Online marketing definities

De belangrijkste online marketing termen uitgelegd

Het online marketingvak kent al erg veel termen en definities. Dagelijks komen er nog meer bij. Van container begrippen tot online marketing definities die eigenlijk dezelfde betekenis hebben. Gaan al die termen bij jou ook wel eens duizelen? Marketing Rulz heeft een lijst samengesteld met meer dan 200 online marketing termen en definities. De lijst wordt regelmatig geupdate.

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A/B testing

A/B or AB testing refers to testing two different versions of a page or a page element such as a heading, image or button. The alternatives are served alternately with the visitors to the page randomly split between the two pages. Hence, it is sometimes called ‘live split testing’. Changes in visitor behaviour can then be compared using different metrics such as click-through rate on page elements like buttons or images, or macro conversion rates, such as conversion to sale or sign-up. AB testing is aimed at increasing page or site effectiveness against key performance indicators including click- through rate, conversion rates and revenue per visit. Since it does not consider combinations of variables tested, for best uplift multivariate testing is increasingly used.

Above the fold

A term, derived from printed media, which is used to indicate whether a banner advertisement or other content is displayed on a web page without the need to scroll. This is likely to give higher click-through, but note that the location of the ‘fold’ within the web browser is dependent on the screen resolution of a user’s personal computer.

Access platform

A method for customers to access digital media.

Access provider

A company providing services to enable a company or individual to access the Internet. Access providers are divided into Internet service providers (ISPs) and online service providers (OSPs).


An approach to site design intended to accommodate site usage using different browsers and settings particularly required by the visually impaired and visitors with other disabilities including motor control, learning difficulties and deafness. Users whose first language is not English can also be assisted.

Accessibility legislation

Legislation intended to assist users of websites with disabilities including visual disability.


See Customer acquisition.

Active Server Page (ASP)

A type of HTML page (denoted by an .asp file name) that includes scripts (small programs) that are processed on a web server before the web page is served to the user’s web browser. ASP is a Microsoft technology that usually runs on a Microsoft Internet Information Server (usually on Windows NT). The main use of such programs is to process information supplied by the user in an online form. A query may then be run to provide specific information to the customer such as delivery status on an order, or a personalised web page.


A programming language standard developed by Microsoft at permits complex and graphical customer applications to be written and then accessed from a web browser. ActiveX components are standard controls that can be incorporated into websites and are then automatically downloaded for users. Examples are graphics and animation or a calculator form for calculating interest on a loan or a control for graphing stock prices. A competitor to Java.

Ad creative

The design and content of an ad.

Ad impression

Similar in concept to a page impression; describes one viewing of an advertisement by a single member of its audience. The same as ad view, a term that is less commonly used.

Ad inventory

The total number of ad impressions that a website can sell over time (usually specified per month).

Ad network

Ad networks from suppliers such as Blue Lithium or 24-7 Media give advertisers the options of advertising across a network of sites to reach a particular demographic, e.g. female 18-25, but at a lower cost than targeting a single site since the actual site used for the ad  placement isn’t known (hence these are sometimes known as ‘blind network buys’).

Ad rotation

When advertisements are changed on a website for different user sessions. This may be in response to ad targeting or simply displaying different advertisements from those on a list.

Ad serving

The term for displaying an advertisement on a website. Often the advertisement will be served from a web server different from the site on which it is placed. For example, the server URL for displaying the advertisement is

Ad space

The area of a web page that is set aside for banner advertising.

Ad view

Similar in concept to a page impression; describes one viewing of an advertisement by a single member of its audience. The same as ad impression, the term that is more commonly used.


Advertisements on websites are usually banner advertisements positioned as a masthead on the page.

Advertising broker

See Media broker.

Advertising networks

A collection of independent websites of different companies and media networks, each of  which has an arrangement with a single advertising broker  (see Media broker) to place banner advertisements.


A company promoting a merchant typically through a commission-based arrangement either direct or through an affiliate network.

Affiliate marketing

A commission-based arrangement where referring sites (publishers) receive a commission on sales or leads by merchants (retailers). Commission is usually based on a percentage of product sale price or a fixed amount for each sale (CPA or cost-per-acquisition),  but may also sometimes be based on a per-click basis, for example when an aggregator refers visits to merchants.

Affiliate networks

Third-party brokers also known as affiliate managers who manage recruitment of affiliates and infrastructure to manage a merchant’s affiliate programme in the form of links, tracking and payment of a range of affiliates.


Software programs that can assist people to perform tasks such as fin ding particular information such as the best price for a product.


An alternative term to price comparison sites. Aggregators include product, price and service information comparing competitors within a sector such a financial services, retail or travel. Their revenue models commonly include affiliate revenues (CPA), pay-per-click advertising (CPC) and display advertising (CPM).

Aggregated buying

A form of customer union where buyers collectively purchase a number of items at the same price and receive a volume discount.

Agile software development

An iterative approach to developing software and website functionality with the emphasis on face-to-face communications to elicit, define  and test requirements. Each iteration or scrum is effectively a mini-software project including stages of planning, requirements analysis, design, coding, testing and documentation.

Allowable cost-per-acquisition

A target maximum cost for generating leads or new customers profitably.

Alt tags

Alt tags appear after an image tag and contain a phrase associated with that image. For example: <img src=”logo.gif” alt=”Company name, company products'”>.

Analysis phase

The identification of the requirements of a web site. Techniques to achieve this may include focus groups, questionnaires sent to existing customers or interviews with key accounts.

Anchor text (also known as link text)

The (usually) clickable text element representing a hyperlink. Or more prosaically, the body copy that is hyperlinked.

Animated banner advertisements (animated GIFs)

Early banner advertisements featured only a single advertisement, but today they will typically involve several different images, which are displayed in sequence to help to attract attention to the banner and build up a theme, often ending with a call to action and the injunction to  click on the banner. These advertisements are achieved through supplying the ad creative as an animated GIF file with different layers or frames, usually a rectangle of 468 x 60 pixels. Animated banner advertisements are an example of rich-media advertisements.


See Site announcements.


A database containing information on what documents and programs are located on FTP servers. It would not be used in a marketing context unless one were looking for a specific piece of software or document name.

Asymmetry encryption

Both parties use a related but different key to encode and decode messages.


Atomisation in a Web 2.0 context refers to a concept where the content on a site is broken down into smaller fundamental units which can then be distributed via the web through links to other sites. Examples of atomisation include the stories and pages in individual  feeds being syndicated to third-party sites and widgets.

Attrition rate

Percentage of site visitors who are lost at each stage in making a purchase.

Audit (external)

Consideration of the business and economy environment in which the company operates. This includes the economy, political, fiscal, legal, social, cultural and technological factors (usually referred to by the acronym STEP or SLEPT).

Audit (internal)

A review of website effectiveness.


See Site auditors.


See Security methods.

Auto responders

Software tools or agents running on web servers that automatically send a standard reply to the sender of an e-mail message. This may provide information for a standard request sent to, say,, or it could simply state that the message or order has been forwarded to the relevant person and will be answered within two days. (Also known as mailbots.)


See Security methods; Site availability.


A term used in computer-mediated environments to mean a ‘virtual person’ Derived from the word’s original meaning: ‘n. the descendant of a Hindu deity in a visible form; incarnation; supreme glorification of any principle’.

Average order value (AOV)

The average amount spent for a single checkout purchase on a retail site for a particular customer group, e.g. first time purchasers.




High-speed communications links used to enable Internet communications across a country and internationally.


Hyperlinks which link to a particular web page (or website).Also known as inbound links. Google PageRank and Yahoo! Web Rank are methods of  enumerating this.

Balanced scorecard

A framework for setting and monitoring business performance. Metrics are structured according to customer issues, internal efficiency measures,  financial measures and innovation.


Indicates the speed at which data are transferred using a particular network medium. It is measured in bits per second (bps).

  • Kbps (one kilobit per second or 1000 bps; a modem operates at up to 56.6 kbps).
  • Mbps (one megabit per second or 1,000,000 bps; company networks operate at 10 or more Mbps).
  • Gbps (one gigabit per second or 1,000,000,000 bps; fibre-optic or satellite links operate at Gbps).

Banner advertisement

A typically rectangular graphic displayed on a web page for purposes of brand building or driving traffic to a site. It is normally possible to perform a click-through to access further information from another website. Banners may be static or animated (see Animated banner advertisements).

Behavioural ad targeting

Enables an advertiser to target ads at a visitor as they move elsewhere on the site or return to the site, thus increasing the frequency or number  of impressions served to an individual in the target market.

Behavioural loyalty

Loyalty to a brand is demonstrated by repeat sales and response to marketing campaigns.

Behavioural traits of web users

Web users can be broadly divided into directed and undirected information seekers.


A commitment by a trader to purchase under certain conditions.


Personal online diary, journal or news source compiled by one person, an intern al team or external guest authors. Postings are usually in different categories. Typically comments can be added to each blog posting to help create interactivity and feedback.

Blue casting

Blue casting involves messages being automatically pushed to a consumer’s Bluetooth-enabled phone or they can pull or request audio, video or text content to be downloaded from a live advert. In the future ads will be able to respond to those who view them.

Blue jacking

Sending a message from a mobile phone or transmitter to another mobile phone which is in close range via Bluetooth technology.


Show the relationships between pages and other content components; can be used to portray organisation, navigation and labelling systems.


A standard for wireless transmission of data between devices over short ranges (less than lOM), e.g. a mobile phone or a PDA.


Independent computers, connected to the Internet, are used together, typically for malicious purposes through controlling software. For example, they may be used to send out spam or for a denial of service attack where they repeatedly access a server to degrade its  software. Computers are often initially infected through a virus when effective anti-virus measures are not in place.

Bounce rate

Proportion of visitors to a page or site that exit after visiting a single page only, usually expressed as a percentage.


The sum of the characteristics of a product or service perceived by a user.

Brand advocate

A customer who has favourable perceptions of a brand who will talk favourably about a brand to their acquaintances to help generate awareness of  the brand or influence purchase intent.

Brand equity

The brand assets (or liabilities) linked to a brand’s name and symbol that add to (or subtract from) a service.

Brand experience

The frequency and depth of interactions with a brand can be enhanced through the Internet.

Brand identity

The totality of brand associations including name and symbols that must be communicated.


The process of creating and evolving successful brands.


A traditional organisation with limited online presence.

Broad band shallow navigation

More choices, fewer clicks to reach required content.

Broadband technology

A term referring to methods of delivering information across the Internet at a higher rate by increasing bandwidth.

Brochure ware

A website in which a company has simply transferred (‘migrated’) its existing paper-based promotional literature onto the Internet without recognising the differences required by this medium.


See Media broker.


See Web browser.


Offering complementary services.

Business model

A summary of how a company will  generate revenue, identifying its product offering, value-  added services, revenue sources and target customers.

Business-to-business (B2B)

Commercial transactions between an organisation and other organisations (inter organisational marketing).

Business-to-business exchanges or marketplaces

Virtual intermediaries with facilities to enable trading between buyers and sellers.

Business-to-consumer (B2C)

Commercial transactions between an organisation and consumers.

Buy-side e-commerce

E-commerce transactions between a purchasing organisation and its suppliers.



CaU centre

Allocation for inbound and outbound telemarketing.

CaU-back service

A direct response facility available on a website to enable a company to contact a customer by phone at a later time as specified by the customer.

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 web site launch.

Campaign URL (CU RL)

A web address specific to a particular campaign.


Capabilities are intangible and are developed from the combined and coordinated behaviour and activities of an organisation’s employees, and it is therefore ‘embedded in the organisation and processes’ (Makadok, 2001 – see Chapter 11). The definition of a  capability is an organisation’s ability to ‘perform a set of co-ordinated tasks, utilising organisational resources, for the purposes of achieving a particular end result’

Card sorting

The process of setting up a way of organising objects on the website in a consistent manner.

Cascading style sheets

A simple mechanism for adding style (e.g. fonts, colours, spacing) to web documents. CSS enables different style elements to be  controlled across an entire site or section of site. Style elements that are commonly controlled include typography, background colour and images, and borders and margins.


Catalogues provide a structured listing of registered websites in different categories. They are similar to an electronic version of Yellow Pages. Yahoo! and Excite are the best known examples of catalogues. (Also known as directories.) The distinction between search engines and catalogues has become blurred since many sites now include both facilities as part of a portal service.


A valid copy of a public key of an individual or organisation together with identification information. It is issued by a trusted third party (TTP) or certification authority (CA).

Certification authority (CA)

An organisation issuing and managing certificates or public keys and private keys to individuals or organisations together with identification information.

Change management

Controls to minimise the risks of project-based and organisational change.

Channel buyer behaviour

Describes which content is visited and the time and duration.

Channel conflicts

A significant threat arising from the introduction of an Internet channel is that while disintermediation gives the opportunity for a company to sell direct and increase the profitability of products it can also threaten existing distribution arrangements with  existing partners.

Channel marketing strategy

Defines how a company should set specific objectives for a channel such as the Internet and vary its proposition and communications for this channel.

Channel outcomes

Record customer actions taken as a consequence of a visit to a site.

Channel profitability

The profitability of a website, taking into account revenue and cost and discounted cash flow.

Channel promotion

Measures that assess why customers visit a site – which adverts they have seen, which sites they have been referred from.

Channel satisfaction

Evaluation of the customer’s opinion of the service quality on the site and supporting services such as e-mail.

Channel structure

The configuration of partners in a distribution channel.


A business combining online and offline presence.

Clicks-only or Internet pure play

An organisation with principally an online presence.


A record of the path a user takes through a website. Clickstreams enable website designers to assess how their site is being used.

Clickstream analysis

Reviewing the online behaviour of site visitors based on the sequence of pages that they visit, the navigation and promotion they respond to, the ultimate outcomes and where they leave the site.


A click-through (ad click) occurs each time a user clicks on a banner advertisement to direct them to a web page that contains further information.

Click-through rate

Expressed as a percentage of total ad impressions, and refers to the proportion of users viewing an advertisement who click on it. It is calculated as the number of click-trough’s divided by the number of ad impressions.

Click-tracking Java

Technology can be used to track movements of individual users to a website.


The client-server architecture consists of client computers such as PCs sharing resources such as a database stored on a more powerful server computer.


An arrangement between two or more companies where they agree to jointly display content and perform joint promotion using brand logos, e-mail marketing or banner advertisements. The aim is that the brands are strengthened if they are seen as complementary.  Co-branding is often a reciprocal arrangement which can occur without payment as part of a wider agreement between partners.

Cold list

Data about individuals that are rented or sold by a third party.

Collaborative filtering

Profiling of customer interest coupled with delivery of specific information and offers, often based on the interests of similar customers.


The process whereby product selection becomes more dependent on price than on differentiating features, benefits and value-added services.

Common Gateway Interface (CGI)

A method of processing information on a web server in response to a customer’s request. Typically a user will fill in a web-based  form and the results will be processed by a CGI script (application). Active Server Pages (ASPs) are an alternative to a CGI script.

Competitive intelligence (Cl)

A process that transforms disaggregated information into relevant, accurate and usable strategy knowledge about competitors, position, performance, capabilities and intentions.

Competitor analysis

Review of Internet marketing services offered by existing and new competitors and adoption by their customers.

Competitor benchmarking

A structured analysis of the online services, capabilities and performance of an organisation within the areas of customer acquisition,  conversion, retention and growth.

Computer telephony integration

The integration of telephony and computing to provide a platform for applications that streamline or enhance business processes.


See Security methods.

Consumer-to-business (C2B)

Consumers approach the business with an offer.

Consumer-to-consumer (C2C)

Informational or financial transactions between consumers, but usually mediated through a business site.

Consumer behaviour

Research into the motivations, media consumption preferences and selection processes used by consumers as they use digital channels together with traditional channels to purchase online products and use other online services.

Contact or touch strategy

Definition of the sequence and type of outbound communications required at different points in the customer life cycle.


Content is the design, text and graphical information that forms a web page. Good content is the key to attracting customers to a website and retaining their interest or achieving repeat visits.

Content developer

A person responsible for updating web pages within part of an organisation.

Content management

Software tools for managing additions and amendments to website content.

Content network

Sponsored links are displayed by the search engine on third-party sites such as online publishers, aggregators or social networks. Ads can be paid for on a CPC, CPM or a CPA basis. There are also options for graphical or video ads in addition to text-based ads.

Contextual ads

Ads relevant to page content on third-party sites brokered by search ad networks.

Continuous e-communications activities

Long-term use of e-marketing communications intended to generate site visitors for customer acquisition (such as search engine, and affiliate marketing and online sponsorship ) and retention (for example, e-newsletter marketing).


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.

Control page

The page against which subsequent optimisation will be assessed. Typically a current landing page. When a new page performs better than the existing control page, it becomes the control page in subsequent testing. Also known as ‘champion-challenger.


A trend in which different hardware devices such as televisions, computers and telephones merge and have similar functions.

Conversion marketing

Using marketing communications to maximise conversion of potential customers to actual customers.

Conversion rate

Proportion of visitors to a site, or viewers of an advert, who take an action such as registration or checkout. See Visit conversion rate and Visitor conversion rate.


Cookies are small text files stored on an end- user’s computer to enable websites to identify the user. They enable a company to identify a previous visitor to a site, and build up a profile of that visitor’s behaviour. See Persistent cookies, Session cookies, First-party cookies, Third-party cookies.

Core product

The fundamental features of the product  that meet the user’s needs.

Core tenants

A shopping centre or mall is usually a centrally owned managed facility. In the physical world, the management will aim to include in the mall stores that sell a different but complementary range of merchandise and include a variety of smaller and larger stores. The core tenants or ‘anchor stores’ as they are often called are the dominant large-scale store operators that are expected to draw customers to the centre.

Cost models for Internet advertising

These include per-exposure, per-response and per-action costs.

Cost-per-acquisition (CPA)

The cost of acquiring a new customer. Typically limited to the communications cost and refers to cost per sale for new customers. May also refer to other outcomes such as cost-per-quote or enquiry.

Cost-per-click (CPC)

The cost of each click from a referring site to a destination site, typically from a search engine in pay-per-click search marketing.

Cost-per-targeted mille (CPTM)

Cost per targeted thousand for an advertisement. (See Targeting. )

Cost per thousand (CPM)

Cost per 1000 ad impressions.

Counter mediation

Creation of a new intermediary by an established company.


A malicious meddler who tries to discover sensitive information by poking around computer networks.

Cross-media optimisation studies (XMOS)

Studies to determine the optimum spend across different media to produce the best results.


persuading existing customers to purchase products from other categories than their typical purchases.

Customer acquisition

Strategies and techniques used to gain new customers.

Customer-centric marketing

An approach to marketing based on detailed knowledge of customer behaviour within the target audience which seeks to fulfil  the individual needs and wants of customers.

Customer communications channels

The range of media used to communicate directly with a customer.

Customer engagement

Repeated interactions that strengthen the emotional, psychological or physical investment a customer has in a brand.

Customer experience

See Online customer experience.

Customer extension

Techniques to encourage customers to increase their involvement with an organisation.

Customer insight

Knowledge about customers’ needs, characteristics, preferences and behaviours based on analysis of qualitative and quantitative data. Specific insights can be used to inform marketing tactics directed at groups of customers with shared characteristics.

Customer journey

A description of modern multichannel buyer behaviour as consumers use different media to select suppliers, make purchases and gain  customer support.

Customer lifecycle

The stages each customer will pass through in a long-term relationship through acquisition, retention and extension.

Customer loyalty

The desire on the part of the customer to continue to do business with a given supplier over time. See Behavioural loyalty and Emotional loyalty.

Customer orientation

Providing content and services on a website consistent with the different characteristics of the audience of the site.

Customer profiling

Using the website to find out customers’ specific interests and characteristics.

Customer relationship management (CRM)

A marketing-led approach to building and sustaining long term business with customers.

Customer retention

Techniques to maintain relationships with existing customers.

Customer satisfaction

The extent to which a customer’s expectations of product quality, service quality and price are met.

Customer scenarios (user journeys)

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 segments

Groups of customers sharing similar characteristics, preferences and behaviours who are targeted with different propositions as part of target  marketing strategy.

Customer selection

Identifying key customer segments and targeting them for relationship building.

Customer touch-points

Communications channels with which companies interact directly with prospects and customers. Traditional touch-points include face-to-face  (in-store or with sales representatives), phone and mail. Digital touch-points include web services, e-mail and, potentially, mobile phone.


Intermediaries who bring together buyers and sellers or those with particular information or service needs.

Cyberspace and cyber marketing

These terms were preferred by science-fiction writers and tabloid writers to indicate the futuristic nature of using the Internet, the prefix ‘cyber’ indicating a blurring between humans, machines and communications. The terms are not frequently used today since the terms Internet, intranet and World Wide Web are more specific and widely used.

Data controller

Each company must have a defined person responsible for data protection.

Data fusion

The combining of data from different complementary sources (usually geo-demographic and lifestyle or market research and lifestyle) to ‘build a picture of someone’s life’ (M. Evans (1998) From 1086 to 1984: direct marketing into the millennium, Marketing Intelligence and Planning, 16(1),56-67).

Data subject

The legal term to refer to the individual whose data are held.

Data warehousing and data mining

Extracting data from legacy systems and other resources; cleaning, scrubbing and preparing data for decision support;  maintaining data in appropriate data stores; accessing and analysing data using a variety of end-user tools; and mining  data for significant relationships. The primary purpose of these efforts is to provide easy access to specially prepared  data that can be used with decision support applications such as management reports, queries, decision support  systems, executive information systems and data mining.

Database marketing

The process of systematically collecting, in electronic or optical form, data about past, current and/or potential customers, maintaining the integrity of the data by continually monitoring customer purchases, by enquiring about changing status, and by  using the data to formulate marketing strategy and foster personalised relationships with customers.


The process of decoding (unscrambling) a message that has been encrypted using defined mathematical rules.

Deep linking

Jakob Nielsen’s term for a user arriving at a site de ep within its structure or where search engines index a mirrored copy of content normally inaccessible by search engine spiders.


Deliverability refers to ensuring e-mail messages are delivered and aren’t blocked by spam filters because the e-mail content or structure falsely identifies a permission-based e-mail as a spammer, or because the sender’s lP address has a poor reputation for spam.

Demand analysis

Quantitative determination of the potential usage and business value achieved from online customers of an organisation. Qualitative analysis of perceptions of online channels is also assessed.

Demand analysis for e-commerce

Assessment of the demand for e-commerce services among existing and potential customer segments using the ratio Access : Choose : Buy online.

Demographic characteristics

Variations in attributes of the population such as age, sex and social class.

Denial of service attack

Also known as a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack, this involves a hacker group taking control of many ‘zombie’ computers attached to the Internet whose security has been compromised. This ‘botnet’ is then used to make many requests to a target server, so  overloading it and preventing access to other visitors.

Design for analysis (DFA)

The required measures from a site are considered during design to better understand the audience of a site and their decision points.

Design phase (of site construction)

The design phase defines how the site will work in the key areas of website structure, navigation and security.

Destination site

Frequently used to refer to the site that is visited following a click-through on a banner advertisement. Could also apply to any site visited  following a click on a hyperlink.

Destination store

A retail store in which the merchandise, selection, presentation, pricing or other unique features act as a magnet for the customer.

Development phase (of site construction)

‘Development’ is the term used to describe the creation of a website by programmers. It involves writing the HTML  content, creating graphics, and writing any necessary software code such as JavaScript or ActiveX (programming).

Differential advantage

A desirable attribute of a product that is not currently matched by competitor offerings.

Differential pricing

Identical products are priced differently for different types of customers, markets or buying situations.

Digital assets

The graphical and interactive material that support a campaign displayed on third-party sites and on microsites, they include display ads, e-mail templates, video, audio and other interactive media such as Flash animations.

Digital audio broadcasting (DAS) radio

Digital radio with clear sound quality with the facility to transmit text, images and video.

Digital brand

A digital brand is a brand identity used for a product or company online that differs from the traditional brand. (Also known as an online brand.)

Digital cash

An electronic version of cash in which the buyer of an item is typically anonymous to the seller. (Also referred to as virtual or electronic cash or e-cash.)

Digital certificates (keys)

A method of ensuring privacy on the Internet. Certificates consist of keys made up of large numbers that are used to uniquely identify individuals. See Public key.

Digital marketing

This has a similar meaning to ‘electronic marketing’ – both describe the management and execution of marketing using electronic media such as the web, e-mail, interactive TV, IPTV and wireless media in conjunction with digital data about customers’ characteristics and behaviour.

Digital media

Communications are facilitated through content and interactive services delivered by different digital technology platforms including the Internet, web, mobile phone, interactive TV, IPTV and digital signage. See DigitaI media channels.

Digital media ‘assists’

A referrer of a visit to a site before the ultimate sale is credited with the sale, often through a weighting system.

Digital media channels

Online communications techniques such as search engine marketing, affiliate marketing and display advertising used to engage web  users on third-party sites; encouraging them to visit an organisation’s site or purchase through traditional channels such as by phone or in-store.

Digital media de-duplication

A single referrer of a visit leading to sale is credited with the sale based on the last-click method of digital media channel attribution.

Digital radio

All types of radio broadcast as a digital signal.

Digital signage

The use of interactive digital technologies within billboard and point of sale ads. For example, videos and Bluetooth interaction.

Digital signatures

The electronic equivalent of written signatures which are used as an online method of identifying individuals or companies using public-key encryption.

Digital television

Information is received and displayed on a digital television using binary information (Os and Is), giving options for better picture and sound quality and providing additional information services based on interactivity. See Interactive digital TV.

Direct marketing

Marketing to customers using one or more advertising media aimed at achieving measurable response and/or transaction.

Direct response

Usually achieved in an Internet marketing context by call-back services.

Directed information seeker

Someone who knows what information he or she is looking for.


Directory websites provide a structured listing of registered websites in different categories. They are similar to an electronic version of Yellow Pages. Yahoo! and Excite are the best known examples of directories. (Also known as catalogues.)


The removal of intermediaries such as distributors or brokers that formerly linked a company to its customers.

Display advertising

Paid ad placements using graphical or rich media ad units within a web page to achieve goals of  delivering brand awareness, familiarity, favourability and purchase intent. Many ads encourage interaction through  prompting the viewer to interact or roll/over to play videos, complete an online form or to view more details by clicking through to a site.

Disruptive technologies

New technologies that prompt businesses to reappraise their strategy approaches.

Distribution channels

The mechanism by which products are directed to customers either through intermediaries or directly.

Domain name

The web address that identifies a web server. See Domain name system.

Domain name registration

The process of reserving a unique web address that can be used to refer to the company website.

Domain name system

The domain name system (DNS) provides a method of representing Internet Protocol (IP) addresses as text-based names. These are  used as web addresses. For example, the representation of site Domain names are divided into the following categories:

  • Top-level domain name such as .com or (Also known as Global (or generic) top-level domain names (gLTD).)
  • Second-level domain name. This refers to the company name and is sometimes referred to as the ‘enterprise name’, e.g. novel/.com.
  • Third-level or sub-enterprise domain name. This may be used to refer to an individual server within an organisation, such as support.novel/.com.

Doorway pages

Specially constructed pages which feature keywords for particular product searches. These often redirect visitors to a home page.



The process of retrieving electronic information such as a web page or e-mail from another remote location such as a web server.

Drip irrigation

Collecting information about customer needs through their lifetime.

Dynamic pricing

Prices can be updated in real time according to the type of customer or current market conditions.

Dynamic web page

A page that is created in real time, often with reference to a database query, in response to a user request.



Early adopters

Companies or departments that invest in new marketing techniques and technologies when they first become available in an attempt to gain a competitive advantage despite the higher risk entailed than that involved in a more cautious approach.

Early (first) mover advantage

Au early entrant into the marketplace.

Earnings-per-click (EPC)

A relative measure of the effectiveness of a site or section of a site in generating revenue for the site owner through affiliate marketing for every 100 outbound clicks generated.


See Electronic business.


See Digital cash.


See Electronic commerce.

Econometric modelling

A quantitative technique to evaluate the past influence or predict the future influence on a dependent variable (typically sales in a marketing context) of independent variables which may include product price, promotions and the level and mix: of media investments.

Effective cost-per-thousand (eCPM)

A measure of the total revenue a site owner can achieve through advertising or other revenue options. eCPM is calculated as advertising revenue achieved for every 1000 pages that are served for the whole site or a section. See EPC.

Effective frequency

The number of exposures or ad impressions (frequency) required for an advertisement to become effective.


Meeting process objectives, delivering the required outputs and outcomes. ‘Doing the right thing.’


Minimising resources or time needed to complete a process. ‘Doing the thing right.’


The use of Internet technologies to provide government services to citizens.

Electronic business (e-business)

All electronically mediated information exchanges, both within an organisation and with external stakeholders, supporting the range of business processes.

Electronic cash

See Digital cash.

Electronic commerce (e-commerce)

All financial and informational electronically mediated exchanges between an organisation and its external stakeholders. (See Buy-side e-commerce and Sell-side e-commerce.)

Electronic commerce transactions

Transactions in the trading of goods and services conducted using the Internet and other digital media.

Electronic customer relationship management 

Using digital communications technologies to maximise sales to existing customers and encourage continued usage of online services.

Electronic data interchange (EOI)

The exchange, using digital media, of standardised business documents such as purchase orders and invoices between buyers and sellers.

Electronic mail (e-mail)

Sending messages or documents, such as news about a new product or sales promotion between individuals. A primitive form of push  channel. E-mail may be inbound or outbound.

Electronic mail advertising

Advertisements contained within e-mail such as newsletters.

Electronic mail

See Virtual maiI.

Electronic marketing

Achieving marketing objectives through use of electronic communications technology.

Electronic marketspace

A virtual marketplace such as the Internet in which no direct contact occurs between buyers and sellers.

Electronic shopping or ES test

This test was developed by de Kare-Silver to assess the extent to which consumers are likely to purchase a particular retail product using the Internet.

Electronic tokens

Units of digital currency that are in a standard electronic format.

E-mail marketing

Typically applied to outbound communications from a company to prospects or customers to encourage purchase or branding goals. E-mail marketing is most commonly used for mailing to existing customers on a house-list, but can also be used for mailing prospects on a rented or co-branded list. E-mails may be sent as part of a one-off campaign or can be  automated event-based triggered e-mails such as a Welcome strategy which can be broadcast based on rules  about intervals and customer characteristics. See Inbound e-mail and Outbound e-mail.

E-mail service providers (ESPs)

Provide a web-based service used by marketers to manage their e-mail activities including hosting e-mail subscription forms, broadcast  and tracking.


See Electronic marketing.

Emergent strategy

Strategy analysis, strategy development and strategy implementation are interrelated and are developed together.

Emotional loyalty

Loyalty to a brand is demonstrated by favourable perceptions, opinions and recommendations.


The scrambling of information into a form that cannot be interpreted. Decryption is used to make the information readable.

Enterprise application integration

The middleware technology that is used to connect together different software applications and their underlying databases is  now known as ‘enterprise application integration (EAI).

Entry page

The page at which a visitor enters a website. It is identified by a log file analyser. See Exit page and Referring site.

Environmental scanning and analysis

The process of continuously monitoring the environment and events and responding accordingly.


According to Dennis et al. (2004), see Chapter 11, the business of e-retailing is defined as the sale of goods and services via the Internet or other electronic channels for individual consumers. This definition includes all e-commerce and related activities that ultimately result in transactions.

Ethical standards

Practices or behaviours which are morally acceptable to society.

Evaluating a website

See Website measurement.


See Business-to-business exchanges or marketplaces.

Exit page

The page from which a visitor exits a website. It is identified by web analytics services.

Expert reviews

An analysis of an existing site or prototype, by an experienced usability expert who will identify deficiencies and improvements to a site based on their knowledge of web design principles and best practice.

Exposure-based payment

Advertisers pay according to the number of times the ad is viewed.

Extended product

Additional features and benefits beyond the core product.


See Customer extension.

External link building

A proactive approach to gain quality links from third-party sites.


Formed by extending an intranet beyond a company to customers, suppliers, collaborators or even competitors. This is password-protected to prevent access by general Internet users.



Faceted navigation

Used to enable users to rapidly filter results from a product search based on different ways of classifying the product by their attributes or features. For example by brand, by sub-product category, by price bands.

Feed or RSS feed

Blog, news or other content is published by an XML standard and syndicated for other sites or read by users in RSS reader services such as Google Reader, personalised home pages or e-mail systems. RSS stands for really simple syndication.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

A standard method for moving files across the Internet. FTP is available as a feature of web browsers that is sometimes used for  marketing applications such as downloading files like product price lists or specifications. Standalone FTP packages such as WSFTP are commonly used to update HTML files on web servers when uploading revisions to  the web server.

Find ability

An assessment of how easy it is for a web user to locate a single content object or to use browse navigation and search system to find content. Like usability it is assessed through efficiency – how long it takes to find the content – and effectiveness – how satisfied the user is with the experience and relevance of the content they find.


A specialised software application mounted on a server at the point where a company is connected to the Internet. Its purpose is to prevent unauthorised access into the company by outsiders. Firewalls are essential for all companies hosting their own web server.

First-party cookies

Served by the site currently in use – typical for e-commerce sites.


Describes a state in which users have a positive experience from readily controlling their navigation and interaction on a website.

Focus groups

Online focus groups have been conducted by These follow a bulletin board or discussion group form where different members of the focus group respond to prompts from the focus group leaders.


A contraction of ‘folk taxonomy’, a method  of classifying content based on tagging that has no  hierarchy (i.e. without parent-child relationships).


A method on a web page of entering information such as order details.

Forward auctions

Item purchased by highest bid made in bidding period.

Forward path analysis

Forward path analysis reviews the combinations of clicks that occur from a page. This form of analysis is most beneficial when it is forward  from important pages such as the home page, product and  directory pages. This technique is used to identify messaging/navigation combinations which work best to  yield the most clicks from a page. Similar, effective  messaging approaches can then be deployed elsewhere on the site.


A technique used to divide a web page into different parts such as a menu and separate content.

Global (or generic) top-level domain names  (gLTD)

The part of the domain name that refers to the category of site. The gLTD is usually the rightmost part of the domain name such as or .com.


The increase of international trading and shared social and cultural values.


Gopher is a directory-based structure containing information in certain categories.


This is approximately five times faster than GSM  and is an ‘always-on’ service which is charged according to  usage. Display is still largely text-based and based on the WAP protocol.

Graphic design

All factors that govern the physical appearance of a web page.

Graphics Interchange Format (GIF)

A graphics  format used to display images within web pages. An interlaced GIF is displayed gradually on the screen, building up an image in several passes.


The digital transmission technique standard used widely for mobile voice data.



Halo effect

The role of one media channel on influencing sale or uplift in brand metrics. Commonly applied to online display advertising, where exposure to  display ads may increase click through rates when the  consumer is later exposed to a brand through other  media, for example sponsored links or affiliate ads. It may also improve conversion rates on a destination sites through higher confidence in the brand or familiarity  with the offer.


Someone who enjoys exploring the details of programmable systems and how to stretch their capabilities.

Hard launch

A site is launched once fully complete with full promotional effort.


A hit is recorded for each graphic or page of text  requested from a web server. It is not a reliable measure for the number of people viewing a page. A page impression is  a more reliable measure denoting one person viewing one page.

Home page

The index page of a website with menu options or links to other resources on the site. Usually  denoted by <web address/index.htrnl.

House list

A list of prospect and customer names, e-mail addresses and profile information owned by an  organisation.

HTML (Hypertext Mark-up Language)

A standard format used to define the text and layout of web pages. HTML files usually have the extension.HTML or .HTM.

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)

A standard that defines the way information is transmitted across the Internet.

Hurdle rate

The proportion of customers that fall within a particular level of activity. For example, the percentage of members of an e-mail list that click on the e-mail within a 90-day period, or the number of customers that have made a second purchase.

Hype cycle

A graphic representation of the maturity, adoption and business application of specific technologies.


A method of moving between one website  page and another, indicated to the user by text highlighted  by underlining and/or a different colour. Hyperlinks can also be achieved by clicking on a graphic image such as a banner advertisement that is linked to another website.



Identity theft

The misappropriation of the identity of another person, without their knowledge or consent.


A mobile access platform that enables display of colour graphics and content subscription services.

Inbound customer contact strategies

Approaches  to managing the cost and quality of service related to management of customer enquiries.

Inbound e-mail

E-mail arriving at a company.

Inbound e-mail marketing

Management of e-mails from customers by an organisation.

Inbound Internet-based communications

Customers enquire through web-based form and e-mail  (see Web self-service).

Inbound link

See backlink.

Incidental offline advertising

Driving traffic to the  website is not a primary objective of the advert.

Index inclusion

Ensuring that as many of the relevant pages from your domain(s) are included within the search  engine indexes you are targeting to be listed in.

Info me diary

An intermediary business whose main source of revenue derives from capturing consumer  information and developing detailed profiles of individual  customers for use by third parties.

Information architecture

The combination of organisation, labelling and navigation schemes constituting an information system.

Information organisation schemes

The structure chosen to group and categorise information.

Initiation of the website project

This phase of the  project should involve a structured review of the costs and benefits of developing a website (or making a major revision to an existing website). A successful outcome to initiation will be a decision to proceed with the site development phase, with an agreed budget and target completion date.

Insertion order

A printed order to run an advertisement campaign. It defines the campaign name, the website  receiving the order and the planner or buyer giving the order, the individual advertisements to be run (or who will provide them), the sizes of the advertisements, the campaign start and end dates, the CPM, the total cost, discounts to be applied, and reporting requirements and possible penalties or stipulations relative to the failure to deliver the impressions.

Integrated marketing communications

The  co-ordination of communications channels to deliver a dear, consistent message.


See Security methods.

Intellectual property rights (IPRs)

Protect the intangible  property created by corporations or individuals that is protected under copyright, trade secret and patent laws.

Interactive banner advertisement

A banner advertisement that enables the user to enter information.

Interactive digital TV (iOTV)

Television displayed using  a digital signal delivered by a range of media – cable, satellite, terrestrial (aerial). Interactions can be provided  through phone line or cable service.

Internal link architecture

Structuring and labelling links within a site’s navigation to improve the results of SE~.

Internet Protocol Television (IPTV)

Digital television service delivered using Internet protocol, typically by a broadband connection. IPTV can be streamed for real-time viewing or downloaded before playback.


The medium enables a dialogue between company and customer.

Interaction rate (IR)

The proportion of ad viewers who interact with an online ad through rolling over it. Some  will be involuntary depending on where the ad is placed on screen, so it is highly dependent on placement.


Online sites that help bring together different parties such as buyers and sellers.


The physical network that links computers  across the globe. It consists of the infrastructure of  network servers and communication links between them that are used to hold and transport the vast amount of information on the Internet.

Internet-based market research

The use of online  questionnaires and focus groups to assess customer perceptions of a website or broader marketing issues.

Internet contribution

An assessment of the extent to which the Internet contributes to sales is a key measure of  the importance of the Internet to a company.

Internet EOI

Use of electronic data interchange standards delivered across non-proprietary Internet protocol networks.

Internet governance

Control of the operation and use of the Internet.

Internet marketing

The application of the Internet and related digital technologies in conjunction with traditional  communications to achieve marketing objectives.

Internet marketing metrics

See Metrics for Internet marketing.

Internet marketing strategy

Definition of the approach by which Internet marketing will support marketing and business objectives.

Internet pure play

An organisation with the majority of its customer-facing operations online, e.g. Egg.

Internet Relay Chat (IRC)

A communications tool that allows a text-based ‘chat’ between different users who are logged on at the same time. Of limited use for marketing purposes except for special-interest or youth products.

Internet service provider (ISP)

Company that  provides home or business users with a connection to access the Internet. It can also host websites or provide a link from web servers to allow other companies and  consumers access to a corporate website.

Interruption marketing

Marketing communications that disrupt customers’ activities.

Interstitial ads

Ads that appear between one page and the next.


A network within a single company that enables access to company information using the familiar tools of the Internet such as web browsers and e-mail. Only staff within a company can access the intranet, which will be password – protected.


A programming language standard supported by Sun Microsystems, which permits complex and graphical customer applications to be written and then accessed  from a web browser. An example might be a form for calculating interest on a loan. A competitor to ActiveX.

Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG)

A compressed graphics standard specified by the JPEG. Used  for graphic images typically requiring use of many colours, such as product photographs where some loss of quality is acceptable. The format allows for some degradation in image quality to enable more rapid download.



Key performance indicators (KPIs)

Metrics used to  assess the performance of a process and/or whether goals set are achieved.

Key phrase (keyword phrase)

The combination of words users of search engines type into a search box which form a search query.



Lagging performance indicator

A metric which indicates past performance. Corrective action can then be applied to improve performance.

Landing page

A destination page when a user clicks on an ad or other form of link from a referring site. It can be a home  page, but more typically and desirably a landing page is a page with the messaging focused on the offer in the ad. This will maximise conversion rates and brand favourability.

Last-click method of digital media channel  attribution

The site which referred a visitor immediately  before purchase is credited with the sale. Previous referrals  influenced by other customer touch-points on other sites are ignored.


The average length of time that different customer types takes between different activities, e.g. log-  ins, paying bills, first and second purchase.


Details about a potential customer (prospect). (See Qualified lead.)

Leading performance indicator

A measure which is suggestive of future performance and so can be used to take proactive action to shape future performance.

Lead generation offers

Offered in return for customers providing their contact details and characteristics. Commonly used in B2B marketing where free information such as a report or a seminar will be offered.

Lifetime value (LTV)

The total net benefit that a  customer or group of customers will provide a company over their total relationship with a company.

Link anchor text

The text used to form the blue, underlined hyperlink viewed in a web browser defined in  the HTML source. For example: Visit Dave Chaffey’s web  log is created by the HTML code: <A HREF=”http:/ / •• >Visit Dave Chaffey’s web log</A>

Link building

A proactive approach to gain quality links from third-party sites.

List broker

Will source the appropriate e-mail list(s) from the list owner.

List owner

Has collected e-mail addresses which are  offered for sale distinct from test website.


Designing the content of the website in  such a way that it is appropriate to different audiences in  different countries.

Log file

A file stored on a web server that records every item downloaded by users.

Log file analysers

Web analytics tools that are used to build a picture of the amount of usage of different parts of a  website based on the information contained in the log file.

Long tail concept

A frequency distribution suggesting  the relative variation in popularity of items selected by  consumers.

Loyalty techniques

Customers sign up to an incentive scheme where they receive points for repeat purchases, which  can be converted into offers such as discounts, free products  or cash. (Also known as online incentive schemes.)


Broader farces affecting all organisations in the marketplace including social, technological, economy, political and legal aspects.


See Auto responders.

Maintenance process

The work involved in running a  live website such as updating pages and checking the performance of the site.


Malicious software or toolbars, typically  downloaded via the Internet, which act as a ‘Trojan horse’ by  executing other unwanted activates such as keylogging of user passwords or viruses which may collect e-mail addresses.

Marketing-led site design

Site design elements are developed to achieve customer acquisition, retention and communication of marketing messages.

Marketing intermediaries

Firms that can help a company to promote, sell and distribute its products or services.

Marketing mix

The series of seven key variables – Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process and Physical evidence – that are varied by marketers as part of the customer offering.

Marketing planning

A logical sequence and a series of activities leading to the setting of marketing objectives and the formulation of plans for achieving them.


See Business-to-business exchanges or marketplaces.


Exchange, eHub, meta mediaries are terms used to refer to complex websites that facilitate trading  exchanges between companies around the globe.

Market Site ™

Is a trade mark of commerce One and considered as the leading e-marketplace operating  environment.


A virtual marketplace such as the Internet  in which no direct contact occurs between buyers and  sellers. (Also known as electron is marketspace.)

Mark-up language



Websites, pages or widgets that combine the content or functionality of one website or data source with another to  create something offering a different type of value to web users from the separate types of content or functionality.

Mass customisation

The ability to create tailored  marketing messages or products for individual customers or a group of similar customers (a bespoke service), yet retain the economies of scale and the capacity of mass  marketing or production.

Mass marketing

One-to-many communication between a company and potential customers, with limited tailoring  of the message.


See Website measurement.

Media broker

A company that places advertisements for companies wishing to advertise by contacting the  media owners

Media buyer

The person within a company wishing to advertise who places the advertisement, usually via a media  broker.

Media buying

The process of purchasing media to meet the media plan requirements at the lowest costs.

Media fragmentation

Describes a trend to increasing  choice and consumption of a range of media in terms of  different channels such as web and mobile and also within  channels, for example more TV channels, radio stations,  magazines, more websites. Media fragmentation implies increased difficulty in reaching target audiences.

Media multiplier or halo effect

The role of one media  channel on influencing sale or uplift in brand metrics.  Commonly applied to online display advertising, where  exposure to display ads may increase click-through rates  when the consumer is later exposed to a brand through other  media, for example sponsored links or affiliate ads. It may also improve conversion rates on a destination sites through higher confidence in the brand or familiarity with the offer.

Media-neutral planning (MNP)

An approach to planning ad campaigns to maximise response across different media according to consumer usage of these media.

Media owners

The owners of websites (or other media  such as newspapers) that accept advertisements.

Media planning

The process of selecting the best combination of media to achieve marketing campaign objectives. Answers questions such as ‘How many of the  audience can I reach through different media?’, ‘On which  media (and ad vehicles) should I place ads?’, ‘Which  frequency should I select?’, ‘How much money should be spent in each medium?’

Media site

Typical location where paid-for ads are placed.


See Web merchandising.


Literally, data about data – a format describing the structure and content of data.

Meta search engines

Meta search engines submit keywords typed by users to a range of search engines in order to increase the number of relevant pages since  different search engines may have indexed different sites. An example is the meta-crawler search engine or


Text within an HTML file summarising the  content of the site (content meta-tag) and relevant  keywords (keyword meta-tag), which are matched against the keywords typed into search engines.

Metrics for Internet marketing

Measures that indicate the effectiveness of Internet marketing activities in meeting customer, business and marketing objectives.


Specific forces on an organisation generated by its stakeholders.

Micro payments (micro transactions)

Digital cash  systems that allow very small sums of money (fractions of  1 p) to be transferred, but with lower security. Such small sums do not warrant a credit card payment, because processing is too costly.


Specialised content that is part of a web site  that is not necessarily owned by the organisation. If owned by the company it may be as part of an extranet. (See  Nested ad content.)

Microsoft Internet Information Server (115) 

Microsoft lIS is a web server developed by Microsoft that runs on Windows NT.

Mixed-mode buying

The process by which a customer changes between online and offline channels during the buying process.

Mobile commerce

The use of wireless devices such as mobile phones for informational or monetary transactions.

Multichannel marketing

Customer communications and product distribution are supported by a combination of digital and traditional channels at different points in the buying cycle.

Multichannel marketing strategy

Defines how different marketing channels should integrate and support  each other in terms of their proposition development and communications based on their relative merits for the  customer and the company.

Multichannel prioritisation

Assesses the strategy  significance of the Internet relative to other communications channels and then deploys resources to integrate with marketing channels.



Narrow and deep navigation

Fewer choices and more clicks to reach required content.

Natural or organic listings

The pages listing results from a search engine query which are displayed in a sequence according to relevance of match between the keyword phrase typed into a search engine and a web page according to a ranking algorithm used by the search engine.


The method of finding and moving between different information and pages on a website. It is  governed by menu arrangements, site structure and the layout of individual pages.

Navigational search

Searchers use a search engine such as Google to find information deeper within a company  site by appending a qualifier such as a product name to the  brand or site name. Organisations need to check that relevant pages are available in the search results pages for  these situations.

Nested ad content

This refers to the situation when the person undertaking the click-through is not redirected to a  corporate or brand site, but is instead taken to a related  page on the same site as that on which the advertisement is  placed. (Sometimes referred to as microsite.)

Net Promoter Score

A measure of the number of advocates a company (or website) has who would  recommend it compared to the number of detractors.


See Security methods.


The process whereby companies register with the data protection register to inform about their data  holdings.




Au incentive in direct marketing or a product offering.

Offline site promotion

Traditional techniques such as  print and TV advertising used to generate website traffic.

Offline web metric Offline measures are those that are collated by marketing staff recording particular marketing  outcomes such as an enquiry or a sale. They are usually collated manually, but could be col1ated automatically.

On-page optimisation

Writing copy and applying  mark-up such as the <title> tag and heading tags <hl> to  highlight to search engines relevant key phrases within a document.

One-to-one marketing

A unique dialogue that occurs  directly between a company and individual customers (or less strictly with groups of customers with similar needs). The dialogue involves a company in listening to customer needs and responding with services to meet these needs.

Online branding

How online channels are used to support  brands that, in essence, are the sum of the characteristics of a  product or service as perceived by a user.

Online customer experience

The combination of rational and emotional factors in using a company’s online services that influences customers’ perceptions of a brand online.

Online incentive schemes

See Loyalty techniques.

Online intermediary sites

Websites that facilitate exchanges between consumer and business suppliers.

Online promotion contribution

Au assessment of the proportion of customers (new or retained) who are reached  by online communications and are influenced as a result.

Online PR (e-PR)

Maximising favourable mentions of  your company, brands, products or web sites on third-party  websites which are likely to be visited by your target  audience. Online PR can extend reach and awareness of a  brand within an audience and will also generate backlinks vital to SE~. It can also be used to support viral or word-  of-mouth marketing activities in other media.

Online reputation management

Controlling the reputation of an organisation through monitoring and  controlling messages placed about the organisation.

Online revenue contribution

Au assessment of the direct contribution of the Internet or other digital media to sales, usually expressed as a percentage of overall sales revenue.

Online service providers (OS Ps)

Au OSP is  sometimes used to distinguish large Internet service  providers (ISPs) from other access providers. In the UK, AOL, Freeserve, VirginNet and LineOne can be considered  OSPs since they have a large amount of special1y developed  content available to their subscribers. Note that this term is  not used as frequently as ISP, and the distinction between ISPs and OSPs is a blurred one since all OSPs are also ISPs  and the distinction only occurs according to the amount of premium content (only available to customers) offered as part of the service.

Online service-quality gap

The mismatch between what is expected and delivered by an online presence.

Online site promotion

Internet-based techniques used to generate web site traffic.

Online social network

A service facilitating the connection, collaboration and exchange of information  between individuals.

Online value proposition (OVP)

A statement of the benefits of online services that reinforce the core proposition and differentiate from an organisation’s offline offering and that of competitors.

Online web metrics

Online measures are those that are collected automatically on the web server, often in a server log file.

Operational effectiveness

Performing similar activities better than rivals. This includes efficiency of processes.


A customer proactively agrees to receive further information.

Opt-in e-mail

The customer is only contacted when he or she has explicitly asked for information to be sent  (usually when filling in an on-screen form).


A customer declines the offer to receive further information.

Opt-out e-mail

The customer is not contacted subsequently if he or she has explicitly stated that he or she  does not want to be contacted in future. Opt-out or unsubscribe options are usually available within the e-mail  itself.

Outbound e-mail

E-mail sent from a company.

Outbound e-mail marketing

E-mails are sent to customers and prospects from an organisation.

Outbound Internet-based communications

The  website and e-mail marketing are used to send personalised communications to customers.


Contracting an outside company to undertake part of the Internet marketing activities.


Typically an animated ad that moves around the page and is superimposed on the website content.


Typically an animated ad that moves around the page and is superimposed on the website content.

Page impression

One page impression occurs when a member of the audience views a web page. (See Ad  impression and Reach.)


A scale between 0 to 10 used by Google to assess the importance of websites according to the number of inbound links or backlinks.

Page request

The process of a user selecting a hyperlink or typing in a uniform resource locator (URL) to retrieve  information on a specific web page. Equivalent to page  impression.

Page view

See Page impression.

Paid search marketing (pay-per-click PPC)

A relevant text ad with a link to a company page is displayed on the SERPs when the user of a search engine  types in a specific phrase. A fee is charged for every click of  each link, with the amount bid for the click mainly determining its position. Additionally, PPC may involve  advertising through a content network of third-party sites (which may be on a CPC, CPM or CPA basis).

Pay-for-performance communications

The wastage  from traditional media buys can be reduced online through advertising models where the advertisers only pays for a response (cost-per-click) as in pay-per-click search  marketing or for a lead or sale as in affiliate marketing.

Payment systems

Methods of transferring funds from a customer to a merchant.

People variable

The element of the marketing mix that  involves the delivery of service to customers during  interactions with those customers.

Performance drivers

Critical success factors that  determine whether business and marketing objectives  are achieved.

Performance management system

A process used  to evaluate and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of  an organisation and its processes.

Performance measurement system

The process by which metrics are defined, collected, disseminated  and actioned.

Performance metrics

Measures that are used to evaluate and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of  business processes.

Performance of website

Performance or quality

Permission marketing

Customers agree (opt in) to be  involved in an organisation’s marketing activities, usually  as a result of an incentive.

Persistent cookies

Cookies that remain on a computer after a visitor session has ended. Used to recognise returning visitors.

Personal data

Any information about an individual stored by companies concerning their customers or employees.


Web-based personalisation involves delivering customised content for the individual through web pages, e-mail or push technology.


A thumbnail summary of the characteristics, needs, motivations and environment of typical website users.

Persuasion marketing

Using design elements such as  layout, copy and typography together with promotion al messages to encourage site users to follow particular paths and specific actions rather than giving them complete  choice in their navigation.


Obtaining personal details online through sites and e-mails masquerading as legitimate businesses.


A call-back facility available on the web site for a company to contact a customer by phone at a later  time, as specified by the customer.

Physical evidence variable

The clement of the marketing mix that involves the tangible expression of a  product and how it is purchased and used.


The small dots on a computer screen that are used to represent images and text. Short for ‘picture element’. Used to indicate the size of banner advertisements.

Place variable

The element of the marketing mix that involves distributing products to customers in line with  demand and minimising cost of inventory, transport  and storage.


A program that must be downloaded to view particular content such as an animation.


Individuals and organisations post online media  (audio and video) which can be viewed in the appropriate  players (including the iPod which fast sparked the growth in  this technique). The latest podcast updates can be  automatically delivered by Really Simple Syndication.


A website that acts as a gateway to information and  services available on the Internet by providing search  engines, directories and other services such as personalised news or free e- mail.

Portfolio analysis

Evaluation of value of current e-commerce services or applications.


Customers’ perception of the product and brand offering relative to those of competitors.

Prescriptive strategy

The three core areas of strategy analysis, strategy development and strategy implementation are linked together sequentially.

Price comparison sites

See Aggregators.

Price dispersion

The distribution or range of prices charged for an item across different retailers.

Price elasticity of demand

Measure of consumer behaviour that indicates the change in demand for a  product or service in response to changes in price.

Pricing level

The price set for a specific product or range of products.

Price transparency

Customer knowledge about pricing increases due to increased availability of pricing  information.

Price variable

The element of the marketing mix that involves defining product prices and pricing models.

Pricing model

Describes the form of payment such as outright purchase, auction, rental, volume purchases and  credit terms.

Primary persona

A representation of the typical site user.


A moral right of individuals to avoid intrusion into their personal affairs. (See Security methods.)

Regulations Act

A law intended to control the distribution of e-mail and other online communications including cookies.

Privacy statement

Information on a website explaining how and why individuals’ data are collected, processed and stored.

Process variable

The element of the marketing mix that involves the methods and procedures companies use  to achieve all marketing functions.

Product variable

The element of the marketing mix  that involves researching customers’ needs and developing appropriate products. (See Core product and  Extended product.)


See Customer profiling,

Promotion (online and offline)

Online promotion uses  communication via the Internet itself to raise awareness about a site and drive traffic to it. This promotion may take the form of links from other sites, banner  advertisements or targeted e-mail messages. Off line promotion uses traditional media such as television or  newspaper advertising and word-of-mouth to promote a company’s website.

Promotion variable

The element of the marketing mix that involves communication with customers and other  stakeholders to inform them about the product and the  organisation.

Propensity modelling

A name given to the approach of  evaluating customer characteristics and behaviour and then making recommendations for future products.


‘Producer + consumer. The customer is closely involved in specifying their requirements in a product.

Prototypes and prototyping

A prototype is a preliminary version of part (or a framework of all) of a website that can  be reviewed by its target audience, or the marketing team. Prototyping is an iterative process where website users suggest modifications before further prototypes are made and  the final version of the site is developed.

Proximity marketing

Marketing messages are delivered  in real time according to customers’ presence based on the  technology they are carrying, wearing or have embedded.  Blue casting is the best-known example.

Psychographic segmentation

A breakdown of customers according to different characteristics.

Public key

A unique identifier of a buyer or a seller that  is available to other parties to enable secure e-commerce  using encryption based on digital certificates.

Public-key encryption

An asymmetry form of  encryption in which the keys or digital certificates used by  the sender and receiver of information are different. The two keys are related, so only the pair of keys can be used  together to encrypt and decrypt information.

Public-key infrastructure (PKI)

The organisations responsible for issuing and maintaining certificates for public-key security together form the PKI.

Public relations

The management of the awareness, understanding and reputation of an organisation or brand, primarily achieved through influencing exposure in the media.

Pull media

The consumer is proactive in selection of the message through actively seeking out a website.

Push media

Communications are broadcast from an advertiser to consumers of the message, who are passive  recipients.

Push technology

The delivery of web-based content to the user’s desktop without the need for the user to visit a  site to download information. E-mail can also be considered to be a push technology. A particular type of  information is a push channel.



Qualified lead

Contact and profile information for a customer with an indication of the level of their interest in  product categories.

Quality score

An assessment in paid search by Google AdWords (and now other search engines) of an individual  ad triggered by a keyword which, in combination with the  bid amount, determines the ranking of the ad relative to competitors. The primary factor is the click-through rate for each ad, but quality score also considers the match between the keyword and the occurrence of the keyword in  the text, historical click-through rates, the engagement of the searcher when they click-through to the site and the  speed at which the page loads.

Quick Response (QR) code

A QR code is a two- dimensional matrix bar code. QR codes were invented in Japan where they are a popular type of two-dimensional code used for direct response.




The number of unique individuals who view an advertisement.

Really Simple Syndication (RSS)

Blog, news or other content is published by an XML standard and syndicated for other sites or read by users in RSS reader software services.

Real Names

A service for matching company names and brands with web addresses.

Reciprocal links

Links which are agreed between yourself and another organisation.


The site that a visitor previously visited before following a link.

Referring sites

A log file may indicate which site a user visited immediately before visiting the current site. (See  Click-through, Destination site and Exit page.)

Referrer or referring site

The source of a visitor to site delivered via a digital media channel. Typically a specific site, e.g. Google AdWords or a media site or an individual ad placement on the site.

Registration (individuals)

The process whereby an individual subscribes to a site or requests further information by filling in contact details and his or her needs using an electronic form.

Registration (of domain name)

The process of  reserving a unique web address that can be used to refer to  the company website.

Reinter mediation

The creation of new intermediaries between customers and suppliers providing services such as supplier search and product evaluation.

Relationship marketing

Consistent application of up-to-date knowledge of individual customers to product and  service design, which is communicated interactively in order to develop a continuo us, mutually beneficial and long-term relationship.

Render ability

The capability of an e-mail to display correctly formatted in different e-mail readers.

Repeat visits

If an organisation can encourage customers to return to the website then the relationship  can be maintained online.


The locations on the Internet where an organisation is located for promoting or selling its  services.


Developing for a new access platform, such as the web, content which was previously used for a  different platform.

Resource analysis

Review of the technological,  financial and human resources of an organisation and how  they are utilised in business processes.


Resources are defined as physical assets over which an organisation has control. This narrow  definition of resources allows them to be clearly distinguished from capabilities (Beard and Sumner, 2004  – see Chapter 11).

Results-based payment

Advertisers pay according to the number of times the ad is clicked on.

Retail channel

Retailers’ use of the Internet as both a communication and a transactional channel concurrently  in business-to-consumer markets.

Retail format

This is the general nature of the retail mix  in terms of range of products and services, pricing policy, promotional programmes, operating style or store design and visual merchandising; examples include mail-order  retailers (non-store-based) and department-store retailers.


See Customer retention.

Return on advertising spend (RaAS)

This indicates  amount of revenue generated from each referrer. ROAS =  Total revenue generated from referrer/Amount spent on  advertising with referrer.

Return on investment (Ral)

This indicates the profitability of any investment, or in an advertising context  for each referring site.

ROI = Pro fit generated from investment/Cost of investment.

ROI = Profit generated from referrers/Amount spent on  advertising with referrer.

Return path

An interaction where the customer sends  information to the iDTV provider using a phone line or cable.

Revenue models

Describe methods of generating income for an organisation.

Reverse auctions

Item purchased from lowest-bidding supplier in bidding period.

Reverse path analysis

indicates the most popular  combination of pages and/or calls-to-action which lead to  a page. This is particularly useful for transactional pages  such as the first checkout page on a consumer site; a lead  generation or contact-us page on a business-to-business  site; an e-mail subscription page; a call-me back option.

Rich media

Advertisements that are not static, but  provide animation, audio, sound or interactivity as a game  or form to be completed. An example of this would be a  banner display advertisement for a loan in which a  customer can type in the amount of loan required, and the cost of the loan is calculated immediately.

Rich Internet Applications (RIA)

Interactive applications which provide options such as product selectors or games. They may incorporate video or sound also. Typically built using technologies such as Adobe  Flash, Ajax, Flex, Java or Silverlight.


A tool, also known as a spider, that is employed by  search engines to index web pages of registered sites on a  regular basis. See Spider.


A situation where a company pays for banner advertisements to promote its services across a website.

Sales generation offers

Offers that encourage  product trial. A coupon redeemed against a purchase is a classic example.

Sales promotions

The Internet offers tremendous  potential for sales promotions of different types since it is  more immediate than any other medium – it is always  available for communication, and tactical variations in the  details of the promotion can be made at short notice.

Satisficing behaviour

Consumers do not behave  entirely rationally in product or supplier selection. They will compare alternatives, but then may make their choice  given imperfect information.

Saturation of the Internet

Access to the Internet will reach saturation as home PC ownership reaches a limit,  unless other access devices become popular.

Scenario-based analysis

Models of the future  environment are developed from different starting points.

Scenario of use

A particular path or flow of events or activities performed by a visitor to a website.


Scripts can run either on the user’s browser (client -side scripts) (see Web browser) or on the web  server (server-side scripts).


A methodology that supports agile software  development based on 15-30 day sprints to implement  features from a product backlog. ‘Scrum’ refers to a daily project status meeting during the sprint.

Search engine

Specialised website that uses automatic tools known as spiders or robots to index web pages of  registered sites. Users can search the index by typing in keywords to specify their interest. Pages containing these  keywords will be listed, and by clicking on a hyperlink the user will be taken to the site.

Search engine listing

The list of sites and descriptions  returned by a search engine after a user types in keywords.

Search engine marketing (SEM)

Promoting an  organisation through search engines to meet its objectives  by delivering relevant content in the search listings for  searchers and encouraging them to click-through to a  destination site. The two key techniques of SEM are search  engine optimisation (SEO) to improve results from the  natural listings and paid-search marketing to deliver results  from the sponsored listings within the search engines  through pay-per-click (PPC) paid-search engine  marketing and through content-network paid-search  marketing (which may be on a PPC basis or on a CPM  basis). SEM is about connecting the searchers with  information which will help them find what they are  looking for and will help site owners generate revenue or  disseminate information.

Search engine optimisation (SEO)

A structured  approach used to increase the position of a company or its  products in search engine natural or organic results listings (the main body of the search results page) for selected  keywords or phrases.

Search engine ranking

The position of a site on a particular search engine.

Search engine results pages (SERPs)

The page(s)  containing the results after a user types in a key phrase into a search engine. SERPs contain both natural or organic  listings and paid or sponsored listings.

Search engine submission

The process of informing  search engines that a site should be indexed for listing in  the search engine results pages.

Secure Electronic Transaction (SET)

A standard for  public-key encryption intended to enable secure e-commerce transactions, lead-developed by Mastercard  and Visa.

Secure HTTP

Encrypted HTTP.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

A commonly used  encryption technique for scrambling data such as credit card numbers as they are passed across the Internet from a web browser to a web server.

Security methods

When systems for electronic commerce are devised, or when existing solutions are  selected, the following attributes must be present:

  • Authentication – are parties to the transaction who they claim to be? This is achieved through the use of digital certificates.
  • Privacy and confidentiality- are transaction data protected? The consumer may want to make an anonymous purchase. Are all non-essential traces of a  transaction removed from the public network and all  intermediary records eliminated?
  • Integrity – checks that the message sent is complete, i.e. that it is not corrupted.
  • Non-reputability – ensures sender cannot deny sending message.
  • Availability- how can threats to the continuity and performance of the system be eliminated?


The viral campaign is started by sending an e-mail to a targeted group that are likely to propagate the virus.


Identification of different groups within a  target market in order to develop different offerings for  each group.

Sell-side e-commerce

E-commerce transactions  between a supplier organisation and its customers.

Sense and respond communications

Delivering  timely, relevant communications to customers as part of a contact strategy based on assessment of their position in  the customer lifecycle and monitoring specific interactions  with a company’s website, e-mails and staff.

Server log file

See Online web metrics.

Service quality

The level of service received on a  website. Dependent on reliability, responsiveness and  availability of staff and the website service.


Used to describe the process of displaying an  advertisement on a website (ad serving) or delivering a  web page to a user’s web browser. (See Web server.)


See Visitor session.

Session cookie

A cookie used to manage a single visitor session.

Share of search

The audience share of Internet  searchers achieved by a particular audience in a particular  market.

Share of voice

The relative advertising spend of the different competitive brands within the product category. Share of voice (SOV) is calculated by dividing a particular brand’s advertising spend by the total category spend.

Short code

Five-digit numbers combined with text that  can be used by advertisers or broadcasters to encourage  consumers to register their interest. They are typically followed-up by an automated text message from the advertiser with the option to opt in to further information by e-mail or to link through to a WAP site.

Short Message Service (SMS)

The formal name for  text messaging.


See Website.

Site announcements

Usually used to describe the  dissemination of information about a new or revised  website.

Site auditors

Auditors accurately measure the usage for  different sites as the number of ad impressions and dick-  through rates. Auditors include ABC (Audit Bureau of  Circulation) and BPA (Business Publication Auditor)  International.

Site availability

An indication of how easy it is to connect  to a website as a user. In theory this figure should be 100 per  cent, but for technical reasons such as failures in the server  hardware or upgrades to software, sometimes users cannot  access the site and the figure falls below 90 per cent.

Site design page template

A standard page layout  format which is applied to each page of a website. Typically defined for different page categories (e.g. category page,  product page, search page).

Site map

A graphical or text depletion of the relationship between different groups of content on a website.

Site measurement

See Website measurement.

Site navigation scheme

Tools provided to the user to  move between different information on a website.

Site re-Iaunch

Where a website is replaced with a new version with a new ‘look and feel’.

Site statistics

Collected by log file analysers, these are used to monitor the effectiveness of a website.

Site ‘stickiness’

An indication of how long a visito  stays on a site. Log file analysers can be used to assess  average visit times.

Site visit

One site visit records one customer visiting the  site. Not equivalent to User session.

Site-visitor activity data

Information on content and services accessed by e-commerce site visitors.

Site mapping tools

These tools diagram the layout of  the website, which is useful for site management and can  be used to assist users.

Situation analysis

Collection and review of information about an organisation’s external environment and internal  processes and resources in order to inform its strategies.

SMART metrics

SMART metrics must be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Actionable
  • Relevant
  • Timely.


Physical cards containing a memory chip that can be inserted into a smartcard reader before items  can be purchased.

Social exclusion

Part of society is excluded from the facilities available to the remainder.

Social bookmarking

Web users keep a shared version of  favourite sites (‘Favourites’) online. This enables the most  popular sites in a category to be identified.

Social network

A site that facilitates peer-to-peer communications within a group or between individuals  through providing facilities to develop user-generated  content (UGC) and to exchange messages and comments  between different users.

Soft launch

A trial version of a site launched with limited publicity.

Soft look

In Electronic linkages between supplier and  customer increase switching costs.

Software agents

See Agents.


Unsolicited e-mail (usually bulk mailed and  untargeted).


Bulk e-mailing of unsolicited mail.

Specified offline advertising

Driving traffic to the  website or explaining the online proposition is a primary  objective of the advert.


Spiders are software processes, technically known  as robots, employed by search engines to index web pages  of registered sites on a regular basis. They follow links  between pages and record the reference URL of a page for future analysis.

Splash page

A preliminary page that precedes the  normal home page of a website. Site users can either wait  to be redirected to the home page or can follow a link to  do this. Splash pages are not now commonly used since  they slow down the process of customers finding the  information they need.


Sponsorship involves a company paying  money to advertise on a website. The arrangement may  involve more than advertising. Sponsorship is a similar  arrangement to co-branding.

Stage models

Models for the development of different levels of Internet marketing services.

Stages in website development

The standard stages  of creation of a web site are initiation, feasibility, analysis, design, development (content creation), testing and maintenance.

Static (fixed) web page

A page on the web server that  is invariant.


A framework for assessing the macro environment, standing for Social, Technological, Economy and Political  (including legal).


Using static drawings or screenshots of  the different parts of a website to review the design concept with customers or clients.

Strategy agility

The capability to innovate and so gain  competitive advantage within a marketplace by monitoring  changes within an organisation’s marketplace and then to efficiently evaluate alternative strategies and then select,  review and implement appropriate candidate strategies.

Strategy analysis

Collection and review of  information about an organisation’s internal processes and resources and external marketplace factors in order to  inform strategy definition.

Strategy positioning

Performing different activities from  rivals or performing similar activities in different ways.

Strategy windows

Opportunities arising through a significant change in environment.

Strategy formulation

Generation, review and selection of strategies to achieve strategy objectives.

Strategy process model

A framework for approaching strategy development.

Streaming media

Sound and video that can be  experienced within a web browser before the whole clip  is downloaded.

Streaming media server

A specialist server used to  broadcast audio (e.g. podcasts) or video (e.g. IPTV or  webcast presentations). Served streams can be unicast (a  separate copy of stream is served for each recipient), multicast (recipients share streams) or peer-to-peer where the media is shared between different recipient’s  computers using a Bittorrent or Kontiki approach.

Style guide

A definition of site structure, page design,  typography and copy defined within a company. (See  Graphic design.)

Subject access request

A request by a data subject to  view personal data from an organisation.


Pop-up adverts that require interaction to remove them.


An undirected information seeker who is often  looking for an experience rather than information.

Symmetry encryption

Both parties to a transaction  use the same key to encode and decode messages.


Content or product information is  distributed to third parties. Online this is commonly  achieved through standard XML formats such as RSS.




Tracking of the origin or referring site or of  visitors to a site and their spending patterns. Also tagging  refers to where users or web page creators categorise  content on a site through adding descriptive terms. A  common approach in blog posts.

Target marketing strategy

Evaluation and selection of  appropriate segments and the development of appropriate  offers.


(through banner advertisers) Advertising  networks such as DoubleClick offer advertisers the ability  to target advertisements dynamically on the World Wide  Web through their ‘DART’ targeting technology. This gives  advertisers a means of reaching specific audiences.

Technology convergence

A trend in which different  hardware devices such as TVs, computers and phone  merge and have similar functions.

Telemarketing using the Internet

Mainly used for  inbound telemarketing, including sales lines, carelines for goods and services and response handling for direct  response campaigns.


A program that allows remote access to data and  text-based programs on other computer systems at different locations. For example, a retailer could check to  see whether an item was in stock in a warehouse using a  telnet application.


See Site design page template.

Test website

A parallel version of the site to use before  the site is made available to customers as a live website.

Testing content

Testing should be conducted for plug-  ins; for interactive facilities and integration with company  databases; for spelling and grammar; for adherence to  corporate image standards; for implementation of HTML  in different web browsers; and to ensure that links to  external sites are valid.

Testing phase

Testing involves different aspects of the  content such as spelling, validity of links, formatting on  different web browsers and dynamic features such as form  filling or database queries.

Third-party cookies

Served by another site to the one  being viewed – typical for portals where an ad network will  track remotely or where the web analytics software places a  cookie.

Tipping point

Using the science of social epidemics  explains principles that underpin the rapid spread of ideas,  products and behaviours through a population.


A trademark is a unique word or phrase that distinguishes your company. The mark can be registered as  plain or designed text, artwork or a combination. In  theory, colours, smells and sounds can also be trademarks.

Traffic-building campaign

The use of online and off-line  promotion techniques such as banner advertising, search engine promotion and reciprocal linking to increase the audience of a site (both new and existing customers).

Transactional sites

Sites that support online sales.

Transaction log file

A web server file that records all  page requests.

Transfer Control Protocol/Internet Protocol  (TCP/IP)

The passing of data packets around the Internet  occurs via TCP/IP. For a PC to be able to receive web pages  or for a server to host web pages it must be configured to  support this protocol.


The interaction between company, customer and other customers facilitated through online  community, social networks, reviews and comments.

Trusted feed

A trusted feed is an automated method of  putting content into a search engine index or an  aggregator database.

Trusted third parties (TT Ps)

Companies with which  an agreement has been reached to share information.



Undirected information seeker

A person who does  not know what information they are looking for – a surfer.

Uniform (universal) resource locator (URL)

Text  that indicates the web address of a site. A specific domain  name is typed into a web browser window and the browser  will then locate and load the website. It is in the form of:  http://www.domain-name.extension/filename.html.

Unique visitors

individual visitors to a site measured  through cookies or lP addresses on an individual computer.

Universal search

The natural listings incorporate other  relevant results from vertical searches related to a query, such as video, books, scholar, news, site links and images.


An option to opt out from an e-mail newsletter or discussion group.


The transfer of files from a local computer to a  server. Usually achieved using FTP. E-mail or website pages  can be uploaded to update a remote server.


Persuading existing customers to purchase  more expensive products (typically related to existing  purchase categories).

URL strategy

A defined approach to how content is  labelled through placing it in different directories or folders with distinct web addresses.


An approach to website design intended to enable the completion of user tasks.

Usability/user testing

Representative users are  observed performing representative tasks using a system.

Usenet newsgroup

An electronic bulletin board used to  discuss a particular topic such as a sport, hobby or business area. Traditionally accessed by special newsreader software, these can now be accessed via a web browser  from

User-centred design

Design based on optimising the  user experience according to all factors, including the user  interface, which affect this.

User journey

See Customer scenarios.

User session

Used to specify the frequency of visits to a site. Not equivalent to site visit.


Validation services test for errors in HTML  code which may cause a web page to be displayed  incorrectly or for links to other pages that do not work.

Value chain

A model that considers how supply chain  activities can add value to products and services delivered  to the customer.

Value event scoring

Value events are outcomes that occur on the site as indicated by visits to different page or content types which suggest marketing communications  are effective. Examples include, leads, sales, newsletter  registrations and product page views. They can be tagged  and scored using many web analytics systems, for example  Google refers to them as conversion goals.

Value network

The links between an organisation and  its strategy and non-strategy partners that form its external value chain.

Value proposition of site

The benefits or value of a  website that are evident to its users.

Vertical portals

These are generally business-to-business  sites that will host content to help participants in an  industry to get their work done by providing industry news, details of business techniques, and product and  service reviews.


See Page impression.


A view-through indicates when a user views an ad and subsequently visits a website.

Viral marketing

A marketing message is communicated  from one person to another, facilitated by different media,  such as word of mouth, e-mail or websites. Implies rapid transmission of messages is intended.

Viral referral

An ‘e-mail a friend or colleague’ component  to an e-mail campaign or part of website design.

Virtual cash

See Digital cash.

Virtual community

An Internet-based forum for  special-interest groups to communicate using a bulletin board to post messages.

Virtual mall

A website that brings together different  electronic retailers at a single virtual (online) location. This contrasts with a fixed-location infrastructure – the  traditional arrangement where retail organisations operate from retail stores situated in fixed locations such as real-  world shopping malls. (Also known as electronic mall.)

Virtual merchants

Retailers such as Amazon that only  operate online – they have no fixed-location infrastructure.

Virtual organisation

An organisation that uses information and communications technology to allow it to operate without clearly defined physical boundaries  between different functions. It provides customised  services by outsourcing production and other functions to  third parties.

Virtual private network

Private network created using  the public network infrastructure of the Internet.


The process whereby a company develops more of the characteristics of a virtual organisation.

Visit conversion rate

An indication of the capability of a site in converting visitors to defined outcomes such as  registration. Calculated by dividing the number of  conversion events by the number of visitor sessions within  a time period.

Visitor conversion rate

An indication of the capability  of a site in converting visitors to defined outcomes such as  registration. Calculated by dividing the number of  conversion events by the number of unique visitors within a defined time period.

Visitor session (visit)

A series of one or more page  impressions, served to one user, which ends when there is a gap of 30 minutes or more between successive page impressions for that user.




Walled garden

A limited range of e-commerce services  on iDTV (compared to the Internet).


WAP is a technical standard for transferring  information to wireless devices, such as mobile phones.

Web 2.0 concept

A collection of web services that  facilitate interaction of web users with a site to create user-  generated content and encouraging certain behaviours  online such as community or social network participation  and user-generated content, mashups, content rating, use of widgets and tagging.

Web 3.0 concept

Next-generation web incorporating  high-speed connectivity, complex cross-community interactions and an intelligent or semantic web where automated applications can access data from different  online services to assist searchers perform complex tasks of  supplier selection.

Web accessibility

Designing websites so that they can  be used by people with visual impairment whatever  browser/access platform they use.

Web addresses

Web addresses refer to particular pages  on a web server, which is hosted by a company or  organisation. The technical name for web addresses is  uniform or universal resource locators (URLs).

Web analytics

Techniques used to assess and improve  the contribution of e-marketing to a business, including  reviewing traffic volume, referrals, clickstreams, online  reach data, customer satisfaction surveys, leads and sales.

Web Application Protocol (WAP)

A standard that  enables mobile phones to access text from websites.

Web browsers

Browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and  Microsoft Internet Explorer provide an easy method of  accessing and viewing information stored as HTML web  documents on different web servers.


A webmaster is responsible for ensuring the  quality of a website. This means achieving suitable  availability, speed, working links between pages and  connections to company databases. In small companies the  webmaster may be responsible for graphic design and  content development.

Web merchandising

The aims of web merchandising  are to maximise sales potential of an online store for each  visitor. This means connecting the right products, with the  right offer to the right visitor, and remembering that the  online store is part of a broader experience including  online and offline advertising, in-store visits, customer  service and delivery.

Web radio

Internet radio is when existing broadcasts are  streamed via the Internet and listened to using plug-ins  such as Real Media or Windows Media Player.

Web response model

The website is used as a response  mechanism for offline campaign elements such as direct  mail or advertising.

Web self-service

Content and services provided by an  organisation to replace or complement in-store or phone  customer enquiries in order to reduce costs and increase customer convenience.

Web servers

Web servers are used to store the web pages  accessed by web browsers. They may also contain databases  of customer or product information, which can be queried  and retrieved using a browser.

Website auditors

Auditors accurately measure the usage  of different sites in terms of the number of ad impressions  and click-through rates.

Website content

Accessible on the World Wide Web  that is created by a particular organisation or individual.  The location and identity of a website is indicated by its  web address (URL) or domain name. It may be stored on a  single server in a single location, or a cluster of servers.

Website measurement

The process whereby metrics  such as page impressions are collected and evaluated to  assess the effectiveness of Internet marketing activities in meeting customers, business and marketing objectives.

Wide Area Information Service (WAlS)

An Internet  service that has been superseded by the World Wide Web.


A badge or button incorporated into a site or  social network space by its owner, with content or services  typically served from another site making widgets  effectively a mini-software application or web service.  Content can be updated in real time since the widget  interacts with the server each time it loads.

Wi-Fi (‘wireless fidelity’)

A high-speed wireless local-  area network enabling wireless access to the Internet for  mobile, office and home users.


Also known as ‘schematics, a way of  illustrating the layout of an individual web page.

Wireless Mark-up Language (WML)

Standard for  displaying mobile pages such as transferred by WAP.

Word-of-mouth marketing

According to the Word-of-  Mouth Marketing Association it is giving people a reason  to talk about your products and services, and making it  easier for that conversation to take place. It is the art and  science of building active, mutually beneficial consumer-  to-consumer and consumer-to-marketer communications.

World Wide Web

A medium for publishing information  on the Internet. It is accessed through web browsers, which  display web pages and can now be used to run business  applications. Company information is stored on web  servers, which are usually referred to as websites.





An advanced mark-up language giving better control  than HTML over format for structured information on  web pages.

XMOS (cross-media optimisation studies)

XMOS research is designed to help marketers and their  agencies answer the question ‘What is the optimal mix  of advertising vehicles across different media, in terms of  frequency, reach and budget allocation, for a given  campaign to achieve its marketing goals?’ The mix  between online and offline spend is varied to maximise  campaign metrics such as reach, brand awareness and  purchase intent.


Third generation of mobile phone technology.


Fourth-generation wireless, expected to deliver wireless broadband at 20-40 Mbps (about 10-20 times the current rates of ADSL broadband service).

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