YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO

Marketing and Branding Jargon

Agencies have long been known for our buzzwords, overly complicated jargon and just plain confusing language. This A-Z guide to marketing terms and branding definitions is written in a fun way so that you can understand the terms used in marketing, branding, web design and web development.

Saucy: | s a w - s e e | a. 1. A mixture between sassy and feisty; while sassiness is often subconscious, sauciness is always deliberate (see also: Studiothinker)

A

Actionable

Buzzword hall of famer alert! Actionable means something you can take action on when referring to online content. As opposed to what? Something that’s pointless? Actionable is over-used by marketing people who think their content is better than it actually is. For example, this guide is super actionable.

Agency of Record

Hey, that’s us! An agency of record, or “AOR,” is an old timey industry term used for a firm’s designated marketing or media agency. It means the agency can purchase advertising space or time on their client’s behalf. Sometimes we also buy wine on your behalf.

Agile

The agile methodology started in software development and has now influenced modern digital project management. There are many styles of agile project management, but the main point of agile is that it prioritizes people and interactions over rigid processes and tools. It emphasizes collaboration and response to change, instead of adherence to a strict plan or rulebook.

In short, it’s all about being adaptive to the project’s needs and creating the best possible end solution.

API

API stands for application programming interface. It’s for building software and web applications, like pretty advanced stuff.

You know what, just forget about it. It’s programmer stuff.

Art Files

Typically referring to AI or EPS vector artwork for a design project. Art files are editable versions of your digital asset. For example, a logo, brochure, website design, business card, and many other types of projects.

(No, your hand-drawn sketch is not an “art file.”)

Audience

The people you want to attract to your business. Also, the people who are actually reading your content and following you online. Ideally, those groups of people would be the same if you’re doing your damn job properly.

Automation

Robots taking over marketers’ jobs. Actually, a description for handy software tools that make marketing tasks easier, like social media scheduling apps (Hootsuite, Buffer, etc) or automated email marketing campaigns sent out via Campaign Monitor.

Avatar | av-uh-tahr | n. |

Your social media profile image branded with your logo and/or company name (e.g. your Facebook Page profile page). If we're talking about your personal profile, it's probably something embarrassing like you doing a kegstand on a barrel at a classy winery while horrified French people look on in disbelief.

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B

Backup

BACKUP YOUR FILES ALL THE TIME.

Bandwidth

Can refer to your internet speed, but more often used by annoying marketing people who are talking about whether they can fit your project into their schedule or not. Most often when they say this, they don’t want to fit you in. #spoileralert

Beautification

Not what you go through to get ready every morning, although we appreciate the effort. Referring to websites, beautification happens after the initial programming of your website and ensures that what’s on the screen matches the designer’s vision and concept to a T.

Big Data

An obnoxious term for quantifying and predicting user behaviour with metrics and analytics on a large scale, typically large enough that dedicated computer algorithms analyze the data instead of human beings.

Examples: stock market price predictions, crime analysis, business trends over time, reasons why she didn’t call you back after that first date, etc.

Bleed | bleed | n. |

The extra space around the edges of a document optimized for printing. The document is then printed on a larger sheet of paper and trimmed down to its proper size. Why? I don’t know, science.

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Blog

The name for the part of your website that regularly posts articles or news releases. This is typically powered by a blog engine, such as WordPress, where you can write a post in the backend of your website, and it automatically appears as part of the site’s blog section, sorted by date and category, and looks all pretty and stuff.

Brand

This is what makes you YOU, boo! Your brand is not just what your logo or website looks like. It’s how your customers, employees and other stakeholders perceive your position in the marketplace and your corporate values and identity. It’s a set of beliefs that govern how you operate. It’s what makes you unique, and is the real reason people buy from you.

Brand Analysis

This is the first step in our branding process! One of our Brand Managers meets with you to learn about your company, goals, values and what sets you apart from the competition. This uncovers the “why” behind your company. Why do you exist? We provide a full analysis of your brand, your competitors, and our vision for your brand’s messaging, strategy and future direction. It’s a hot and heavy document.

Brand Architecture

The structure of brands and sub-brands underneath your parent organization. You know how Coca-Cola has like 400 types of drinks? Like that.

Brand Awareness

A measurement of how aware the general public is of your brand’s key differentiators, products, visual components and values.

Basically: do people know you exist? Besides your mom.

Brand Guideline

A document that outlines the usage requirements, restrictions or suggestions for your brand’s visual components. Typically consists of colour palette information, spacing guidelines, typography notes and other instructions for ensuring your brand’s visual aesthetic is always in line, so you don’t f*ck it up.

Brand Manager

At agencies, the person who oversees your account, thinks up new ideas and strategies to grow your brand and business, and more often than not, asks you a lot of questions. At Studiothink, this is your main account contact and the person who pushes wine and/or whiskey on you during meetings in the name of creativity.

Brand Promise

The reason your company exists. What do you do, and why is it important to the people you’re trying to target? A brand promise is the tangible result you are promising your customers in exchange for your products or services. It is NOT a statement like, “We believe in quality and customer service.” No sh*t, Sherlock!

Brand Voice

What your brand comes across like in written and verbal communications. The personality of your brand. This encompasses all touchpoints, from verbal to print. Are you warm and approachable, or professional and formal?

There are many shades of grey in between, but we doubt there will be a sexy summer blockbuster movie about brand voice anytime soon.

Bug

Something that ain’t workin’ right with your website or application. Programmers use advanced magic spells to crush these. Not to be confused with a feature.

Business Development

This is how you get those dolla dolla bills, yo. More than just making sales, business development is the overall strategy and process your organization uses to acquire new leads, opportunities and customers.

C

C#

C# is a programming language for software development. Normally we stuff this term into the umbrella of Technical Stuff That Only Programmers Know and then never speak of it again.

Call to Action

The thing that made you click over here in the first place. Otherwise known as a catchy-cool thing on a website that makes you look at it and tells you to do something, like call a number, send an email, or download something.

We’re really good at these, obviously… because here you are.

Callout

Another thing on a website that you want to draw people’s attention to, mostly because people don’t read endless pages of content to look for what they need. Ya gots to make it easy on them by highlighting the important stuff.

Capacity

Another word agency people use to get out of scheduling your project because we really just don’t want to do it. Sorry not sorry.

Change Order

Used when there is a change to the previously agreed-upon scope of a project, by either the agency or the client. The change in scope may or may not result in a price change. The change order documents the deviation from the previous scope and sets what the new scope will be. You deviant, you.

Clickability

An informal term for how likely a prospect is to take the desired action, typically on a website. For example, if you want people to contact you for a quote, the “clickability” is how likely that desired action is to happen.

If a marketing person says this word out loud, it may make you want to “click” their face with your fist.

CMS

Content Management System. The software platform that’s powering your website under the covers. Not as sexy as it sounds.

CMYK Colour

CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Used in colour printing, the CMYK model is also known as four-colour process printing, and is the industry standard today. CMYK colours are used in print design, and RGB colours are used for web design.

(Don’t worry, at Studiothink we provide you with information on both sets of colours for your logo in a brand guideline.)

Concept

Typically used when describing the initial creative work on your project. A concept is the process our design team goes through to come up with a brilliant, strategically-driven visual brand identity to present to you. It’s the look and feel of your new brand or project. After showing you the first concept, the client is asked for feedback.

Concrete5

A CMS platform we use to code websites. We like it because it makes it easy for you to edit your website content whenever you want instead of having to rely on us to make changes for you.

But we’re always happy to take your money if you’d rather have us do it.

Contact Form

Literally a form people fill out on your website to contact you. Duh.

Content Population

Adding your written content and images into your new website before it launches. Also known as, the thing you will never do and are too cheap to pay us to do. But seriously, this holds up the timeline on a lot of projects, so just make it easy on yourself and get us to do it, okay? Okay.

Conversion Rate

The percent of people who took the desired action on your website or other digital channel, including ads. So if a goal of your website is to get people to contact you, and 5 people did out of the 100 that visited your website, your conversion rate is 5%. (That’s pretty decent, by the way.)

Cookie

Two meanings. One, a tracking code that identifies website visitors and tracks their behaviour, or stores information about them for future sessions (e.g. login information). Two, a delicious reward we readily accept at all times.

Copyediting

Editing written content for grammar, spelling, punctuation and style, without changing the message, formatting, structure or layout of that content. Typically a waste of time as it’s better to just do it right from scratch than Frankenstein your documents later. See “Copywriting.”

Copyright

A legal right to grant the owner of an original work or intellectual property the ability to use, print and distribute that work, and excluding all others from doing so. For example, if you obtain a copyright for your logo and someone else uses it or something too similar, you can sue them. Nothing to do with writing whatsoever, which is confusing because it’s in between the writing things here, but hey, this is alphabetical so give us a break.

Copywriting

Writing content for digital or print mediums, typically with a focus on eliciting a response or swaying the reader into making a purchase. Otherwise known as direct response, or sales copywriting.

Done by professionals, not your cousin who got an A in English in high school.

CPanel

A technical thing your web hosting provider has that lets us launch your new website and do the techy stuff to make your website into a real thing on the WWW. Something like that. We leave this kinda stuff to Harry.

CPC

Cost Per Click, also known as Pay Per Click (PPC). Used in digital advertising mediums like Google AdWords or social media ads, this refers to the type of ad placed. With CPC ads, you only pay once someone clicks on your ad. The cost per click may fluctuate based on how the advertiser calculates it.

Don’t click on your own ads, dummy.

CPM

Cost Per Thousand. This is also used to describe digital advertising. Instead of being charged when someone clicks an ad, you are charged a set rate per 1,000 views of your ad, whether anyone clicked on it or not. Rates are set at the time of placing your ad, so you know your cost in advance.

CPV

Cost Per View. Similar to CPM, this refers to the price you’ll pay for video ads when someone watches them. Typically, a view counts as someone watching at minimum 30 seconds of your video, though each advertiser may have unique policies on what a view is.

Creative Brief

A written document containing requirements and ideas for a specific project, intended as a way to communicate key project goals and parameters to a creative team. In agencies, this is typically the first step of a project and ensures all team members are aware of the project’s basic requirements before moving on to in-depth discussion and conceptual work. The in-depth discussion is the fun part.

Creative Director

The big cheese. El Hefe. The head honcho. Top dog. The notorious B.I.G.

In agencies, the person responsible for overseeing and developing creative talent, and providing final sign-off on design deliverables before they are presented to clients. In our case, this is called a “Sherry Jacobi.

Crop Marks | krop | marks | n. |

Lines that look like bullet targets on pressready documents. Used to indicate where to trim a document down to size for printing purposes. Not to be confused with crop circles, you crazy farmer.

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Crowdculture

The opposite of pushy advertising, crowdculture is the content created by the community around a brand. Typically your customers or net promoters: the people who really believe in your company’s purpose and mission. Learn more in our detailed article here.

CSS

Cascading Style Sheet. A file that’s part of your website coding that tells browsers what to make things look like when they display your website to humans. It defines styles, like what your font should be, the heading size, colours, and a lot more. Again, it’s programmer stuff. Magic stuff.

CTR

Click Through Rate. Also used in digital advertising, the click through rate is the percentage of people who saw your ad and clicked on it. For example, if 100 people saw your ad and 20 clicked on it, your CTR would be 20%.

Custom Website

A website that we make for you from scratch. They’re all special snowflakes.

D

Data Driven | dah-tuh | driv-uhn | a. |

If a marketer says this to you, you have our permission to punch them in the face. Show them this guide, then punch them square in the schnoz.

Annoying people use this to justify making important business decisions, which may or may not be wise, depending on if they can actually analyze data intelligently, or just like to look at graphs with pretty colours and numbers on them and see lines going upward.

Database

A digital place where data is stored that runs the functionality or content of your site. WordPress websites use databases to store content and display it. Used in things like e-commerce websites, blogs, product catalogues and other advanced stuff.

Deep Dive

When an agency thinks about a problem for too long, sinking deeper and deeper into it until they become trapped in subterranean thinktanks under the Earth’s crust and must be drilled out by a deepwater Gulf oil rig at great expense to the client. In other words, pointless pontificating.

Deliverable

A deliverable is either a tangible or intangible piece of your project that is sent over to the client for review, feedback or approval. Examples of tangible items are design concepts, design files, a finished piece, such as a brochure or business card. Examples of intangible items are completion of a project milestone, such as the conceptual phase, or knowledge gained from the project that allows the agency or client to increase efficiency or effectiveness in one or multiple areas.

A generally annoying term for things you could replace with normal language, like, “Here’s your new brochure, Phil!”

Designer

A person who creates amazing, custom, strategically-crafted visual designs for your project. Examples are logo and brand identity designers, website designers, or print material designers. Examples are Rachel, Emelie and Trevor.

Developer

A person who creates amazing, custom, strategically-crafted digital solutions for projects, either software or web applications, or websites. There are many types of developers specializing in different programming languages, but this is the person responsible for making a website or application function the way it’s expected to. This person may also be referred to as a “programmer.” E.g. Harry.

Development Link / Dev Link

A URL we send you to preview your new website! Before this, you’ve only seen your website design as a PDF document. Now sh*t gets real and you see it in real life, just like it will look when it’s launched to the public. A dev link is kept private until you’re ready to launch.

Also known as the most exciting time of your website project! PARTAY.

Dieline

Sounds dramatic, but it’s a template used for printing. A dieline indicates safe areas for designers to place items without the risk of it being cut off or not looking like they wanted it to. Common examples are brochure dielines, or car dielines for wraps.

Display Advertising

A visual ad on a website or digital medium. Display ads can be made up of audio, video, images or text, or any combination of the above. You know, those annoying banner ads you try to block out of your life and never click.

Disruption

What marketers say they’re doing when really they have no idea what they’re doing and just want to sound really cool and get you to spend money. Very few things in this world are truly disruptive, like the combustion engine or the discovery of antibiotics.

Marketers have not found the world’s next scientific breakthrough, no matter how excited they are about their latest campaign idea.

DNS

Domain Name System. This is something you set up for your domain and it controls what server your website is pointing to, as well as manages email settings. Typically handled by your hosting company. For example, if your host is Bluehost, your domain will point to Bluehost’s servers.

Domain

Your piece of real estate on the internet. For example, www.studiothink.com.

Drip Campaign (or Drip Marketing)

An automated email marketing campaign sent to targeted groups of customers or leads with the goal of getting them to take a desired action. Examples could be to buy a product, inquire about your services, or just to increase your brand awareness. It’s set it and forget it email marketing!

Dropbox

A cloud storage company specializing in housing large files and making them accessible anywhere and easy to share.

Don’t email us your 2GB files, okay.

E

E-Commerce

Selling your stuff online. Any website that collects payment online in exchange for a product or service, whether it’s physical or digital. Like those shoes you bought while drunk last night.

E-Newsletter

An email you send out to your subscribers to inform them about recent news, new products or anything else you want to wax poetic about on a regular basis. Can be effective if they’re not boring and lame. Not sure? Ask us if you’re lame.

Earned Media | urn-d | mee-dee-uh | n. |

You gotta werk for it, girl. Earned media is press, publicity or other public recognition that you do not pay for. Examples are social media shares, reviews, or articles written about your company that were not sponsored or paid for.

You earned media attention because people liked you. Aww.

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Elevator Pitch

Your quick n’ dirty sales pitch! Typically a 30-60 second description of who your company is, what your products/services are, and why people should buy from you. Not for use in all elevators.

Embedded Video

When you insert a video into your own website, without linking over to external services like YouTube or Vimeo (though the video can be from there, too).

Engagement

An ambiguous term for measuring the effectiveness of media by counting consumer actions on either a single item, or a campaign as a whole. For example, likes and comments on social media posts are ‘engagement’. If measuring the outcome of a contest, engagement could be measured by the number of entries. A wishy-washy word for wishy-washy people.

F

Favicon | fah-vick-on | n. |

The little icon-ey thing that appears in the browser tab for websites you visit. Typically a company’s logo made into a teeny tiny square. Why? Just because.

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Feature

A new function or behaviour you want to add to your website or software application. Not to be confused with a bug. A bug is something in scope that is broken and needs fixing. A feature is a new request that is out of scope and requires new programming to achieve.

Feedbacks

This is just stupid. There is no plural form of feedback. It’s FEEDBACK.

Font

The thing you’re looking at right now. How words look nice on the internet and in print. It is how text is displayed and consists of a typeface, weight (like “bold”), style and other attributes. Common examples are Helvetica (for hipsters) and Franklin Gothic Condensed (for people over 50 as it reminds them of seeing Most Wanted posters tacked to saloon doors in their youth).

Framework

In responsive web design, a framework is a set of tools and standards to ensure a website functions as expected across devices of all screen sizes. Common examples are Bootstrap and Foundation. You don’t need to know this one.

FTP

File Transfer Protocol. A way of uploading and downloading files to a web server. It’s boring, moving on.

Functionality

The way your website or software application behaves as you use it and the features and capabilities it has, notwithstanding any limitations. For example, your phone functions as a way for you to call your mom, but do you? No.

G

Gantt Chart

A thrilling name for an un-thrilling item. Gantt charts indicate a project’s timeline by listing tasks on the x axis and a linear timeline on the y axis, providing a complete view of when each project milestone is planned to start and complete. Because every project gets more fun when you add MATH. Losers.

We were going to put an example here but you might die of boredom after seeing it.

Google Analytics

A powerful free tool to capture data about who’s visiting your website, what they’re doing, where they live, and what they ate for breakfast (in beta). Google knows everything about all of us, so give in to your overlords and accept their rule.

Google Drive

Another cloud storage solution, developed by Google. Free to use up to 5GB and easy to share large files with your agency pals.

Google Map

You literally don’t know how you functioned pre-February 8, 2005 when this amazing tool launched. You probably printed off directions to places from MapQuest and then drove dangerously as you kept glancing over at it on your passenger seat, wondering if you’d gone the 50km yet to reach the next turn.

On websites, we can embed a Google Map to show people where your office is, so they do not have to print out a MapQuest map.

H

Hamburger Menu | ham-bur-ger | men-yoo | n. |

What Americans call a mobile menu. Typically displayed on small screens as an easier way to navigate websites on mobile devices. Clicking the three lines (or, “bun, meat, bun”) opens up the full menu.

Go ahead, click our buns. You know you want to.

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HelloSign

An online tool to facilitate legally-binding electronic signatures on documents without needing a scanner. This is how Studiothink sends most of our contracts. Bike couriers hate it.

Homepage

The first page of your website. It is the first page people see when they type in www.yourcompany.com.

Hosting

Also known as web hosting, this is how you’re able to have a website on the internet. A web host stores your website’s files and displays them to the public when people type in www.yourcompany.com. Common examples are Bluehost, GoDaddy and HostGator.

Hourly Rate

A set cost per hour for agency services, otherwise known as a retainer rate. At Studiothink, ours is $145/hour, which includes all agency services, minus outside expenses (like the cost of photography, ad space, wine, etc).

HTML

Hypertext Markup Language. The building blocks of the web. Commonly found hanging out with best buddies JavaScript and CSS to form a powerful superhero trio to display pretty-looking websites. HTML5 is the current standard version accepted by all browsers.

I

Icon

When referring to a logo design, the icon is either a standalone visual graphic that goes along with the company name, or is a graphical element that is worked into the name.

Ideation

Serious thinkin’ about stuff. In all seriousness, amazing projects don’t just happen magically. Each member of the agency team must think creatively and strategically to solve problems for the project to be a success. Examples are thinking of the company’s main tone and messaging, or for the best technical solution for building a complex website.

Image Population

Like content population, but even more difficult because instead of typing words, you have to pick the best pics for your website. We can do this for you. Please let us do it. It will look better if we do it.

Image Purchase Form

When we suggest stock photography to use, we provide you with a form listing the costs of those photos. They are optional to purchase, but we highly suggest you do unless you want crappy photos all over your site that you took with your iPhone while your dog runs around in the background.

Impact

What millennials are always going on about. The emotional, physical, financial or otherwise fluffy result your marketing is having. Subjective and a wishy-washy term, unless you’re talking about cold hard cash-ola.

In House

If you have an internal marketing team, they are an “in house marketing team.” If you rely solely on an agency like Studiothink to produce your marketing materials, that is an “out of house” team. Also, hopefully your office is not an actual house.

Inbound Marketing

Also referred to as content marketing, inbound marketing is the practice of providing valuable free content that encourages prospects to contact you (and enter your sales funnel), rather than outbound methods like cold calling or lead prospecting. Studies show inbound marketing is 10x more effective than outbound marketing for customer acquisition.

Infographic | in-foh-graf-ik | n. |

A visually-engaging way to organize, structure and present data. Typically used to convey complex information or statistics quickly and clearly in a way that people will pay attention to.

Most people are visual learners, which means they don’t read text, so give them lots of pretty pictures and charts to look at instead. Bonus points if your website comes with a pacifier.

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Information Architecture

Formally defined as, "the structural design of shared information environments; the art and science of organizing and labelling websites, intranets, online communities and software to support usability and findability; and an emerging community of practice focused on bringing principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape."

Snooze fest. IA means you think about where information should fit, how to best organize it, and ways to make it easy to use and find by your customers…. aaaand then ya put it there.

Innovative

Spoiler alert: 99% of the time when something is described as ‘innovative’, it’s not.

Inside Page

A page of your website that is not the homepage. So, every other page besides the homepage.

Integrated Marketing

The practice of making a customer’s experience with a brand seamless across all channels, from web to print, email, brick and mortar locations, and anywhere else they’re encountering the brand.

J

JavaScript

A type of programming language that makes websites do cool stuff, like have interactive elements or animation. It’s actually a cross-platform, object-oriented language, too. NEAT.

Join.me Online Meeting

Join.me is an online screensharing and conference call software Studiothink uses to hold virtual meetings. Parties may call in from their computer or phone and see the presenter’s screen in real-time. We typically use this for concept presentations or training sessions if the client is not able to attend in person.

Journey

Sometimes referred to as the “buyer journey,” which is the process that your ideal prospects go through from first hearing about you to ultimately making a decision to buy from you or not.

K

Keyword | kee-wurd | n. |

One word, or a series of two to ten words (known as a “long-tail keyword,” that you use to rank highly in search result listings. This is what you want people to type in online to find you, like “Vancouver web design,” for us. Or, “smokin’ hot bod,” for you.

Keyword Research

The process of researching potential keywords to find out which ones are the most effective to optimize for based on the number of people searching for those keywords, and other attributes that may influence if a keyword is “good” for you or not.

Kickoff Meeting

The first meeting with your project team after signing the contract. This is where we get to know each other, find out more about your company and goals, and talk about ideas for your upcoming project. At Studiothink, these often include wine.

KPI

Key Performance Indicator. A metric that is tracked to judge the success of your organization or the project. What is tracked depends on the company, their goals and how they want to grow. Examples could be the # of new customers, # of leads per month, or sales revenue.

L

Landing Page

The first page a user lands on when clicking a link to visit your site. Typically your homepage, but can also be a special page focused on one topic, like a product category page for an e-commerce site. Can also be a special page not accessible anywhere else on your site that promotes a special offer or way for people to buy from you. Typically used in ad campaigns.

Leverage

A strategic or tactical advantage. Pretty useless word for marketing because everything we do for you is about getting an advantage over the competition, right? Duh!

Link

A thing you click to go somewhere else. Like really, it’s 2018, people, I shouldn’t need to tell you this.

Live

When we launch your website to the world! We call it “going live.”

Logo

The visual representation of your brand or sub-brand. A logo can be made up of graphical elements and/or text and may or may not include the company name. For example, Apple is well-known by just their icon instead of having “Apple” written anywhere in the name.

Lorem Ipsum

Dating back to the 1960s, lorem ipsum is fake, placeholder text based on the Latin language to indicate where text will be located in graphic or web design. Later, this is swapped out for real copywriting.

M

Market Segmentation

The practice of dividing a target B2C or B2B market of existing and/or prospective customers into more narrow categories based on a shared characteristic. For example, a market could be segmented by geography, demographic information, or pain point.

Market Share

The percentage of a market’s total sales opportunity that your organization controls. For example, if there are potentially 100 customers for your product and 50 of them are your customers, you have a 50% market share.

Master Brand

If your organization includes sub-brands, the master brand is the figurehead of all sub-brands. For example, FedEx has multiple divisions, but are all named under the FedEx master brand.

Menu

Your website’s navigation, not what you order food from. Also called the “navbar” or “navigation.”

Meta Description

An SEO term to describe the text that shows up in search result listings for a specific page of your website. Ranges from 120-160 characters.

Meta Title | meh-tuh | tahyt-l | n. |

Same as above, but this is the title that shows up in search result listings. Max 60 characters.

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Milestone

A mark of progress in project management. Your project will be divided into milestones for the team to work on. Some milestones are dependent upon others to complete before they can start; strategy must complete before design can begin. Others are more fluid and may be worked on at the same time. Milestones are a way to plan for, and manage, timeline expectations for both client and agency.

Or we can just wing it and see how it goes. Your choice.

Mobile Friendly

This means your website will look good on mobile phones and all that jazz. Also known as “responsive design.” This is important because it’s 2018 and soon everyone will have microchips in their brains and basically be walking mobile devices.

Mockup

When we show you a representation of what your actual project will look like when it’s done. With websites, we’ll show you the design as a PDF document first, before it becomes a “real” website.

Mood Board

A design tool to help communicate the desired mood, tone, style or look of your brand. Mood boards use a mixture of photography, colours and other graphical elements to create a stylized look to give you an idea what your brand will portray. For example, a calming, steady brand may be shown with blue tones and relaxed lifestyle imagery, whereas an innovative, fast-paced company may be shown with red tones and high stakes imagery to communicate a sense of urgency.

N

Native Ad

An ad that doesn’t look like an ad. This is a form of paid media that blends into its surroundings. A native ad takes the same form and function as non-paid content on the same page so it doesn’t look out of place. For example, Facebook’s ads are native ads: they look like any other social media post and have the same functionality (like, comment, share), with the only difference being a small “Sponsored” at the top to denote its paid status.

Navigation

How people get around your website, also known as a menu.

Negative Keyword

In Google AdWords, a negative keyword is a keyword you do not want your ad to show up for. So if you want to show an ad for, “computer repair,” but not, “free computer repair,” you would enter, “free computer repair,” as a negative keyword within your AdWords ad campaign.

O

Omnichannel

Big Brother watchin’ over you. But seriously, omnichannel is just an obnoxious way of saying “everywhere” or across multiple channels. For retailers, this is often used to describe those who sell in brick and mortar locations, online, and by wholesale distribution.

Opt All About

When you have like 15 opt-in forms on your website and too many buttons and it’s cluttered and overwhelming, like the collection of stuffed animals in your basement.

Opt In

A spot where website visitors can sign up for a special offer, your newsletter or anything else they are giving you their information for (typically an email address).

Opt Out

When the people who opted-in don’t like your stuff and unsubscribe.

Organic Search Results

When you’re awesome enough to rank in a Google search result page fo’ free without having to pay for an ad. For example, Google this right now: “The best branding agency in Surrey.” MMHMM.

Out of Scope

A new feature request asked for by the agency or client that is outside of the agreed-upon project scope and budget. This request results in a change order and adds onto the scope and budget of an existing project.

Basically, ya want more stuff? Ya gotta pay for more stuff. It’s simple.

P

Page Type

This is a page of your website that uses a unique design, so it’s not like any of the other pages. We calculate the price of your new website based on how many different page types, or designs, you’ll need (among other factors).

Paid Media

An advertisement or piece of content you are paying for exposure or engagement on. Common examples include digital advertising (AdWords, social media ads), sponsoring written content or white papers, or traditional print magazine advertisements.

Pain Point

The problem your customer has that your product or service solves. You should definitely know what this is.

Pantone Colour

Pantone is a company in New Jersey who developed the Pantone Matching System for colours. Using a Pantone colour ensures it will print accurately, matching a physical paper sample from a Pantone book. Pantone colours use a number identification system, and these numbers are given to you in your brand guideline document.

Payment Gateway

How you collect the money honeys you make from your website, typically on an e-commerce site. Common ones are PayPal for Business or Stripe.

Persona

Also known as a “customer persona,” or “buyer persona,” a persona is a description of your ideal customer, including demographic and socioeconomic information, as well as details about their pain points and, if relevant, job roles.

Be sure to give them a cool name like “Marketing Mary” or “Bud the Beekeeper.”

Pitch Deck

A presentation document given to you by your agency team to explain a new idea or creative concept. We use these when we wanna sell you more stuff. Can also be a presentation design template created for your organization to use in your own pitch or sales meetings.

Positioning

Where your organization fits in the marketplace. Are you the industry leader? The newcomer? The most luxurious/expensive brand? The mass adoption/economical brand? It’s how you want to be perceived by the public and your customers, and how you are currently perceived in relation to your competition.

Press ready | pres-red-ee | a. |

Used as an adjective, as in “a press ready file,” or as a verb, as in, “We’ll press ready that business card for you right away!” A press ready file is the final version of your project, created after your approval, and is the proper format to submit for printing. This could be a brochure, business card or other physical item that you send off to be printed. “Press readying” it ensures all images are high enough resolution to appear crisp and clear, and that colours will print accurately.

Project Manager

An agency person who oversees your entire project’s budget, timeline, scheduling and scope throughout its lifecycle, and pulls in resources as necessary to complete all project tasks. Also typically your main point of contact for questions or issues as the project progresses.

Project Rate

Opposed to an hourly rate, which is based on time spent, a project rate is a defined number agreed upon by both parties prior to commencing work. A project rate allows organizations to know their marketing costs ahead of time and stick to a defined project scope, instead of a  more flexible hourly rate.

Proof

A design or project deliverable sent to you for review, feedback and/or approval. For example, a proof of a website design may be sent to you, for your approval to move into programming.

Public Relations

Commonly dubbed “PR,” public relations is the practice of capitalizing on earned and paid media to contribute to achieving corporate goals or generating goodwill press opportunities. For example, a press release may be sent out in advance of a new product launch to start building excitement and awareness of your new product, which is supported by other marketing channels after the initial PR buzz.

Pull Marketing

Similar to inbound marketing, the goal of pull marketing is to get customers to come to you. Common ways to use this online are through content marketing, SEO and organic social media referral traffic.

Push Marketing

The opposite of pull marketing, push marketing aims to get your products or services in front of customers, instead of waiting for them to come to you. Common methods are through paid media, sponsorship, promotional opportunities and public relations.

Q

Query

Another word for a question. We got lotsa questions for ya. Let's talk about your brand.

R

Raster

Otherwise known as a "bitmap" image, a raster graphic uses pixels or dots of colour to form images. There are only so many pixels that make up a raster / bitmap graphic so the resolution (and therefore size) is limited.

Remarketing

A digital advertising term. Remarketing is when you track visitors to your website and show those users ads on other websites they visit after they’ve left your website. This is typically done through Google AdWords, and involves a specialized account setup. Basically sorcery.

Repository

A technical term for a place developers keep their code when working on a website or software application. It keeps code from different people or sources organized in one central location, and serves as a version control and management platform for that code. Harry probably has one of these thingies.

Responsive

See “mobile friendly.” Yer website will look good across all screen sizes, from desktop computers to tablets and smartphones. New devices are coming out every day so this is increasingly important for websites.

REST

It’s not lazy when it’s capitalized. REpresentational State Transfer is not really a “thing,” it’s more of an idea. It’s an architecture, or way of developing websites and software, to make it easier for them to talk to each other.

For example, many web applications have REST API integrations to work with your website -- like creating an email sign-up form on your site that links to Campaign Monitor.

Retainer | ri-tey-ner | n. |

An agreement between an agency and client for regular marketing services, typically on a monthly basis. At Studiothink, our retainer clients set a budget for the year which is divided up into 12 equal payments for marketing services.

May bring back traumatic high school dental memories.

Revision

After the client reviews a proof and provides feedback, the agency will make the necessary changes, which is called a revision. When complete, a new proof is generated and sent to the client for review.

RGB Colour

While CMYK colours are used in print, RGB colours are used in web design. An RBG colour is created from a mathematical formula of how much red, green and blue is in that colour. An RBG colour code is also known as a HEX code, and looks like this: #FFFFFF (white).

We tell ya all these for your brand in your brand guideline document.

ROI

Return on Investment. If you don’t know what this is… Google it.

Royalty Free

This means you can use the image or item without having to pay royalty fees or infringing on anyone else's copyright. Many stock photos are royalty-free after you purchase the initial image.

S

Sans Serif | sahn | ser-if | n. |

From the French for “none,” sans serif is a font without serifs. Does that clear things up? HA HA. No.

These fonts don’t have the little swishy parts on the ends of letters, and have a more modern, rounded appearance.

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Scalable

Can mean many things. In software development, if often means if an application can grow with you to accommodate more users or features in the future. For a website, it can mean the same thing, or refer to its responsive design.

Scope of Work

A scope of work, or SOW if you prefer bovine acronyms, is a document that outlines exactly what we, the agency, are going to do for you, the client. A typical SOW contains project specifications, a creative brief, milestone goals, deliverables and a timeline for when it’s all gonna happen.

Scrum

A gross-sounding word for daily stand-up meetings we have internally for website development projects. This is part of Agile project management and ensures all team members are in the loop for a specific project, and that everything is progressing as it should. Often includes doughnuts.

SEO

Search, search baby. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and if you ain’t doin’ it, you’re a damn fool. SEO means optimizing your website content, images, structure and code to rank as high as possible in search results (like when you search something on Google).

There’s a lot more to it than that, but it’s a basic requirement of being competitive on the web nowadays so hop to it.

Serif

The opposite of a sans serif font, in that it has serifs (the swooshy things on letters). Classic examples are Baskerville, Times New Roman, and Georgia.

SERPs

Stands for Search Engine Results Pages. When you type a search into Google (or any other search engine), this is the page of results you see. SEO is all about ranking as high as possible in those SERPs -- page 1 is the goal!

Server

A big computer box thing that stores files and websites on it, and connects to the Internet. There are many kinds of servers, but we mainly deal with web hosting servers. That’s the server that keeps your website files on it so that when people type in www.you.com, they see your (gorgeously designed by Studiothink) site.

Shopping Cart

When you click Add to Cart or Buy on an e-commerce website, the item goes into a virtual shopping cart. This keeps all the stuff you wanna buy until you’re ready to checkout. Many sites offer the ability to save your cart with your login, so you can resume shopping at a later date.

Social Media

Business social media use is very different than what you use Facebook for on your personal time, okay. If it’s not, we need to have a talk (and you should probably let us take it over from here on out).

Social Media Advertising

Ads on social media, like Facebook Ads, Instagram ads, Twitter ads, Pinterest ads, etc! Any sort of paid post or advertisement you’re placing on a social media network.

Spam

This is all the crap email  that comes to your inbox that you don’t want, or have not subscribed to. These often come in via contact form submissions. We recommend using a captcha to deter spam (we use Google’s recaptcha right here).

Spot Colour

A spot colour is one that is printed in a single pass of the press, it can be one of the four CMYK colours (cyan, yellow, magenta or black), or it can be a specific Pantone ink. Basically, don’t worry about a spot colour unless your designer tells you that you need one.

Sprint

A term used in Agile project management. A sprint is a two-week period of time of intense focus on one project to reach the next milestone. Typically, this happens in website development when we begin programming and the sprint ends with you receiving your dev link.

Stock Photos

Photography that can be purchased and used in your projects, as opposed to you supplying your own photography or booking a photoshoot. You can see some examples at www.shutterstock.com.

Studiothinker | stu-dio think-er | n. |

A crazy talented marketing professional who works at Studiothink. Studiothinkers come in many forms: designers, developers, strategists, copywriters, marketers and many more.

Typically seen with a drink in their hand and a smirk on their face.

Subscribers

People who follow you! Typically refers to email subscribers, who are the people who signed up for your newsletter or other promotional material from your website. Can also mean YouTube subscribers.

Synergy

An annoying word that basically means cooperation, or two things that are complementary to each other. People who aren’t actually good at their jobs like to use it to sound smart and important.

T

Tagline

An optional descriptor of who your company is and what you do that is often placed below your logo, or alongside your logo on branded items. Can also be an advertising slogan, for example Nike’s famous “Just Do It.”

Target Market

A group of people you are trying to, well, target. Applies to both products and services, B2B and B2C… every business has a target market. A target market can be a whole industry, a group of customer types within an industry, or even just people across industries with a specific problem.

For each target market you have, you should develop a customer persona.

Template | tem-plit | n. |

For websites, often refers to a “design template” or “theme” that you can buy and customize as a shortcut for making a website. Studiothink does not use themes in any of our designs; instead they are 100% custom-made just for you.

You’re not a cookie cutter, right? Your website shouldn’t be either.

Testing

Exactly what it sounds like. We test that all the shit on your website works the way it should before it’s launched.

Thought Leadership

Being both mentally stable and like, really smart. If those are your two greatest assets, you’re probably a very stable genius.

Timeline

A plan for how long your project will take from start to finish! Project timelines can easily change throughout the project depending on how timely feedback is delivered, or if new items get added to the scope.

Trademark

That little “™” after your logo or brand name. Can also be an “R” if it’s a registered trademark. Most useful for companies doing business in multiple countries or with specific brand assets they want to legally protect.

Traffic

Unrelated to your commute, this is the traffic on the interweb speedways. Meaning, people visiting your website. Google Analytics can track a lot of useful information about your site’s visitors, so we always install it with every site we build.

Turnkey

An over-complicated way of saying something is ready to use, or easy to get started with right away. Our websites are turnkey, because we show you how to edit them in the future so if anything changes in your business, just login and typey type it into the website.

Tweaking

When you have a meeting with Sherry and she drinks too much wine and starts dancing like-

Oh, tweaking. That’s actually just making small changes to a project, also known as revisions. Spoiler alert: calling something a “tweak” instead of a “change” doesn’t make it cost any less.

U

U/X

Millennial way of saying “user experience.” A user’s experience is the overall feeling they’re left with after visiting a website or using an app. Unlike a customer experience, which typically describes visiting a physical location, a user experience is solely about something digital.

Having a strategy behind your website’s design is so important to create a positive user experience. It affects everything from where your navigation is located, to what’s in it, how people search for and find information on a website, and so much more.

We’re pretty passionate about user experience.

UI Design

Stands for User Interface Design, and it means designing spaces where users are typically entering, retrieving or viewing data. A user interface can be a dashboard and account area when you login to a website, or even a mobile app. It’s an interface you interact with to get stuff done.

And, it needs to be designed well to make that intuitive and pleasant for you, the Almighty User.

Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Also known as a Unique Selling Point, which just means the thing that makes you cool and different from your competitors. It’s something tangible you’re promising your customers.

For example, Domino’s invented the “30 minutes or it’s free” delivery promise. Many have copied them since, but it pays to be the original.

URL

Pronounced “YER-UL” (not really). It stands for Uniform Resource Locator and, when talking about websites, it just means a web address. Also known as a link. Also known as a page link. Or a file link. It is many things.

For example, this is a URL to our About page: https://www.studiothink.com/about

V

Vector Files

These are scalable graphics that designers can use in your project. They are created using points and lines which can be scaled to any size, rather than pixels.

Most often, we ask clients for a vector version of their logo because we can edit colour and scale it to any size we like. A vector file ends with a .AI, .EPS or .SVG extension.

Viral

Hypochondriacs: relax!

“Going viral” means something you did -- a social media post, blog article, video, flying hot air balloon -- caught a lot of attention and is really popular. Something is considered viral after it reaches a substantial amount of people, which varies by industry.

A video about sawguide lubrication could be considered viral after a few thousand views (pretty unique subject, eh?), whereas a music video with more mainstream appeal would likely need millions of views to be considered viral.

W

White Space | hwahyt, wahyt | speys | n. |

Literally, the BLANK SPACES on a document, print piece or website design. Can also refer to negative space of a non-white colour that does not contain any design elements or text. It’s used to make things more pleasing to the eye.

Just like a paragraph break makes words easier to read.

Don’t ever say “decrease the white space.” WE WILL NOT DO IT, YOU ARE WASTING YOUR TIME.

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Wordmark

A distinct, text-based logo design that features the name of your company without an accompanying icon. Famous examples are Facebook, Google, and FedEx.

WordPress

An open-source CMS platform for building websites, and one of the most popular in the world. Ideal for blogging and those who produce frequent content, but can be subject to security issues if not maintained properly. More info at WordPress.org.

X

Y

Z

Zip File

A zipped file is created when you compress, or archive, together a bunch of files into one handy file, that ends with a .zip extension. It’s great for sending multiple files to your agency team and compressing size. There are free applications to zip and unzip files for both Mac and PC.