Marketing Glossary

We communicate with our customers in clear, jargon-free terms. However, we’ve put together a glossary of common marketing terms so that you can reference terminology from your marketing software such as Google Analytics or Mailchimp.

Account management

A process by which an agency is responsible for managing the relationship and sales with a particular client in view of meeting their needs.

Added value

The increase in value of a product or service as a result of a particular activity (in the context of marketing); including PR, Advertising, etc.


A communicating process which aims to promote a product or service using paid-for media. A common misconception is that advertising encompasses all forms of promotional communication. Strictly speaking advertising relates to paid communications conveyed by a mass medium and is distinct from other forms of marketing communication, such as Public Relations, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing.


A magazine or newspaper advertisement which combines style and visual elements of an editorial.

Asset-led marketing

A customer and product led form of promotion whereby the key attributes of a product or service (such as branding) are used to market the product.

Banner advertisements

Adverts which usually run along the top of a webpage that aim to drive traffic to the website or build awareness of the brand or company.


Bias relates to errors that result in the sample not representing the population that they should represent. Bias can be caused by a number of factors including interviewer technique, questionnaire design, methodology, data entry, analysis etc.

Biased sample

A biased sample is one that does not represent the population it is supposed to represent.


A brand is the unique name for a company, service or product and the provision of marketing support for that name. As part of the process blended tangible and intangible attributes will seek to differentiate the service, product or company.


Branding is the practice of generating a unique name for a company, service or product and the provision of marketing support for that name. As part of the process blended tangible and intangible attributes will seek to differentiate the service, product or company.

Brand identity

Brand identity is the public presentation of the brand and includes brand name and visual appearance. The brand identity is the key method of recognition and symbolises the differentiation of the brand from its competitors.

Brand manager

A brand manager is responsible for the overall marketing (especially promotion) of a specific brand. Brand managers are also sometimes known as product managers.

Brand mark

The brand mark is the visual part of a brand that can be seen but not spoken, also known as the logo.

Brand name

The brand name is the verbal element of a brand that may include letters, numbers or words. See Brand Mark.

Brand positioning

The brand position is the place that a brand sits in relation to that of its competitors. All elements of the marketing mix are carefully manipulated to ensure that the target market see the brand as distinctive from the competition.

Brand strategy

The brand strategy is a document that plans the development of a brand in order to meet its agreed objectives. The strategy must evolve from the brand’s vision and be driven by the need to be different and clearly defined to a target audience. It should also seek to deliver a consistent brand experience underpinned by appropriate brand behaviors.

Brand values

Brand values act as a guiding hand for brand behaviours and performance and are the principles by which a brand is governed.

Branding strategies

Branding strategies lay out the effective management of brands and can relate to a single company wide brand for all products, family branding or individual brand names for each product. See Corporate Branding; Family Brand; Individual Brand Name.


A number of printed pages bound into a booklet form for informational purposes or promotion. Brochures are normally given away free of charge and may be either litho or digitally printed.

Chartered marketer

A marketing professional who has achieved the ‘Individual Chartered Status’ award by The Chartered Institute of Marketing.


The act of a user clicking on an advertisement that then redirects them or opens a link to the advertiser’s website.


A promotional process for the benefit of increasing sales or company awareness by offering consumers the possibility of winning a prize through entering.

Competitive advantage

An advantage a company has over its competitors which allows them to generate greater sales or margins with regard to the product or service offered.


Two or more companies that operate within the same marketplace and compete for market share or sales from selling their products or services.


A small data file that is stored on an end-user’s computer from a website that allows identification of the user for the website host.


The process whereby creative written content is prepared for marketing material, such as advertisements.

Corporate branding

Corporate branding is the association of the name of a company with an individual brand name in product marketing.

Corporate identity

Corporate identity is the visual identity of a company that it uses to differentiate itself from other organisations. The corporate identity will be seen in the form of logs, signage, interior design etc.

Corporate image

Corporate image is the image generated in the mind’s eye when mentioning a company’s name. The corporate image is intangible and may be altered by the use of public relations either positively or negatively.

Corporate literature

Corporate literature encompass a company’s advertising material and include items such as leaflets, brochures, flyers, pamphlets, and booklets etc.

Corporate logo

The corporate logo is a design that visually represents an organisation.

Cost-per-click (CPC)

An advertising programme where advertisers are charged for their advertisement depending on the amount of clicks they gain from a user. Google Adwords and LinkedIn advertisements use this process.

Data processing

The retrieving, transforming and holding of data by a series of operations that are usually computer based.

Data Protection Act

A law put in place whereby organisations or companies that have collected personal data are responsible for protecting it and the privacy of the individual it has been collected from.

Database marketing

A form of personalised marketing whereby data is collected on potential or current customers, stored on a database and used to guide marketing activities.

Direct marketing

Where advertisements or promotional features are directly sent to customers or potential customers by email, post, telephone or other direct methods.


E-commerce is the ability to sell services and products over the Internet. An e-commerce operation will encompass a number of features: typically a merchant account, a secure server, a shopping cart program etc.


Learning or teaching that is accessed via a website/the internet and usually includes numerous types of media that deliver text, imagery, audio, streaming videos and animation.


A promotional marketing process where the internet is used to deliver advertisements or messages to potential and current consumers. E-marketing includes social media, email, web display advertisements, mobile marketing and search engine marketing.

Email marketing

Email marketing (or e-mail marketing) is the use of email to send a targeted message, information or offer to a designated set of customers. Email is a powerful ‘push’ method for online marketers as opposed to the pull medium of websites, but due to the rise of SPAM, it is essential to use a full opt-in list for email marketing to ensure ethical and legal compliance.

Environmental scanning

The process used to assess the current environment a company is working in, including social, technological, economic and political trends that affect the marketplace. This can help detect emerging issues for a firm.

Ethical marketing

Marketing activities that apply ethics and moral principles to all decision making. Businesses that adopt this are usually sensitive to social and cultural views and standards.

Face to face interview

Face to face interviewing is a method of administering a questionnaire that involves face to face interaction with the participant. There are two types of face to face interviews; the unstructured face to face interview and the structured face to face interview.

Family brand

The family brand is a single brand used to represent a range of products.


A flyer is a low cost widely circulated printed matter used for promotional purposes.

Focus groups

A form of marketing research where a small target market is asked for their beliefs and opinions towards a product or service given by a company.


The process of predicting future events or performance (e.g. cash flow forecasting, market environmental forecasting, etc).

Full service agency

A marketing agency that offers clients a wide range of activities that exceed normal facilities offered, including research, PR, advertising, graphic design, etc.

Green CLaims Code

A code established by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) aimed at protecting consumers from misleading environmental claims, known as Greenwashing.

Grey market

A term used to define a population over a certain age (usually 65).

Guarantees and warranties

The legal obligation of a company (by documentation) to refund, repair or deal with a faulty good or service.

Horizon scanning

The exploration of a business’s or company’s opportunities, threats or future developments within the marketplace it is operating in. This can help to identify any issues or trends.

House to house distribution

Delivery of goods directly to the consumer’s residence of living.

Individual brand

The individual brand is a brand name used for a single product within a wider product range.


Incentives given to consumers to purchase a product or service when resistance may arise. Examples include special offers, guarantees, etc.

Industrial marketing

The marketing processes and activities that are carried out to market industrial-related products.


The development of products or services, new or current, to meet new requirements of trending market needs.

Institutional market

A market of large ‘institutional’ buyers (such as schools, charities, universities, etc) that purchase a product or service that aids the production of their own goods or services (such as teaching, for example).

Internal analysis

The process of identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis) of a company’s internal marketing resources and environment. This aids plans and strategy development to move the company forward.

Keyword audit

The process involving research and analysis for a company of what keywords users enter into a search engine when they are looking for that particular company, name, product or service. This data can then be used to expose the company more to the potential and current target market.

Keyword buying

Advertisers pay for their links to be on websites with search engines, such as Google, whereby it will appear depending on what the customer searches relating to the keyword the advertiser has purchased. See Cost-per-click (CPC).


A leaflet is a printed piece of paper that may be either single or folded-over and made into four pages.


A brand name, publication title, or the like, presented in a special lettering style or typeface and used in the manner of a trademark.

Macro environment

The external environment factors of a business which affect the planning and performance. Factors include; political, economic, environmental, socio-cultural and technological (PEEST).


The Chartered Institute of Marketing defines marketing as “the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably”.

Market development

The process of increasing sales by offering existing products to new markets.

Market entry

The process of introducing new products into new or existing markets.

Market follower

A company or organisation that follows the actions, trends or marketing decisions of a market leader.

Market leader

A company or organisation that has gained the most market share (% of the market sales) in the industry or market sector they work in.

Marketing audit

The process of identifying the strengths and weaknesses of a company’s current marketing system which can help identify opportunities, threats and ways forward for the business.

Marketing mix

A process used to assess and analyse a product or service by method of the 4 Ps; Product, Price, Promotion and Place. This has been extended to the 7 Ps including; People, Process and Physical evidence.

Marketing plan

A written plan for a company which highlights key marketing objectives and how they are going to be achieved, including timescale and budgets. Usually created preceding acceptance of a proposal.

Marketing strategy

A long term plan to achieve certain objectives, allowing a company to focus on allocating its resources in the best way possible for future success.


The methodology is the research procedures employed to archive the research objectives. It is also the title of the section in a final research report that outlines the approach used for that particular research project.

Micro environment

The internal and immediate environmental factors which affect an organisation’s operations, including influences from customers and supplies, for example.

Mission statement

The core aim and philosophy of a company, usually summarised in a paragraph, which aims to drive and aid objective, strategic and future decisions.

Mood board

A visual collage that can represent a direction of style that a graphic designer would use to present their thoughts/research on a particular project, advertisement or brand.

New product development (NPD)

The complete process of bringing a new product to market; from proposal, to development, to launch.

Niche marketing

Where a product is marketed to a sub section of a market with certain characteristics (e.g. gender, age, demographic, etc).

Online interview

An online interview is a method of administering a questionnaire using online technology.

One to one marketing (1:1 marketing)

A personalised marketing approach where a product or service is aimed at an individual customer and their preferences or characteristics.


The material used to wrap goods for the purpose of protection, transportation and promotion.

Peer to peer marketing (P2P)

Marketing activities put in place to promote customers drawing in other potential customers to purchasing a product or service, either by offers or ‘word of mouth’. This is sometimes carried out by sign up, whereby a customer is rewarded if they get new customers to recruit.


Where traffic is redirected from a website to a ‘mimic’ website in order to steal the user’s login details and other personal information.


This is where electronic communications are used in order to obtain bank account numbers, passwords and other information by pretending to be an well-known financial institution, for example, and then using the information for fraudulent purposes.

Point of sale (POS)

The material used to wrap goods for the purpose of protection, transportation and promotion.


The population is the total number of people in a group that are the focus of a research project and can relate to geographical factors or more specialist factors. They may also be known as the universe and will have a number of characteristics in common.

Portfolio Analysis

The process used to analyse the range of products or services a company has in their portfolio and to see where they are in terms of future success/failure. This analysis can help allocate resources and investments into the products by determining their market share and market growth.

Product life cycle (PLC)

The process of a product in terms of sales and profit. Usually defined by the following stages: introduction, growth, maturity and decline.

Promotional plan

A plan describing the marketing objectives, timescale and budget of promotional activities. Activities can include advertising, sales promotion, direct marketing and packaging.

Public relations (PR)

The activity that aims to develop a relationship between the public and a company by stabilising a good reputation and communicating efficiently and effectively.

Pull promotion

An approach that aims to address the consumer directly and create consumer demand for a product through promotional activities, such as advertising. It works by the producer promoting to the wholesaler, the wholesaler promoting to the retailers and the retailers promoting to the consumer.

Push promotion

The opposite to pull promotion; this approach aims to build up consumer demand by creating a product or service that is sought after by consumers. This is done through sales promotions, such as point of sale displays and price reduction, and usually results in the consumers requesting the product or service from the retailer.


A data collection technique comprising of a set of questions for a target group to answer which is usually devised for the purpose of a survey or statistical study. Usually in the form of numerical data whereby the results can be interpreted for the target group/market in question (quantitative research).

Qualitative research

Research undertaken that is not numerical but instead based on quality measurement and meaning. This can be in the form of interviews (focus groups) and often result in data that is detailed and broad rather than numeric and categorised.

Quantitative research

Research undertaken that results in numerical data that can be easily measured and interpreted. Research includes; questionnaires, opinion polls and customer satisfaction surveys, for example.

Reference group

A group of people that a consumer looks to for inspiration on purchasing a product or service which can be a result of promotional methods, such as social media or advertisements. An example would be a consumer purchasing designer clothing due to seeing a celebrity idol wearing that brand of clothing.

Relationship marketing

The strategy based on creating a relationship with a consumer in order to influence and sustain future purchasing of a product.

Research and development (R&D)

The development process which aims to improve products, services and processes by increasing the knowledge of that product/service area as well innovating with new products.

Response rate

The response rate is the number of interviews in relation to the total the number of contacts. For example 60 respondents from a total population of 100 contacts equals a response rate of 60%.

Sales promotion

A range of techniques that are used to engage a consumer or potential consumer which can include sales promotion, vouchers, offers, guarantees, etc.

Sandwich board

A form of advertisement whereby a two-sided board is carried/suspended off the shoulders of a person and posters are placed on either face of the board.

Satisfaction survey

A survey designed to identify satisfaction levels, typically of employees or customers. It normally gathers both qualitative and quantitative information and identifies strengths and weaknesses of the interactions between the respondent and the commissioning body. Particularly effective when undertaken by a third party.

Search marketing

The marketing process of promoting a company’s website through internet search engines which can be achieved through displaying as a search result or advertised next to search results.

Socially responsible marketing

The act of considering society morally in marketing decisions and activities.


Where a message is sent indiscriminately to a large number of recipients by e-mail, often in the form of an advertisement.


A form of promotion where an event or venture is supported by a company in return for publicity. This can be seen in small or large scales.

Sustainable Marketing

A way of marketing that drives the importance of environmental health over consumerism and accommodates the needs of the current generation as well as generations to come.

SWOT analysis

A method of analysing a company based on its Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. This is usually followed by a written up marketing plan based on the results.


To identify and address a key group of consumers or potential consumers based on characteristic preference. Often is derived from ‘market segmentation’.


The use of the telephone to conduct marketing activities for a product or service, such as promotion and advertisement.

Telephone interview

Telephone interviewing is the method of administering a questionnaire over the telephone rather than face to face or online.

Trade marketing

Marketing that is targeted at trade groups or businesses, such as retail and distribution.

Unique Selling Point (USP)

A feature of a product or service that a company offers that no other competitor does, which creates market advantage. Often used as a key basis for advertisements, promotions and marketing activities for that business.


The universe is the total group of people from which a research sample is achieved.

Value preposition

The features of a product or service that fulfils a consumer’s needs and desires.


Verbatim is the actual comments made by a respondent and can be used in final research reports to underpin results. It provides qualitative data which can enrich quantitative reports.

Viral Marketing

A method of marketing whereby consumers are encouraged to share information about a company’s goods or services via the Internet.


A company’s own aspirations and aims for itself.


A type of website or part of a website that allows people to publish their thoughts and opinions.


A group of web files that start with a file called the home page. The home page will enable access via a navigation system to all other pages on the site. Websites are hosted on web servers and an individual web server normally hosts a number of small websites.

Word of Mouth (WoM)

The spreading of information about a company, product or service by human communication and interaction alone.