Marketing Glossary - F

Formative Research     

Formative research with a target audience is the basis for developing effective strategies, including communication channels, for influencing behavior change. It helps researchers identify and understand the characteristics - interests, behaviors and needs - that influence the decisions and actions of target populations. Formative research is integral in developing programs as well as improving existing and ongoing programs, and it is an essential step when using a formal social marketing approach.


A frame, or ‘frame of reference’ is a mental model, worldview, or schema of unquestioned beliefs, values and emotions that we use to infer meaning. Frames are triggered by language and context, so the principle of framing is that if you wish to control the meaning you need to control the language and the context. The way a story is told -- its selective use of particular values, symbols, metaphors, and messengers -- triggers the shared and durable cultural models that people use to make sense of their world.


Average number of times a commercial or advertisement has been viewed per person (or per household) during a specific time period. Frequency, along with Reach, is an important concept in the planning of an advertising media schedule. Frequency is calculated by dividing the total possible audience by the audience that has been exposed at lease once (Reach or Cumulative Audience) to the particular time segment (in broadcast) or publication in which the advertising message appears.

Full-Service Agency     

A full-service creative agency, sometimes known as an integrated marketing agency, is a firm that has the capabilities of handling or coordinating all aspects of the marketing and advertising process. This usually includes strategic planning, creative, media services, production and—in today’s Internet savvy market— a full service marketing agency will also typically handle digital marketing services. It is important to note that no one agency can do everything, however, an agency that knows and understands your mission can help you identify specialists and coordinate their efforts to amplify your marketing efforts.