Advertising Loves Abbreviations

In any advertising agency, people probably say or email dozens of different abbreviations in a given week. If you’re not familiar with them, it can sound like we’re speaking a foreign language. To help you decipher adspeak, here’s a quick lesson on some of the abbreviations we say on the regular:

KPI (Key Performance Indicators):

Essentially, KPIs are how we measure our success. Before starting any project, we need to decide what we’re trying to accomplish and how to determine if we succeed. Those measurable results are our KPIs.

CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions):

CPM is the cost for getting 1,000 sets of eyeballs on a digital, print, or broadcast placement. It’s one of the most basic KPI measurements in advertising and public relations.

CTR (Click-Through Rate):

You probably know that when you see an ad online, you can click it to visit the advertiser’s website. CTR measures the percentage of people who do just that. Find the percentage by dividing number of clicks by the number of times your ad has been shown. The higher the percentage, the higher the consumer engagement.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization):

There are more than a billion websites in existence, and that is quite a lot for your preferred search engine to dig through. Search Engine Optimization is the practice of helping search engines find your website when people are searching keywords related to your business.

CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black):

The abbreviation represents the color model used in full-color printing. Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black are the four colors needed for this printing method.

RGB (Red, Green, Blue):

The digital answer to CMYK; red, green, and blue are the three colors a computer uses to display a full-color image.

DPI: (Dots Per Inch):

This is a measure of resolution for digital images. The higher the DPI, the better the resolution. Ad folks like images that are at least 300dpi for print and 72dpi for web.

FPO (For Placement Only):

It’s always best when we have everything we need before we start designing, but sometimes that’s not possible. When we’re designing a piece and don’t have all the images we need, but we also can’t hold up the project, we may use a placeholder image in the layout and label that image as FPO, so everyone knows it will be replaced before a digital ad goes live, a poster goes to print, etc.

Questions on any other advertising abbreviations? Let us know.

By Sidney Gilliam

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