Transitioning into the world of product marketing can be difficult. And it’s mainly because of the multitude of different terms and acronyms that are rife within the community.
Because they’re so many, it can even be hard for us to keep up!
Our product marketing glossary is the definitive guide to all those tricky words that you can’t manage to wrap your head around.
Never struggle with key product marketing vocab again. This is the only place you need to be for product marketing definitions, with over 100 definitions and more constantly being added. Plus, we’ve included links to our articles and other resources that’ll bring even more clarity to certain topics.
From advocacy programs, to win/loss analysis, we’ve got you covered.
So, let’s go…
- A/B Testing: A method of comparing two or more versions of a variable (like a blog post, web page, or advertisement) against each other to determine which version performs the best, and also to understand if a difference between the versions is statistically significant.
- Acquisition: The process of obtaining new assets, clients, or customers. It can also mean implementing certain strategies to market your products and services to new customers.
- Advocacy program: A marketing strategy where customers are encouraged to become spokespeople for your product or brand and recommend them to other prospective customers.
- Analyst relations: A strategy where product marketers work alongside external or internal analyst teams to gain insights into their product marketing roadmap.
- Annual recurring revenue (ARR): A metric showing the amount of revenue (or money) that comes in each year from its customers. The revenue can be generated from subscriptions, memberships, contracts, and other purchases.
- Application programming interface (API): A set of functions and procedures that allow for computers, or computer applications to communicate with each other. It’s essentially the messenger that takes a request and tells the system what to do, which then responds in kind by completing the request.
- Battle cards: A sales enablement asset that provides an overview of competing companies, including information about their product or service. This resource also provides guidelines on how to win deals against this specific competitor.
- Behavioral economics: The theoretical study of psychological, cognitive, emotional, cultural, and social factors which affect an individual or institution’s financial decision-making process.
- Benchmarking: The practice of comparing your company’s success against competitors to see if there’s a gap in product quality, time, or cost that you can fill.
- Beta testing: A method used by companies at the final stages of their product development before launching, where customers or users try out the solution to ensure that they’re satisfied with the end product before it’s launched.
- Bottom of the funnel (BoFU): A strategy that focuses on the bottom section of the customer journey funnel which looks at customer action, e.g. leading the customer to take action and make a purchase.
- Brand identity: The image your company conveys about itself to the public. This includes things like product design, tone of voice, messaging techniques, advertising, and so on.
- Brand leveraging: A strategy that uses the power of an existing, popular brand to support its entry into a new market.
- Business case: A method used to answer four questions to develop your product marketing strategy: Why are we doing this, what are the benefits, how will we do it, and who will need it?
- Business to business (B2B): A marketing strategy used to sell a solution to another business.
- Business to consumer (B2C): A marketing strategy used to sell a solution to an individual consumer.
- Business to developer (B2D): A marketing strategy used to sell a solution to software developers.
- Business to human (B2H): A personalization marketing strategy used to target the individual behind the screen, focusing on their specific needs and pain points with the aim of building a deeper relationship with the customer.
- Business model canvas: A strategic template used for developing new business models and keeping track of existing ones.
- Buyer: The person purchasing your product. Not necessarily the one using it.
- CAPEX: This stands for capital expenditures. These are long-term, major expenses that you spend money on that have a fixed cost and have some value outside of the company. Once the money for these is gone, it’s gone. E.g. property, vehicles, machinery, laptops, etc.
- Case study: A testimonial outlining your customer’s success with your product, how its features reduced pain points, etc. in an attempt to persuade potential customers to convert.
- Change management: An approach used by product marketers when preparing for changes in market and consumer behavior.
- Churn: A metric used to identify the number of customers who decided to no longer use your solution over a certain period of time.
- Cognitive load: Cognitive load is the amount of thought that’s required to carry out a task. If you’re asked to focus on too many things at once, this makes it difficult for your brain to process the individual pieces of information and this’ll increase the time needed to fulfill the objective.
- Cohort analysis: The practice of studying activities or habits of certain segments of your customer base over a set period of time.
- Competitive enablement: The process of training and helping your internal departments to carry out their own competitive intelligence approach to ensure everyone’s on the same page and working together towards the same goals.
- Competitive intelligence: The process of gathering information on competitors and the market to develop strategies to stand out from the crowd and attempt to gain the upper hand in the market.
- Competitive landscape: There are two potential definitions.
A) A method of analysis to identify and outline the important parts of your direct and indirect competitors.
B) Your competitors within the market.
- Consumer psychology: The study of individual and organizational consumers of your solution and what affects their buying behavior.
- Core competency: The capabilities, knowledge, skills, and resources of any certain organization that are critical to its success.
- Customer advisory boards (CABs): A group of hand-picked customers that regularly come together to feedback to an organization and provide guidance over certain strategies and create solutions.
- Customer acquisition cost (CAC): Costs relating to winning a new customer.
- Customer benefit: Tied to a customer’s needs, and what they’re going to get out of your solution/product.
- Customer journey: All stages of the consumer process, from pre-purchase, consumption, to post-purchase.
- Customer lifetime value (CLV): A metric that shows the total revenue an organization can expect from a single customer throughout their entire relationship.
- Customer marketing: A term referring to any marketing activity or campaign that’s aimed at your current customers.
- Customer onboarding: The process where companies work to improve their customer’s experience and success with their product or service. This is typically done in the first stages of post-acquisition.
- Customer research: The process of identifying, analyzing, and understanding a customer’s needs, pain points, behavior, etc as they relate to the business.
- Customer satisfaction score (CSAT): A metric used to measure how satisfied a customer is with a particular interaction or overall experience with your product or company.
- Cross-sell: The practice of selling an additional product to an existing customer.
- C-suite: A title referring to senior executives within an organization, e.g. CEO, CFO, CMO, and so on.
- Deal velocity: The speed at which a company negotiates and then signs a contract to close a transaction.
- Decision paralysis: A process where an individual or team overanalyzes a situation which causes a freeze in the decision-making process.
- Decoy effect: An experience that occurs when a third option of a product (decoy) is presented that’s significantly inferior to the prior two options. This then influences a customer to choose the more expensive option of the first two that were presented.
- Demand generation: Often referred to as ‘demand gen’. This is the focus of targeted marketing programs to drive awareness and interest in an organization’s solution.
- Engagement: A metric designed to measure the number of interactions a customer has with your organization or product.
- Enterprise business: A well-established, for-profit business started and run by an entrepreneur.
- Field marketing: A marketing method where organizations directly market their products in front of consumers “in the field”. For example, at events, conferences, retail locations, etc, to allow them to directly sample the product.
- Framework: A template outlining a certain product marketing strategy or approach.
- Freemium: A basic package offered by companies where the features are very limited at no cost to the user, which essentially upsells to a more advanced package that they’d have to pay for.
- Free trials: A period of time where a product or service is offered to customers for free so they can try using it before purchasing.
- Funnel acceleration: A funnel is a simplified visualization of a customer’s journey from discovery to purchasing the product. So, funnel acceleration is essentially the speeding up of this journey/process.
- Gap analysis: The process of comparing a company’s current performance with its desired, expected performance.
- Go-to-market: A strategy put in place to take a product to market, and show consumers its unique value and benefits in comparison to competitors within the market. Generally speaking, it touches on three core components: your target audience, marketing plan, and sales strategy.
- Growth: A focus on increasing the number of customers who are buying from your organization, the number of products that are sold, and the continued overall success of your organization.
- Human-centered design: A practice where designers focus on the user’s needs to enhance their cognitive and user experience with the product.
- Industry analyst: A person who performs primary and secondary research within an industry about their specific market.
- In-app messaging: Extremely targeted notifications that are sent to users while they’re using an app.
- Integrated marketing: An approach used to ensure that all channels are linked together. This is to try and tell a story or convey an idea and is in an attempt to target the right audience with the right communication/messaging.
- Jobs-to-be-done: An approach that aims to get to the root of what people purchase your product for and every purchase a person makes has a job-to-be-done behind it.
- KPIs: This stands for Key Performance Indicators. KPIs are a metric used to measure performance over time for a specific objective.
- Lead generation: This is sometimes referred to as ‘lead gen’ and is the process of getting prospective customers interested in your business, and capitalizing on their interest until they convert to a customer.
- Low-code: A software development approach that requires minimal coding skill to build the application. This makes it quicker and easier to use and create. Websites like WordPress, Wix, and Weebly are low-code platforms.
- Market insights: A piece of information discovered through research or analysis of the market that you can use to develop your understanding of consumers, competitors, the industry, and so on.
- Market research: The vital process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting information and data on your target market, customers, competitors, and industry to improve your business strategy.
- Marketing qualified lead (MQL): A potential customer that has been interpreted as more likely to become a customer by the marketing team, who’ll then focus on converting them.
- MECE principle: MECE is an acronym meaning ‘mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive’. It’s a framework for solving complicated problems where you break them down into sub-problems that can only fit into one category at a time (mutually exclusive), and cover all possibilities (collectively exhaustive). It’s a way to focus on key data that points towards a solution.
- Messaging: A strategy used to highlight a product’s key benefits and successes to potential customers in a bid to convert them to full customers.
- Metrics: A quantifiable way of measuring and tracking performance.
- Middle of the funnel (MOFu): A strategy that focuses on the middle section of the customer journey funnel, which looks at customer interest and desire, e.g. what engages consumers and captures their interest.
- Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR): Total revenue generated by your business from all the active subscriptions in any given month.
- Narrative design: A communication vehicle that helps companies deliver their story to an audience.
- Net promoter score (NPS): A KPI used to measure a customer’s loyalty and satisfaction. It assesses and indicates how likely they are to recommend your product or company to a peer.
- Objection handling: The action of a prospective customer showing concern about a product or service that the company is selling and the salesperson alleviating those concerns to allow for the deal to develop into a sale.
- OKRs: OKRs stands for objectives and key results. They’re a popular type of framework used to keep track of goals and performance and support product marketers in setting objectives and measuring results.
- One-pager: A single page that clearly summarizes what your company does.
- OPEX: This stands for operating expenses. These are the company’s day-to-day expenses that are ordinary costs for the company and can be deducted from a company’s taxes for the year in which they were incurred. For example, salaries, rent and utilities, legal fees, and so on.
- Passive marketing: The process of promoting your product in a subtler way so that the customer comes to you without feeling rushed or overwhelmed.
- Pay Per Click (PPC): An advertising model used to bring traffic to websites. The advertiser pays the publisher when an ad is clicked. Most common: paid search ad.
- Personalization: A tactic used to personalize your marketing towards a certain customer to make them feel appreciated, to understand them more, build a better connection with them, improve their experience with your company, and ultimately increase customer loyalty and sales.
- Personas: Hypothetical profiles based on characteristics of real users that companies create during their customer and market research. They can be very useful in understanding potential customers’ needs, behaviors, pain points, and goals.
- Pitch deck: A brief, visual presentation used to give your audience (customers, investors, stakeholders, coworkers) a quick overview of your marketing plan.
- Playbook: A step-by-step guide to any sort of product marketing strategy that can help you to optimize your own approach, and enable other team members to revolutionize the way your organization carries out the strategy.
Find our product marketing playbooks here.
- Portfolio roadmap: These are used to outline the strategy and timeline of your product marketing process to coordinate internal efforts and deliver consistent messaging for your target audience.
- Positioning: A strategy used to establish where your product or service fits in your market and differentiates your offering from competing products available.
- Positioning statements: A succinct description of a product or service, outlining how it fulfills the requirements of a particular target market.
- Prestige pricing: A strategy where a company will maintain an increased price of a product to suggest its high value and quality.
- Product launch: The process and plan of bringing a product to the market.
- Product-led growth: When a product’s grown through acquiring, engaging, and retaining customers due to the quality of the product, rather than the quality of the company’s marketing and sales teams.
- Product portfolio: The entire collection of products that a company sells.
- Product release schedule: A plan that coordinates a product’s upcoming release. It typically includes the most important aspects of a product and its launch so it can then be signed off by stakeholders.
- Qualified customer list: A list of potential customers based on certain criteria of your business requirements.
- Retention marketing: A strategy used to focus on getting customers to return to your business, or continue making business with you.
- Return on Investments (ROI): A metric used to measure how well an investment has performed, and whether it has brought in a profit or a loss.
- Revenue: The total amount of money generated by a business.
- Roadmap: A plan or strategy put into action with the intention of achieving a particular goal or objective.
- SaaS: This stands for Software as a Service, and is the model where software is accessed online and is usually subscription-based.
- Sales enablement: The process of providing your sales team with appropriate information, content, resources, and tools that will help them sell more effectively and successfully.
- Sales toolkit: A group of tools that every sales team can use to leverage their sales techniques. This can be things like battle cards, call recording platforms, and so on.
- Sales qualified lead (SQL): Like an MQL, this is a potential customer who has been interpreted as such by the sales team, who’ll then focus on converting them to an actual customer.
- Scaleup: A smaller company that is growing in size and is no longer a startup. It must have an average of a 20% annualized return in the past three years to be considered as such.
- Segmentation: The process of dividing either your consumer or market base to understand more specific parts of the segments for more effective marketing and analysis.
- SMART goals: An acronym meaning “Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based”. It’s a framework for setting a company’s goals and objectives.
- Social campaigns: A marketing effort using social media platforms to increase a business or product’s visibility.
- Solo PMM: A product marketer who works by themselves without a team, either within a company or in a freelance capacity.
- Startup: A business in the very beginning stages of development.
- Storytelling: A strategy used to communicate a message to your audience through the combination of fact and narrative.
- Strategy: A plan of action to achieve certain goals or objectives over a certain period of time.
- Strategic alignment: A process put in place to ensure that a company’s resources, teams, structure, culture, etc are lining up to support its strategy.
- SWOT analysis: An acronym meaning “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats”. It’s a framework that’s used to identify and analyze an organization’s competition.
- Tactic: A method or set of actions put in place to achieve a certain plan or goal.
- Target audience: The group of people you’ll be attempting to reach with your marketing so that they buy your product.
- Thought leadership: A type of content marketing strategy where you turn to the expertise and knowledge of those within your organization or community to answer particular questions and topics for your target audience.
- Time-to-value: A metric measuring the time needed to finish a project and successfully show the benefits of the solution.
- Top of the funnel (TOFu): A strategy focusing on the top section of the customer journey funnel, which looks at customer awareness and lead gen, e.g. educating the customer on the brand or product.
- Trial-to-subscription: The process where a cheaper subscription is offered to a potential customer to test the product when their intention leans towards purchasing the full subscription.
- User: The person using your product. They’re not necessarily the person who bought it.
- User experience (UX): How a user experiences and interacts with your product in relation to its usability.
- User experience research (UER): The process of studying, learning, and identifying what end-users need and want for your product or service, and then implementing these findings into your solution to enhance their experience.
- User interface (UI): The point at which a user (human) interacts and communicates with a computer. This can be on a device, webpage, or app. For example, using display screens, keyboards, and desktops are forms of UI.
- Value proposition: An outline of how your product or service will benefit your customer, how it’ll solve their pain points, and why it’s better than others on the market.
- Voice of Customer (VoC): The marketing method in which you focus on and collect feedback from the customer experience (what they need, want, and expect from your product) to improve your solution.
- Voice of Developer (VoD): The process of collecting feedback from software developers to improve your solution.
- V-Suite: A title referring to Vice Presidents within an organization.
- White papers: A report or guide that informs readers concisely about a complex issue and presents the issuing body’s philosophy on the matter. They’re designed to help the reader understand an issue, solve a problem or make a decision.
- Win/loss interviews: Win-loss interviews help you find out why a prospect converted into a customer, chose a competitor over you, or perhaps chose no one at all. They take the guesswork out of the equation and enable you to understand what is and isn’t working - and subsequently make changes to help you win more and lose less in the future.
Want to equip yourself with a deeper understanding of product marketing functions? Well, you’re in the right place.
In our Mastering Product Marketing certification, we cover every key product marketing principle - and it’s only continuing to grow. From research to competitive intelligence, to positioning, to narrative design - you name it, we have it. And if not, we’re building it.
Join the Mastering Product Marketing subscription and unlock:
- Over 15 gold-standard courses,
- More than 70 hours of learning,
- Official certification & accreditation,
- Over 50 templates & frameworks,
- Exams throughout,
- Optional coursework,
- Fireside chats with red hot guests, and
- 30+ hours of bonus footage.
So, what are you waiting for?Get Masters Certified