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Basic Marketing Terms

The knowledge of basic marketing terms and definitions can come in handy for anyone in business. Whether you work in marketing or not, you will find that an understanding the marketing, advertising, and promotional aspects of your business can enhance your sales.

Marketing is an essential part of any business. It does not matter whether or not you own a sole proprietorship, a limited liability corporation, or a large corporation. Knowing basic marketing terms is essential.

Advertising Budget

Money set aside by the advertiser to pay for advertising. There are a variety of methods for determining the most desirable size of an advertising budget.

Advertising Plan

An outline of what goals an advertising campaign should achieve, how to accomplish those goals, and how to determine whether or not the campaign was successful in obtaining those goals.

Advertising Specialty

A product imprinted with, or otherwise carrying, a logo or promotional message. Also called a promotional product.

Banner Ad

A graphical web advertising unit, typically a large headline or title extending across the full page width often measuring 468 pixels wide and 60 pixels tall.


A name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. The legal term for brand is trademark. A brand may identify one item, a family of items, or all items of that seller.

Channel Distribution

An organized network of agencies and institutions which in combination perform all the functions required to link producers with end customers to accomplish the marketing task.


Of a print publication, the average number of copies distributed. For outdoor advertising this refers to the total number of people who have an opportunity to observe a billboard or poster.

Cooperative Advertising

A system by which ad costs are divided between two or more parties. Usually, such programs are offered by manufacturers to their wholesalers or retailers, as a means of encouraging those parties to advertise the product.
Also Known As: Co-op Advertising, Co-op Program

Cost Per Thousand (CPM)

The cost, per 1000 people reached, of buying advertising space in a given media vehicle.


A general marketing term used for the material used to generate leads and sell advertising developed and designed by art directors and/or copywriters in an ad agency.


Basic objective descriptive classifications of consumers, such as their age, sex, income, education, size of household, ownership of home, etc. This does not include classification by subjective attitudes or opinions of consumers

Direct Mail

Marketing communications delivered directly to a prospective purchaser via the U.S. Postal Service or a private delivery company.

Direct Marketing

Sending a promotional message directly to consumers, rather than via a mass medium. Includes methods such as Direct Mail and Telemarketing.

Eighty-Twenty Rule

A rule-of-thumb that, for the typical product category, eighty percent of the products sold will be consumed by twenty percent of the customers.


The person who actually uses a product, whether or not they are the one who purchased the product.