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Marketing Tools: Understand media terms

Have you ever been in a situation where a media rep meets with you and starts throwing out all of these terms that you’re not quite sure what they mean? Well here’s a list of definitions for commonly used media terms. Review this and the next time you meet with a rep, you’ll be better prepared to evaluate if you’re getting the most value for your buy.

Two of the most important terms to know about media are reach and frequency.

Reach
The number of different homes/people exposed to the advertising messages over a specific period of time, expressed as a percent of a universe.

Frequency
Number of times an individual or household is exposed to a media vehicle or schedule in a given period of time, usually measured over four weeks.

There are a number of different ways to evaluate a media buy.

Impressions
The number of commercials or advertisements scheduled multiplied by the number of target audience exposed to each ad scheduled.

Cost-per-Thousand (CPM)
The cost of reaching 1,000 impressions within a particular vehicle or schedule.  Used to compare efficiencies of media vehicles or schedules.

Cost-per-Point (CPP)
The cost to purchase one rating point or the cost of reaching 1% of a given population.  Used in planning media budgets, allocating budgets and setting buying goals.

Broadcast (e.g. TV and radio) vehicles have their own unique terms to measure and plan advertising on their stations.

Availability’s (Avails)
The list of programs or time periods that a station is offering as available for sale.

Dayparts
Refers in broadcast to specific period of day

Radio
AM Drive: 6 – 10am
Mid Day: 10 – 3pm
PM Drive:  3 – 7pm
Evening: 7 – 12midnight

Television
Morning News: 6 – 9am
Day: 9am – 3pm
Early Fringe: 3 – 6pm
Prime Access: 7 – 8pm
Prime: 8 – 11pm
Late Fringe: 11:30 – 1am

Homes Using TV (HUT)
An expression of the percent of television homes in which television viewing is being done at any one time.

Share
Percent of home or individuals viewing or listening to TV or radio during a given time period.

Rating
A general term applying to the percent of the people or homes reached by a single media vehicle in a given time period.  The % sign is normally not used (e.g. 30 rating means a show reaches 30% of the audience).

Gross Rating Points (GRP)
The gross total of the ratings for each of the commercials in a schedule.  Targeted Rating Points (TRP) are the same as GRPs, but refer to a specific demographic target (e.g. age 18-34)

Print publications also have unique terms.

Circulation
The average number of copies distributed for an average issue of a newspaper or magazine within a specified area.

Controlled Circulation
Publications that are distributed free to individuals within a specific demographic segment, geographic area or job function.

Are there other terms you think should be added to this list?  Post a comment and we’ll update it.