68 Marketing and Sales Terms Every Entrepreneur Should Know [Updated]

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68 Marketing and Sales Terms Every Entrepreneur Should Know [Updated]

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on 1/28/14 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 68 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. Analytics


Tracking data and creating meaningful patterns from it that inform future marketing endeavors. The data can come from website traffic, conversions, social media, etc.

3. Analytics 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.)

4. Blogging

Originally, the term was web log or weblog and Individuals, small business and even large corporations write articles, commentaries, and the like, publishing regularly on their website. A primary component of the inbound marketing method, blogging helps to drive website traffic, builds thought leadership and authority, and drives leads.

5. Bottom of the Funnel

A stage in the buying process, this happens last  –  when leads move through the top of the funnel (identifying a problem), the middle (shopping for solutions), and finally, to the bottom, where they’re ready to buy. At this stage, leads are interested in a demo, a call, or a free consultation.

6. Buyer Persona


A summary of your ideal buyer, based on market research, data and hypothesis. The representation helps marketers define their ideal audience and it helps salespeople determine lead quality.

7. Brand

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

8. Business-to-Business (B2B)

Describing a business that markets  –  or sells  –  to other businesses.

9. Business-to-Consumer (B2C)

Describing a business that markets and sells to consumers (think Apple).

10. ClickThrough Rate (CTR)

This number shows the people that move through your website or marketing campaigns. It’s actually the “clicks” or actions prospects take, divided by the total number of actions people could take. Hence, the name “clickthrough rate.”

11. Comparative Advertising

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

12. Content Management System (CMS)


A program that manages all of the aspects of creating content. These may include editing, indexing, navigational elements, etc.

13. Conversion Path

The path, or course of actions, a prospect will go through to eventually become a lead. These events can include a call to action, lead form, thank you page, downloadable content, etc.

14. Corporate Identity

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

15. Cost Per lead (CPL)

The total cost marketing pays to acquire a lead. It is an important metric to keep track of and it influences your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC).

16. Cost-Based Pricing

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

17. Customer Loyalty

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

18. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Software that helps you organize all of your marketing and sales activities, including storing contact information, tracking emails, storing deals, and more.

19. 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.

20. Digital Marketing (Online Marketing)

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

21. Direct Competition

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

22. 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.

23. 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.

24. Ebook

Also referred to as a lead magnet, ebooks are generally a piece of longer content designed to generate leads.

25. E-Commerce

The means of selling products digitally on the internet.

26. Email


A digital message you can send through the internet to contacts, leads and prospects. Marketing through email takes businesses directly into a consumer’s inbox and provides the ability to create a connection and build trust.

27. Evergreen Content

Content that is valuable to a reader today, in 5 years and in 10 years. This “evergreen” content is timeless, offers the highest-quality information and offers huge SEO benefits.

28. Franchise

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

29. Geographic Segmentation


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

30. Inbound Marketing

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

31. Infographic

A type of content that is visual in nature, making complex information easy to understand and digest.

32. Internal Marketing

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

33. Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

A means to measure the performance of various factors, from employee functions to marketing tactics. Tracking KPIs will help your organization achieve its goals.

34. Landing Page

A page on your website that houses a form that prospects will fill out and exchange their personal information for a lead magnet or free offer (such as an ebook, demo or consultation).

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35. Lead

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

36. Lifetime Customer Value

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

37. Margin

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

38. Marketing Automation


This is the tool that lets you “automate” your marketing campaigns. Through lead nurturing, behavior-based strategies and more, you can use marketing automation to send the right marketing messages to the right people at the right time.

39. 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.

40. 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.

41. Market Development

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

42. Market Penetration

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

43. Market Research


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

44. Marketing

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

45. New Product Development

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

46. Niche Market/Business

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

47. Offer

This is an asset that you’ll offer prospects on a landing page. The offer is designed to help you generate leads, and they can include everything from a webinar, ebook, checklist, template, demo and more.

48. Pay Per Click (PPC)


A method of advertising on the internet where you only pay when someone “clicks” on your ad.

49. Personal Development Plan

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

50. Portfolio

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

51. Public Relations

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

52. Qualified Lead

A lead that is qualified meets your company’s criteria, or buyer persona attributes, and is more likely to buy. A marketing qualified lead meets marketing objectives, while a sales qualified lead meets sales objectives.

53. Research and Development

The process of discovering and developing new products and services.

54. Responsive Design


A website that changes based on the device the consumer uses. Mobile, laptop, and desktop devices offer different views of a website, and responsive design accommodate for each view, without having to build separate websites for each one.

55. Return On Investment (ROI)

A way to measure the profitability of the investment you make in marketing, sales, etc. If the ROI on an investment is negative, it generally means you’re losing money on that endeavor. Measuring the ROI on marketing efforts is a savvy way to ensure you’re putting your money into the strategies that bring results.

56. Referral

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

57. 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 that gaining new customers.

58. Sales Funnel

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

59. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)


A method to increase a webpage’s performance in web search results. By tweaking elements on a webpage (there are on-page and off-page SEO factors), you can move a webpage up on a search result “page.” Marketers generally want to get their website page to appear on page 1 of a search results, ideally at the very top of the page. SEO elements include keywords, title and image tags, links, and more.

60. Social Media

Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat that help users connect. Marketers use these networks to increase awareness, grow their customer base and achieve business goals.

61. S.W.O.T. Analysis

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

62. Target Marketing


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

63. Top of the Funnel (TOFU)

Whereas Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU) prospects are in the ready-to-buy stage, TOFU customers are at the initial stages of the buying process. They are looking for answers to a problem they just realized they are having. Marketers create TOFU content that help prospects identify the problem and leads them to solutions.

64. Unique Selling Proposition

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

65. User Experience

The experience a user has with your brand/website, from the moment they discover you, through the purchase and beyond  –  where customers become advocates.

66. Viral Marketing

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

67. Website

A series of webpages that are connected, beginning with a homepage and generally includes other pages like “contact,” “about,” and “services.” Serving an individual or organization, your website should be strategically designed to attract visitors, convert users into leads and then turn leads into customers.

68. Workflow

A series of emails designed to nurture leads. A powerful marketing asset, you can use workflows to engage leads, learn more about prospects, segment lists, and much more.

Ultimate Guide To Inbound Marketing

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