marketing vocab esl

Help your business student ace their sales and marketing meetings and pitch their ideas clearly with this media and marketing vocabulary.

PDF of marketing vocabulary for your student

Once you’ve taught your student almost all of this vocabulary, here is a PDF for them to keep.

Types of adverts

Advert – the paid announcement of a product or service.

Advertising – the activity of producing and publishing adverts.

To advertise – the verb for ‘advertising.’

Billboards – large adverts in the street.

‘Do billboards on highways still work?’ ‘They do for junk food!’

Banner ad – advert on a webpage at the top or side of the article.

‘Most newspapers use banner ads to make some more revenue.’

Junk mail – advertising leaflets or emails a person receives that they don’t want.

‘I used to receive lots of junk mail through my letterbox, now I get more junk emails instead.’

Leaflet – small advert with information that you give to people.

‘Why do people keep giving me leaflets for gym membership?’ ‘Well Dad, you’re not as slim as you used to be!’

Logo – the symbol the represents a company.

‘Coco cola’s logo is its name with a distinctive lettering style.’

Poster – advert or picture that you stick to a wall.

Popup – an advert that appears suddenly and covers the screen.

‘There are popups now everywhere on the internet. It drives me crazy.’

A slogan – the words under a logo.

‘Nike’s slogan is “just do it”.’

Word-of-mouth advertising – when people discover your product or service because it is recommended by friends and family.

‘I found my daughter’s kindergarten by word-of-mouth. My friend recommended it and my daughter loves it.’

Speaking activity

Here is an advertising speaking activity recommended by tutor Janie C.

“One thing that can be quite fun to do with students who are intermediate-advanced, is to share a commercial that has little or no voice-over for a well-known brand like Nike, and ask students to discuss what the brand is trying to say with their advertising. Here is one from Nike.”

Here is another one from Rema 1000.

And here are some more

Here are some ad images to dissect with your student from tutor Gareth.

10 Brilliant Ads that are all just words

11 Brilliant Ads that don’t need any copy

Advertising strategy


To do market research – to ask customers and potential customers what they want from your product and how you can make it better.

‘Every year companies invest millions in market research with the hope of improving their product.’

To network / to do networking – to meet people in your industry to form new connections.

‘I’m not good at networking but it’s necessary in my job.’

To pitch an idea – to present a sales or advertising idea to your colleagues, boss or investors.

‘How did your last pitch go?’ ‘Not bad, I think we got the contract.’

To survey / to conduct a survey – a questionnaire, asking people questions related to your sector.

‘Before we begin designing this product, we must do a survey of potential customers.’


To bring a product or service to market – to launch a product or service.

‘We plan to bring this software to market early next year.’

A company spokesperson – the nominated person or people in a company who speak to the press.

‘The CEO, the COO and the CMO are the spokespeople for our company.’

To showcase a product or service – to demonstrate the use and quality of your product or service to potential customers.

‘This year at the trade fair, we will showcase our new range of sofas.’

To take market share – to grow your company and become more dominant in your sector.

‘Toyota took market share in the 90s to become the world’s largest car manufacturer.’ 

To target an audience – to identify people who would be interested in your product and target them with a sales and advertising campaign.

‘The target audience for this car are people in their 30s-40s with kids.’

Speaking activity

The student is a marketing specialist and the tutor is the client. The student must come up with a strategy to market the following products.

  • A new fast food chain.
  • A holiday destination.
  • A new delivery service.
  • Italy’s version of Amazon’s Alexa

The press and public relations


An article – a factual piece of writing in a newspaper

A blog post – a piece of writing on a website.

To catch up with the news – to update yourself with the latest news after you haven’t read it in a while.

‘I catch up with the news every Saturday morning by buying a broadsheet.’

A press release – a piece of writing a public relations person gives to the press containing the latest news about their company.

To work in public relations (PR)

To be a journalist – to write news for a newspaper, website or TV news channel.

To work in journalism – the activity of being a journalist.

To publish an article in a newspaper.

To post a blog post on a website.

To review / a review – a critique of a book, film, restaurant or experience.

‘The author hopes that her new book will get a good review in the newspaper.’

To subscribe / to have a subscription – to have an ongoing subscription to something.

Subscriber – the person who subscribes to something.


Broadsheets – a more serious, larger newspaper with longer, more difficult to read articles.

Current affairs – the latest political and societal news.  

To keep yourself updated with the news – to stay updated with the latest news (not ‘actualised’)

Newsfeed – an app or webpage which updates when there is a new news story.

A paywall – a wall that newspapers put on their new sites to charge for their articles.

‘Most newspapers now have paywalls to make people subscribe and pay for content rather than getting it for free.’

Readership – the noun for ‘readers’ (uncountable).

‘The readership of newspapers is decreasing every year due to the internet.’

Readers – people who read something (countable).

‘My blog has over 7000 readers a month.’

Tabloid newspaper – a non-serious, easy to read newspaper often focused on sport, celebrities along with politics.

Speaking activity

Questions for your student:

  • How have your media consumption habits changed over the years?
  • What can newspapers do to stop declining readership?
  • In the age of social media, are newspapers still relevant?
  • How often do you catch up with the news?

Final thoughts

What media and marketing words have we missed? Add them to the comments section below.