Marketing and media research glossary: specialist knowledge from A to Z

They were learned at some point, but are quickly forgotten or outdated. What about your marketing and media research vocabulary?

(Illustration: Dall-E and

On Tuesday, Wemf AG für Werbemedienforschung will publish the current readership figures and online reach of press titles in the form of the MACH Basic reach study and the MACH Total Audience intermedia study. These semi-annual studies on media usage in Switzerland provide crucial information for the media and advertising market. It is therefore high time to brush up on the marketing and media research glossary and re-familiarize yourself with the most important basic terms.


Indicator that expresses the suitability of a medium to reach a ➝ target group. Ratio of reach in the target group to total reach multiplied by 100 (indexed). Affinities above 100 indicate an above-average suitability of a title for the target group in question; below 100 indicates a below-average suitability. Affinity index = reach in % in the target group × 100 / total reach in %. The higher the index, the better the media performance of a title in the relevant target group.


Broadest Readership refers to the number of people who have held a print title in their hands to read or leaf through it in the last six months.


Broadest Usership shows how many people have visited a movie theater at least rarely or used the Internet, a website, TV or radio at least rarely.


Computer Assisted Telephone Interview is a telephone interview in which the interviewee is guided through the interview with computer support.


Computer Assisted Web Interview. This means that the interviews take place directly on a computer screen. The interviewee fills out an interactive online questionnaire.


Calculated Recent Readership indicates the readership of an average issue. It is calculated on the basis of the usage frequencies recorded in the ➝ MACH Basic survey and the time of last use of a print title. The reach cRR can be used to calculate media plans.

Double reader

Indicates the overlap between the readership of two or more titles. Due to the double readership (➝ external overlap), the net reach is reduced compared to the gross reach.

Average contact

The gross reach of a media plan is generally greater than its net reach. The average contact / opportunity to see (OTS) indicates the relationship between the gross and net reach of a media plan. The formula is: OTS = gross reach (contact total) of a media plan / net reach of a media plan. The OTS shows the number of average contacts per person reached.

External overlap

Indicates the overlap between the readerships of two or more titles. The external overlap reduces the net reach compared to the gross reach and leads to a higher ➝ average contact.

Frequency question

Question relating to the proportion of issues of a title that are normally read or leafed through.

Complete edition GES

Newspapers with front pages or partial editions that appear on the reader market under different title designations.


Gross rating point is a performance indicator of a media plan. It shows the advertising impact of the plan. The GRP corresponds to the net reach in percentage points, multiplied by the average contact of the campaign, and can be specified for different target groups. The formula is: GRP = net reach in % × ➝ average contact.

Heavy user

Normally read every or almost every issue of a title. ➝ Medium user and ➝ Light user.


Effect and success of communication measures, overall impression (e.g. of an advertisement).

Internal overlap

If several editions of the same title are used, parts of the readership are reached several times. ➝ External overlap.

Contact distribution

Indicates how many people in a defined target group come into contact with all advertising media selected in the distribution plan and how often. In contrast to the OTS value, which shows the average number of contacts per target person reached, the contact distribution shows how the contact probabilities are distributed across all persons reached in the advertising target group.

Cross table

Tabular representation of two or more variables with their values. ➝ NEXT>LEVEL.

Light User

Usually read less than half of the issues of a title. ➝ Medium users and ➝ Heavy users.

Reading time per issue

This value indicates how long an issue is read on average before it is finally put away.

Reading quantity per issue

This value indicates how much of the content of an issue (= all pages) is read on average. For example, the specification "Reading quantity = 0.8" means that on average 80% of all pages in an issue of a title are read by its readership. The reading quantity is a net value.


Readers per copy is calculated by dividing the total readership of an issue of a title by the circulation of this title that reaches the reader market. The formula is: LpE = reach or readers of the title / circulation of the title (copies). The English term RpC (Readers per Copy) is also used as LpE.

MACH Basic

The national readership study in Switzerland. Provides the Swiss advertising market with the official reach of Swiss newspapers and magazines (individual titles, ➝ total editions and title combinations). Representative sample of approx. 30,000 people per publication. ➝ The population of the sample consists of all residents of Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein aged ≥ 14 who live in private households. Publication: twice a year (April and October).

Medium User

Usually read about half of the issues of a title. ➝ Heavy users and ➝ Light users.


The WEMF's own data analysis tool for accessing WEMF studies, statistics and databases as well as other third-party studies.


Digital edition of a title that differs from the printed edition in terms of editorial content, advertisements, layout or format. ➝ Replica.


The gross reach of a media plan is generally greater than its net reach. The average contact - opportunity to see (OTS) - indicates the relationship between the gross and net reach of a media plan. The formula is: OTS = gross reach (contact total) of a media plan / net reach of a media plan. The OTS shows the number of average contacts per person reached.

Pick-ups per issue

This value indicates the average number of times an issue of a particular title is picked up for reading / leafing through by its readership before it is finally put away. As print titles are relatively long-lived, the same issue of a title X normally has several acts of use, in contrast to programs or advertising spots in the "fleeting" electronic media Y. This contact-qualifying information can only be calculated for titles that have a sufficiently large ➝ BRS.


Extrapolation of the sample to the population. The total readership is extrapolated from the relevant sample range to the population. This is normally rounded to 1000 readers.

Quantitative market and media research

Data collection using standardized research methods to ensure that the results are statistically ➝ representative.


Digital editions in the form of replicas are the immaterially transmitted main editions of a title that correspond to the printed version in all details of content, layout (including placement of advertisements) and publication method. Digital editions in the form of replicas can be enriched with films, photo galleries, music or additional text elements. The terms "replica" and "e-paper" are understood as synonyms.


Each element of the population has the same chance of being selected (assumption from probability theory). In the case of random sampling, a ➝ confidence interval can be specified on the basis of the number of samples. If the sample size is large enough, the selected subset represents a smaller but true representation of the population.


Regular usership is a common denominator in relation to the use of different media types, which is necessary for a large-scale comparison of intermedia. Reach values are not suitable for this, as they are collected and defined differently for each media category. The MACH Strategy therefore uses "RUS - Regular Usership" as the basis for all calculations for the intermedia comparison. This is defined analogously for each medium, regardless of whether it is an electronic or a print medium: In each case, it refers to the group of people who regularly use a medium.


Statistical certainty. ➝ Confidence interval.


The thousand-contact price is a key figure for assessing the relationship between the advertising costs (e.g. of a media plan) and the size of the gross readership reached with the media plan (= total contacts). The formula is: CPM = advertising media costs / gross reach in thousands of contacts.

Area of trust

A random sample cannot provide exact information about the ➝ population under investigation; the results obtained from a sample are only valid for the population within a certain confidence interval. The (calculable) confidence interval depends on two variables: the sample size and the response distribution. The following applies: the larger the sample, the smaller the confidence interval. And: the greater the difference between the affirmative and negative answers, the smaller the confidence interval.


Widest readership. ➝ BRS (Broadest Readership).

Target group

Target group of people who are to be specifically addressed with a communicative measure. The target group is usually defined according to socio-demographic characteristics, consumer / purchasing behavior and psychographic criteria.

About acronyms

The media and advertising industry is teeming with cryptic acronyms. Unfortunately, many of them are not self-explanatory. And the ones you learned during your specialist training are often already outdated - or have simply been forgotten. The Glossary of the Wemf offers a little help in this regard.

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