The A to Z Guide of Marketing Terms You Should Know


Activity-Based Cost (ABC)– Procedures in accounting that portray the complete profitability of multiple activities defined by their actual cost.

Ad Copy – a term associated with the main text of a clickable advertisement.

Advertising – A paid form of information presented in an nonpersonal and promotional form; representing ideas, goods, or services by a visible sponsor.

Advertising Allowance – money or service that is provided to the manufacturer or service provider of pays to a retailer to get the word out about a product.

Advertising Objective* – When a specific achievement level is accomplished with unique audience during a set time period.

Anchoring and Adjustment Heuristic* – Considering the arrival of consumers at an initial judgment and then adjusting plans to make the best information based first impression.

Arm’s-Length Price* – price charged by competitors for a same or similar product.

Augmented Product* – a product that goes beyond consumer expectations, allowing it to be differentiated amongst competitive products.

Availability Heuristic* – when consumers base their predictions on the quickness with which a particular example of an outcome comes to mind.



Basic Product* – what a specific product is.

Brand* – a term, name, sign, symbol, design, or combination of any that identifies a good or service provided from one or a group of sellers to provide differentiation.

Brand-Asset Management Team (BAMT)* – key representatives from functional areas that will affect a brand performance.

Brand Associations* – any brand-related thoughts, feelings, perceptions, images, experiences, beliefs, and attitudes.

Brand Audit* – considering a series of procedures regarding the health of a brand, it’s equity, and suggesting ways to improve and leverage its equity.

Brand Awareness – the ability to identify a brand under various conditions as reflected by brand recognition or recall performance.

Brand Equity* – added value provided to products and services.

Brand Extension* – a company’s use of an established brand to help introduce a new product.

Brand Mix* – the set of all brand lines that a seller makes available to buyers.

Branded Variants* – specific brand lines that are individually supplied to different distributors and channels.

Branding* – providing products and services with an image or idea that communicates the value of the products or services provided.

Branding Strategy* – the idea and provisioning of distinctive brand elements that are applied to the different products and services sold.

Brick-and-Click* – existing companies that have physical locations and have added online avenues for sales.




Captive Products* – products that are necessary to the use of other products or services.

Card Rate

Cause Marketing* – marketing that connects a firm’s contributions to an assigned caused, such as a non-profit or cause related firm.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)* – the net present value of the stream of future profits expected over the customer’s lifetime purchases.

Customer Perceived Value (CPV)* – the different between the potential customer’s evaluation of all the benefits and costs of an offering and perceived alternatives.

Customer Profitability Analysis (CPA)* – a means of assessing and ranking customer profitability through accounting techniques such as activity-based costing.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)* – the process of carefully managing detailed information about individual customers and all customer “touch points” to maximize loyalty.

Customerization* – a combination of operationally driven mass customization with customized marketing in a was that empowers consumers to design the product and service offering of their choice.




Data Mining* – taking useful information from marketing efforts, such as individual status, trends, and segments from a mass amount of data.

Database Marketing* – the process of building, maintaining, and using customer databases and other databases for the purpose of contacting, transacting, and building customer relationships.

Direct-Order Marketing* – when marketers seek a measurable response, typically from a consumer.

Display Ads* – small, rectangular boxes that contain text and graphics and support a brand; both in print and digitally.

Dual Adaptation* – adapting both the product and communication to the local market.




Exclusive Distribution* – severely limiting the number of intermediaries, in order to maintain control over the service level and outputs offered by resellers.




Family Brand* – situation where the parent brand is associated with multiple products through the extension of other brands.

Fixed Costs (Overhead)* – costs that don’t vary when there are changes in production or sales revenue.

Focus Group* – when six to ten people are carefully selected based on certain demographics and are brought together to discuss various topics of interest.

Forecasting* – the art of anticipating what buyers are likely to do under a given set of conditions.




Goal Formulation* – the process of developing specific goals for a certain period of time.

Gray Market* – any branded product that is diverted from normal or authorized distribution channels in the country of product origin or across international borders.




Holistic Marketing* – based on the development, design, and implementation of marketing programs, processes, and activities that recognizes their breadth and interdependencies.

Horizontal Marketing System* – when two or more unrelated companies put together resources or programs that help exploit emerging market opportunities.




Image* – the set of beliefs, ideas, and impressions a person hold regarding an object.

Integrated Marketing* – mixing and matching marketing activities to maximize their individual and collective efforts.

Integrated Marketing Channel System* – the strategies and tactics of selling through one channel reflect the strategies and tactics of selling through one of more other channels.

Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC)* – a concept of marketing communications planning that recognizes the added value of a comprehensive plan.




Joint Venture* – when a company with multiple investors share ownership and control.




Key Performance Indicator – a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives.




Lexicographic Heuristic* – a consumer choosing the best brand on the basis of its perceived most important attribute.




Market Demand* – the total volume of a product that would be bought by a defined customer group in a defined geographical area in a defined time period in a defined marketing environment under a defined marketing program.

Marketing* – the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.

Marketing Communications Mix* – advertising, sales promotion, events and experiences, public relations and publicity, direct marketing, and personal selling.

Marketing Funnel* – identifies the percentage of the potential target market at each stage in the decision process, from merely aware to highly loyal.




Nonprofit Marketing – marketing conducted by non-profit agencies to help raise awareness about events and causes.




Paid Search* – when marketers bid on search terms, when a consumer searches for those words using Google, Yahoo!, or Bing, the marketer’s ad will appear on the results page, and advertisers pay only if people click on links.

Parent Brand* – an existing brand that gives birth to another.

Partner Relationship Management (PRM)* – activities that the firm undertakes to build mutually satisfying long-term relations with key partners such as supplier, distributors, ad agencies, and marketing research suppliers.

Penetrated Market* – the set of consumers who are buying a company’s product.

Place Advertising* – ads that appear outside of home and where consumers work and play.

Positioning* – the act of designing a company’s offering and image to occupy a distinctive place in the minds of the target market.

Principle of Congruity* – psychological mechanism that states that consumers like to see seemingly related objects as being as similar as possible in their favorability.

Psychographics* – the science of using psychology and demographics to better understand consumers.

Public Relations* – a variety of programs designed to promote or protect a company’s image or its individual products.

Publicity* – the task of securing editorial space – as opposed to paid space – in print and broadcast media to promote something.




Reference Groups* – all the groups that have a direct or indirect influence on a person’s attitudes or behavior.

Relationship Marketing* – building mutually satisfying long term relationships with key individuals or parties, in order to retain business.




Sales Promotion* – a collection of incentive tools, mostly short term, designed to stimulate quicker or greater purchase of particular products or services by consumers or the trade.

Sales Quota* – a sales goal set for a product line, company division, or sales representative.

Selling Concept* – holds that consumers and businesses, if left alone, won’t buy enought of the organization’s products.

Share Penetration Index* – a comparison of a company’s current market share to its potential market share.

Social Marketing* – marketing done by a nonprofit or government organization to further a cause, such as “say no to drugs”.


Strategic Brand Management* – the design and implementation of marketing activities and programs to build, measure, and manage brands to maximize their value.

Strategic Marketing Plan* – laying out the target markets and the value proposition that will be offered, based on analysis of the best market opportunities.




Tactical Marketing Plan* – marketing tactics, including product features, promotion, merchandising, pricing, sales channels, and service.

Total Market Potential* – the maximum sales available to all firms in an industry during a given period, under a given level of industry marketing effort and environmental conditions.

Tying Agreements* – agreement in which producers of strong brands sell their products to dealers only if dealers purchase related products or services, such as other products in the brand line.




Value Network* – a system of partnerships and alliances that a firm creates to source, augment, and deliver its offerings.

Value Proposition* – the whole cluster of benefits the company promises to deliver.

Vertical Marketing System (VMS) – producer, wholesaler(s), and retailer(s) acting as a unified system.

Viral Marketing* – using the Internet to create word-of-mouth effects to support marketing efforts and goals.




Wholesaling* – all the activities in selling goods or services to those who buy for resale or business use.




Yield Pricing* – situation in which companies offer discounted by limited early purchases, higher-priced late purchases, and  the lowest rates on unsold inventory just before it expires.




Zero-Level Channel* – a manufacturer selling directly to the final customer.