80-20 rule: States that 80% of your revenue will come from the top 20% of your customers.

A/B test: Test of a marketing piece, campaign, or offer in which one group of recipients receives version A and the other, similar group receives version B; also called split-run test.

Affiliate marketing: Using other online marketers as a source of referrals; payment is usually per click, per lead, or per sale.

Call to action: Message at the end of a marketing communication that directs customers and prospects to act in some manner, such as calling a toll-free phone number to request more information or logging online to place an order.

Contextual marketing: Promoting a product in a setting, environment, or publication that is relevant in terms of content.

Continuity program: Products or services bought as part of a continuing series; a gift-of-the-month club, in which a gift is sent every month, is a type of continuity program.

CRM: Customer relationship management; communicating with the customer in a consistent manner across all divisions of a company, based on the customer’s preferences and history, so that there are no disconnects or discrepancies between communications from differing departments or channels.

Cross-selling: Encouraging customers to buy additional products, often items that complement past purchases.

Database marketing: Using disparate information about customers and prospects that is stored electronically to determine the most effective means and message for communicating with particular groups of those customers and prospects.

Demographics: Objective criteria for classifying consumers, such as age, income, and marital status.

Firmographics: Objective criteria for classifying businesses, such as industry, number of employees, and annual revenue.

FSI: Free-standing insert; printed material inserted loosely into a publication.

Influencer: In b-to-b, a person who has a say in the decision-making process but does not have the final purchasing power.

Insert media: Marketing materials that are inserted into other communications, such as a catalog, a package, or a bill.

Loyalty program: Program in which customers are rewarded with discounts or other special offers in order to encourage them to continue purchasing.

Opt-in: Request by a prospect or customer to be included on a list; an opt-in list consists only of individuals who specifically asked to be included.

Opt-out: Request by a person to be removed from a list; an opt-out list is created by adding names to a list without contacting those individuals first, and removing them only if they request removal.

Positioning: How a company is defined relative to the competition.

Psychographics: Subjective criteria for categorizing consumers, such as attitudes.

Qualitative research: Research that is subjective and does not rely on statistical analysis, such as a focus group.

Quantitative research: Research that is objective and relies on statistical analysis, such as surveys.

Remnant space: Unsold ad space in a publication or on a Website that is offered at a discount.

Run of schedule: A TV or radio commercial that can be aired whenever the station sees fits, rather than on a specific program or at a specific time determined by the advertiser.

Search engine marketing (SEM): Marketing a Website via search engines, either by paying for links or by trying to improve the site’s ranking among the unpaid listings.

Search engine optimization (SEO): Type of search engine marketing in which a site is created or modified specifically to improve its ranking among unpaid search engine listings.

SIC: Standard Industrial Classification; system used by the U.S. Department of Commerce to categorize businesses based on their industry.

Upselling: Selling a more expensive or more profitable product to a customer who has already decided to buy an item from you.

USP: Unique selling proposition; what distinguishes a company from the competition or what a company chooses to highlight to distinguish itself from the competition.
Viral marketing: A campaign that uses word-of-mouth or “tell a friend” mechanisms.