Glossary

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This document is intended to help improve communication amongst DC team members, partners and suppliers.

DC—as well as the marketing industry at large—often use marketing terms that have multiple definitions and mean different things to different people. A lack of clarity for terminology can cause communication inefficiencies and confusion.

The following list is a DC marketing lexicon of priority terms. The terms have been defined and include examples to clarify the terms from DC’s perspective and intended use.

A - D

Advertising
The act and practice of paying for exposure of messages or content on a specific channel or in a publication in an overt way.
Example:
  • "The heavy up campaign included advertising to promote ski vacations in Canada, driving traffic to the core-market site."
Notes:
“Advertising” encompasses a wide range of sub categories, including print advertising, out-of-home advertising, radio advertising, online advertising and social media advertising.
Audience
A specific consumer group that marketing communications are trying to reach, engage and persuade.
Example:
  • "We use automated media buying to help reach our priority audience."
  • "The heavy up campaign will help us identify look-alike audiences that closely match the consumers engaging with our content."
Notes:
“Audience” is commonly referred to as a “target audience” (a priority or most important audience group) or a “target” (short for “target audience”).
Benchmark
A point of reference—usually based on the level of performance achieved in the past or standards outside the organization—against which performance levels can be set, measured, compared or assessed.
Example:
  • "We are using last year’s performance as a benchmark for this year’s activity."
Notes:
“Index” is often used interchangeably with “benchmark.” The key difference between “benchmark” and “target” is that the past informs a “benchmark,” whereas a “target” refers to something to be achieved in the future.
Co-op Marketing
A marketing arrangement in which DC provides partners with a minimum 1:1 dollar ratio to run their activity, and has little involvement in the management apart from financial support.
Example:
  • "In DC’s co-op marketing agreement with Canadian Holidays, DC gave Canadian Holidays $200K for TV ads, which Canadian Holidays produced and planned themselves."
Notes:
The primary difference between “co-op marketing” and “joint marketing” is the lack of management beyond financial support.
Consumer
People who have, or will, purchase a travel product or service from a retailer.
Example:
  • "The campaign reached more than 500,000 British consumers, resulting in 15,000 leads for our partners."
  • "WestJet has agreed to give DC access to its consumer database, which can be used for lookalike audience modelling."
Notes:
“Customer” is often interchanged with “consumer.” But “customer” should only be used to refer to a partner who has signed a legal agreement with DC (i.e., the “Guardian”).
Content Marketing
An approach to marketing aimed at driving consumers to action and focused on sharing relevant, targeted media—distributed through owned and earned channels—that provides inherent value to an audience.
Example:
  • "The article was written and published as part of the content marketing program to reach and engage high-value, U.S.-based, ski enthusiasts."
  • "We engaged in content marketing by taking a video we paid a supplier to create and posting it on our own site and channels."
Notes:
The distribution approach is the key qualifier between “content marketing” and “paid content.” Content marketing is published through owned and earned channels.
Conversion
A consumer action that signals the completion of a desired behaviour. A conversion can be either a macro conversion (e.g., a completed purchase transaction) or a micro conversion (e.g., an email signup).
Example:
  • "When A/B testing our sign-up form, the short version had a 34% increase in conversion versus the long version."
Notes:
Conversion rates are an effective way to measure the performance of an overall activity, individual asset (landing page), or unique element (CTA button).
Cookie
Small text files created by a website and stored on a user’s computer—either temporarily or permanently—so the website operator can recognize visitors to a site and keep track of select sessional information and/or preferences.
Example:
  • "The cookie allows us to retarget engaged users with relevant online advertisements, even after they leave the campaign hub."
Customer
The organizations that DC supports and partners with to promote Canada as a desirable tourist destination.
Example:
  • "Canadian PMOs and DMOs are DC customers."
Notes:
“Customer” is used as a business-to-business term within DC. We don’t use “customer” interchangeably with “consumer,” which is used to describe individuals and potential buyers of a travel product.
Digital Advertising
The creation and delivery of paid-for promotional marketing messages that reach—and strive to engage and convert—an audience by leveraging Internet-based devices and channels.
Example:
  • "Display ads, Facebook-sponsored posts and Google AdWords are all examples of digital advertising."
  • "The campaign plan includes a $50,000 budget to be used for digital advertising to increase awareness of the campaign among the target audience."
Notes:
Also referred to as “online advertising” or “web advertising”; a key distinguisher of digital advertising (vs. traditional) is the ability to track and measure performance.

E - H

Earned Media
DC-related media activity and publicity driven by content publishers and/or consumers that does not include an exchange of money.
Example:
  • "Earned media includes the mentions, shares, re-posts and word-of-mouth promotion that consumers and organizations do on DC’s behalf."
Notes:
Sometimes referred to as “free media” or “word of mouth,” “earned media” cannot be bought or owned; it can only be gained organically.
Engagement
A behavioural response from a consumer or audience of consumers that indicates a level of interest.
Example:
  • "YouTube video engagement includes likes, dislikes and comments."
Notes:
“Engagement” has nuanced meaning and measurement across teams, markets, and channels, including social media and websites. This definition does not refer to employee engagement.
Heavy up (or Campaign)
As part of a program, a coordinated set of marketing communication activities designed to achieve a focused set of goals over a short period of time.
Example:
  • "The heavy up campaign period includes social ads and native content ads that will direct users to the campaign hub."
  • "Our objective is to attain a campaign R.O.I. of 15:1."

I - L

Industry
The network of tourism organizations in Canada involved in promoting Canada as a desirable tourism destination.
Example:
  • "DC partners with industry to make Canada a premier global travel destination."
Notes:
“Industry” is a similar term to “Team Canada.” The difference is that “industry” refers to tourism organizations in Canada, whereas “Team Canada” includes organizations outside of the tourism sector and outside Canada.
Initiative
A finite project(s), outside the organization’s day-to-day operational activities, designed to change the status quo and help the organization achieve its vision and targeted performance.
Example:
  • "A key initiative for the coming year is to clearly define our audience groups and firmly establish them at the centre of our planning process."
Notes:
“Initiatives” are not the same as “vision statements,” “goals” or “objectives.”
Joint Marketing
A marketing arrangement in which DC leads and manages programs with some financial and/or resource support from partners.
Example:
  • "Air Canada signed a joint marketing agreement to partner with DC on the 2016 U.S. Ski Program."
Notes:
The primary difference between “joint marketing” and “co-op marketing” is that DC is the primary leader and manager of the program.
KPI (Key Performance Indicator)
A business metric used to evaluate factors that are crucial to the success of an organization or program. In order to evaluate them, we link KPIs to target values so the value can be assessed as meeting or not meeting expectations.
Example:
  • "Cost-per-lead is one of the KPIs measuring campaign effectiveness."
Notes:
KPIs should be the metrics that offer the most telling indicator of intended success. Activities are often optimized (e.g. through A/B testing) to improve KPI scores.
Lead
An identifiable consumer that exhibits behaviours and/or attitudes signalling an interest in potentially purchasing Canadian travel products or services.
Example:
  • "Acquiring campaign leads costs $5 per lead."
Notes:
Leads are qualified in different ways (i.e., watched a video, signing up via email) depending on the program/team. We describe leads on a spectrum of interest, depending upon how we qualify them. This is why we often refer to them as “qualified leads” or “pre-qualified leads.” DC passes on leads to its partners. Different teams have their own kinds, and measurement, of leads (i.e., for Business Events Canada, a lead is a Request for Proposal).

M - P

Mandate
A Crown Corporation’s mandate states the organization’s reason for existence, as determined by its government and electorate. Specifically, it outlines what DC is legally obliged to do.
Example:
  • "DC’s legislated mandate is to create and sustain a vibrant and profitable Canadian tourism industry; market Canada as a desirable tourism destination; and support relationships between the public and private tourism sectors within the country."
Marketing Attribution
The measurement and understanding of impact that marketing touch points have on influencing consumers to make a conversion decision.
Example:
  • "We need to have an accurate understanding of the marketing attribution all the way along the consumer journey."
Notes:
The goal of marketing attribution is to learn what constitutes the optimal mix of marketing interactions and expenditures.
Media (Asset)
Media (as in “media asset”): A means of communicating information, such as a written article, video, image, animation or audio file; should be referred to as a “media asset.”
Example:
  • "We’ve developed a number of different media assets, including a campaign video."
Media (Space)
Media (as in “media space”): The management and buying of space available for content and marketing messaging placement. Media agencies predominantly plan and purchase media space.
Example:
  • "DC’s media agency, OMD, helps ensure that media space purchased appeals to consumers and appears in the right place at the right time for the best possible price."
Media (The)
Media (as in “the media”): The collective term referring to newspapers, magazines, television and radio, all disseminators of timely information to the public.
Example:
  • "There is a lot of attention in the media currently about Canadian polar bear tours."
Media Partnership
A collaboration between DC and a media publisher to develop and/or promote specific content. Media partnerships should be mutually beneficial; we can determine value through gained publicity, credibility and/or other tangible benefits.
Example:
  • "A media partnership between DC and The Guardian has significant benefits for both organizations."
Notes:
Media partnerships do not include an exchange of funds for content publishing and distribution. If there’s an exchange of funds, it is a form of advertising or paid media.
Media Relations
The interaction between DC and reporters, journalists and editors in the print (newspaper and magazine), electronic (radio, television stations) and online (bloggers, digital) media for the purpose of communicating DC’s newsworthy messages, stories and information, and for managing issues and crisis communications.
Example:
  • "The key to a successful communications strategy is the combination of strong public relations with strong media relations."
Notes:
“Media relations” is not the same as “public relations,” which is a strategic communications process for building mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their stakeholders—customers, prospects, competitors, community members and employees.
Mission
A statement that communicates how the organization will reach its vision.
Example:
  • "DC’s mission is to harness Canada’s collective voice to grow export revenues."
Notes:
A “mission” ideally expresses what the organization does, whom it does it for and how it does what it does.
Organization Attribution
The identification of proportional credit that contributing organizations (i.e., DC, partners, media suppliers) have on influencing consumers to make a purchase decision.
Example:
  • ""Organizational attribution” allows us to understand and quantify the impact that DC has on the bottom line of the Canadian tourism sector."
Owned Media
Content that is created and promoted by your organization on channels you manage.
Example:
  • "DC writes and commissions owned editorial articles to promote great Canadian travel experiences through the Keep Exploring site and social channels."
Notes:
DC has full editorial control over its owned editorial content, but does not have final approval for content written and published on 3rd party publications.
Paid Media
Purchased publicity and distribution of content or messages via channels and publishers.
Example:
  • "Banner ads, social ads, re-targeting ads, paid influencers and paid content promotion are all forms of paid media."
Notes:
“Advertising” is a form of “paid media,” but the terms should not be used interchangeably.
Partner
An organization that has agreed to work with DC to reach shared objectives.
Example:
  • "The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, Tourism Saskatchewan, the Guardian, and TUI Deutschland are all DC partners."
  • "The content is designed to engage our target audience, but will be published by our Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) partners."
Notes:
The scope of partnership can range from activities such as amplifying content or attending a trade show to co-investing in a market with Destination Canada. Commonly referred to as industry partners. Prospective partners are organizations that might enter into a partner agreement or are exploring opportunities to work with Destination Canada.
Pixel
An invisible graphic image that allows for visits or events to be tracked on a webpage.
Example:
  • "Each campaign banner ad contained a pixel that allowed us to measure ad impressions and conversion performance."
Notes:
“Pixels” are routinely used in digital marketing for web analytics and conversion tracking. Pixels are sometimes referred to as “tracking pixels,” “beacons,” “tracking bugs,” page tags” and “clear GIFs.”
Pixel Fire
The moment when the code embedded in a pixel is executed, instructing the browser to send user data to a third party data collection server (i.e., ad server).
Example:
  • "All of the banner ad pixels fired as expected."
Profile (or EQ Profile)
A defined grouping of consumers who share a common set of travel values, as defined by DC’s social values-based market research, the Explorer Quotient (EQ).
Example:
  • "Free Spirits, Cultural Explorers and Authentic Experiencers are all EQ profiles."
Notes:
The term “EQ profiles” and “EQ types” can be used interchangeably. Suppliers and partners may refer to profiles in a broader sense (i.e., groupings based on demographics, life stage, interests), which DC would define as a “segment.”
Program
A coordinated and sustained set of marketing and/or operational activities that work together to help achieve defined objectives.
Example:
  • "We’ve developed a strategy for our ‘always-on program.’"
  • "Maureen runs the DC Partnership Program."
Notes:
Multiple programs may co-exist as part of a holistic organizational marketing plan.

Q - U

Retargeting (or Remarketing)
A digital advertising tactic using cookies to identify and reach consumers through advertising after their initial visit to a website.
Example:
  • "We will use retargeting to serve banner ads to users who visit DC’s landing page without completing a conversion goal."
Notes:
“Remarketing” is Google’s proprietary term used for the practice of “retargeting.” Both terms can be used interchangeably, although we prefer the term “retargeting.”
Segment
A defined grouping of consumers based on shared demographics, life stage or interests.
Example:
  • "DC is focused primarily on the Millennials segment for the ‘Connecting America’ campaign."
Notes:
“Segments” refer to general target audience research and personas not associated with DC’s EQ profiles.
Strategy
The deliberate and reasoned course(s) of action an organization, team or individual is taking to reach a stated goal, guided by the comprehensive understanding of an objective or challenge.
Example:
  • "One of DC’s strategies is to focus on global markets where Canada’s tourism brand leads and yields the highest return on investment."
Notes:
Tactics cascade from strategies; strategies cascade from goals/objectives.
Summary Groups
A grouping of two or more EQ profiles based on similarities.
Example:
  • "'Learners’ is an EQ summary group made up of the Cultural Explorers, Authentic Experiencers, Personal History Explorers, and Cultural History Buffs EQ profiles."
Supplier (or Vendor)
A Procurement-approved, external organization or individual paid to provide products and/or services to help DC and its partners achieve their business goals.
Example:
  • "Modern Craft is one of our suppliers, providing us with consulting services to inform our strategy and operational processes."
  • "We rely on a network of vendors, such as agencies, freelancers and technology companies to deliver on our vision."
Notes:
An individual contractor or freelancer is also a “supplier.”
Tactic
Specific plans that consist of resources, channels and actions aligning with the identified strategy that help achieve objectives.
Example:
  • "One of the most effective tactics from the heavy up campaign was retargeting advertising."
Notes:
Tactics cascade from strategies; strategies cascade from goals/objectives.s; strategies cascade from goals/objectives.
Tag
A string of code that is used to initiate the launch of a pixel or cookie under specific and defined conditions.
Example:
  • "We added conversion tags to the form completion page to help identify users who completed the conversion goal."
Notes:
Tags are only initiated following specifically defined behaviours; for example, following a user’s click on a specified link. Tags may also be used when a user completes a form or when he/she has spent a certain period of time on a given webpage.
Target
A level of performance, expressed as a numeric value, that an activity, program or the organization aims to achieve in the future.
Example:
  • "Our target for the heavy up campaign is 50,000 leads by October 2016."
Notes:
We use targets to focus activity and increase accountability. The key difference between “targets” and “benchmarks” is that a “target” is something to be achieved in the future, whereas the past informs a “benchmark.”
Team Canada
The network of organizations in Canada and abroad promoting Canada as a desirable tourist destination.
Example:
  • "Tourism Hamilton, Air Canada and Marriott Hotels are all part of Team Canada."
Notes:
Team Canada consists of tourism-focused organizations—such as destinations, airlines and in-market organizations—as well as non-tourism organizations, such as clothing lines and even entities such as the Lobster Fisheries of Atlantic Canada. A contract with DC is not required to be part of Team Canada. ‘Industry Partners’ is the term used for the organizations who make up ‘Team Canada’.
User
A consumer who interacts with a digital experience.
Example:
  • "We reviewed the analytics and did user testing to help inform updates to the site that improved the user experience."
Notes:
The term “visitor” is often used for “users” who interact specifically with websites. In the right context, it can be used; however, “visitor” is also a term identifying tourists who visit Canada.

V - Z

Vision
A statement made about the desired future outcomes towards which objectives, strategies and tactics are focused on achieving.
Example:
  • "DC’s vision is to be a catalyst of long-term success and prosperity for the thousands of small- and medium-sized businesses that make up Canada’s tourism community."
Notes:
Normally, there is not a measurement component to “vision statements”; the purpose is instead to provide a general direction for the company.
Visitor (Marketing Definition)
Visitor (as in “travel visitor”): An individual consumer who is currently or has previously visited Canada.
Example:
  • "The campaign strategy is to target previous visitors and remind them about the new, unexplored experiences they can have in Canada."
Visitor (Marketing Definition)
Visitor (as in “website visitor”): An individual who interacts with a website.
Example:
  • "The German brand site received 15,000 new visitors over the course of the heavy up period."
Visitor (Statistical Definition)
A visitor is a traveller taking a trip outside his/her usual environment, for less than a year, for any purpose (business, leisure or other personal purpose) other than to be employed.
Example:
  • "In 2015, Canada welcomed 231 thousand overnight visitors from the UK, whose main trip purpose was for holiday, pleasure or recreation, and which represented 34% of overnight visits that year."
Notes:
This is the official UNWTO definition.