Advertising | Marketing

Taking the Sting out of Marketing Buzzwords

As with every industry, Retail Marketing has its own list of words that get integrated into everyday conversations. Most of us, at some point, have felt lost in a jumble of unfamiliar words, and it feels like Grade 10 Spanish class all over again.

Not to worry! Here is our comprehensive list of must-know Retail Marketing buzzwords that will have you talking the talk while you walk the walk at your next meeting or conference.


An application that is generally designed for a specific purpose, such as finding store locations. Most apps are small in size and designed to be installed on a mobile device. There are also web apps, which run in a browser and do not need to be downloaded. These may also be embedded within the Facebook platform, in the form of contests, games or promotions.


Business to Business (B2B) marketing is the act of marketing your product or service to another business, such as IBM selling computers to Coca-Cola.


In contrast, Business to Consumer (B2C) marketing is the act of marketing your product or service to consumers, such as Coca-Cola selling soft drinks to teens.


A way to understand your business metrics in comparison to similar businesses and industries. Time, quality and cost are generally the highlighted benchmarks. They will help put your performance into perspective to learn where your company can be better and faster, and for cheaper.

Brand consistency:

Keeping a consistent look, feel and message, while maintaining a constant voice throughout all touch points of your brand. For example, Abercrombie & Fitch uses the dark grey colour throughout the look of their website, retail stores and even their price tags.

Cross-browser testing:

Testing the functionality of an app or website in different browsers to ensure that all users can access your content, and that it displays as intended on the most common web browsers used, such as Chrome or Internet Explorer.


Presenting a defined challenge to an undefined public group. This collaborative work almost always occurs online, with the biggest example being the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

Database (DB):

A collection of information stored digitally that is organized in a structured and searchable framework, and can be accessed from most computers. An example would be a list of email addresses obtained from a contest, which can be used to send further relevant marketing messages.

Engagement metrics:

The measurement of customer interactions with one another or with a brand. The initiative for engagement can be either consumer or company-led, and the medium of engagement can be on or offline. Metrics usually include things like sentiment, frequency, length of visit, coupon redemption, and how far information has been shared.


This is the concept of applying game-design thinking to non-game scenarios to make them more fun and engaging. These are typically used as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service.


Finding and identifying the real world location of something, like a store or person through an app or online. A user can include their location in tweets, or share their whereabouts to friends with check in-apps such as FourSquare. Knowing a user’s location allows marketers to develop location-based ads.


A temporary wall installed around a construction site in the mall, used to display advertisements, such as mall graphics or new store information.


The formation of ideas or concepts. Similar to brainstorming, but can be done alone or with a group of people. This strategy is used when exploring new ideas for clients.


Visual representation of data used to make information that would normally be hard to interpret, clear and easier to understand at a glance.


The concept of applying a consistent brand message across all platforms, using promotional methods to reinforce each other, including traditional (print advertising) or non-traditional (social media) marketing channels.

Long Tail:

The idea that the majority of the consumers of a product or audience for a website, is scattered. Therefore, infrequent purchases by many individuals can generate more revenue than many sales made to fewer purchasers. Inversely, a widely diverse product line can generate a greater return than the sale of a concentrated product line. The long tail sales concept works particularly well with intangible goods that can be bought online where the cost to stock the item is negligible.


A form of blogging that is shorter than traditional blog posts, and often updated from mobile devices. The best example of this is Twitter, which only requires updates of 140 characters or less.


Customized material, designed to address a particular individual, or cater to their specific needs. For example, personalized advertising might be addressed to you by first name, featuring content catered to a term you searched for online.

Reporting vs. Analytics:

Reporting is simply taking data and presenting it in an organized way. Analytics is taking the data and making sense of it in regards to your business strategy.


When a website’s look and functionality adapts based on the size of the screen, or which type of device it is being used on.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM):

SEM is broadly used to promote a website, increasing its traffic by using paid advertising, search results and other forms of Internet marketing.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO):

SEO is a subset of SEM. SEO describes the steps taken to improve visibility of a website in search engines. The end goal of optimizing your website for search engines is to drive relevant traffic to the content on your site.


Reaching a group of specifically defined individuals with messages or advertisements. For example, an online ad could be targeted to reach women, 25-40 years old, who have small children and live in Toronto.


Blogging in video form, where the author (vlogger) creates a series of videos on a subject. Haul vloggers are known in the retail environment for chatting about the fun products found on their latest shopping trip.


The process or procedure in which tasks are regularly completed.

While it would be impossible for us to list every buzzword, we hope that this list of retail marketing buzzwords will be comprehensive enough to have you holding your own at your next industry gathering. New buzzwords are created daily, so it’s essential to stay current and understand common terms to avoid being the person who asks what a Twitter is, or how many Facebooks the company should buy.