Marketing terms you should know

Knowing these marketing terms won’t get you a marketing degree, but it might get you through a lunch.

Marketing jargon is important. Speaking and understanding the right marketing terms lets people know you are plugged into the marketing sphere.

Being familiar with marketing terms means, at the very least, you have been in the industry for enough time to garner some credibility to know something about the trade.

Social media and web analytics have given marketers immense amounts of data—from income level to on-site user behavior to likes and dislikes. Marketers now deal with a level data that is almost obnoxious, to where the marketing terminology you need to know has increased.

Whether you’re a seasoned marketer looking for new marketing terms or are someone interested in starting a marketing career, this list is meant to cross-pollinate both groups (or maybe they call that synergy?).

Here are the marketing terms you should know … in 5 minutes.  

Most popular marketing terms

This list won’t replace an MBA or a Marketing Degree, but I do feel they it can give you a better understanding of various marketing concepts and hone in on what you need to know.

Prospect / Lead / Account

A lead is someone who converts and gives you their information in some capacity. A prospect is a lead that has been qualified and vetted to be a worthwhile customer.

A marketer who doesn’t differentiate between leads and prospects is someone who is not doing their due diligence in creating QUALITY leads.

The difference between a lead and a prospect is highlighted by most CRM marketing tools, Salesforce for instance.

Prospect >> Lead >> Account

Salesforce and its catalog of products (mainly Pardot) help you organize and qualify your leads. But the Salesforce CRM doesn’t have prospects, it only has leads and accounts. It assumes that if a lead has entered your CRM they are already interested in purchasing. Putting a lead into your CRM assumes they have been qualified as being a viable lead and are therefore no longer a simple prospect.

To remember the order, recall the primary goal of every marketer: to prospect. Prospecting means to comb the market, or to prospect, for potential leads.

Once qualified prospects turn into leads and sales feels like they can probably buy, they will then become accounts.

Marketing collateral

Technically, marketing collateral is any media that helps enhance or better represent your brand, product, or service. Marketing collateral is most often brochures and handouts given away at person to person meetings or at events/trade shows.

But marketing collateral can also be emails, ebooks, or magazine articles. Think of marketing collateral as tangible content that can “speak for your company/product” when you’re not there.

Creative deck or one-sheet

These are one page, or a limited number of pages, that VISUALLY represent the tone, style, and content of a particular creative concept or pitch. A trend you’ll notice in marketing is that plain word docs are rarely taken seriously. Good marketers know the packaging and presentation of a message is arguably as important as the message itself.

Segments or segmentations

Marketing segments are audiences within your audiences. For example, you have a database of 100,000 people from the United States. Pulling a list of individuals who listed Texas as their mailing address would be a segment.

Marketing brief

A brief can be many things, but primarily, marketing briefs are meant to detail your objectives and to offer an overview of a project your department is undertaking.

Note the difference between a brief and marketing collateral is that a brief is almost always used for internal purposes (for your co-workers to see) and to help them better understand the goals of a project.

Out of Home (OOH) Advertising

In 2019, close to $40 billion was spent on OOH advertising, which is any visual advertisement that appears outside of a person’s home (billboard, bench, bus advertisement, etc.) The world has changed a lot since 2019. But regardless, many digital marketers or millennials might not be aware of the OOH term. Even if you’re not directly creating any out of home advertising, it’s another good term to know to display your marketing acumen.


Marketing isn’t just about targeting new prospects but is also focused on connecting with prospects and leads who may have fallen off. Targeting leads that have gone cold and trying to warm them up again is called re-targeting or re-marketing.

Know what an SRD is

Marketing exists to support the sales team and to make sure they have the resources needed to get quality leads that are ready to buy.

An SRD can be short for Sales Reference Document. Marketers use SRDs to save a sales team time by just giving them what they need to know about a particular marketing event. This could be a sales promo, major event, or a response to company news.

Sales reps are busy and they aren’t always the most organized communicators. SRDs allow someone else to guide them through what to say if they feel the support is needed.

Know what the term scope or SOW is

Marketers often hire outside contractors or are hired as contractors themselves. A scope of work (SOW) lists the tasks and the job (the scope) for which the person is being hired. Every contractor should be required to sign and/or create a scope of work to make sure expectations are set and they aren’t asked to overdeliver or end up underdelivering.

Final Minute

Below is some marketing and sales terms that are more slang—a bit inside baseball—but will be there for you if you need them.

A rack

Salespeople like to come up with different names for money. One unit you should know and feel free to throw around is “rack,” which is another word for a thousand dollars.

Hand Raiser

Broadly speaking, a Hand Raiser is a prospect that expresses interest in some capacity or “raises their hand” to show they’d like more information.

Tire kicker or Looky Loo

A prospect that will likely never become a valid lead. Looky loos and tire kickers “look around” and “kicks the tires” but never seriously wish to engage.


To account for the fact many leads require multiple attempts in order to be reached, or to make sure they remain warm, sales teams set up a series of touch points, or a cadence. A cadence is just another way of saying the timing and frequency in which a lead is messaged before the sales rep either closes, marking as it as win or a loss.


A/E/C is not so much a marketing term but one you will come across if searching for a marketing job, nevertheless. A/E/C stands for Architecture Engineering and Contracting. For jobs looking for someone with A/E/C experience, it’s highly likely you’ll need a background in architecture and some form of construction or civil engineering experience.


TAM is an abbreviation short for Total Available Market. The TAM is an analysis of how many potential customers exist for your product or service.

If you found this list helpful, or have any more specific questions regarding the terms above, feel free to reach out to me regarding a consultation via the button below.

This article was written by:

Paul is the Founder & Editor of He is a Certified Salesforce Marketer, FAA Drone Pilot, HSK Chinese Speaker, Ham Radio Operator, NASM Personal Trainer, and Certified Canon operator amongst other things. He hosted and produced the first original programs for Hulu and Twitch and helped launch a pilot program for teaching soft skills to incarcerated students. He currently runs content marketing for an aerospace company in Los Angeles. If you'd like to request a consultation, contact Paul here.

You May Also Like