A Guide to Advertising Industry Jargon

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“Words of the jargon sound as if they said something higher than what they mean.”

— Theodor Adorno, German philosopher and sociologist

While every industry has its jargon, digital media is a funny business where cryptic terms are often used. Some of these terms are condensed into TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms). If you were an outsider listening in on a conversation, you could assume that it was a secret society that had developed its own mysterious language. Even seasoned veterans in digital advertising regularly have to take stock and clarify what something stands for. Sometimes' advertising speak' sneaks into briefs, making it difficult for the creator to decipher what the client requires.The below is a list of common phrases (and their definitions) used by today's digital marketers that you might come across during the pitching process.Last Updated 9th September 2019

Digital Metrics

Page Impressions

The number of times a website has been loaded in a browser. Page impressions are also synonymously used with views. Fabulate refers to page impressions as ‘content exposures'.


A measure of people who have visited or read an article for the first time. If you read an article three times, you count as three impressions, but only one unique view.

Unique Audience (Users)

The formal measurement standard, as agreed by the digital industry, that measures unique audiences to a website. For more information on this digital measurement standard, check out the IAB's Digital Content Ratings document.

Bounce Rate

The percentage of people who leave your website after reading just one page.

Call to Action (CTA)

Call to Action (CTA) is the message that encourages a user to take action. For example, ‘Click here to read more'.

Click Through Rate (CTR)

Click Through Rate (CTR) is the percentage of people who click on something after viewing.

Conversion Rate

The percentage of people that complete an action (or convert).


Reach is the total number of people that will read the content. This might also be called exposures, total people or unique audience.

Time Spent

Sometimes also called ‘Time on Page', this is the average of how long an audience spends consuming content. The theory suggests that the longer the time spent reading, the more likely it is to be effective and convert the reader.


See ‘Time Spent'.


Completion of a desired digital outcome - this might be a sale, a registration for a newsletter, or other preferred online action as defined by the client.

Content Metrics

These are the data points that a client uses to judge the success of a content marketing initiative. The metrics we encourage our clients to measure are:

  • Content Exposures: how many times a piece has been read
  • Content Impact: the active time spent engaging with a piece of content
  • Advocacy: how likely a reader is to tell others about a product or service
  • Purchase Intent: how likely a reader is to now buy that product or service
  • Discovery: how like a reader is to want to learn more about a product or service

There also might be other elements the client is measuring. If you are unsure at the time of the briefing, don't hesitate to reach out to the client.

Marketing Metrics

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

How success will be measured. This can vary from an increase in sales to time on page to newsletter registrations etc. If you are ever unsure of a campaign's KPIs, you should clarify this with the client - it's tough to score a goal if you don't know where the goalposts are.

Brand Loyalty

How a consumer feels about a particular brand and whether they are willing to go out of their way to purchase or promote this product over another.

Brand Awareness

The number of people who know your brand exists. In a traditional marketing funnel, this is the first step, usually through high reaching formats (such as TV or outdoor), to getting your brand or message out there.

Brand Consideration

Brand consideration speaks to how likely a consumer is to purchase a brand that is known to them. It is usually considered the next stage to measure after brand awareness (as it is very difficult to consider a brand if you are unaware of it).

Bottom of the Funnel Activity

The last stage of the marketing funnel and the pointy end for marketers. This is where the marketing activity leads to an action (usually a sale). This is also sometimes referred to as ‘conversation' or ‘acquisition'.

Return on Investment (ROI)

The expended Return on Investment (ROI) for each dollar spent on marketing. Clients will often have complex models that can measure each initiative. Proving the ROI of content is one of the key components of the Fabulate Measurement tool.

Audience Definitions


This stands for Single Household Income, No Kids. Those families (singles or couples) who have a singular income and no children living within the home.


This stands for Dual Household Income, No Kids. Those families who have a double income and no children living within the home.


Stands for Grocery Buyers, usually the key decision-maker in the household when it comes to buying groceries.

Other Common Content Marketing Terms


Brainstorming or developing the creative idea behind the piece of content or campaign.


Client advertising that feels like it belongs as part of the page it is published on - either in form or function. This can be both traditional advertising (in the form of banners or display) or content. Sometimes also referred to as branded content and can also be used to describe advertising units.


Search Engine Optimisation increases the likelihood of your rankings within Google and other search engines. This is a complex topic, and we recommend this SEO primer compiled by Moz.

Content Distribution

Any paid marketing that promotes and drives an audience through to your content. This could take the form of social, search, email marketing etc.

Paid Media

This is any component of a marketing campaign that is paid for by the advertiser. Generally, this is defined by any advertising purchased, for example, banners on a publisher website.

Owned Media

This is any component of a marketing campaign that is owned by the advertiser. This consists of a client's website, their email distribution list, social communities etc.

Earned Media

This is any component of a marketing campaign that is earned organically by the advertiser throughout a campaign. Generally, this is defined as any additional reach/impressions as a result of audience sharing (either on social or via word of mouth) or through securing press mentions.


Visual images that take complex information and simplify through graphics. An excellent companion piece to most articles.This is by no means an exhaustive list (and will be updated over time). If in doubt, ask the client for clarification, they will be more than happy to translate. If you have come across a term that you are not sure of send us a note and we will add it to the list.