Marketing jargon might seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Instead of a list of long-winded marketing term explanations, we’ve created easy-to-understand definitions for the most popular marketing jargon used today. Let’s get started.

Marketing jargon by categories

Before we jump right into these terms, we wanted to give a little context. We’ve broken down our comprehensive list into categories relating to when and where these marketing terms are most commonly used. As you continue reading, you’ll begin learning more about:

  • Beginner marketing terms
  • B2B marketing terms
  • Digital marketing terms
  • Marketing terms for referral programs

These categories are intended to make more sense of the many marketing terms you’ll see below. We also recommend bookmarking this page so that you can revisit whenever you need to in the future. Let’s begin by looking at basic marketing jargon.

Basic marketing terms for beginners

Everyone who enters the world of marketing must start somewhere. Before you delve too deep into advanced marketing jargon, it’s a good idea to understand basic terms. Here are explanations of common marketing terms for beginners.

Advocate marketing – Involves a brand creating affinity or a deep affection among its customers. Apple is a great example of a company known for its strong brand advocates.

Affiliate marketing – A type of marketing that rewards third-parties for sending traffic that results in a company achieving new sales or sign-ups.

Bottom-of-the-funnel marketing – These are marketing efforts aimed at leads who are near or in the final purchasing stage. Bottom-of-the-funnel marketing strategies often include free trials and product demonstrations.

Buyer persona – A general representation of a company’s ideal customer, inclusive of specific behaviors, lifestyle choices, and other types of information based on market research and data.

CRM – This stands for customer relationship management, which involves all aspects of companies interacting with customers. Examples of this include accurately managing contact lists, interacting with customers, and other tasks focusing on increasing customer growth.

CTA (call to action)Calls to action are ways for marketers to encourage an audience to take some specific type of action. This action can involve making a purchase, downloading a software demo, signing up for an email list, or something similar.

call to action examples

Source: CoSchedule

Growth hacking – Don’t worry, this is a type of growth marketing that doesn’t involve anything unethical. Growth hacking is simply a term for methods used to help a company grow in a short amount of time without excessive marketing spend. If someone can execute these strategies, they’re usually part of a company’s growth team.

Marketing automationMarketing automation involves the use of software to automatically create and carry out marketing strategies. This software can either be managed in-house or outsourced by partnering with another business.

Middle-of-the-funnel – This is an area of the marketing funnel containing buyers with lots of interest. They are already familiar with your product or service, and are likely thinking of making a purchase. However, middle-of-the-funnel individuals need more details and convincing before moving down the funnel.

Top-of-the-funnel – This area of the marketing funnel focuses on efforts to generate leads and build initial interest in a product, service, or company. Top-of-the-funnel marketing is where general information is shared, with things getting more in-depth as someone moves down the funnel.

Word-of-mouth marketingWord-of-mouth marketing takes place when people inform others about how much they love your business.

B2B marketing terms

If your business sells its products and/or services to other companies, you’re in the B2B (business-to-business) industry. Anyone who works in this industry knows it comes with a lot of specific marketing terms not used when marketing to a broader consumer base. Let’s take a closer look at the most used B2B marketing jargon.

Account-based marketing – Utilized by many B2B companies, this involves personalizing your approach or technique for each of your B2B clients or accounts.

account based marketing

Source: Neil Patel

Inbound marketing – This type of marketing involves having leads come to a company. Popular methods to gain inbound leads include social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing, and SEO.

Lead – Another term for someone who expresses potential interest in becoming a customer of your company.

Lead generation – This is the process of attracting and bringing in new individuals who might end up becoming customers. There are many ways to generate leads including content, email, social media, and referral marketing.

Lead nurturing – A term for the process of building relationships with potential customers. There are many ways to nurture leads including re-targeting, sending a follow-up email, making a follow-up phone call, and sending a message on social media.

MQL (marketing qualified lead) – An MQL is a qualified lead that’s potentially ready to buy. This is the first stage in the sales funnel, and happens before a lead becomes an SQL (sales qualified lead).

sales funnel example