DMA: Data and Marketing Association
Consumer Help

Marketing Definitions

Marketing Definitions

Automated Dialing Equipment

Automated Dialing Equipment is any system or device that automatically initiates outgoing call attempts (including text messages) in a random or sequential manner or from a predetermined list of phone numbers. This term includes any equipment that constitutes an “automatic telephone dialing system” as defined under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) and/or the FCC’s TCPA regulations.

Abandoned Call

An Abandoned Call is a call placed by automated dialing equipment to a consumer which when answered by the consumer (1) breaks the connection because no live agent is available to speak to the consumer, or (2) no live agent is available to speak to the consumer within 2 seconds of the consumer’s completed greeting.

Abandonment Rate

An Abandonment Rate is the number of Abandoned Calls over a 30-day period divided by the total number of calls that are answered by a live consumer. Calls that are not answered by a live consumer do not count in the calculation of the Abandonment Rate.


Campaign refers to an offer of the same good or service for the same seller. As long as the same good or service is being offered by the same seller, the offer is part of a single Campaign, regardless of whether there are changes in the terms of the offer or the wording of any marketing material, including any Telemarketing script, used to convey the offer. This definition applies to Part II, Section XI, Articles 5–6 only and is based on the FTC’s definition of a “Campaign” for purposes of calculating the Abandonment Rate.


Consumer, as used in Part II, Sections VII and VIII, refers to the subject of the Marketing Data.


Individual, as used in Part II, Section XII, refers to the Recipients or potential Recipients of Mobile Marketing communications. For purposes of opting out (refer to Part II, Section XII, Article 3), Individual refers to the number(s) and/or electronic address(es) of the Wireless device(s) used by the Recipients.

Location-Based Services

Location-Based Services means marketing Text Messages targeted to a Recipient dependent on their location, by a handset or user’s physical location.

Marketing Data

Marketing Data means actual or inferred information consistent with a person’s commercial or charitable inquiry or transaction, or market research or market survey information. Such information can be derived from either a direct contact or marketing partnership when linked to a person’s name, postal or email address, or telephone number, or any other personally identifiable information. When obtained from a publicly available source, information (including public record information), not combined with other information, is not Marketing Data.

Marketing Purpose

Marketing Purpose means any activity undertaken to collect, aggregate, analyze, maintain, update, or sell information in order to allow or induce consumers to take action to purchase, rent, or exchange products, property, or services, to solicit a charitable donation, to utilize market research or market surveys, or to provide verification services to marketers.

Mobile Marketing

Mobile Marketing refers to a sales and promotion technique in which promotional materials are delivered to a Wireless phone or device. It can include both “direct Mobile Marketing” (i.e., marketing communications targeted, sent or “pushed” to a Wireless Handset or device, such as marketing text messages) and “indirect Mobile Marketing” (i.e., marketing that can be accessed or “pulled” by an individual via a Wireless Handset or device such as a mobile enabled website). Examples include the sending of SMS, MMS, or WAP push messages, Bluetooth messaging, and other Internet-based marketing to Wireless devices.

Mobile Service Commercial Message (“MSCM”)

An MSCM is a commercial electronic message that is transmitted directly to a Wireless device that is utilized by a subscriber of commercial mobile service.

Multimedia Messaging Services (“MMS”)

MMS are an extension of the Short Message Service technology that permits the marketer to send marketing messages to a Wireless Handset that include multimedia objects such as images, audio and video.

Mobile Subscription Service

A Mobile Subscription Service is a service that is provided periodically or on an ongoing basis that is delivered to an individual via a Wireless Handset or device. This includes free services and paid subscription services.

Prior Express Consent

Prior Express Consent, as used in Part II, Section XII, refers to affirmative, express and informed consent. A marketer should be able to demonstrate that Recipients knowingly and affirmatively consented to be contacted on their Wireless devices by that marketer for any purposes. Consent may be obtained orally, in writing or electronically. The notice to obtain consent should include a clear and conspicuous disclosure and require an active step on the part of the Recipient to demonstrate that he/she agrees to receive the communication and/or product or service. This consent may be obtained via any channel. A pre-checked box, for example, would not suffice as an adequate means for obtaining consent.


Recipient, as used in Part II, Section XII, is any natural or legal person or business that receives a Mobile Marketing communication.


A Report is reportable information that should be made available which contains key points, including the percentage of Abandoned Calls.

Short Message Service (“SMS”)

An SMS is a marketing message sent as a text message.


Telemarketing means a telephone call, prerecorded message or text message placed to a landline or Wireless number for the purpose of promoting, advertising, marketing, or offering goods or services.

Text Message

Text Message, as used in Part II, Section XII, is a brief electronic message sent between mobile phones, containing text composed by the sender.

Wireless Application Protocol (“WAP”)

WAP refers to a secure specification that allows users to access information instantly via handheld Wireless devices such as mobile phones, pagers, two-way radios, smartphones, and communicators.


Wireless refers to telecommunications in which electromagnetic waves (rather than some form of wire) carry the signal over part or all of the communication path.

Wireless Handset

Wireless Handset is an umbrella term for devices, typically with keys to input data that are mobile and can be operated by hand. Examples are mobile phones, pagers, two-way radios, smartphones, and communicators.

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