify a convenient time for the call.
Call detail reporting (CDR) The logging and reporting of details about each connection by users to a LAN through a network access server .Also, the logging and reporting by a PBX of voice or data calls made from the PBX to the Public Switched Telephone Network or vice versa.
Call to Action A statement or instruction to carry out an action following an explanation or piece of promotional material.
Calligraphy The art of specialist handwriting.
Camera ready Type and line artwork pasted up into position ready for repro stage. Camera ready copy (CRC).
Campaign A term given to advertising, promotions or sales. It describes a co-ordinated series of efforts built around a theme and designed to reach an identified goal, usually identified by a time-period.
Campaign URLs or CURLs A web address specific to a particular campaign.
Campaign-based e-communications E-marketing communications that are executed to support a specific marketing campaign such as a product launch, price promotion or a website launch.
Campaigning charity A charity which sees its major role as to lobby and canvass on a particular subject.
Cancel To remove a leaf in a book and replace it with another. Also, sheets used to replace cancelled leaves.
Cancellation Notice to cancel bookings, e.g. press advertisement space.
Cancellation notice Notice given by a mail order buyer to a mail order company to cancel an order for merchandise.
Canvass An expression used in some circles to denote a sales campaign or collection of opinions.
Capabilities The processes, structures and skills adopted for planning and implementing digital marketing.
CAPI See Cryptography API.
Caps Short for capital or upper case letters. (Source: IDM Marketing Guide 2006)
Caps and smalls Type consisting of capitals for initials and smaller capitals in place of lower case letters.
Caption Written material (copy) to describe a picture or illustration.
Capture The procedure for a previously authorised transaction once the merchant has shipped goods or services to the customer. The transaction triggers the movement of funds from the issuer to the acquirer and then to the merchant's account.
Card code A combination of punched holes that represent a certain key code. (Source:
Card rates The costs for buying advertisement space as set out on the advertisement rate card.
Card Reader in the Dispenser (CRIND) See Automated Fuel Terminal (Source: IDM Marketing Guide 2006)
Card sorting General term for a technique (applicable to research or design, for example) for exploring how people group items, so that you can develop structures that categorise - or maximise the probability of users being able to find - items.
Card-deck A series of promotional cards sent out as a pack to promote a range of products that have relevance to a particular target market.
Carriage Another word for delivery, e.g. carriage costs.
Cartridge A tough, matt-surfaced paper used in drawing books, display and book printing etc. Originally used for gun cartridges. Usually weighs more than 80gsm. Has good dimensional stability, high opacity and good bulk.
Cascading style sheets A feature of HTML that gives both the website developers and users more control over how the pages are displayed. With CSS, designers and users can create style sheets that define how different elements, such as headers and links appear.
Case history Documentation of a particular marketing activity or series of activities generally for a single company or partners in a promotion. It is often used as a guide for future activity or as an example for others to follow.
Cash buyer A mail-order buyer who encloses a cheque or postal order with his order. Also used for credit card purchasers.
Cash discount A deduction from the listed price often for payment within a given time period.
Cash upfront Where a product or service is charged for in advance (also known as pro forma).
Cash-With-Order (CWO) As cash buyer.
Cast coated A paper or board which has been coated and polished to a hard glossy finish to give the impression of varnishing or laminating.
Catalogue A printed book or pamphlet which lists and describes merchandise for sale.
Catalogue buyer A person who has bought one or more products from a catalogue.
Catalogue request Has two meanings. Those who have asked for a catalogue. The request of a catalogue.
CATI See Computer Aided Telephone Interviewing.
Causal research Causal research looks at cause-and-effect relationships in order to explain why things happen. This research uses qualitative and quantitative techniques and all forms of observation. It is usually undertaken on an ad hoc basis.
CBT See Computer Based Training.
CD-ROM Similar to a CD disc but containing electronic information. ROM - Read only memory- meaning that the information cannot be changed but is for reader access only. (Source: IDM Marketing Guide 2006)
CDA See Communications Decency Act.
CDR See Call Detail Reporting.
Cello Cello was an early shareware 16-bit multipurpose web browser for Windows 3.1. Although a version 2.0 had been announced, development was abandoned prior to a public release leaving version 1.01a, released on 16 April 1994. The browser is no longer available from its original homepage. However, it can still be downloaded from mirror sites. (Source:
Census The enumeration of all people or groups involved in survey.
Census tract An American term for a small geographical area, approximately 1200 households, containing a population with relatively similar economic and social characteristics.
Centre To position type centrally in a given space, usually horizontally.
Centre spread As centrefolds.
Centred Type which lies central across the width of a page or column. (Source: IDM Marketing Guide 2006)
Centrefold The centre opening of a section (two pages) with consecutive page numbers.
CEPS See Common Electronic Purse Specification.
Certificate (digital) A document designed to address security issues such as authentication and non-repudiation when executing e-commerce transactions, containing information about the issuer, the owners, a public key, the period for which the certificate is valid and the host to whom it was issued.
Certificate Authority The CA or 'Trusted Third Party' is an entity (typically a company) that issues digital certificates to other entities (organisations or individuals) to allow them to prove their identity to others.
Certification path The hierarchy of certificate authorities that vouch for a digital certificate issued to a user. The path runs from the issuing certificate authority to the root certificate authority. (Source:
Certified delivery server A server which uses public key cryptography to provide a destination non-repudiation service, similar to certified mail. The server establishes that a message was received or that a good faith effort was made to deliver it. (Source:
CGI See Common Gateway Interface.
Chalking The disfiguration of a printed image by rubbing under slight pressure caused by over-rapid absorption of ink solvent - leaving the pigment of ink on the paper surface. Most frequently encountered on papers with china clay content.
Challenge-response An authentication technique for smart cards. The customer is prompted (or challenged) to provide some private information (the response). The inbuilt security system presents a code (the challenge) to the user, which he or she enters into the smart card.
Channel The route by which a manufacturer/producer or retailer distributes products and services to its customers.
Channel behaviour Describes which content is visited and the time and duration.
Channel conflict Channel conflict can occur when a company promotes or sells similar products through different channels to the same target market, such as books from a shop or from a website. It can cause problems of pricing and issues with the middleman.
Channel definition format A specification developed by Microsoft and PointCast that defines when and how web browser users receive information broadcast over the internet using server push technology. (Source:
Channel marketing strategy A strategy that defines the specific objectives and methods an organisation sets for using a channel and how its proposition and communications for that channel will vary to suit the particular characteristics of the channel.
Channel of distribution Methods of distribution of goods or services from a manufacturer to a consumer. E.g. Retail outlets, mail order. It may or may not have a middle man (Source: IDM Marketing Guide 2006)
Channel reach (TV) The number or percentage of a potential audience who watch a channel at all over a particular period of time (typically one day, week or month).
Channel share (TV) The percentage of the viewing audience watching one channel as opposed to any other channels, over a given period of time.
Character A letter, figure or other type symbol.
Character count The total number of both spaces and type in piece of copy.
Charge card buyer A buyer who gives a charge card number, from which a seller receives payment.
Chat (forum/rooms) A group of internet users exchanging messages on a subject of common interest. Unlike newsgroups all the participants are connected to the forum at the same time and the messages are displayed immediately for members of the forum to see.
Chat bot Short for 'chat robot' and also known as 'chatterbot', this is a computer program that simulates human conversation, or chat, through artificial intelligence.
Check box A small square box which, when clicked on, displays a cross or tick to show that an option has been selected. (Source: Computer Active)
Check digit A code digit, often applied to a series of numbers to act as a check for accuracy of the number.
Check Image Interchange The transmission of digitised images of checks between banks as part of the check clearing process. Since each check image requires approximately 40,000 bytes, images are not expected to replace paper checks soon. The first likely use will be as part of notification from one bank to another when the bank on which a large-dollar check is drawn decides not to honour the check and desires to provide the image of the check to the bank which originally accepted the check so that fraud or other problems can be rapidly investigated. Currently such notification is done by phone or Fed Wire. (Source: IDM Marketing Guide 2006)
Checking copy Similar to a voucher copy, the checking copy is a publication sample sent to an advertiser to verify the appearance of an advertisement.
Checkstand A web application (software program) that manages pricing for items in a shopping cart, adds delivery and taxes, and arranges for customer payment. To the customer, this the place in the online store where they check out and pay for their order.
Cheshire One make of labelling machine. It cuts continuous stationery to label size and fixes it to material.
Cheshire label A label produced by a Cheshire machine. Cheshire labels are printed in a continuous form in a special format (generally 4 labels across and 11 down).
Chlorine-free Paper that has been made without the use of chlorine in the production process.
Choking Reproduction term for the way ink is controlled on overlapping areas of colour.
Chroma copy A colour print made without a negative.
Chrome Showy features added to attract users but contributing little or nothing to the power of a system. 'The 3D icons in Motif are just chrome, but they certainly are pretty chrome!'
Chug To run slowly; to grind or grovel. 'The disk id's chugging like crazy'. (Source:
Churn The rate at which a customer leaves a service or site. Churn rate is usually expressed as a number or percentage of defecting customers or subscribers, disconnecting enquirers, etc. This is a major concern for most businesses and online businesses who try to provide a 'sticky' service with regular interest to keep users revisiting or repurchasing.
CICS See Customer Information Control System.
CIP See Commerce Interchange Pipeline.
Circulars Notice or advertisement in any form to be distributed by post. An out-of-date description frowned upon by the direct marketing fraternity. (Source:
Circulation Has two meanings. The distribution of a publication. The number of copies sold per issue of a publication.
Clasp envelope A type of envelope which is sealed by means of a metal clip.
Classified (ad) A form of advertising which is particularly common in newspapers, online and other periodicals which may be sold or distributed free of charge. Classified advertising is called such because it is generally grouped under headings classifying the product or service being offered (headings such as Accounting, Automobiles, Clothing etc.) and is grouped entirely in a distinct section, which makes it distinct from display advertising. Display advertising typically contains graphics or other art work and which is more typically distributed throughout a publication adjacent to editorial content. (Source:
Clean proof A printer's proof in which there are no errors or amendments.
Click On the web, the act of selecting and following a link by placing one's mouse cursor on the text, graphics, banner, or button identifying the link and depressing a button on the mouse. See clickthrough rate. (Source: The Daily Telegraph Business Manual)
Click to Call A service that enables a mobile user to initiate a voice call to a specified phone number by clicking on a link on a mobile internet site. Typically used to enhance and provide a direct response mechanism in an advertisement.
Click to Play or CTP video ads These video ads have an initial static image file which is displayed encouraging users to click to view the full video. The proportion of viewers who click is known as the Play Rate.
Click tracking Java technology can be used to track movements of individual users to a website.
Click tracking URL Also known as click through URL or click command. This is used to record the number clicks delivered on an advertising banner. Commonly used when third party adserving is not compatible and run alongside the 1x1 tracking pixel. (Source:
Click-wrap agreements Jargon used where an agreement is made by clicking onto a point and accepting a service or product. Terms and conditions for the agreement should be clearly stated within the website to be valid.
Clickstream The clickstream shows the number and which websites a user has visited in a session or even more than one session. Additional information on the user can also be collected through the use of cookies.
Clickthrough When a user interacts with an online ad by clicking on it, going through to the advertiser's site
Clickthrough rate Frequency of clickthroughs as a percentage of impressions served. Used as a measure of advertising effectiveness. Overall clickthrough rates have declined substantially since the early days of the web.
Client A client machine is a computer that operates by obtaining information or service from another machine - a Server. For example your machine with a Web browser on is a client machine. To obtain Web pages the browser goes to a Web server machine. The software that supports the operation of the client is known as client software. (Source:
Client/server Client/server computing divides the processing between two (or more) processors: The client makes requests that are carried out by the server. In a transaction-processing application the user would enter transaction details on the client computer and when all the details have been entered a message is sent to the server computer to register the transaction on a central database. Often the central database is far too large to reside on the client computer (typically a PC). Offloading some of the processing to the client computer (generating screen displays and initial validation of data) improves efficiency. (Source:
Close up Instruction on proof or text to reduce spacing between characters of type or other elements. (Source:
Closed loop reporting The ability to measure the effectiveness of a particular ad on the web by tracking which ad viewers actually bought which product, requested a catalogue, or took other specific actions on the website.
Closing out The final results of a mailing or ad campaign.
CLTV See Customer Lifetime Value.
Cluster Group of people or items with an affinity.
Cluster analysis A mathematical technique for grouping data into clusters with similar characteristics.
Cluster selection A selection routine based on taking a regular sample of a group of names in a series, e.g. the first ten names of every 100 on a list.
Cluster theory The marketing theory which states that customers sharing demographic or other characteristics are likely also to share buying preferences.
CMW+ The first commercial implementation, by Security First Network Bank, of the trusted operating system.
Co-branding An arrangement between two or more companies where they agree to jointly display content and perform joint promotion using brand logos or banner advertisements. This can occur without payment. (Source:
Coarse screen A print term used to describe a newsprint type appearance. This is made up of a half-tone screen with up to 85 lines per inch.
Coated paper Paper covered in substance, e.g. china clay, to give it a smooth surface for half-tone reproduction.
COBRA See Common Object Request Broker Architecture.
COCA See Cost Of Cracking Adjustment.
Code 1. A cipher. A mathematical function for encryption and decryption (which can be seen in the hard copy dictionary). 2. A software program or part of a software program. (Source:
Coding An identification reference added to material. It can be numeric or alpha or a combination of both. (Source:
Cold Fusion A Rapid Application Development system that integrates browser, server and database technologies into web applications. The system was created by the Allaire Corporation of Cambridge, Mass and is now owned by Adobe. “Adobe® ColdFusion® application server enables developers to rapidly build, deploy, and maintain Java™–EE applications for the enterprise.” (Source: IDM Marketing Guide 2006 and Adobe)
Collaborative filtering Profiling of customer interests coupled with delivery of specific information and offers, often based on the interests of groups of similar customers.
Collate To bring together pages etc. in a specified sequence, e.g. for binding. (Source: Marketing Week)
Colour bars Colour strips on four-colour proofs showing densities across a sheet.
Colour correction Changing colour values in a set of separations at repro stage.
Colour proof Full-colour copy of page for final checking before printing stage.
Colour separation Separating full colour into the four process colours, resulting in four films used to make printing plates.
Colour swatch A sample of a specified colour.
Colour transparency A full-colour photographic positive on film. Abbreviated to trans or tranny.
Colourguide/colour markup Instructions on artwork indicating colour requirements.
COM See Component Object Model.
Comb binding A method of binding loose sheets by punching slots and inserting a preformed plastic 'comb'.
Commented code The programming code (source file) for a website.
Commerce Interchange Pipeline (CIP) A component of Microsoft Commerce Server that provides a software infrastructure for executing an array of components in a specified order.
Commercial The fabled next stage of a company's Web development. As in "we're going to move towards a commercial Web presence in phase two". (Source:
Commercial minutage The number of minutes on television during which commercials (as opposed to programmes, trailers etc.) are broadcast.
Commercial-Off-The-Shelf products or services (COTS products or services)This term is usually used in relation to technology products or services (for example, database solutions). (Source: IDM Marketing Guide 2006)
Commoditisation Generic term for an increase in the supply and similarity of a product or service, or category of products or services, which tends to drive down the price of those products/services.
Common customer profile A corporate-wide definition of all the database fields that are relevant to the marketing team in order to understand and target customers with relevant offerings.
Common Electronic Purse Specification (CEPS) A unique standard for the global interoperability of smart cards, first developed by Visa before being handed over to the European Committee for Banking Standards.
Common Gateway Interface (CGI) CGI scripts are an important mechanism for making websites interact with databases and other programs. A CGI (or Common Gateway Interface) script is a small program written in a script language such as Perl. The script acts as the "glue" between a HTML page and other programs on your Web server. For example, when you type a request in a search page, the CGI script sends your search data to a database management system. Then the CGI script formats the results of that search as a new HTML page, which is sent back to your browser. (Source:
Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) This specification from the Object Management Group provides the standard interface definition between OMG-compliant objects. (Source:
Communications Decency Act (CDA) This Act made it a federal crime in the USA to send a communication which is "obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, or indecent, with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass another person". It also threatened with imprisonment anyone who "knowingly" makes accessible to minors any message that "describes, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards. (Source:
Community In the context of the internet and electronic commerce, people who participate in a online discussion group or bulletin board, or who return frequently to a Web site because of a common interest in a given subject. One business strategy developing on the internet is to create a community and then sell access to the group for marketing purposes. (Source: Marketing Week)
Competence (plural Competences) A defined expectation of performance in terms of outputs; a defined standard of attainment. "I have the competence to do this task." Typically, competence is the minimum requirement to perform a job satisfactorily.
Competency (plural Competencies) A behaviour-based descriptor of performance; an ability that achieves successful performance. It is what you bring to the task. "My competency will help in this task." In modern usage (especially internationally), competencies describe the KSAs (knowledge, skills, abilities) that distinguish superior performers from average performers.
Component Components save a programmer from having to re-write code. A component can be large or small and can perform any kind of processing, but it must be re-usable and it must conform to set standards to allow interoperability between different components. Several standards exist to define component frameworks, including Microsoft's COM (Component Object Model) and DCOM (Distributed Component Object Model), and the multi-vendor CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture). (Source:
Component Object Model (COM) An open software architecture from DEC and Microsoft, allowing interoperation between ObjectBroker and OLE. Microsoft evolved COM into DCOM. (Source:
Compression Technologies used to reduce the size of computer files travelling the networks and hence to increase the speed. Popular formats include ZIP, JPEG, GIF, MPEG and MP3 (Source:
Compumailer A machine which turns continuous stationery into a personalised letter and envelope, encloses one inside the other and seals ready for mailing. (Source:
Computationally secure A cipher is computationally secure if systematic analysis with available computing resources cannot break the cipher in a short enough time to allow exploitation. (See cipher in the hard copy dictionary.)
Computationally secure A cipher is computationally secure if systematic analysis with available computing resources cannot break the cipher in a short enough time to allow exploitation. (See cipher in the hard copy dictionary.)
Computer Aided Design (CAD) The use of computers to assist the design process. Specialised CAD programs exist for various types of design: architectural, engineering, electronics, roadways, and woven fabrics to name a few. (Source:
Computer Aided Telephone Interviewing (CATI) Responses are keyed directly into a computer and administration of the interview is managed by a specifically designed program that uses prompts and filters to maintain the quality of how responses are elicited and recorded.
Computer Based Training (CBT) Education in which the student learns on a computer. CBT is especially effective for training people to use computer applications because the CBT program can be integrated with the applications so that students can practice using the application as they learn. (Source:
Concertina fold Folding which alternates between one way and the opposite way as with a concertina.
Conclusive research Aims to produce definitive 'hard' information for use in decision making by management; often associated with 'go/no go' decisions. Also used to verify a hypothesis before large-scale data collection commences.
Condensed type A narrow typeface; i.e. its width is less than its height.
Consent Any freely given specific and informed indication of a person's wishes by which the data subject signifies his/her agreement to personal data relating to him/her being processed.
Consolidated TV viewing Live viewing plus video playback of programmes recorded and watched within seven days of transmission.
Consumer Internet Privacy Protection Act (1997) A law that regulates how interactive computer services can use personal information input by users. For the purposes of this bill, interactive computer services are essentially Internet Service Providers. See also data protection.
Consumer-to-business (C2B) Consumers approach the business with an offer.
Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) Informational or financial transactions are between consumers, but usually mediated through a business site.
Contact card A smart card containing a microchip identified by a reader to give access as required.
Contact print A photographic print made in contact with and therefore the same size as the negative. (Source:
Contact strategy A structured plan for the number, frequency and type of online and offline communications and offers to maximise customer acquisition and retention.
Contactless Card A smart card which hides the microchip within the plastic and communicates through radio waves. Toll collection, where drivers hold their cards up to a reader as they pass, is the most common application. Contactless cards have been developed by AT&T Smart Cards and GemPlus Card International. (Source: IDM Marketing Guide 2006)
Content Centric Software As distinguished from older processing-centric software in which content (data) is fed to the program, content centric software is embedded in or wrapped around content. It is oriented to dynamic documents and is generally designed to run over networks, including the World Wide Web. (Source: Marketing Week)
Content integration Advertising woven into editorial content or placed in a contextual envelope. Also known as 'web advertorial'. (Source:
Content management system (CMS) Software tools or web services, enabling users to create, edit and update documents accessed by intranet, extranet, or internet, within an existing template. Typically, CMS are browser-based web applications running on a server.
Content marketing The management of content, including text, rich media, audio, video and offline content, with the objective to engage customers and prospects and meet other business goals.
Content network An online network that facilitates ad display on third-party sites. For example, the Google AdSense network is used by publishers to incorporate Google AdWords on their sites. Ads are paid for on a PPC basis or on a CPM basis.
Content partner site In the context of digital television, a retail outlet hosted in the interactive area of the broadcaster's TV site. This is an annual tenancy arrangement and can be transactional.
Content sponsorship Advertiser sponsorships of content areas (e.g. entire website, homepage or a specific channel) to include the total value of the package including any embedded or interruptive formats. This category also includes revenue related to email advertising or prioritised listing of results in search engines that are included as part of the sponsorship deal.(Source:
Contextual or content matched pay-per-click advertising Pay per click ads are placed on third-party sites according to a match between the keyword for the ads and text content on the page being viewed by a user at that specific time.
Continuity series A type of series marketing where consumers are offered similar products over a period of time.
Continuous e-communications Long-term or ongoing use of digital marketing communications for customer acquisition and retention.
Continuous research Gathers information routinely in order to assess trends over time. It is almost always quantitative. Results are usually reported in regular bulletins to managers.
Continuous stationery Paper produced in a reel or fan fold presentation with sprocket guide holes for use on a computer printer.
Continuous tone An image in which the tonal gradation is produced by changes in density.
Contra deals A reciprocal agreement in the form of an exchange where payment doesn’t take place instead services or ad space to promote another company as part of co-branding occurs.
Contribution Contribution to advertising costs, to overheads or profit, i.e. the amount of revenue available to be allocated to these items of expenditure.
Control A control is normally the standard promotional presentation of a product against which tests are evaluated to see if any improvement is made.
Control Panel This is where many of Windows' settings can be viewed; here you will find icons for most functions including printers, modems, and sound.
Controlled vocabulary Defined list of (key) words and phrases typically describing content and categories of items in a website. Often displayed as a tag cloud (which see) to facilitate user searches and search indexing.
Convergence A trend in which different hardware devices such as televisions, computers and telephones merge and have similar functions. For example, TV sets and smartphones allow people to access to digital TV, interactive web services, hi-fi audio and other services.
Conversion A marketing term for when your prospects or website visitors complete a desired marketing action; for example, clickthrough, purchase, enquire, request more information, etc. Conversion rate is usually expressed in terms of percentage conversion. In the context of TV, conversion refers to the relative efficiency of a channel, programme or campaign in reaching a sub-audience compared to a broad audience, normally expressed as an index.
Conversion Optimizer Google A Google tool which analyses the search query, location of user and conversion history of sites on the content network into account to minimise CPA for sites which have conversion tracking in place. It is intended to reduce over-bidding for search queries that are less likely to convert, or under-bidding for search queries which are more likely to convert.
Conversion pack The material sent out to an enquirer in the expectation of converting the enquiry to a sale. (Source:
Conveyor Normally a mechanical driven feed or delivery system working on belts or oscillating devices.
Cookie A small bit of software placed on a user's PC by a web server that identifies the user’s browser so they are ‘recognised’ when they return to that site. The browser stores the software in a text file called cookie.txt. It sends a message back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server. The main purpose of cookies is to identify returning users and to store browser session data.
Cookie buster Software that blocks the placement of cookies on a user's browser. (Source:
Cookie expiry period The time stated in an affiliate marketing programme between when a visitor clicks the affiliate link and the sale is credited to the affiliate. Common times are 7, 30 or 90 days. A longer cookie period will result in a higher Average earnings per hundred clicks (EPC). (Source:
Copy Printing term for text.
Copyproof Trade-name of photographic paper widely used throughout print trade to produce 'bromides'.
Core The driving power of a computer expressed in 'K' or Megabytes.
Corporate information portal A corporate information resource accessed via an intranet using structured and non-structured approaches. A corporate or enterprise portal will consolidate many existing separate intranets into a single access point.
Cost Of Cracking Adjustment (COCA) An adjustment in the strength of an encryption method over time to reflect that newer and faster computers are able to crack codes more rapidly. The adjustment is generally expressed as the bits that should be added to a key each year to maintain the cost of cracking the code at a constant level. (Source: IDM Marketing Guide 2006)
Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) How much you can afford to spend to acquire a customer or achieve another desired marketing action, such as a lead or signup. For example, in Google Adwords, CPA establishes the amount that you're willing to pay for a conversion. Cost per acquisition is often used interchangeably with Cost per action
Cost Per Action (CPA) What someone is prepared to pay for a desired action. Cost per Action is often used interchangeably with Cost per Acquisition.
Cost Per Click (CPC) The amount paid by an advertiser for a click on their sponsored search listing. See also PPC. (Source:
Cost Per Customer (CPC) The cost an advertiser pays to acquire a customer. (Source:
Cost Per Enquiry (CPE) The cost per enquiry is calculated by dividing the total cost of a mailing by the number of enquiries identified as from that mailing.
Cost Per Lead (CPL) Cost of advertising based on the number of database files (leads) received. (Source:
Cost Per Mille (CPM) The same as Cost Per Thousand (CPT).
Cost Per Order (CPO) Total cost of a mailing divided by the number of resultant orders received.
Cost Per Sale (CPS) The advertiser's cost to generate one sales transaction. (Source:
Cost Per Thousand (CPT) The same as Cost Per Mille (CPM). Media term describing the cost of showing the ad to 1,000 people. It is used in marketing as a benchmark to calculate the relative cost of an advertising campaign or an ad message in a given medium. Rather than an absolute cost, CPM estimates the cost per 1,000 views of the ad. For example: in TV terms, CPT refers to reaching 1,000 viewers with, say, a 30-second (or equivalent) advertisement; in digital marketing, CPM refers to 1,000 ad or page impressions served.
COTS products See Commercial-Off-The-Shelf products or services.
Coverage The proportion of a target audience seeing an advertising or other marketing campaign.
CPA See Cost Per Acquisition.
CPC See Cost Per Click, and Cost Per Customer.
CPE See Cost Per Enquiry.
CPL See Cost Per Lead.
CPM (Cost Per Mille) See Cost Per Thousand.
CPO See Cost Per Order.
CPS See Cost Per Sale.
CPT See Cost Per Thousand.
Crack, cracking The act of breaking into a computer system; what a cracker does. Contrary to widespread myth, this does not usually involve some mysterious leap of hackery brilliance, but rather persistence and the dogged repetition of a handful of fairly well-known tricks that exploit common weaknesses in the security of target systems. (Source: IDM Marketing Guide 2006)
Crawler A piece of software used to identify and access websites across the world wide web.
Crease To impress paper or card with a blind rule to enable easy folding. (Source:
Credit Transfer A transfer of funds in which the payer issues a payment order to the payer's own bank and the order is passed, possibly through intermediary banks, to the bank of the payee or beneficiary. (See debit transfer.)
CRIND Card Reader in the Dispenser. See Automated Fuel Terminal.
CRM See Customer Relationship Management.
Cromalin A mechanically generated proof generally produced in small numbers. without using a proofing machine or making plates. It shows the colour of a printed item by building up the final colour using electrostatic techniques. (Source: IDM Marketing Guide 2006)
Crop Cut part of a transparency or illustration to give better effect or to give a better fit.
Cross folds Folds which are at right angles to the direction of the feed of paper through the machine.
Cross-Media Optimisation Studies (XMOS) Studies to determine the optimum spend across different media to produce the best results. XMOS shows that, typically, it is worthwhile to put double digit percentages into online media.
Cryptography API (CAPI) An application program interface (which see in the hard copy dictionary) that makes it easy for applications to use cryptography software developed by others. It facilitates application development, supports updating of the application code and the cryptography code independent of one another, and allows the use of different cryptography code for domestic sales (in the USA) and for export. (See export laws.) (Source: IDM Marketing Guide 2006)
Cryptoki A standard application program interface that presents applications with a simple object view of a device called a cryptographic token. The logical token definition is independent of the underlying cryptographic technology. The Cryptoki Standard (also known as PKCS #11) was developed by RSA Data Security. (Source:
CTA See Call to Action.
CTI Computer Telephony Integration. (Source: IDM Marketing Guide 2006)
Cursor A marker that appear on the screen to show where the next character will be. This is the vertical flashing bar that appears on text entry. (Source: IDM Marketing Guide 2006)
Customer centric marketing An approach to marketing based on detailed knowledge of customer behaviour within the target audience, which then seeks to fulfil the individual needs and wants of customers.
Customer centric web design Design based on an understanding of customer needs, characteristics and behaviours; optimising the user experience according to all influential factors, including the user interface and environment.
Customer experience management The evaluation, design and delivery of the entire online customer experience for transactional ecommerce sites from understanding customer motivations, customer journeys between websites as part of a buying process, the website experience and service quality as indicated by inbound enquiries and fulfilment of products. (Source:
Customer file A file or list of customers, sometimes loosely used for members of Associations. (Source: Computer Active)
Customer Information Control System (CICS) A database handling system for mainframes.
Customer insight Deeply embedded knowledge about customers that helps to structure decision making. Creates an accessible, joined-up picture of the customer for everyone involved with the customer relationship.
Customer journey A series of touchpoints experienced by the customer across various media and channels over time – either a specified period of time or throughout the customer's lifetime relationship with the brand or organisation.
Customer knowledge The combination of data and information to which is added expert opinion, skills and experience to result in a valuable asset which can be used to make decisions. It is the essential factor in adding meaning to information. Knowledge may be explicit or tacit, individual or collective.
Customer lifetime value (CLTV, LTV) The total value of all future contributions to profit and overhead you can expect from that customer.
Customer profiling A descriptive process that builds a picture of each customer or prospect, by analysing website and/or database data. Characteristics are analysed to create targetable and ranked (in order of actual and potential value) segments and clusters.
Customer relationship management (CRM) The discipline of organising business resources to enhance and personalise each customer encounter as part of a long-term strategy of profitable retention. (Source: Angus Jenkinson)
Customer relationship management system A system used to automate the process of marketing and delivering services to customers, typically to encourage purchase/purchaser loyalty.
Customer scenarios Alternative tasks or outcomes required by a visitor to a website. Typically accomplished in a series of stages of different tasks involving different information needs or experiences.
Customer segmentation Customers are grouped according to their needs and value and different offerings delivered to each.
Customer touchpoints Also known as ‘contact points’. Moments when and places where customers experience your brand or offering, in person or via communications. Key touchpoints are known as ‘moments of truth’ - those that make a real difference to customer attitude.
Cut-off A close date or period end, e.g. relating to an offer or price discount. (Source:
Cut-off (printing) The circumference of the cylinder on a web press. The effective maximum length of the impression paper is the circumference of the cylinder, less a gap where the plates join.
Cut-out Illustration with any unwanted background painted out or removed; an irregular shape.
Cyan The blue colour used in process printing.
Cybermediary An individual or organisation that collects a fee for facilitating transactions over the internet without taking ownership of the products or services sold.
Cyberspace The world of the internet. From the Greek 'kybernetes', meaning steersman or governor. Originally a term from computer science then adopted by science fiction, particularly the work of William Gibson, who is regarded as coining the term.
CyberWallet A technology for enabling secure transactions over networks developed by V-ONE Corporation and designed to run in conjunction with World Wide Web browsers. It will hold information on up to 16 credit cards or bank accounts. It is especially designed to prevent merchant fraud and is based on Secure Transaction Channel technology (see STC). CyberWallet has been licensed to Checkfree and Spyglass as part of the Electronic Business Co-op (EBC). See network payment system and Electronic Business Co-op in the hard copy dictionary. (Source:
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