Skip to content Skip to Live Chat

15 Marketing Terms You Should Know

Apr 30, 2020

Like any business specialty, marketing has its own expansive lingo. Experienced insiders understand these marketing terms, from the acronyms to the shorthand phrases for complex processes they're already familiar with. But a newcomer to the field might need a translation sheet to keep up with the conversations in the conference room.

To sound like a seasoned pro, here are fifteen marketing terms you should know.

Ad impression.

In online marketing, an ad impression, or ad view, is the point at which an ad appears on the website a user visits. They do not need to click on the ad for its appearance to count as an impression.

Further Reading: Why do HR roles increasingly involve marketing?

Buyer or consumer persona.

A buyer or consumer persona is a character description that represents a marketer's ideal customer. This fictional character's biography is based on data about real, existing customers including other market research results.

Competitor analysis.

A competitor analysis is a key element of any marketing plan. The analysis identifies a company's competitors and evaluates their business strategies to compare each side's strengths and weaknesses.

Conversion rate optimization.

Conversion rate optimization is when an organization uses website design elements and content to improve the rate at which site visitors convert from viewers to customers.

Cost per click.

Cost per click is the method of billing website advertisers based on the total number of times viewers click on a text link or image-based ad. As noted by Tech Terms, advertisers use tracking systems to record each click, so they know how much they owe the website publisher.

Cost per lead.

Cost per lead is the amount of money spent to get someone to show interest in a promoted product or service. It is calculated by dividing the total amount a company spends on marketing over a certain period by the number of leads it receives during that time frame.

Customer acquisition cost.

Customer acquisition cost is the total amount of money and resources involved in gaining a new customer, including research and marketing costs. Techopedia explains that knowing the customer acquisition cost helps businesses determine how much they can spend to target a specific customer and still remain profitable.

Direct marketing.

Direct marketing is any marketing strategy, such as text messages, email, or physical mail, that is delivered straight from a business to its target customer.

Focus group.

A focus group is typically an assembly of five to twelve people who fit a company's target market and share their opinions during a group interview. The company uses the interview responses to guide its marketing efforts and, in some cases, the design of its product or service.


A funnel is the typical route prospective customers take to become customers. As Business2Community explains, it's a visualization of the goals at each stage in the marketing process, which target a larger number of prospects at the top and narrow down to a smaller number of customers at the bottom.

Inbound marketing.

Inbound marketing is about finding ways to draw potential customers to seek more information and perhaps contact the company, such as visiting a company's website. This is distinct from marketing efforts like advertising and email that aim to get customers' attention.


An influencer is a person whose knowledge, status, visibility, relationships, and other characteristics allow them to sway their audience's buying decisions. The term is frequently applied to people with large followings on social media.


A lead is a person or, in business-to-business marketing, a company that expresses an interest in a product or service. For example, they may have subscribed to a blog or newsletter, or submitted their contact information in exchange for a coupon or access to an informational document like a white paper.


Rebranding is when a company makes changes to its corporate image. It might involve refreshing their logo, advertising slogan, packaging design, market focus, or even the company's name.

User experience.

User experience is how customers relate to and think about a business. It includes their awareness of the company's brand, their use of its products or services, the opinions they form about those offerings, and the resulting positive or negative reviews.

If you're thinking about pursuing a marketing career, learning these fifteen marketing terms will get you up to speed on some of the frequently used marketing concepts that professionals mention in the workplace. Of course, by pursuing a business degree for a career in marketing, you'll learn a broader range of key terms and develop a deeper understanding of how they all intersect. But it's never too early or too late to start tracking the most current industry vernacular to elevate your career.

Recommended Articles

Take a look at other articles from WGU. Our articles feature information on a wide variety of subjects, written with the help of subject matter experts and researchers who are well-versed in their industries. This allows us to provide articles with interesting, relevant, and accurate information.