Small Business Encyclopedia


Rivalry in business, as for customers or markets

Competitive Analysis

Identifying your competitors and evaluating their strategies to determine their strengths and weaknesses relative to those of your own product or service

Competitive Intelligence

The process of gathering actionable information on your business's competitive environment

Competitive Matrix

A chart that compares your product or service to your competitor(s)

Affiliate Marketing

A paid advertising model where a company sells its products through individuals or companies ("affiliates") who market the company's product for a commission

Focus Group

A controlled group interview of a target audience demographic, often led by a facilitator. A set series of questions or topics are covered, and the results are used to guide marketing efforts.

Guerrilla Marketing

An unconventional way of performing marketing activities on a very low budget


The perception people have of your business when they hear your company name. A business's image is composed of an infinite variety of facts, events, personal histories, advertising and goals that work together to make an impression on the public.


The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products

Business Card

A small card identifying a person in connection with his or her business, given to a client, potential customer, etc.

E-Mail Marketing

Marketing via e-mail, usually through the use of sales letters or customer newsletters


How you differentiate your product or service from that of your competitors and then determine which market niche to fill


A recognizable graphic design element, often including a name, symbol or trademark, representing an organization or product

Primary Market Research

Iinformation that comes directly from the source--that is, potential customers. You can compile this information yourself or hire someone else to gather it for you via surveys, focus groups and other methods.

Mailing List

A collection of names and addresses used by a company to send material to multiple recipients. On the internet, mailing lists include each person's e-mail address rather than a postal address.

Marketing Campaign

A specific, defined series of activities used in marketing a new or changed product or service, or in using new marketing channels and methods

Marketing Materials

The printed pieces, such as brochures, letterhead and business cards, you'll use to market your business

Marketing Plan

The written document that describes your advertising and marketing efforts for the coming year; it includes a statement of the marketing situation, a discussion of target markets and company positioning and a description of the marketing mix you intend to use to reach your marketing goals


Use of the telephone to market goods or services directly to prospective customers

Niche Marketing

A portion of a market that you've identified as having some special characteristic and that's worth marketing to

Secondary Market Research

Market research that's already compiled and organized for you. Examples of secondary information include reports and studies by government agencies, trade associations or other businesses within your industry.


A catch phrase or small group of words that are combined in a special way to identify a product or company

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