A very handy A to Z marketing glossary full of the latest industry terminology. Learn the lingo of marketing professionals. Use this to write your marketing analysis plan. Not found the marketing term you are looking for?
Then please contact the CIM Knowledge Services Team for advice.

ABC1C2DE

National Readership Survey (NRS) terms to define reading demographic groups ie: A = Upper middle class, higher managerial, administrative or professional.

Find out more.

Above the line

Advertising for which a payment is made and for which commission is paid to the advertising agency.
Also see ‘Below the line’ and ‘Push and pull promotion’.

Accompanied shopping

A specialised type of interview in which respondents are interviewed while they shop in a retail store. The interview technique combines questioning and observations.

Also see ‘Mystery shopping

Account management

The process by which an agency or supplier manages the needs of a client.

ACORN

A Classification Of Residential Neighbourhoods: a database which divides up the entire population of the UK in terms of the type of housing in which they live.

Action learning

A problem-solving technique where insightful questioning can allow reinterpretation of old concepts to develop new ideas and ways of achieving goals – often with no additional resource or learning.

See also ‘brainstorming

Added value

The increase in worth of a product or service as a result of a particular activity - in the context of marketing, the activity might be packaging or branding.

Adopter categories

Five groups into which consumers can be placed according to the time it takes them to adopt a new product or service. The five categories are:
• Innovators – Those who are first to adopt a new product or service.
• Early adopters – Those who adopt a new product or service after the innovators have already adopted it.
• Early majority – Those who adopt just before the ‘average’ person.
• Late majority – Those who eventually adopt through economic necessity or social pressure.
• Laggards - Those who are last to adopt a new product or service.

Advergaming

Online combination of interactive games with tried and tested advertising models like brand association, trial or data capture. The advert may be as a form of sponsorship or the game may have been created to promote the company.

Advertising

Promotion of a product, service, or message by an identified sponsor using paid-for media.

Advertising Cost Equivalent (ACE)

See 'Advertising Value Equivalent'.

Advertising Space Equivalent (ASE)

See 'Advertising Value Equivalent'.

Advertising Value Equivalent (AVE)

A commonly used PR measurement of the value of the space secured by PR executives had they bought that equivalent amount of space in advertising.

Advertorial

An advertisement which is designed to have the appearance of an editorial. Advertorials are normally labelled as "Advertising" or "This is an advertisement". Similar in practice to an infomercial.

Advocacy advertising

Advocacy advertising expresses a viewpoint on a given issue, often on behalf of an institution. Examples are to be found in anti-drink-driving campaigns.

Adware

Free software which includes pop-up banner advertisements which cannot be dismissed.

Affiliate marketing

A form of marketing or advertising used on the internet. Companies that sell products or services online link to relevant sites. The advertising on the other or 'affiliate' sites is paid for according to results.

Affinity marketing

Marketing targeted at individuals sharing common interests that predispose them towards a product, e.g. an auto accessories manufacturer targeting motoring magazine readers. Also, a campaign jointly sponsored by a number of disparate organisations that are non-competitive but have a particular interest in common.

After sales service

Services received after the original goods or service has been paid for.

Agile marketing

A method of marketing that takes its essence from agile software development. A process called Scrum is followed to improve communication, align to the business aims, and increase the speed and responsiveness of the marketing team.

AIDA

Attention, Interest, Desire, Action: a model describing the process that advertising or promotion is intended to initiate in the mind of a prospective customer.

AIUAPR

Awareness, Interest, Understanding, Attitudes, Purchase, Repeat purchase: a buying decision model.

Alternate Reality Game (ARG)

A game based in the real world but which has a fictitious plot or an alternative reality. Unlike computer games, which are controlled by computer programs, it is actively controlled by its designers. An ARG usually involves a variety of media and may include the use of real locations. All websites, phone numbers, email addresses, characters, etc in the game are ‘real’ for game purposes and can be interacted with. An ARG does not require the players to assume fictional identities or to role play beyond accepting the alternative reality of the game for playing purposes.

Ambidextrous organisations

A company where the new innovative units are managed separately from the traditional units. Find out more.

Ambient media

Originally known as 'fringe media', ambient media are communications platforms that surround us in everyday life - from petrol pump advertising to advertising projected onto buildings to advertising on theatre tickets, cricket pitches or even pay slips.

Also see 'Buzz'.

Ambush marketing

A deliberate attempt by an organisation to associate itself with an event (often a sporting event) in order to gain some of the benefits associated with being an official sponsor without incurring the costs of sponsorship. For example by advertising during broadcasts of the event.

Also see 'Buzz'.

Analytical Hierachy Process (AHP)

A mathematical decision making technique that allows consideration of both qualitative and quantitative aspects of decisions. It reduces complex decisions to a series of one-on-one comparisons, then synthesises the results.

Ansoff growth matrix

Category management tool which relates market position to market strategy. It maps new versus existing products along one axis, and new versus existing markets along the other. Each quadrant of the matrix relates to a product-market strategy:
• Market penetration – existing product/service and an existing market 
• Product development – new product/service and an existing market 
• Market development – existing product/service and a new market 
• Diversification – new product/service and a new market

APIC

Marketing planning process model that stands for Analyse, Planning, Implementation and Control.

See also ‘MOST’ and ‘SOSTAC®’ and ‘MOSAIC

Applet

Small program designed to provide enhanced functionality for a webpage. The applet is usually written in Java is embedded in the page and is downloaded along with the page.

Asset led marketing

Asset led marketing uses product strengths such as the name and brand image to market both new and existing products. Marketing decisions are based on the needs of the consumer AND the assets of the product.

Assignments

An assessed work based project report. Assignments are part of the assessment procedure when studying for a qualification

Astroturfing

The unethical or illegal practice of influencing or distorting word of mouth communication for commercial gain by posing as something or someone that you are not.
See ‘Word of Mouth’.

Audit

An investigation often used in relation to company accounts but can be of other aspects of a company.

Avatar

An animated or graphic character, cartoon or picture used to represent an individual in a game, chat room or website.

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Behavioural targeting

An internet marketing term. Technology that targets users with advertisements based on previous browsing behaviour and patterns. Laws apply in the UK as to how this information can be used. 

CIM Training:

Must Know Law for Marketer 

B2

See ‘Business to’ entries

Baby boomers

A term to describe people born in the post WWII ‘baby boom’. Generally people born from the late 1940s to the early 1960s although dates do vary from one definition to another.

Balanced scorecard

A technique allowing a company to monitor and manage performance against defined objectives. Measurements might typically cover financial performance, customer value, internal business process, innovation performance and employee performance. Developed by Robert S Kaplan and David P Norton in 1992.

Bandwidth

Measurement of the capacity of the data pipeline. It is measured in bits per second and shows the speed of the internet connection. The higher the bandwidth the more data it can accommodate.

BARB

The Broadcasters' Audience Research Board Responsible for providing estimates of the number of people watching television. This includes the channels and programmes being watched, at what time, and the type of people who are watching.

BCG

See ‘Boston matrix

Below the line

Non-media advertising or promotion when no commission has been paid to the advertising agency. Includes direct mail, point of sale displays, giveaways.
Also see 'Above the line' and 'Push promotion' and 'Pull promotion'.

Benchmarking

Looking out from the company to see how others in the same market are performing and measuring your own performance against theirs. Developed by Robert Camp in 1989.

BIDDY

Buy it – Don’t Do It Yourself – a demographic grouping.

Big Data

Gathering and storing large amounts of information. Sometimes considered as the 3Vs: Volume, Velocity and Variety. 3Vs was introduced by Doug Laney in 2001.

Black space

The business opportunities that a company has formally targeted and organised itself to capture.
Compare with 'White space'.

Blended learning

This is a combination of online learning and face to face workshops.  Online learning replaces some but not all of what might have been delivered face to face.

Blogs/blogging

Blog is a contraction of Web log. An internet publishing device allowing an individual or company to express their thoughts and opinions. Businesses can use blogs as a marketing communication channel.

See Also Vlog

Blue Ocean Strategy

W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne observed that companies often faced competition head on whilst searching for profits. But head on competition creates red oceans. But success is looking for the expanse of blue ocean.

See also  ‘Red Ocean Strategy

Blue sky thinking

Looking at an opportunity with a fresh pair of eyes. Brainstorming, creative thinking and futurology.

See also ‘Brainstorming

Bluetooth

Open specification for short range communication between wireless devices such as speakers, keyboards or a mouse.

BOGOF

Buy One Get One Free. Promotional practice where on the purchase of one item another one is given free.

BOGOFL or BOGOF later

Buy One Get One Free Later. Promotional practice where on the purchase of one item the customer is entitled to another one for free at a later date. 
Also referred to as BNFNT (Buy Now Free Next Time).

Bookmarks

A list of web addresses that you visit often stored for ease. They are called Bookmarks by Netscape Navigator but Favourites by Microsoft.

Boston matrix

A product portfolio evaluation tool developed by the Boston Consulting Group. The more recent matrix categorises products into one of four classifications based on market growth and market share. The four classifications are:
• Cash cow – low growth, high market share 
• Star – high growth, high market share 
• Problem child – high growth, low market share 
• Dog – low growth, low market share

In earlier work by Barksdale and Harris (1982) there was an expansion highlighting two more categories:

  • Warhorse – high market share in a shrinking market
  • Dodo – low market share in a shrinking market
Bowman’s strategic clock

A model of strategic choice which allows a company to offer a sustainable competitive advantage. Eight strategic positions around two dimensions – price and perceived value. It builds on Porter’s generic strategies. Developed by Cliff Bowman and David Faulkner and introduced in their book Competitive and corporate strategy.

Brainstorming

A group technique first developed by Alex Osborn in 1953. Its aim is to spark creative ideas, solve problems and develop teams with a relaxed informal approach that may seem farfetched but can often prompt a new way of thinking. Osborn was a Madison Avenue advertising executive and he published his book Applied imagination.

See alsoAction learning

Brand

The set of physical attributes of a product or service, together with the beliefs and expectations surrounding it - a unique combination which the name or logo of the product or service should evoke in the mind of the audience.

Brand equity model

Developed by Kevin Lane Keller in 1993 the model, full title Customer Based Brand Equity model (CBBE) highlights two dimensions – brand awareness and brand image.

Brand equity/value

The real value that a brand name is worth encompassing the name, the logo and the emotional association. David Aaker identified the three main components as consumers’ awareness of the brand, The qualities that they associate with the brand and their loyalty to the brand. There are various measures of brand equity published by Interbrand, Millward Brown and Brand Finance® plus many others.

Brand extension

Process by which a company develops new products to be marketed under an existing brand name.

Brand management

The process by which marketers attempt to optimise the 'Marketing mix' for a specific brand.

Brand mapping and brand maps

Mapping the relative position of competing brands based on perceptual mapping of consumer perceptions of the brands. Also called perceptual maps, position maps and space maps.

Brand personality

Collection of attributes giving a brand a recognisable unique quality. May be the result of contrived marketing action or an accident of market perception.

Branding ladder

See Ladder of loyalty.

Bricks and mortar

A description for a company that still exists in an offline world with physical shops/warehouses.

See also ‘clicks and mortar’ and ‘dotcom’.

Brown goods

Electrical goods such as TVs, videos, stereo systems etc, used for home entertainment. So called because they were originally cased in bakelite, a brown plastic.

See also ‘White goods

Brushers

Fake buyers who boost sales on ecommerce sites for a fee.

Business orientations

There are traditionally four approaches, or orientations, to doing business that an organisation can adopt. These are:
• Marketing orientation (customer orientation) 
• Sales orientation 
• Product orientation 
• Production orientation 
For definitions of these orientations see the entries for each one in this glossary.

Business plan/planning

A strategic document showing cash flow, forecasts and direction of a company.

Business process reengineering

A change initiative with five major steps.

  • Refocusing company values
  • Redesign core processes
  • Reorganise a business into cross-functional teams
  • Rethink basic organizational and people issues
  • Improve business processes across the organisation

Developed in the 1990s by Michael Hammer.

Business strategy

The means by which a business works towards achieving its stated aims.

Business to Business (B2B)

Relating to the sale of a product or service for any use other than personal consumption. The buyer may be a manufacturer, a reseller, a government body, a non-profit-making institution, or any organisation other than an ultimate consumer.
Sales of products or services to government or other public sector organisations may be excluded from B2B and instead be classified as B2G.
See ‘Business to Government’.

Business to Consumer (B2C)

Relating to the sale of products or services for personal consumption. The buyer may be an individual, family or other group, buying to use the product themselves, or for end use by another individual.

Business to Employee (B2E)

Business to Employee – this is when companies provide products and/or services to their employees. This may include insurance products and employee benefits.

Business to Government (B2G)

Relating to the sale of a product or service to a government or other public sector organisation.
See ‘Business to Business’.

Buy Now Free Next Time (BNFNT)

See 'BOGOFL'.

Buying behaviour

The process that buyers go through when deciding whether or not to purchase goods or services. Buying behaviour can be influenced by a variety of external factors and motivations, including marketing activity.

Buzz

Buzz marketing uses 'word-of-mouth' advertising: potential customers pass round information about a product.
See also 'Viral marketing'.

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Clicks and mortar

Description for a business that is both a physical entity and online.

See also ‘bricks and mortar’ and ‘dotcom

Click-through

The act of a user clicking on an internet advertisement or a link that opens another website page.

C2B

Consumer to Business Businesses extract value from consumers. This may be by a company supplying a sample to a sample of bloggers and then asking for a review or it may be a consumer being able to set their own price. Participants must be clearly defined for legal reasons.

C2C

Consumer to Consumer

Examples of this may be AirBnB and EBay or even simply a classified ads section.

C2G

Consumer to Government or Citizen to Government – tax payment and supply of certificates or documents

CAPI

Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing or Computer-Aided Personal Interviewing. Face-to-face interviews using computer-based questionnaires.

Cartel

A number of organisations operating in a market to minimise competition or achieve control of the market.

Cash cow

Low growth, high market share.

See ‘Boston matrix

Category management

Products are grouped and managed by strategic business unit categories. These are defined by how consumers views goods rather than by how they look to the seller, e.g. confectionery could be part of either a 'food' or 'gifts' category, and marketed depending on the category into which it is grouped.

CATI

Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing or Computer-Aided Telephone Interviewing. Telephone interviews using computer-based questionnaires.

Channels

The methods used by a company to communicate and interact with its customers.

Chartered Marketer

A marketing professional who has achieved 'individual Chartered Status' awarded by The Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Churn

Loss of clients within a particular time frame – possibly to competitors. Also called rate of attrition.

 See also ‘retention

Closed questions

A question that can be answered with one word or a very short phrase. The answers give you facts, are easy and quick to answer and the questioner maintains control of the conversation.

See ‘open questions

Closed systems

A system can be defined as units or elements which interact with each other. A closed system is one which has little or no interaction with other systems or its external environment.

Cognitive Dissonance

Stress that a person holds where two contradictory beliefs, ideas or values are held.

Cold calling

Telephoning or calling at the door of people or organisations who have not asked for information on, or expressed an interest in, your products or services. There are strict laws in the UK regarding this practice.

CIM Training:

Must Know Law for Marketers 

Cold mailing

Using a rented or compiled list to mail or email people or organisations who have not asked for information about your products or services. There are laws in the UK regarding this practice.

CIM Training:

Must Know Law for Marketers 

Collaborative learning

A group activity where students, often with mixed abilities, work together on a collective task. Also called cooperative learning.

Comparative advertising

Advertising which compares a company's product with that of competing brands. Must be used with caution to avoid accusations of misrepresentation from competitors.

Competition regulator

In the UK the Competition and Markets Authority work to ‘promote competition for the benefit of consumers’. Previous names include the Competition Commission and Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

Competitions

Sales promotions that allow the consumer the possibility of winning a prize. There are laws and codes of conduct governing competitions in the UK. Codes are managed by the Advertising Standards Authority

CIM Training:

Must Know Law for Marketers 

Competitive advantage

The product, proposition or benefit that puts a company ahead of its competitors.

Competitive positioning

See Porter’s Five Forces

Competitors

Companies that sell products or services in the same market place as one another.

Concept boards

Visual and/or verbal stimulus presenting an idea for a product, service or advert.

Confusion marketing

Controversial strategy of deliberately confusing the customer. Examples are alleged to be found in the telecommunications market, where pricing plans can be so complicated that it becomes impossible to make direct comparisons between competing offers.

Conscious capitalism

Businesses that are able to serve the interests of all major stakeholders – customers, employees, investors, communities, suppliers and the environment.

Consumer

Individual who buys and uses a product or service.

Consumer behaviour

The buying habits and patterns of consumers in the acquisition and usage of goods and services.

Content marketing

The process for creating and distributing relevant material, in any format, to your target audience with the express aim of engaging with the audience to drive a profitable relationship.

Contextual marketing

An internet marketing term. In its simplest form contextual marketing shows a user adverts based on terms for which they have searched. More advanced applications pull adverts based on the content of a website being viewed, or on an individual’s browsing habits.

Convenience sampling

Sampling where the interviewer talks to the most accessible section of the population, i.e. shoppers willing to stop and be interviewed. This is not random sampling.

Conversion rate optimisation

Measure of conversion of inquiries or replies to an advertisement, or mailing shot, to sales.

COO

See ‘Country of origin

Co-operative

An association of producers or consumers who service their own needs by democratic control, distributing profit according to purchases, sales or fixed return on capital.

Copywriting

Creative process by which written content is prepared for advertisements or marketing material.

Corporate identity/image

The character a company seeks to establish for itself in the mind of the public, reinforced by consistent use of logos, colours, typefaces and so on. Also see 'Corporate reputation' and ‘logos’.

Corporate reputation

A complex mix of characteristics, such as ethos, identity and image, that go to make up a company's public personality. Corporate reputation hinges on investor confidence, unlike brand reputation which is contingent on customer confidence and reflected in sales. Also see 'Corporate identity'.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

A commitment by business to behave in an ethical, social and environmentally responsible way, and to have a positive impact on the local and global environment.

Corporate strategy

The policies of a company with regard to its choice of businesses and customer groups.

Cost leadership

The strategy of producing goods at a lower cost than ones competitors.

Cost Per Acquisition/Action (CPA)

Online advertising payment model in which payment is based solely on qualifying actions such as sales or registrations.

Cost Per Click (CPC)

A specific type of cost-per-action program where advertisers pay for each time a user clicks on an advert or link.

Cost Per thousand (CPT)

This is a standard measurement used for determining the cost effectiveness for a specific medium. It compares the cost of the advertisement to the number of impressions to your target audience.

Country of origin

Where a product is manufactured, produced or grown is important when importing and exporting goods.

CPA

See 'Cost Per Action'.

CPC

See 'Cost Per Click'

CPL

Cost Per Lead.

Cross Cultural Consumer Characterisation (4Cs)

A consumer segmentation model, devised by Young and Rubicam, that defines people by their core motivation. The model is based on Maslow's hierarchy of needs and divides people into seven types:

  • explorer 
  • aspirer  
  • succeeder
  • reformer  
  • mainstream  
  • struggler  
  • resigned

See also ‘Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Culture

A person or company who purchases goods or services (not necessarily the end consumer).

Customer Based Brand Equity model (CBBE)

See ‘Brand equity model

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

The profitability of customers during the lifetime of the relationship, as opposed to profitability on one transaction.

Customer loyalty

Feelings or attitudes that incline a customer either to return to a company, shop or outlet to purchase there again, or else to re-purchase a particular product, service or brand.

CIM Training course:

The Modern B2B Customer: How to enquire, acquire and retain them

Customer orientation

Another term for marketing orientation.

See ‘Marketing orientation’.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

The coherent management of contacts and interactions with customers.

This term is often used as if it related purely to the use of IT, but IT should in fact be regarded as a facilitator of CRM.

Customer satisfaction

The provision of goods or services which fulfil the customer's expectations in terms of quality and service, in relation to price paid.

Customer service programme

Strategy for assuring customers a positive buying experience in order to improve customer loyalty, increase cross-selling and promote advertising by word-of-mouth.

Also see 'Customer satisfaction' and ‘Customer loyalty

Cyber-stealth marketing

Covert attempts using the internet to boost brand image, to make websites appear more popular than they are or to manipulate search engine listings.

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DINKY

Double Income No Kids Yet - a demographic grouping.

DAGMAR

Defining Advertising Goals for Measured Advertising Response - a model for planning advertising in such a way that its success can be quantitatively monitored.

Data cleansing

Correcting or removing old, corrupt or inaccurate data.

Data fusion

Combining information from different sources to obtain information of greater quality for the end user.

Data mining

The use of powerful software to analyse data to identify patterns or relationships in that data.

Data processing

The obtaining, recording and holding of information which can then be retrieved, used, disseminated or erased. The term tends to be used in connection with computer systems, and today is often used interchangeably with 'Information Technology'.

Data Protection Act

A law which makes organisations responsible for protecting the privacy of personal data. For up to date information visit the Information Commissioner’s Office website.

CIM Training Course:

Database marketing

Whereby customer information, stored in an electronic database, is utilised for targeting marketing activities. Information can be a mixture of what is gleaned from previous interactions with the customer and what is available from outside sources.

Also see 'Customer Relationship Management (CRM)'.

Deal and Kennedy’s four types of corporate culture

Deal and Kennedy’s four types of corporate culture The Deal and Kennedy model of corporate cultures defines four types of organisation based on how quickly feedback and rewards are received and the levels of risk taken. The four types are:

  • Tough-guy macho (rapid feedback and reward; low risk) 
  • Work-hard, play-hard (rapid feedback and reward; high risk)
  • Process (slow feedback and reward; low risk)
  • Bet-the-company (slow feedback and reward; high risk)
Decision Making Unit (DMU)/decision making process

The group of people in an organisation who make the buying decision.

Deep linking

Hyperlinking to a page, file or image on a website that bypasses that website’s homepage.

See 'Shallow linking'.

Delphi techniques

A forecasting method that is based on the results of several rounds of questionnaires sent out to a panel of experts. All responses are anonymous and aggregated then shared with the group after each round.

Demographic data

Information describing and segmenting a population in terms of age, sex, income and so on, which can be used to target marketing campaigns.

See also Market segmentation.

Dichotomous question

A questions with only two possible responses (e.g. Yes or No).

Differentiation

Ensuring that products and services have a unique element to allow them to stand out from the rest.

Digital disruption

Change that occurs due to the development and introduction on new technologies or business models that have a major effect on existing goods and services. Recent examples include AirBnB, Netflix, Spotify and Uber.

McKinsey article 

Digital marketing

Marketing of goods and services though digital channels to reach consumers. Channels may include the internet, social media, mobile phones and electronic billboards as well as digital Radio and TV. The key difference to traditional marketing is the ability to receive real-time analysis of the campaign through the digital channel.

Direct mail

Delivery of an advertising or promotional message to customers or potential customers by mail.

Direct marketing

All activities which make it possible to offer goods or services or to transmit other messages to a segment of the population by post, telephone, email or other direct means.

Direct Response Advertising (DRA)

Advertising incorporating a contact method such as a phone number, address and enquiry form, web site identifier or email address, with the intention of encouraging the recipient to respond directly to the advertiser by requesting more information, placing an order and so on.

Discounted Cash Flow (DCF)

A method of estimating an investment's current value based on the discounting of projected future revenues and costs. The further into the future the flow occurs, the more heavily it will be discounted.

Disintermediation

Term meaning ‘removal of the middle man’. Popular word describing what happens when businesses start selling directly to the customer.

Displacement marketing

The practice of a brand marketing a product to draw attention to another product with the same brand name, usually because the second product is banned from being advertised. An example would be a brewer marketing a non-alcoholic drink with the same brand name and logo as an alcoholic drink in order to draw attention to the alcoholic product.

Displacement marketing is sometimes referred to as surrogate marketing.

Disposable income

Residue of personal income after statutory deductions at source.

Distribution

The process of getting the goods from the manufacturer or supplier to the user.

Diversification

An increase in the variety of goods and services produced by an individual enterprise or conglomerate. It may be encouraged, either by business owners or by governments, in order to reduce the risk of relying on a narrow range of products.

Dodo

A product with a low market share of a shrinking market.

See ‘Boston matrix

Dog

See ‘Boston matrix

Dotcom

A company that is operating mainly online.

See also ‘Clicks and mortar’ and Bricks and mortar

DRIP framework

Differentiate - Reinforce - Inform - Persuade.

A marketing communications model.

Dynamic pricing

Also called real-time pricing. The price is not firmly set and will fluctuate depending on a range of circumstances. Used by many industries but airlines is a good example as the price will change depending on the number of seats sold for a particular flight.

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Early adopters

See ‘Adopter categories’.

Early majority

See ‘Adopter categories’.

E-commerce (Mobile commerce)

Any business transaction that takes place via electronic platforms.
See also ‘M-commerce’.

Economic Value Added (EVA)

EVA is an estimate of true economic profit after making corrective adjustments to GAAP accounting, including deducting the opportunity cost of equity capital.

Efficient Consumer Response (ECR)

Having the right product in the right place at the right price with the right promotions.

Also see 'Category management', with its emphasis on how products look to the customer is seen as an integral part of achieving ECR.

EFQM

The EFQM Excellence Model is a framework for organisational management systems, promoted by the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) and designed for helping organisations in their drive towards being more competitive.

Elearning

See ‘online learning.

Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) system

A system whereby electronic tills are used to process customer transactions in a retail outlet. Local EPOS systems are usually connected to a central computer system, so that financial and inventory-related data can be exchanged between the store and head office, allowing automatic accounting and replenishment.

Emotional Selling Preposition (ESP)

The unique associations established by consumers with particular products. For example, the emotional response to certain car marques ensures their continual success, even though other makers may offer superior performance at the same price.

Emotional Selling Proposition (ESP)

An emotional or psychological characteristic of a brand which makes it more desirable to the consumer. Based on the assumption that many buying decisions are not made on a purely rational basis, a brand with an ESP will have more appeal to a consumer than if it just relied on a rational selling proposition.

See ‘Unique Selling Preposition (USP)’.

Encryption

Encoding data such as credit card numbers to prevent fraud.

Endorsement

Affirmation, usually from a celebrity, that a product is good.

Entrepreneur

Someone who sees an opportunity and risks their own money to set up a business organisation in order to respond to it.

Environmental scanning

Monitoring of an organisation’s external environment, allowing the organisation to spot or anticipate emerging issues. This provides an early warning of changing external conditions.

Equivalent Advertising Value (EAV)

See 'Advertising Value Equivalent'.

Ethical marketing

Marketing that takes account of the moral aspects of decisions.

Experience curve

The plotted relationship between the amount of products produced and the cost per unit over time from launch. As more units are produced, the cost per unit usually declines, an effect that is partially attributable to the accumulation of experience.

Export marketing

The marketing of goods or services to overseas customers.

Extended Marketing Mix

See ’Marketing Mix

External analysis

Study of the external marketing environment, including factors such as customers, competition and social change.

Extranet

An internal website that is only available to employees or other trusted stakeholders.

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Face to face learning

This is learning in a traditional classroom or training room environment - learners and deliverers are in the same room.

FAST marketing

Focused Advertising Sampling Technique: an approach concentrating promotions into a short space of time to saturate the market.

Fax Preference Service (FPS)

A database of business and individual telecoms subscribers who have elected not to receive unsolicited direct marketing faxes. Laws apply as to how these can be used.

CIM Training Course:

Must Know Law for Marketers

Field marketing

The practice of sending representatives or agents to retail outlets with a view to building brand and supporting sales. They may for example conduct in-store promotions, set up point of sale displays, and ensure that products are displayed to best advantage.

File transfer protocol

A standard for moving files from one internet site to another.

Firewall

An electronic security system that restricts traffic and plays key role in preventing unauthorised access to a company’s or individual’s computer system via the web.

Five Ms of management

An expansion of the four Ms of management framework with the addition of time - Money, Material, Machine, Manpower and Minutes (Time).

Also see 'Four Ms of management'.

FMCG

Fast Moving Consumer Goods - such as packaged food, beverages, toiletries, and tobacco.

Focus groups

A tool for market research where small groups of customers are invited to participate in guided discussions on the topic being researched.

Forecasting/forecasting techniques

Calculation of future events and performance.

CIM Training Course: 

Market and Sales Forecasting

Four Ms of management

Money, Material, Machine and Manpower - traditional framework for viewing the resources available to a business, which can be useful when designing a marketing plan.

See also 'Five Ms of management'.

Four Ps

Product, Price, Promotion and Place.

See 'Marketing mix'

Franchising

The selling of a licence by the owner (franchisor) to a third party (franchisee) permitting the sale of a product or service for a specified period. In business format franchising the agreement will involve a common brand and marketing format.

Free market economy

An economy in which forces of supply and demand are allowed to operate unhampered by government or other regulations.

FTP

See ‘File Transfer Protocol

Full service agency

Advertising agency offering clients a wide range of activities and expertise over and above the normal creative and/or media facilities. Such services will include marketing research and planning, merchandising and below-the-line sales promotions, press and/or public relations, packaging, etc.

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G2B

Government to Business – the relationship between the government and enterprises, businesses are the target group.

G2C

Government to Consumer or Government to Citizen – the relationship between government and citizens, citizens are the target group

G2G

Government to Government – the relationship between two government entities

General Data Protection Regulation

Updated regulations regarding data protection that will come into force May 2018.

CIM Training Course: 

Essential Guide to General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) for marketers

Generation X

A term to describe people born from about the mid 1960s to the late 1970s. The dates of Generation X do vary from one definition to another.

Generation Y

A term to describe people born from the 1980s to the mid 1990s. The dates of Generation Y do vary from one definition to another.
‘Millennials’ and ‘echo boomers’ are other terms used to describe this generation

Generation Z

A term to describe people born from the mid 1990s onwards, although the date Generation Z begins from does vary from one definition to another. The ‘iGeneration’, ‘internet generation’ and ‘iPod generation’ are other terms used to describe this generation.

Geodemographics

A method of analysis combining geographic and demographic variables.

Geographic Indications

A form of intellectual property that protects particular groups of food and drinks. UK examples include: Stilton Cheese, Cornish Pasties, Melton Mowbray pork pies. International examples include: Champagne, Cava, Roquefort cheese, Pinggu peaches.

UK government information can be found here.

International information here.

GLAM

Greying, Leisured, Affluent, Middle-aged - a demographic grouping.

Grey market

Sometimes called 'silver market'. Term used to define population over a certain age - usually 65.

Grey marketing

The illicit sale of imported products contrary to the interests of a holder of a trademark, patent or copyright in the country of sale. Also called parallel importing.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Total output of goods and services by the national economy in a full year.

Guarantees and warranties

Legal documents committing a company to deal with faulty goods or services by a variety of methods including repair, replacement or compensation.

Guerrilla marketing

The strategy of targeting small and specialised customer groups in such a way that bigger companies will not find it worthwhile to retaliate.

GUPPIE

Green YUPPIE - a demographic grouping.

See 'YUPPIE'

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Hard sell

Sales behaviour that can be interpreted by the customer as aggressive or which places undue pressure on the customer.

Horizon scanning

Exploration of future developments, opportunities and threats. Horizon scanning may explore existing issues and trends, as well as identifying new or potential issues.

House to house distribution

Delivery of goods or literature to the consumer's front door or mailbox.

HTML

Hypertext markup language – the programming language used to created documents for the web.

HTTPS

Hypertext transport protocol  - the standard used for web browsers to communicated with the web.

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ICANN

Internet Corporate for Assigned Names and Numbers. The organisation that administers the domain name registration system across the world.

Inducements

Incentives offered to overcome resistance to purchase, for example 'special offers' or money-back guarantees.

Industrial marketing

The marketing of industrial products.

Infant

A product with a high market share of a new market.

Infiltration marketing

Marketers joining chat rooms posing as ordinary users in order to spread marketing messages, usually as personal endorsements.

Influencer marketing

Focusing on a particular individual or groups as a means of influencing the ultimate target audience.

Infomercial

Paid-for television programme purporting to be a genuine station programme. Its use is restricted to certain countries including the USA, but not the UK. Similar in practice to an advertorial.

See alsoAdvertorial

Innovation

Development of new products, services or ways of working.

CIM Training Course:

Innovative product and service development

Innovators

See ‘Adopter categories

Institutional market

A market for goods or services consisting of universities, schools, charities clubs and the like.

Intellectual Property

Protection for your work from theft by other people. It covers the name of your product or brand, your invention, the design and things you write, make or produce.

See Gov.UK

Inter-media comparison

Rarely used comparison of the cost effectiveness, advertising effectiveness, target demographics, etc of various media (e.g. television vs radio, newspapers vs magazines) to ascertain their overall effectiveness.

Internal analysis

The study of a company's internal marketing resources in order to assess opportunities, strengths or weaknesses.

Internal customers

Employees within an organisation viewed as consumers of a product or service provided by another part of the organisation - products or services which the employees need to do their own work. For example, the marketing department could be internal customers of the IT department.

Internal marketing

The process of eliciting support for a company and its activities among its own employees, in order to encourage them to promote its goals. This process can happen at a number of levels, from increasing awareness of individual products or marketing campaigns, to explaining overall business strategy.

International marketing

The conduct and co-ordination of marketing activities in more than one country.

Interruption marketing

The art if distracting consumers with unsolicited offers.

Intra-media comparison

Rarely used comparison of the various promotional options for a given medium, e.g. The Times vs The Daily Telegraph.

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Joint venture

A business entity or partnership formed by two or more parties for a specific purpose.

Just-in-time (JIT)

An arrangement between a supplier and a customer whereby deliveries of a product are timed precisely to coincide with the need for that product. This saves unnecessary capital being tied up in stock waiting to be used.

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Kelly grids

See 'Repertory Grid Method'.

Key Account Management (KAM)

Account management as applied to a company's most important customers.

Also see 'Account management'.

Key Success Factors (KSF)

Those factors that are a necessary condition for success in a given market. That is, a company that does poorly on one of the factors critical to success in its market is certain to fail.

Keyword buying

Advertisers paying for links to their websites to appear on internet search engines along side search results, sometimes as ‘sponsored links’, based on keywords entered into the search engine.

See ‘Search marketing’.

Kidults

Adults who buy products that are predominantly aimed at children.

Knowledge Management (KM)

The collection, organisation and distribution of information in a form that lends itself to practical application. Knowledge management often relies on information technology to facilitate the storage and retrieval of information.

Kotler’s six marketing audits

Philip Kotler views a marketing audit as having six components. A full marketing audit would comprise all six audits, but each component can be undertaken on its own if a full audit is not required.

The six components are:

  • Marketing environment audit  
  • Marketing strategy audit 
  • Marketing organisation audit  
  • Marketing systems audit 
  • Marketing productivity audit  
  • Marketing function audit 

See ‘Marketing audit

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Ladder of loyalty

A marketing communications tool that aims to move a consumer along a path from a prospect (‘not yet purchased’) to advocate (‘brand insistence’) through customer (‘trialist’) and client (‘repeat purchases’) by using integrated marketing communications techniques. As a consumer travels up the ladder they become increasingly loyal to the brand.

Also called the ‘Branding ladder

See also ‘Customer loyalty

Laggards

See ‘Adopter categories

Late majority

See ‘Adopter categories’.

Lifestyle

Way of living, in the broadest sense, of a society or segment of that society. Includes both work and leisure, eating, drinking, dress, patterns of behaviour and allocation of income.

Likert Scale

A rating scale developed by Rensis Likert, a psychologist, in 1932. The scale asks responders to a questionnaire to rate their response along a range showing their intensity to the answer.

Loss leader

A product offered at cost price or less to increase store traffic. The aim is that once the customer has purchased the loss leader product they will be tempted to buy other products priced to make a profit.

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Macro environment

The external factors which affect an organisation's planning and performance, and are beyond its control. It includes factors such as socio-economic, legal and technological change. These include Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental, Legal.

See ‘Meso environment’ and ‘Micro environment’.

See also ‘PEST’, ‘PEEST’, ‘PESTLE’, ‘SLEPT

Mailing Preference Service (MPS)

A database of individual home addresses where the occupiers have elected not to receive unsolicited direct (marketing) mail. Laws apply as to how these can be used.

CIM Training Course:

'Must Know Law for Marketers'

Market challenger

A firm attempting to gain market leadership through marketing efforts.

Market development

The process of growing sales by offering existing products (or new versions of them) to new customer groups (as opposed to simply attempting to increase the company's share of current markets).

Market entry

The launch of a new product into a new or existing market. A different strategy is required depending on whether the product is an early or late entrant to the market; the first entrant usually has an automatic advantage, while later entrants need to demonstrate that their products are better, cheaper and so on.

Market follower

A firm that is happy to follow the leaders in a market place without challenging them, perhaps taking advantages of opportunities created by leaders without the need for much marketing investment of its own.

Market leader

Seller of the product or service with the largest market share in its field.

Also see 'Market challenger' and 'Market follower'.

Market penetration

The attempt to grow one's business by obtaining a larger market share in an existing market.

See 'Market share' and 'Market development'

Market research

Process of making investigations into the characteristics of given markets, eg location, size, growth potential and observed attitudes. Also see Marketing research.

Market segmentation

The division of the market place into distinct subgroups or segments, each characterised by particular tastes and requiring a specific marketing mix.
Also see 'Marketing mix'

Market share

A company's sales of a given product or set of products to a given set of customers, expressed as a percentage of total sales of all such products to such customers.

Market Value Added (MVA)

Market Value Added (MVA) is the difference between the equity market valuation of a listed/quoted company and the sum of the adjusted book value of debt and equity invested in the company.

Marketing

Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably. CIM's official definition (1976) Further research was carried out on the definition and published as Tomorrow’s Word: re-evaluating the role of marketing.

Marketing audit

Scrutiny of an organisation's existing marketing system to ascertain its strengths and weaknesses.
Also see ‘Kotler’s six marketing audits.

Marketing automation

Initially an email management tool but now used to track all marketing channels to give insight into customer behaviour on and off line.

Marketing Decision Support System (MDSS)

Tools for the collection and analysis of data to aid the marketing decision making process.

Marketing information

Any information used or required to support marketing decisions - often drawn from a computerised 'Marketing information system'>

Marketing Information System (MIS or MkIS)

Practices and procedures to gather, sort, store, analyse and distribute marketing information.

See ‘Marketing information

Marketing metrics

Measurements that help with the quantification of marketing performance, such as market share, advertising spend, and response rates elicited by advertising and direct marketing.

CIM training:

Introduction to marketing metrics and ROI

Marketing Metrics - measuring marketing performance

Marketing mix

The combination of marketing inputs that affect customer motivation and behaviour. These inputs traditionally encompass four controllable variables 'the 4Ps': product, price, promotion and place. The list has subsequently been extended to 7Ps, the additions being people, process and 'physical evidence'.

Marketing mix is credited to Neil Borden in 1949, 4Ps E.Jerome McCarthy in 1960 and 7Ps Bernard Booms and Mary Bitner in 1981 – the extended marketing mix

Marketing myopia

Lack of vision on the part of companies, particularly in failing to spot customers' desires through excessive product focus. Term derives from the title of a seminal article by Theodore Levitt published in the Harvard Business Review in 1960.

Marketing orientation

An organisation that is marketing orientated focuses on the needs of the customer. It aims to meet customer demands, and therefore profit through customer satisfaction and loyalty. Marketing orientation is sometimes referred to as customer orientation.

Also see ‘Business orientations

Marketing plan

A written plan, usually in-depth, describing all activities involved in achieving a particular marketing objective, and their relationship to one another in both time and importance.

Marketing planning

he selection and scheduling of activities to support the company's chosen marketing strategy or goals.
Also see 'Marketing strategy'.

Marketing research

Research activity which provides information relating to marketing operations. The term embraces conventional market research as well as motivation studies, advertising effectiveness, packaging effectiveness, logistics, media research and any analysis of internal and external statistics of relevance.

Marketing Return On Investment (MROI)

See Return On Marketing Investment (ROMI).

Marketing strategy

The set of objectives which an organisation allocates to its marketing function in order to support the overall corporate strategy, together with the broad methods chosen to achieve these objectives.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Developed by A H Maslow, this is a framework of needs for understanding the development of society over time. The hierarchy can also be used to understand consumers’ needs from brands. The hierarchy is represented as a five-tiered pyramid, with physiological needs (the basic needs for survival) at the base, progressing up through safety, belongingness, esteem and, finally, self-actualisation.

See also Cross Cultural Consumer Characterisation (4Cs)

Mass market

Large homogenous market for consumer products or services.

McKinsey seven Ss of management (or 7-S model)

A framework for considering business strategy with reference to seven interrelated, aspects of the organisation: Systems, Structure, Skills, Style, Staff, Strategy, and Shared values.

M-commerce (Mobile commerce)

E-commerce transactions using mobile or wireless devices.
SeeE-commerce

Measurement

See 'Marketing metrics'

Media neutral planning

A customer focussed review of media options during communications planning based on research, analysis and insight, not habit and preference.

Merger/Acquisition

Merger: the formation of one company from two existing companies. Acquisition: one company acquiring control of another by purchase of a majority shareholding.

Meso environment

Aspects of an organisation’s external environment over which it may exert some influence such as its industry, supplier and marketplace environments.
See Macro environmentand 'Micro environment

Metrics

See ‘marketing metrics

Micro environment

When used in conjunction with ‘macro environment’ it refers to the immediate context of an organisation’s operations over which it can exert some influence, including such elements as suppliers, customers, competitors and well as its internal environment.
When used in conjunction with ‘macro environment’ and ‘meso environment’ it refers to the organisation’s internal environment.
See 'Macro environment' and ‘Meso environment'.

Miles and Snow’s four strategic types

The Miles and Snow strategic topography sets out four types of organisation based on their strategies. The four strategic types are:

  • Defenders
  • Prospectors
  • Analysers
  • Reactors
Mission statement

A company's summary of its business philosophy and direction.

MMOG

Massively Multiplayer Online Game. A computer game played via the internet which is capable of supporting many players simultaneously.

MMORPG

Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. A genre of Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG) where players assume the role of a (usually fictional) character. 

See 'MMOG'.

MMS

Multimedia Message Service. Text, audio, graphic and video messages sent by mobile phones, or other compatible devices, over a wireless network.

Models (or Marketing models)

Graphical representations of a process designed to aid in understanding and/or forecasting. Computerised models allow the simulation of scenarios based on different assumptions about changes to the macro environment and micro environment.

Also see 'Macro environment' and 'Micro environment'

Mood board

A visual illustration tool used either to represent the atmosphere or feel of an intended advertisement, or to research a consumer’s experience of a brand or product.

MOSAIC

1. Geodemographic segmentation model classifying neighbourhoods into 10 lifestyle types ie: Elite Suburbs; Average Areas; Luxury Flats.

2. Marketing planning process model that stands for Marketing audit, Objectives, Strategy, Action programme, Implementation and Control.

See also ‘APIC’ and ‘SOSTAC®’ and ‘MOST'.

MOSCOW framework

Must have, should have, could have, won’t have but would like

MOST

Marketing planning process model that stands for Mission, Objectives, Strategy and Tactics.

See also ‘APIC’ and ‘SOSTAC®’ and ‘MOSAIC'.

Mystery shopping

Employing individuals to anonymously visit or contact retailers or service providers in order to evaluate customer service, display quality, prices, etc.

See also Accompanied shopping

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NAP data

An acronym sometimes used to refer to fields in a database that contain the Name, Address and Profession of an individual in the database.

National Readership Survey (NRS)

A commercial organisation which provides estimates of the number and nature of the people reading UK newspapers and consumer magazines. Find out more.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Percentage of promoters minus percentage of detractors.

Neuromarketing

Technique to quantify how consumers will respond to brands and advertising. The brain is mapped, using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), to record conscious and subconscious responses to advertising, products or brands.

New Product Development (NPD)

The creation of new products, from evaluation of proposals through to launch.

Niche marketing

The creation of new products, from evaluation of proposals through to launch.

Not for Profit (NFP)

An organisation that does not have shareholders so all surplus revenues are used to further achieves its aims and objectives.

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OEM

Original Equipment Manufacturer. Initially, the term was used for companies that produced products or components which were purchased by another company, to be resold under the purchasing company’s brand, or incorporated into its products. The term is now also used for a company that manufactures a product and sells it under its own brand.

Offensive marketing

A competitive marketing strategy, the purpose of which is to win market share away from other players in the market.

Ohmae’s strategic triangle

Kenichi Ohmae’s concept that, when reduced to its essential components, business strategy deals with the interplay between the corporation (company), the customer and the competition.

Omnibus survey

Continuous survey that is used to cover a number of topics at the same time. Companies offering this facility invite sponsors to commission a limited number of questions that would not alone justify setting up a separate research study.

One to one marketing (1:1 marketing)

Marketing that either treats each customer as an individual rather than as part of a broad segment, or that aims to establish a personal relationship with the customer.

Online learning

Marketing that either treats each customer as an individual rather than as part of a broad segment, or that aims to establish a personal relationship with the customer.

Open questions

A question that requires the person to think and give feelings and opinions as answers. They will usually start with what, why, when where and how.

See closed questions

Open systems

A system can be defined as units or elements which interact with each other. An open system interacts with other systems or with its external environment.

Organic growth/development

A company's expansion by the growth of its activities and ploughing back of profits, rather than by mergers/acquisitions.

See 'Mergers/Acquisitions'.

OTH

Opportunities To Hear – number of possible times a listener may be able to hear an advertisement.

OTR

Opportunities To Read - number of possible times a reader may be able to read an advertisement.

OTS

Opportunities To See - number of possible times a person may be able to see an advertisement.

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Packaging

Material used to protect goods; also an opportunity to present the brand and logo.

Parallel importing

See 'Grey marketing'.

Pareto principle

Also called the 80/20 rule. The principle that about 80% of the outcomes will come from about 20% of your effort.

Payment By Results (PBR)

Remuneration of an employee or service provider according to productivity or other measure of performance.

Peer to Peer (P2P) marketing

Technique of encouraging customers to promote your product to one another, particularly on the Internet. An example might be a web site that offers users a discount on products in return for recruiting new customers for the site.

Also see 'Word of Mouth' and 'Viral marketing'

PEEST

Political, Economic, Environmental, Socio-cultural and Technological - a framework for viewing the macro environment.

See Macro-environment

Penetration pricing

Adoption of a lower price strategy in order to secure rapid wide penetration of a market.

Perceptual mapping

Process of representing consumer perceptions of brands in relationship to each other. Consumers’ perceptions of brands are measured against certain criteria, i.e. value, customer service, innovation and quality.

See Brand mapping and brand maps.

Perfect competition

An open market situation where free trade prevails without restriction, where all goods of a particular nature are homogeneous and where all relevant information is known to both buyers and sellers.

Performance prism

A performance measurement and management framework. It addresses all of an organisation’s stakeholders - principally investors, customers, intermediaries, employees, suppliers, regulators and communities.

Personal data

Data related to a living individual who can be identified from the information; includes any expression of opinion about the individual.

Personal selling

One-to-one communication between seller and prospective purchaser.

PEST analysis

Political, Economic, Socio-cultural and Technological - a framework for viewing the macro environment.

See Macro-environment.

Pester power

The influence children have over purchases by adults: an influence which, controversially, advertisers may seek to stimulate.

PESTLE or PESTEL analysis

Political, Economic, Socio-cultural, Technological, Legal and Environmental - a framework for viewing the macro environment.

See Macro-environment.

Pharming

Redirecting traffic from a website, such as a bank, to a bogus website designed to mimic the original website in order to steal a user’s login details and other personal information.

See Phishing.

Phishing

Sending legitimate-looking emails, often giving the impression that they are sent from a trusted source, such as a bank, asking for personal information that can be used for identity theft. 

See Pharming.

Physical evidence

The elements of 'marketing mix' which customers can actually see or experience when they use a service, and which contribute to the perceived quality of the service, e.g. the physical evidence of a retail bank could include the state of the branch premises, as well as the delivery of the banking service itself.

See Marketing mix

PIMS

Profit Impact of Marketing Strategies: a US database supplying data such as environment, strategy, competition and internal data with respect to 3000 businesses. This data can be used for benchmarking purposes.

Podcast/podcasting

Term used to define the broadcasting of multimedia files to iPods or other similar devices. Subscribers are able to view or listen to podcasts online.

Point of Sale (POS)

The location, usually within a retail outlet, where the customer decides whether to make a purchase.

Also called Point of Purchase (POP).

Also see 'Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) system'.

POISE

Profitable, Offensive, Integrated, Strategic, Effectively executed – Davidson’s five principles of offensive marketing.

Pop-under

Automatically launched internet advertisement that appears in a small window behind another webpage.

See Pop-up.

Pop-up

Automatically launched internet advertisement that appears in a small window in front of another webpage.

See Pop-under

Portal

A website or service that leads you to others by acting as a shop window.

Porter's five forces

An analytic model developed by Michael E. Porter. The five forces in terms of which the model analyses businesses and industries are: Buyers, Suppliers, Substitutes, New Entrants and Rivals. These together show the competitive position of a company.

Porter's generic strategies

Michael E Porter set out three basic strategies for competitive advantage that a company can take:

• Cost leadership – aims to be the cheapest provider in its industry 

• Differentiation – aims to set itself apart from its competitors by offering something unique which is widely valued by its buyers 

• Focus – targets a narrow segment of a broader market and then either adopts a cost leadership or differentiation strategy. For a focus strategy to succeed, the target segment must have buyers with unusual needs, which sets it apart from the broader market

Porter's value chain

A model developed by Michael E. Porter to analyse the activities and processes through which organisations create value and competitive advantage. An organisation’s strategic activities are each seen as having inputs, transformation processes and outputs.

According to Porter (1985) these activities are:

Primary activities 

• Inbound logistics 

• Operations 

• Outbound logistics 

• Marketing and sales 

• Service 

• Support activities 

• Infrastructure 

• Human resource management

• Technology development

• Procurement

Portfolio (and portfolio analysis)

The set of products or services which a company decides to develop and market. Portfolio analysis is the process of comparing the contents of the portfolio to see which products or services are the most promising and deserving of further investment, and which should be discontinued.

Positioning

The creation of an image for a product or service in the minds of customers, both specifically to that item and in relation to competitive offerings.

POSTAR

Poster Audience Research is now called Route - the UK Outdoor audience research and measurement body for outdoor media.

Premium pricing

Highly pricing a product or service to give an impression of quality or in order to offer the consumer additional service.

Prestige pricing

Applying a high price to a product to indicate its high quality.

Price maker

A producer who has enough market power to influence prices.

Price taker

A producer who has no power to influence prices.

Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR)

Additional Law to ‘The Data Protection Actwhich covers the more detailed rules in relation to electronic communications.

Problem child

High growth in a low share market.

See Boston matrix

Product life cycle

A model describing the progress of a product from the inception of the idea, via the main period of sales, to its eventual decline.

Product life cycle

The progress of a product from the inception of the idea, via the main period of sales, to its eventual decline. The product life cycle is sometimes divided into four stages, which are:
• Introduction 
• Growth 
• Maturity 
• Decline

Product orientation

An organisation that is product orientated focuses on the quality of the product. It assumes the customer wants the highest level of quality, and works towards improving quality levels. The problem with this assumption is that it does not ask if the customer wants the product. It aims to profit through sales volume.

See Business orientations

Product placement

The use of a product or service within a television or radio programme, or a film: an example would be the appearance of a leading coffee brand on a table in "Eastenders". There are strict guidelines as to the payments that can be given for such appearances.

Product reconstruction

The process of reusing or recovering existing goods. It can involve recycling, refurbishing, re-manufacturing and the resale of existing products.

Production orientation

An organisation that is production orientated focuses on manufacturing an affordable product and making that product available. Its aims are to increase production, reduce costs, and make production and distribution as efficient as possible. A production orientated organisation assumes customers differentiate between products on price and will therefore buy the cheapest product. It aims to profit through a high volume of sales.

See Business orientations

Professional marketing competences

The CIM Professional Marketing Competences were drawn up after extensive research with employers and learning academics and show the skills expected of marketing professionals at every state of their career. marketing competencies required to achieve business aims. Previously called Professional Marketing Standards and before that Statements of Marketing Practice.


To download a copy of the standards visit our marketing standards page.

Professional services

The services of individuals or companies that are accredited by professional bodies, such as accountants, lawyers and chartered marketers.

Also see Chartered Marketer

Promotional mix

The components of an individual promotional campaign, which are likely to include advertising, personal selling, public relations, direct marketing, packaging, and sales promotion.

Promotional plan

Detailed plan describing promotional objectives and activities involved in achieving the role of promotions as laid down in the marketing plan.

Prosumer

A word invented by futurologist Alvin Toffler to describe those who create goods, services or experiences for their own use or satisfaction, rather than for sale or exchange. The word prosumer is formed by contracting and combining the words producer and consumer.

Proximity marketing

The wireless transmission of advertising to compatible devices in a local area.

Ps

See 'Marketing mix'.

Public Relations (PR)

The function or activity that aims to establish and protect the reputation of a company or brand, and to create mutual understanding between the organisation and the segments of the public with whom it needs to communicate.

Pull promotion

Pull promotion, in contrast to Push promotion, addresses the customer directly with a view to getting them to demand the product, and hence "pull" it down through the distribution chain. It focuses on advertising and above the line activities.

Also see Push promotion.

Push promotion

Push promotion relies on the next link in the distribution chain - e.g. a wholesaler or retailer - to "push" out products to the customer. It revolves around sales promotions - such as price reductions and point of sale displays - and other below the line activities.

Also see Sales promotion

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Qualitative research

Market research that does not use numerical data but relies on interviews, 'focus groups', 'repertory grid', and the like, usually resulting in findings which are more detailed but also more subjective than those of 'quantitative research'.

Compare with Quantitative research

Quantitative research

Market research that concentrates on statistics and other numerical data, gathered through opinion polls, customer satisfaction surveys and so on. 

Compare with Qualitative research.

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R & D

Research and development.

RAJAR

Radio Joint Audience Research operates a single audience measurement system for the radio industry - BBC, UK licensed and other commercial stations.

Recession

A period of negative economic growth. Common criteria used to define when a country is in a recession are two successive quarters of falling GDP or a year-on-year fall in GDP.

Red ocean strategy

W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne coined the phrase to describe the industries in existence today. The space is known and defined. They observed that this was a shark infested oceans where there is fighting for prey – hence the red. But success is looking for the expanse of blue ocean.

See also Blue Ocean Strategy

Reference group

A group with which the customer identifies in some way, and whose opinions and experiences influence the customer's behaviour. For example, a sports fan might buy a brand of equipment used by a favourite team.

Relationship marketing

The strategy of establishing a relationship with the customer which continues well beyond the first purchase.

Repertory Grid Method (RGM)

A technique for representing the attitudes and perceptions of individuals. The technique can be useful in developing market research (and other) questionnaires.

Also called Personal Construct Technique and Kelly grids.

Residential training courses

Intensive training courses involving evening training sessions and including overnight stay and full accommodation.

Resource-based view

A method of viewing a firm and developing strategy.

See also ‘VRIN’ and ‘VRIO

Retention

Keeping customers.

See also churn

Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)

The value that an organisation derives from investing in a project.

Return On Equity (ROE)

Measures the rate of return on the ownership interest (shareholders' equity) of the common stock owners. ROE is viewed as one of the most important financial ratios.

Return On Investment (ROI)

The value that an organisation derives from investing in a project.

Return On Marketing Investment (ROMI)

The value that an organisation derives from investing in marketing.

See Return On Investment (ROI).

Return On Sales Enablement (ROSE)

The value an organisation derives from investing in activities that drive sales.

RFID

Radio frequency identification.

RRP

Recommended Retail Price. The price that a manufacturer suggests a retailer should sell its product at. Care however must be taken by marketers as to when they are quoting these prices especially when a product is yet to launch.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication)

Software that allows electronic content to be sent to websites or compatible devices as soon as it is updated or posted. There is some debate as to what RSS actually stands for, Really Simple Syndication is the most commonly used term.

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Sales orientation

An organisation that is sales orientated focuses on selling enough to meet the organisation’s needs. It believes that customers are reluctant to purchase, and that products are sold rather than bought. A sales orientated organisation typically relies on strong sales departments, aggressive sales techniques or sales promotions. It aims to profit through a high volume of sales.

See Business orientations

Sales promotion

A range of techniques used to engage the purchaser. These may include discounting, coupons, guarantees, free gifts, competitions, vouchers, demonstrations, bonus commission and sponsorship.

Sampling

The use of a statistically representative subset as a proxy for an entire population, for example in order to facilitate quantitative market research.

Sandwich board

Advertising poster carried by a person in public, usually in the form of two displays, one at the front and one at the back, suspended over the shoulder and thus “sandwiching” the carrier.

Scamp

Preliminary design or layout of an advertisement or other promotional material.

Also a UK pressure group against offensive advertising (S.C.A.M.P. - Stop Crude Advertising Material in Public).

Screening

The evaluation or testing of a product, and sometimes its 'marketing mix', at various stages in the new product development cycle.

Search marketing

Promoting a company’s website using internet search engines. Either getting a company website listed in search results (unpaid) or as a listing on the same webpage as the search results (paid).

Segmentation

See Market segmentation

Seminars

One day training sessions involving role play and syndicate group work exercises.

Sensitive data

Information relating to racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or other beliefs, trade union membership, health, sex life and criminal convictions.

SERVQUAL

A model developed by Zeithaml, Parasuraman and Berry to measure service quality. SERVQUAL measures five dimensions of service quality: 

• Tangibles 

• Reliability 

• Responsiveness 

• Assurance 

• Empathy

Seven Ps

See Marketing mix

Seven Ss

See McKinsey's seven Ss

Shallow linking

Hyperlinking to a website's homepage.

See 'Deep linking'.

Share Of Voice (SOV)

The total percentage that you possess of the particular niche, market, or audience you are targeting.

Shareholder value

The worth of a company from the point of view of its shareholders. Maximising shareholder value is a common objective for business management.

Showrooming

Visiting shops to decide on what to buy then going online to buy the product at a lower price.

Skimming

Setting the original price high in the early stages of the product life cycle in an attempt to get as much profit as possible before prices are driven down by increasing competition.

SLA

Service Level Agreement. A contract, or part of a contract, that states the service that should be supplied to a customer. Penalty clauses may be contained in the SLA for use when the required level of service is not met by the supplier.

SLEPT

Socio-cultural, Legal, Economic, Political and Technological - a framework for viewing the 'macro environment'.

See Macro Environment

SMART objectives

A simple acronym used to set objectives is called SMART objectives. SMART stands for:

1. Specific – Objectives should specify what they want to achieve.

2. Measurable – You should be able to measure whether you are meeting the objectives or not.

3. Achievable - Are the objectives you set, achievable and attainable?

4. Realistic – Can you realistically achieve the objectives with the resources you have?

5. Time – When do you want to achieve the set objectives?

SME (Small to Medium Enterprise)

Usually defined as organisations with fewer than 250 employees, with medium businesses having 50 to 249 employees and small businesses having up to 49 employees. Small businesses include micro businesses, which can be separately defined as having up to five employees.

SMS

Short Message Service. Text only messages sent by mobile phones, or other compatible devices, over a wireless network.

Social marketing

The application of marketing concepts and techniques to propagate ideas and behaviours for the social good.

Social Media

Overarching term that covers all types of technology that allows sharing.  Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr, Reddit, Skype, Twitter...

Socially responsibly marketing

The concept that marketing should not harm the social environment and that it should work to benefit society in the long term.

Societal marketing

See Social marketing

SOHO

Small-Office/Home-Office.

SOSTAC ®

Situation, Objective, Strategy, Tactics, Actions and Control – developed in the 1990s by PR Smith to help with marketing planning. Marketing planning process model

See also ‘MOST’ and ‘APIC’ and ‘MOSAIC

SOSTT

Situation, Objective, Strategy, Tactics and Targets.

SPAM

Unsolicited e-mail, often advertisements sent to a very large number of recipients.

Spider

A program used to search engines to seek things out on the internet.

Spin

The attempt to manipulate the depiction of news or events in the media through artful public relations - often used with derogatory connotations.

Sponsorship

Specialised form of sales promotion where a company will help fund an event or support a unit  venture in return for publicity.

Stage-Gate Process

A model developed by Dr R G Cooper for bringing new products from idea to launch. The model divides the new product development process into stages, with each stage being separated from the next by a management decision gate. Management approval must be obtained at each gate before the process can move on to the next stage.

See Stage-Gate® product innovation process

Stakeholder

An individual, organisation or community that has an interest in the strategy and operation of an organisation. Stakeholders may include shareholders, employees, customers, government, local communities, opinion formers, suppliers and partners.

Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes

Codes that identify a business or service according to its primary kind of activity. Two-digit codes are the most general classifications, but most codes use at least four digits to allow more specific industry identifications.

Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes

Codes that identify workers by job function. SOC codes sort occupations into a small number of broad categories, usually using a numerical coding system. The coding within these categories is extended to define narrower categories and job functions.

Star

See Boston matrix

Storyboards

Sequence of sketches designed to show the main elements of a television or cinema commercial.

Supplier Relationship Management (SRM)

Managing relationships with suppliers often through the use of IT systems.

Compare with 'Customer Relationship Management'.

Supply (and demand)

See 'Demand'.

Supply chain

The network of suppliers, manufacturers and distributors involved in the production and delivery of a product.

Surrogate marketing

See Displacement marketing

SWOT analysis

A method of analysis which examines a company's Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Often used as part of the development process for a marketing plan, or to feed the results of a marketing audit back into a revised plan.

Syndicate groups

Smaller groups of delegates from a larger main group - usually separated out to work through a practical exercise, e.g. a role play.

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Tailored training

A training programme that is customised to suit particular company/industry objectives.

Target Group Index (TGI)

A continuous survey of adults in which their purchasing habits in detail are related to their media exposure, thus facilitating accurate media planning.

Targeting

The use of 'market segmentation' to select and address a key group of potential purchasers.

Telemarketing

The marketing of a product or service over the telephone.

Telephone Preference Service (TPS)

A database of business and individual telecoms subscribers who have elected not to receive unsolicited direct marketing calls.

Test marketing

Making samples of a new product available to see what representative consumers think of it and its proposed 'marketing mix'.

Third sector

Another name for the not-for-profit sector.

See ‘not-for-profit

Trade marketing

Marketing to the retail and distributive trades.

Training course

A course that focuses on practical application of skills to better enable delegates in their workplace.

Training qualification

A qualification for sales and marketing professionals that is assessed through work based projects.

Tweenagers

8 to 12 year olds or 7 to 11 year olds.

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Unique Selling Preposition (USP)

The benefit that a product or service can deliver to customers that are not offered by any competitor: one of the fundamentals of effective marketing and business. USP is sometimes referred to as Unique Selling Point or Unique Selling Proposition.

Unmentionables

Groups of products that are considered "too delicate" to mention or to advertise. These may include sanitary towels, condoms or incontinence pads.

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VALS

Values and Lifestyles: the categorisation of people according to their way of living, using groupings such as Belongers, Achievers, Emulators, I-am-me, Experiential, Socially conscious, Survivors, Sustainers and Integrators.

Value added

See 'Added value'.

Value proposition

The set of qualities of a good or service that allows it to fulfil the customer's needs and desires, as opposed to simply benefiting the seller.

V-commerce

Voice enabled e-commerce

Viral marketing

Spreading a brand message using word of mouth (or electronically - 'word of mouse') from a few points of dissemination. Typical techniques include using email messages, jokes, web addresses, film clips and games that get forwarded on electronically by recipients.

Virtual community

A community that exists and interacts online.

Virtual learning

This is face to face learning in a virtual rather than physical environment. The learner and deliverer are in the same 'virtual' classroom at the same time, so can interact in the same way as if they were face-to-face. However, they may or may not be in the same place geographically.

See also ‘face-to-face’, ‘blended learning’ and ‘online learning’.

Vision

The long-term aims and aspirations of the company for itself.

Vlog

A blog posting that contains video rather than just words.

See also ‘Blogs/blogging’ or ‘Weblogs

VoIP

Voice over Internet Protocol. Technology allowing voice communication to be delivered using internet protocol, an alternative to delivering voice communication over a public switched telephone network.

VRIN framework

Valuable, rare, inimitable and non-substitutable – a determination if a resource is a source of sustainable competitive advantage.

VRIO framework

Value, rarity, imitability and organisation - a determination if a resource is a source of sustainable competitive advantage.

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WAP

Wireless Application Protocol. Specification allowing wireless devices to interact with information sources. A common application is the use of microbrowsers for wireless internet access.

Warhorse

A product with a large market share of a declining market.

See ‘Boston Matrix

Wearable Technology

A collection of devices that contain computing power and can be worn by the consumer. They often monitor health and fitness and record, or send, the data to the cloud.

Web 2.0

Concept of the World Wide Webs transformation from a collection of websites to a computing platform supporting web applications, harnessing (pooling) the intelligence of its users and allowing users to define how they interact with organisations and each other.

Weblogs

See ‘Blogs/blogging’ or ‘Vlog

White goods

Large electrical devices for domestic use, such as fridges, freezers and dishwashers. Used to be cased in white enamel, hence the name.

See also ‘Brown goods

White space

Areas of any company where strategy and authority are vague, and where useful entrepreneurial activity can flourish.

Compare with 'Black space'.

Widgets

In computing terms a widget is an interface or an application that enables a function to be performed.

WI-FI (Wireless Fidelity)

Wireless network connection standards allowing computers LAN (Local Area Network) access via a wireless link.

Wikis

A collaborative website that is created and updated by a community.

WiMAX

Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access. Technology to deliver wireless broadband access over distances of up to 6 miles, an alternative to broadband access via a fixed line local loop.

Word clouds

A visual method of displaying qualitative data that may reveal patterns.

Word of Mouth (WoM)

The spreading of information through human interaction alone. Some campaigns have used this as key element, for example, the British Gas privatisation's 'ask Sid' promotion.

Also see 'Viral marketing'.

Workshops

Interactive training sessions involving role play and syndicate group work exercises.

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X generation

See 'Generation X'.

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Youth market

Young customers viewed as a marketing opportunity. Typically the term denotes those aged 16 to 24, but various age ranges are in use, from '12 to 24' to 'under 35'.

YUPPIE

Young Urban Professional - a demographic grouping.

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