Whether you are reading a book, article, or an academic journal, coming face to face with an unfamiliar word or an entirely foreign term, it is all just part of the reading experience. If you think about it, every single field or industry has its own specialized language with its own set of jargon and terms.

And the field of business and marketing is no exception from it. We love our jargon. We adore our acronyms. And we love coming up with new terms.

So, if you are new to the world of marketing, you can very quickly become lost and feel left out if are not aware of the marketing terms. SEO? ROI? CRM? KPI? What do these terms even mean? Don’t worry, that’s why we have created this blog for you.

Here, we will take you through a list of some commonly used marketing terms and words so that you can easily familiarize yourself with them and start using them like you’ve known it your whole life.

Without further ado, let’s get down to it, shall we?

1. Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

Let’s start our list with one of the most frequently used marketing terms – Key Performance Indicator or KPI. It is a quantifiable value that is used to measure or track the performance of your company. It indicates whether your company is making any progress with its marketing goals or achieving its targets.

A marketer segmenting their target audience

Every department of your company will have key performance indicators, be it sales, marketing, or finance. KPIs help your company to evaluate and make adjustments to improve your performance in the future.


2. Buyer Persona

The next on the list is a pretty common marketing term called a buyer persona. It refers to a fictionalized or semi-fictionalized representation of your ideal customer or target market.

A buyer persona is created based on the market research you have done and the data you have collected about your existing customers. It can include the demographics like age, location, gender, etc., and psychographic information like lifestyle, interests, values, etc.


3. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Customer relationship management or CRM refers to the process of analyzing and managing interactions with customers during a sales process. This means that CRM includes any approach or method that makes use of data to build, enhance and control consumer relationships.

But this marketing term is most commonly used to refer to software that helps you manage customer relationships by identifying, organizing, and storing customer information data. This helps you understand your customer, their needs and preferences, and where you need to change your approach in dealing with them.

Next time you hear the term CRM, you will know that they are referring to the system/technology.

Read more: 12 Marketing Goals You Must Include In Your Plan!


4. Return on Investment (ROI)

Here is a frequently tossed around marketing term in the world of business – Return on Investment of ROI. It is used to measure the revenue gained from an investment you made in comparison to the money you invested in it.

A marketer measuring his marketing efforts

In essence, it indicates whether your investment was worth it or not. ROI is often expressed as a ratio or percentage. It is also a KPI (you what it means now!) that measures your success and helps you make better decisions in the future.


5. Unique Selling Proposition

You’ve probably heard the marketing term USP a lot. That’s because it is the key factor that makes a company’s product stand out from its competitors’ product or rather makes it unique. It can be anything from low cost, quality, quantity, etc.

A unique selling proposition or USP usually summarizes the essence of your business in a single sentence. It answers the question of why a customer should buy from your company instead of another. It’s all about giving your customers an attractive benefit.


6. Buyer’s Journey

Don’t confuse the term buyer’s journey with a buyer’s actual journey or travel plans. Buyer’s journey is a marketing term that refers to the entire process that a buyer goes through before making a final purchase decision.

It can be categorized into 4 stages – the awareness stage, when the buyer realizes they have a problem; the consideration stage, when the buyer defines the problem and searches for solutions; the decision stage, when the buyer chooses a solution; and the action stage, when the buyer makes the purchase.


7. Bounce Rate

No, bounce rate has nothing to do with a ball bouncing. It’s actually a marketing term used to refer to the percentage of people who visit your website but leave without viewing other pages or taking any action.

It’s a term mostly used in the context of email marketing and web traffic analysis.

Bounce rate evaluates how long visitors stay on your website and determines whether your content and design are effective in attracting people.


8. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

There’s no way you haven’t come across this marketing term if you’re in business. SEO or search engine optimization is a practice or method used to increase traffic to your website. This essentially means to rank well on the search engine result, preferably on page 1 itself, ideally at the top of it too.

Search engine optimization uses keywords research, linking, title and image tags, and many more methods to improve website ranking. This helps you become more visible and drive leads and sales to your website, thus increasing revenue and profit.


9. Churn Rate

You have probably heard someone mention churn rate and wondered why it’s such a big deal. That’s because churn rate is a marketing term that refers to the number of clients or customers who have stopped using your products over a certain time period.

You can calculate it by dividing the number of customers you lost during a time period by the number of customers you had in the initial stage of the time period.

A churn rate is actually a very important sales KPI that helps you track your lost customers and revenue over time so that you can understand the overall state of the health of your sales.


10. Inbound Marketing

Here we have inbound marketing, a marketing term that you have probably never used in a conversation, but a method you have been using through your career. It refers to all the marketing activities that aim to attract customers to your brand instead of blasting your message to get their attention.

Inbound marketing is a customer-centric approach. It’s all about grabbing their attention by making your company visible online and producing useful and interesting content. Some examples of inbound marketing include using social media, SEO, blogging, etc.

Read more: Brand Authenticity: Definition, Importance & Tips To Build It!


11. Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is a marketing term often used in the digital marketing context. It refers to the ratio between the number of website visitors who complete a desired action on a website and the total number of people that visit that website.

Simply put, it’s the percentage of website visitors who complete the desired action. It could be anything from making a purchase to simply registering on your website.

The higher the conversion rate, the more leads you get, thus resulting in more sales and revenue.


12. Marketing Mix

Up next, we have a marketing mix, a marketing term that can be figuratively compared to a cake mix for having elements that contribute to a final goal.

A team discussing their marketing mix

A marketing mix includes a combination of a set of actions, marketing tools, and resources that are used to achieve a marketing objective.

Essentially, a marketing mix is a blend of the 4Ps of marketing – Price, Product, Promotion, and Place. it forms the crux of a business. So, it involves decisions regarding what product should be sold, how much it should be charged, where and how it should be sold.


13. Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

An ideal customer profile is a marketing term that is used to hypothetically describe a certain type of company that would benefit from your products and services.

An ideal customer profile is defined through company size, company revenue, ideal industry, location, funding, etc.

The companies that fit your ICP are extremely crucial for the growth of your business because they are the type of companies that are likely to buy your products. Your ICP helps you find identify your target and the specific characteristics of that target market.


14. Marketing Qualified Lead

Here is another marketing term that you are bound to come across in your marketing career. A marketing qualified lead or MQL is a lead who has expressed interest in what your brand is offering. They are more likely to become your customer than any other leads.

The term literally means a lead qualified enough to become a customer. Tracking MQLs help you identify how your leads are progressing in their buyer journey.


15. S.W.O.T. Analysis

SWOT is an acronym for ‘Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats’. SWOT analysis is a marketing term used by organizations to refer to the internal study to identify their company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to assess its position in a competitive market.

The strengths and weaknesses are mostly related to a company’s internal matters such as the management, distribution, payments, etc. while the threats and opportunities involve external factors beyond the company’s control, such as social trends, economic factors, legal elements, etc.


16. Top of the Funnel (TOFU)

TOFU in marketing does not mean the soy milk-based dish. It expands to the top of the funnel, a marketing term that refers to the very first stage of the buying process. This stage is where the leads are usually identifying their problems and doing their research for solutions.

All your helpful and attractive content including your blog, social media, video content, etc. should be able to drive leads located at the top of the funnel to take your desired actions. It’s from the TOFU that they move down till they become a valuable customer.


17. Organic Search

You know what the word searching means, but what the heck is an organic search, you ask? It’s a marketing term that is used to refer to unpaid and natural search results. It means that the results of your search match your search query based on its relevance rather than paid advertisements.

Organic search often gives your content a free-listing and high search ranking on the search engine. This could be due to a combination of keywords you used, writing high-quality content, excellent SEO, back-linking etc.



… and there you have it. Just a list of some of the most frequently tossed around terms in marketing to help you get started.

You are now equipped with a little more knowledge than when you started reading this blog.

Sure, there are a lot more marketing terms out there that you need to learn, but for now you, this will help you survive your initial days in the industry.

Now all your marketing meetings and discussion will make a lot more sense than before. That’s all folks!

Further reads: 

Product-Market Fit: What is it & How to Achieve it?

Marketing Communication Strategy: What is it & How to Create it?

Saas Marketing: Definition, Funnel, and Comprehensive Strategies!

Marketing Funnel: What is it & How to Create it? (Steps included)

Top 10 Key Performance Indicators You Need To Measure In 2022

7 Principles of Marketing Every Business Must Follow! (The 7Ps)

How To Market To Gen Z The Right Way in 2023?

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