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At a Glance

Integrated Marketing Communications 101

Just like any professional discipline, integrated marketing communications comes with its own language. We realize the jargon we use daily may be unfamiliar to you. Listed below is a glossary of tems used often in the University's Communications & Marketing Office. 

Advertising is bringing a product or service, such as an educational program, to the attention of potential and current customers through paid announcements in the print, broadcast or electronic media.

A valued promise that an organization makes to its external and internal audiences; external audiences view a brand as the best and sometimes only solution to a problem they have; internal audiences must believe the brand is worthy of their commitment; all audiences must understand the brand and view it as important, believable and distinctive.

The act or process of communicating; the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions or information by speech, writing or signs; something imparted, interchanged or transmitted; a document or message imparting news, views, information, etc.

Electronic or e-marketing is a form of direct response marketing that uses the Web and e-mail to achieve marketing goals

The art or profession of visual communication that combines images, words and ideas to convey information to an audience, especially to produce a specific effect.

Integrated marketing communications (IMC) is a strategic approach through which organizations drive performance by engaging, serving and communicating with audiences, customers and other constituents. IMC combines a qualitative understanding of consumers with large-scale analytics to develop communications and content that build and maintain strong brands. Grounded in advertising and direct media communications, IMC has emerged as the premier way for organizations to manage customer experiences in the digital age.*

*Definition adapted from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing Communications.

Recognizable and distinctive graphic design, stylized name, unique symbol or other device for identifying an organization. Also called logotype, it is affixed, included, or printed on all advertising, buildings, communications, literature, products, stationery and vehicles.

From a sales or business perspective, the process by which goods and services move from concept to the customer. As a philosophy, it is based on thinking about the business in terms of customer needs and their satisfaction.

Maintaining good and open communications between members of various media outlets and a client, or between the public relations professional and the media as a means to effectively communicate client messages.

A generic term for the many different forms of electronic communication that are made possible through the use of Provided by: computer technology. The term relates to “old” media, such as print newspapers and magazines, that are static representations of text and graphics. New media includes Web sites, streaming audio and video, chat rooms, e-mail, online communities, Web advertising, DVD and CD-ROM media, virtual reality environments, integration of digital data with the telephone, such as Internet telephony, digital cameras and mobile computing

The art or process of producing images of objects on photosensitive surfaces, such as (as film or a CCD chip); the art, practice, or occupation of taking and printing photographs.

The act or process of publishing printed matter. An issue of printed material offered for sale or distribution. Communication of information to the public.

Systematic effort to create and maintain goodwill of an organization’s various audiences, usually through publicity and other non-paid forms of communication.

Like a logo, the wordmark (also known as a logotype) identifies your organization. But this representation takes the form of a type font that has been uniquely styled and treated. Type is a powerful language, with each font having different characteristics and projecting a different image.