You’ve probably noticed that your company’s marketing team has a vocabulary of their own.
Don’t worry. Even native English speakers may not know what they’re saying!
Marketing uses tons of specific vocabulary to talk about the big issues.
The Business English Vocabulary You Need to Discuss Marketing
Now it’s time to learn words frequently used in the world of marketing.
They aren’t just important for the marketing team—you’ll hear these words no matter what kind of work you do for your company.
This is probably because marketing is always becoming more and more important to improve sales and make a company succeed.
Talking About Brands
Whenever you’re having a conversation about marketing, it’s common to hear people talk about a company’s “brand.”
Your company’s name, how recognizable the name is and how people view it are all part of your brand. You want customers to think and feel something specific when they hear your company’s name. For example, a lot of Apple lovers automatically think things like “quality” and “cutting edge” when they hear the brand mentioned. The creators of Apple wanted these ideas to be part of the brand. Today, the Apple brand holds a lot of value.
Brand Identity — This is the message a brand wants to send to its customer. Perhaps you want your company to be seen as professional and exclusive. Or maybe you want it to be young and vibrant. Adjectives like these help to make a brand identity.
Example: Their new logo is fresh and hip, giving them an almost entirely different brand identity.
Brand Guidelines — This is a document that explains a brand’s identity entirely. This is usually used by marketing professionals and graphic designers. It is basically a set of do’s (things you should do) and don’ts (things you shouldn’t do) for presenting the brand in any marketing material. It will include things like:
- Colors to use
- Where and how to use the logo
- Acceptable fonts
- Types of images
- Thickness of borders
- Packaging guidelines
Brand guidelines can be a few pages or a hundred pages, depending on the size of the brand. This document allows a business to maintain consistency in presentation.
Example: All designers must refer to the brand guidelines whenever they are making new marketing material.
Look and Feel — This is a way of talking about things in the brand guidelines. The “look and feel” is exactly what it sounds like. It is how the brand looks and how it makes people feel. It is the way someone experiences a brand through its packaging, website and marketing efforts.
Example: The spa’s look and feel is very minimalist, but at the same time relaxed and inviting.
Visibility — The word visibility refers to something’s ability to be seen. Something that has good visibility is something that can be seen easily. When talking about a brand’s visibility it means the same thing. How often does your audience see your brand through your marketing activities? The more people see or hear about your brand, the more visibility it has.
Example: We should put up a big billboard on the interstate to increase our offline visibility.
Talking About Marketing in General
Marketing includes every way you try to get people to hear about your brand.
Online Marketing Activities — Online marketing activities are any activities to increase visibility that happen through the Internet and through smartphone apps. This could include email campaigns, text messages and digital advertising.
Offline Marketing Activities — These are any marketing activities that do not happen on the Internet. This could include billboards, print ads, mailed newsletters, flyers, live demos and much more.
Marketing Campaign — This is a marketing message that you want your audience to remember. It is one single message that is sent by multiple different methods. You will spread this message through online and offline marketing activities. A company usually pushes a specific marketing campaign for a predetermined duration. However, if the marketing campaign is a huge success, they may continue to use it.
Example: Have you ever heard of the phrase “Just Do It”? This was a marketing campaign Nike introduced in the late 1980s, but it has since become an important part of the Nike brand identity.
Marketing Objective — This is what you are trying to accomplish with your campaign. Maybe you have a sales goal or you want to reach a certain number of people. A marketing objective is your reason for activating the marketing activity.
Example: Our marketing objective for the spring print campaign is to get at least 10,000 people to walk into our store in the month of April.
Campaign Reach — To know if your campaign is successful, you should have someone who is tracking and analyzing the data. Data will show you how many people see or engage with the campaign material. This is a phrase often used with digital marketing, but it can be used when talking about other marketing activities too.
Example: I have spent $1000 on the ads, and the campaign reach is about 10,000. That works out to be 10 cents per ad view.
Marketing Collateral — This refers to the media and material used to sell your product. Rather than ads, most of the time this refers to things such as PowerPoint presentations, brochures, white papers and so on
Example: We need to update our marketing collateral and create some more appealing brochures and flyers.
Talking About Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is any form of marketing that takes place in the digital world, online.
SEO — This is an acronym which stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO uses special techniques to get your website (or certain pages of your website) to rank higher for search engines. This means that people will be able to find your website when they are looking for something related to your company.
For example, if you type “potato chips” into the search bar on Google, Lays (a very popular and well-known brand of potato chips) will appear. They use good SEO to have their brand seen by people on the Internet who are searching for potato chips.
Example: We can improve our SEO if we add a blog to our website.
Big Data — Just like it sounds, the phrase “big data” is used when talking about massive amounts of data. Analysts use this data to figure out trends and human behavior to better understand markets.
Example: We can use big data to figure out which products our customers might prefer the most.
Social Media — Any platform that connects people, including: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat. Many companies want to have a good social media presence, which means that they will have good visibility to people who use these social media sites.
Example: We should improve our brand’s social media presence by opening Instagram and Pinterest accounts.
Keywords — When you set up an online advertisement, you can select keywords that are relevant to your product. Then your advertisement will target people who have searched for things similar to your keywords. As shown in the previous example, “potato chips” is a keyword for the Lays company’s website.
Example: Since we are selling hand-crafted chairs, we should add “furniture,” “chair” and “décor” to our list of keywords.
Real-time engagement — This is when a brand interacts with audiences right now. Instead of only following a marketing plan that was designed weeks ago, real-time engagement means a brand reacts in “real-time.” Your company might do some real-time engagement by interacting with its followers on Twitter or Facebook.
Example: Since #summerholiday is now trending on Twitter, let’s mention some fun things for people to do. That way we can increase our real-time engagement.
Online Presence — When someone hears about a new business or product, the first thing they’ll do is go to Google. This is the modern world. We go to the Internet to do research and see what we can learn about any business or product that interests us.
When someone searches for your business online, which website pages come up? This is your online presence. If people can find your business online, then your business has an online presence. If someone searches for your name and finds your personal website, then you have an online presence!
Example: There are only ten websites that come up when I search for our business’ name. We really need to improve our online presence and get some other websites to start talking about us.
Email Blast — When you send the same marketing email out to a large list of email addresses, it’s called an email blast.
Example: Let’s send out an email blast informing our database that the store will be having a huge sale before Christmas.
Talking About Content Marketing
Content marketing uses strategic material that’s put out for the world to see, but which doesn’t necessarily appear to be an advertisement. This can be an interesting video, a story or a single Facebook post.
Clickbait — This is when a headline is worded in such a way that readers feel tempted to click it to find out what the article will say.
Example: Headlines like “This woman lost her dog. You’ll never believe what happened next” and “5 things you must absolutely try today” are nothing more than clickbait to increase page views.
Organic Content — This is content that happens naturally. The marketing team did not plan or create this content. It’s usually something that a customer writes or promotes.
Example: A high school student wrote organic content by reviewing our product in a Facebook post and 3,500 people liked it.
Influencers — Influencers are people who have a big social media following. They may be traditional celebrities or Internet celebrities. Either way, when they post something on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, a lot of people see it.
Celebrity-Driven Content — When brands pay an influencer to post about their product, it’s considered to be celebrity-driven content.
Example: Ally has 100,000 followers on Instagram, so brands pay her to post celebrity-driven content.
Native Advertising — This is advertising that disguises itself to look as though it isn’t marketing. It is a property which looks like other non-advertising properties on the same site or platform.
Example: The beauty blog will feature a post about the quickest way to remove pimples. The post is native advertising provided by a face wash company.
We hope that these marketing terms will help you to make an effective marketing plan that, in turn, helps you grow your business!
And One More Thing…
What’s the best way to learn business English vocabulary the way native speakers use it?
Watch authentic English videos on FluentU.
FluentU has a huge collection of English videos that people in the English-speaking world actually watch on the regular.
More to the point, FluentU has an entire business category filled with authentic business-related videos covering six language levels.
To show the variety of videos even inside this single category, real-world business videos on FluentU include “Introducing Business Colleagues,” “Business Buzzwords,” “Control Your Inbox!” and “What Warren Buffet Thinks About Cash.”
An added bonus is that if you want to work on other topics later, simply use the same, familiar FluentU platform to learn with videos from other categories, such as “Science and Tech,” “Politics and Society” or mix it up with “Arts and Entertainment” or “Health and Lifestyle.”
Every spoken word is subtitled, complete with an in-context definition, image and multiple example sentences.
All you have to do is tap or click on one of the words in those subtitles to get more information. For example, if you tap on the word “brought,” you will see this:
Plus, these great videos are all accompanied by interactive features and active learning tools, like multimedia flashcards and fun games like “fill in the blank.”
If you are interested in watching fun, relevant videos and practicing language actively in the process, be sure to create a FluentU account and try out this one-of-a-kind language learning program!
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