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This is by no means an exhaustive list of industry jargon. If you find a term that’s missing, please send me a message.


1G (First Generation)

The first generation of wireless services which were mostly analogue and included technology standards such as AMPS.

2D Codes

Otherwise known as semacode, Aztec, QR, or matrix codes, these are mobile barcodes that allow a bar code reader in a smartphone camera to act as a scanner. The key is that mobile barcodes are a pull technology, a permission-based way for a consumer to engage with an advertiser.

2G (Second Generation)

This mobile standard was birthed on the GSM standard in Finland by Radiolinja in 1991. Three primary benefits of 2G networks over their predecessors were that phone conversations were digitally encrypted; 2G systems were significantly more efficient on the spectrum allowing for far greater mobile phone penetration levels; and 2G introduced data services for mobile, starting with SMS text messages.

3G (Third Generation)

This is a common mobile phone standard. The services associated with 3G include wide-area wireless voice and broadband wireless data, all in a mobile environment. In marketing 3G services, video-telephone is often identified as a primary application for 3G.

4G (4th Generation)

This is wireless standards that’s a successor to 3G and 2G standards and promises mobile ultra-broadband (gigabit speed) connection.


Ad Optimization

This is an automated and semi-automated means of optimizing bid prices, placement, targeting, or other characteristics that are usually carried out in 3 manners: behavioral targeting, contextual targeting, and creative optimization using experimental techniques.


These notifications, typically in the form of a text or multimedia message, contain time-sensitive information (event details, weather, news, services updates) that are pushed to a mobile subscriber who has opted-in to receive this information.

Note: If the mobile subscriber has not opted in to receive said information, the notification would be considered SPAM.


This system tracks user behavior on the app/game /site both from a user experience and advertisement perspective. Analytics help developers and campaigns understand trends and optimize the user flow for maximum engagement and user retention.

Android OS

This is Google’s official mobile operating system, which commands over a 50% marketshare in the US.

Augmented Reality

It’s the mobile version of virtual reality, but rather than immersing the user in a virtual world, the physical space around the person operating an AR device (like a smartphone) is layered with graphics or geo-specific data to form a blended reality that can be interacted with.



This communication protocol enables mobile devices equipped with a special chip to send and receive information wirelessly over short-ranges, using the 2.4 GHz spectrum band.


Call-to-Action (CTA)

This is an instruction to the reader to act on the message that was received. The action could be to click a link, send a mobile text, call a phone number, or other types of actions.


Shorthand for wireless carrier, carriers provide the network infrastructure for the delivery of messages between end users and connection aggregators or application providers.

CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access)

This channel access method used by various radio communication technologies. It should not be confused with the mobile phone standards called cdmaOne, CDMA2000 (the 3G evolution of cdmaOne) and WCDMA (the 3G standard used by GSM carriers), which are often referred to as simply CDMA, and use CDMA as an underlying channel access method.


A check-in is executed via a GPS enabled mobile device that allows a user to declare they are at a specific location. This check-in can be shared with others and is a prominent feature in the very popular social app Foursquare. Facebook has also begun offering check-ins using its Facebook Places API.

Click-Through-Rate (CTR)

This is a common measurement used to determine the number of users who clicked to access more information or take action resulting from a B2B mobile marketing campaign message.


This is a link on a mobile Web site that, when clicked, instantly initiates a call from that phone to a pre-specified number.

Common Short Code (CSC)

This is the numeric digits entered by a mobile device user to send a message related to a campaign. For example “text WIN to 12345 for your chance to win this prize!” The 12345 is the CSC code, and can be anywhere from four to six characters in length. These codes are registered through the Common Short Code Administration organization.

Short codes are designed to be easier to read and remember than normal telephone numbers. Like telephone numbers, short codes are unique to each operator at the technological level. Even so, providers generally have agreements to avoid overlaps.

Common Short Code Administration (CSCA)

This is the entity that oversees the registration, assignment and tracking of CSCs.

Cost Per Thousand (CPM)

This metric is used in order to apply costs to advertising banners for web sites and other internet-based advertisements. The fee is calculated based on the number of impressions that would occur when users view the ads.


Dedicated Short Code

This is process of running only one service on a common short code (CSC) at any given time. It can be a random or vanity CSC.

Double Opt-In

This is the process of confirming a mobile subscriber’s wish to participate in a mobile program by requesting the subscriber to opt-in twice, prior to engaging the subscriber. It’s a requirement for premium SMS and many other types of mobile services.

Dumb Phones

Otherwise known as a feature phones, these devices represent 90% of the global marketshare (50% in the US).


ECPM (Effectice Cost Per thousand)

This can be calculated by total earnings / impressions x 1000. This metric is associated with entities such as offer i-frames and help developers realize how much they are earning for every thousand users that visit their i-frame. Social game developers have seen eCPMs anywhere from to 00+.

EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution)

This is a speedier version of GSM wireless service. It enables data to be delivered at rates up to 384 Kbps via broadband.


Free-to-End Users (FTEU)

This is an application that is made available to an end-user at no cost other than an opt-in subscription. The SMS/MMS costs that would normally be charged to the end-user is absorbed by the application provider. In some cases the mobile carriers may opt to charge end-users with other various fees, however. Example:

Freemium Model

This is a type of business model that works by selling basic services, or a basic downloadable digital product, for free, while charging a premium price for advanced or special features.


GPRS (General Packet Radio Service)

This packet-switching technology enables high-speed data transmission of up to 115kbps. An enhancement for GSM, often described as 2.5G.

GPS (Global Positioning System)

This is a system of satellites, computers and receivers that can determine the latitude and longitude of a given receiver (within its system) located on Earth. It pinpoints the receiver’s location by calculating the time it takes for signals from different satellites (positioned at various locations) to reach the receiver.

GSM (Global System for Mobile)

This is the most widely used of the three digital wireless telephone technologies (used in Europe, Africa, Middle East, United States, Australia & South America).



This is a new standard for displaying content on the web through browsers. HTML5 is the new rendition in work of HTML (hyper text markup language) that will be competing directly with Flash and includes features like video playback and drag-and-drop functionality.



This measurement is used to count the number of times a person is viewing an ad or message. Impressions have become a very important metric with B2B mobile marketing.

Information on Demand (IOD)

This is the act of delivering messages to subscribers as the information is updated. This is common for sports scores, weather alerts, and stock alerts.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

This technology allows a user to respond to questions using voice instead of text or numeric responses on their mobile device. IVR systems have become quite sophisticated in recent years, and are very common with credit card companies as well as airlines.


This is Apple’s official mobile operating system for the iPad, iPhone, iPod and to be announced devices, focusing on gesture based and multi-touch functionality.



This is a unique word (or number) that is created for a specific short code campaign. Multiple keywords can be used on a single short code active during a single period. The keyword is the actual text that a user keys in on their mobile phone to interact with a campaign.


Landing Page

This is secondary page to which a user is directed when they click on an ad, where they are provided additional information and/or a mechanism to make a purchase. The user is often driven to a landing page via an ad banner, link, SMS or other offer-related communication.

Location Based Service (LBS)

Depending on the geographic area of the mobile subscriber, messages can be customized to fit the location. For example the location of the nearest favorite restaurant, gas station, or store.

Location-based services are offered by some cell phone networks as a way to send custom advertising and other information to cell-phone subscribers based on their current location. The cell-phone service provider gets the location from a GPS chip built into the phone, or using radio location and trilateration based on the signal-strength of the closest cell-phone towers (for phones without GPS features).


Messaging Fees

Each time an SMS is sent, both the sender and receiver are charged a messaging fee by the wireless carrier. The messaging fees vary by carrier and volume. SMS messaging credits can be purchased in volume to reduce costs.

MMA (Mobile Marketing Association)

The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) is the non-profit trade association established to lead the growth of mobile marketing and its associated technologies. It was formed to clear obstacles to market development, establish mobile media guidelines and best practices for sustainable growth, and evangelize the use of the mobile channel.

MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service

This has become more prevalent with the increase in bandwidth and evolution of mobile technology. Multimedia messages can be a picture, a video clip, or an audio clip. Ads can be embedded into the MMS, or the ad could be the MMS itself depending on what is being viewed by the subscriber.

Mobile Advertising

This form of advertising that is communicated to the consumer/target via a handset. This type of advertising is most commonly seen as a Mobile Web Banner (top of page), Mobile Web Poster (bottom of page banner), and full screen interstitial, which appears while a requested mobile web page is “loading.” Other forms of this type of advertising are SMS and MMS ads, mobile gaming ads, mobile video ads and search engine marketing (SEM) text ads.

Mobile Commerce

This is a one or two-way exchange of value facilitated by a mobile consumer electronic device (e.g. mobile handset) which is enabled by wireless technologies and communication networks.

Mobile Originated (MO)

An SMS or MMS message that was originated on a mobile phone.

Mobile Terminated (MT)

An SMS or MMS message that was terminated (sent) to a mobile phone. The message may have originated from another mobile phone or from a web server, PC or other fixed device.

Mobile Web

This channel is for delivery of web content, which offers and formats content to users in awareness of the mobile context. The mobile context is characterized by the nature of personal user information needs (e.g. updating micro your blog, accessing travel information, receiving news update), constraints of mobile phones (i.e. screen size, keypad input) and special capabilities (i.e. location, connection type such as 3G or WLAN).

MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator)

An MVNO is a Mobile Operator, which does not possess its own telecom network. An MVNO has its own SIM cards and purchases wholesale minutes from a Mobile Network Operator. An MVNO is free to apply its own pricelists and services, and manage its own invoicing and customer services.

Example: Virgin Mobile



The company that manages a directory of common short codes, which are rented out for use through the CSCA organization.



This is a decision mechanism that allows a subscriber to become part of a campaign, or to remove the subscription from the campaign. Campaigns and organizations must follow the MMA’s strict guidelines for mobile list building. They require well-defined, opt-in language.



This is a streaming of a mobile advertising clip prior to a mobile TV/video clip. The mobile ad is usually 10-15 seconds in length.

Premium SMS

This premium rate text messaging is used to opt-in to special content such as ring tones and daily humor messages.

Pull Messaging

Describes the process where a person initiates a request from his/her mobile phone.

Push Messaging

Describes the mailing of information (SMS/MMS), directly on the consumer’s mobile phone and under the condition that his/her acceptance has been given.


QR Code

A QR (Quick Response) code is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) that is readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera telephones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded may be text, URL, or other data.


Random CSC

A CSC (Common Short Code) that is assigned by the CSCA Registry on a random basis from the pool of available CSCs. These typically run 0 per month for exclusive use.


Secondary Keyword

Similar to a keyword but its usage is for gathering metrics, repurposing existing keywords or as a geographic locator.

Shared Short Code

This is a short code that that used for multiple marketing campaigns through the leasing of keywords to different entities.


I used the shared short code 75309 for my SMS campaigns.

SIM (Subscriber Identity Module)

This small, removable chip is used primarily in GSM phones to identify the number/account.


These advanced mobile devices come with powerful processors, memory, and large screens that usually have open operating systems installed.

SMS (Short Message Service)

This is the most common method of sending text messages through mobile devices. Messages are limited to 160 characters.

Symbian OS

This is Nokia’s mobile operating system. It’s largely unheard of in the US, but maintains wide usage in countries like Brazil.



Otherwise known as text-to-donate, this method allows nonprofits and most recently, political campaigns, to receive mobile donations of or that are billed directly to a donors cell phone bill.


Unlike Text2Give, supporters text a pledge via their mobile phone and are routed to a land page to complete the donation using their credit card.

Triple Tap

A common text entry method for subscribers to enter information or query via a mobile phone, most commonly a feature phone.


Vanity Short Code

A CSC (Common Short Code) that the applicant/registrant specifically requests from the CSCA Registry. Selected CSCs are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis from the pool of available CSCs. These short codes are called vanity for a reason: they cost a minimum of ,000 per month and take up to 90 days to set-up.

Example: Obama for America uses 62262 which spells O-B-A-M-A.

VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol)

This standard allows for sound/voice to be streamed live on the Internet or by WAP in a way that mimics telephony.

Example: Skype


WAP Site

Otherwise know as a mobile web site, it’s specifically designed and formatted for display on a mobile device.

WASP (Wireless Application Service Provider)

This informal term, often derogatory or disparaging, is for a closed group of high-status Americans mostly of British Protestant ancestry…ERR…This provides hosted wireless applications so that companies will not have to build their own sophisticated wireless infrastructures.

WAP (Wireless Application Protocol)

This is an open international standard for applications that use wireless communication. Its principal application is to enable access to the Internet from a mobile phone or PDA. Mobile internet sites, or WAP sites, are websites written in, or dynamically converted to, WML (Wireless Markup Language) and accessed via the WAP browser.

WML (Wireless Markup Language)

This markup language is based on XML, used to develop wireless applications.



The technique of Internet companies paying for the mobile bandwidth to provide free access to their service to users in emerging markets.