41 marketing and sales terms

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on 01/28/14 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehension.

Have you ever been in a business meeting or on a sales call, and the potential customer or business associate uses a marketing term that you just don’t understand?

In order to get the results you want – converting more prospects into customers and increasing your revenue – you have to know what you’re talking about.

Or at least sound like you do!

Having a handle on these words and phrases will allow you to confidently speak with prospects, vendors, your sales team, and your marketing partner.

Here are 41 marketing and sales terms that you should know.

1. Advertising

Putting a spotlight on a product, service or business through paid broadcasting – print or digital.

2. Barter (A.K.A. ‘Cow Trading’)

Exchanging products or services to avoid having to use cash assets. (Not something we recommend doing unless under contract.)

3. Brand

Anything that brings about awareness of a specific product, service or business while separating it from other establishments.

4. Business to Business (B2B)

A firm selling to another organization rather than selling to an individual consumer.

5. Business to Consumer (B2C)

A firm selling to an individual consumer rather than another organization.

6. Comparative Advertising

The type of advertising in which a company makes a direct comparison to another brand, firm or organization.

7. Corporate Identity

All symbols, colors, logos, etc., that make up the public image of an organization.

8. Cost-Based Pricing

A strategic form of pricing intended to cover the expenses of running your business.

9. Customer Loyalty

When a consumer is a repeat buyer of a product, service or brand.

10. Demographics

A specific profiling aspect that takes into consideration age, gender, income, family life, social class, etc. It’s often used in segmentation or for focal points in marketing and advertising strategies.

11. Digital Marketing (Online Marketing)

Marketing to a target audience solely via the internet. Could be email marketing, content marketing, etc.

12. Direct Competition

Competitors that provide the exact same services as your establishment of firm.

13. Direct Mail

A means of advertising communication that reaches a consumer where they live or their place of business, through the mail, often based on demographics and/or geographical location.

14. Direct Marketing

Dealing Directly with the ‘end user’ rather than a third party or a middle man. Also can be seen as directly communicating with your primary target audience. Can come in the form of advertising, marketing or communications.

15. E-Commerce

The means of selling products digitally on the internet.

16. Franchise

The act of buying a license to sell a product or service from the original owner to the consumer.

17. Geographic Segmentation

Segmenting a group of audiences based on where they live or where they are located.

18. Inbound Marketing

Advertising your company via content marketing, podcasts, video, eBooks, email broadcast, SEO, Social Marketing, etc., rather than paid advertising.

19. Internal Marketing

Efforts to offer a marketing plan to individuals and executives within your own firm to gain their approval and/or support.

20. Lead

An individual or a company that has shown interest in one of your products or services. Could be either a MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) or an SQL (Sales Qualified Lead).

21. Lifetime Customer Value

A prediction of the net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer.

22. Margin

The profit gained from a product or service after all expenses for selling that product or service are covered.

23. Marketing Qualified Lead

A lead that is ready to be handed over to the sales team. An MQL has had some sort of positive interaction with the company such as a discussion, downloading marketing products, etc., that deems them worthy to move to the next level of the sales funnel.

24. Market-Based Pricing

Similar to competitive based pricing in the sense that this type of pricing is based off of the streamlined/current pricing for a specific product or service within the same industry.

25. Market Development

The act of taking an existing product or service to a new market.

26. Market Penetration

A strategy used to sell more of an existing product within the current markets it is being sold.

27. Market Research

High-intelligence research and development of a specific industry for the betterment of sound business decisions.

28. Marketing

The process of identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements in a profitable way.

29. New Product Development

The creation of a new product that involves research, development, product testing and launching.

30. Niche Market/Business

A very specific segment of a market in which you are trying to meet the needs of that market.

31. S.W.O.T. Analysis

An internal study often used by organizations to identify their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

32. Personal Development Plan

Developed for individuals who are looking to evaluate their S.W.O.T. analysis to plan their future achievement and success.

33. Portfolio

A series of case studies that provide proof of value to potential customers.

34. Public Relations

A series of media releases, conferences, social images, etc., that make up and maintain the reputation of an organization and its brands.

35. Research and Development

The process of discovering and developing new products and services.

36. Referral

A prospect or lead generated from someone who may be interested in what the salesperson is selling.

37. Relationship Marketing

Establishing relationships with the intent of developing a long-term association with a prospect or potential customer. This strategy is much less expensive than gaining new customers.

38. Sales Funnel

The entire sales process as a whole – from prospect to paying customer – and all marketing, advertising and sales processes in between.

39. Target Marketing

A group of customers toward which a business has decided to aim its marketing efforts and merchandise.

40. Unique Selling Proposition

A factor that differentiates a product from its competitors, such as the low cost, the quality, etc.

41. Viral Marketing

A method of product promotion that relies on getting customers to market an idea, product or service on their own.