Business & IT Glossary - M

Mail order Originally referred to purchasing from a catalogue and receiving goods by post, but now covers most distance-selling where the customer orders by phone or internet and goods are delivered by post or courier.
Mailshot A personally addressed communication sent to an individual, usually aiming to sell a product.
Market The section of the public who are the customers of a business. It is vital for a business to identify its target market, so that it can reach it as easily as possible and not waste time and money trying to sell to people who do not need its products.
Market research Analysing the requirements of a specific market, eg defining the market profile, discovering what people want, how much they are prepared to pay and if they will actually buy products.
Marketing The process of identifying the needs of the marketplace, developing products that will satisfy these needs and selling these products.
Marketing communications All forms of communication – adverts, brochures, newsletters – used to convey marketing messages to customers, either to make them aware of a company or to attract them to buy.
Marketing mix Defined at the most fundamental level as product, price, promotion and place. To succeed, a business should have the right promotion for the right product at the right time at the right price.
Mainframe A large computer system - often requiring a separate building or data centre to house its equipment - providing the capacity to process very big amounts of data, mainframe computers can often be accessed by hundreds or thousands of users through linked terminals or PCs.
MBI A Management Buy-In is where the management of one company purchases and takes over another company.
MBO A Management Buy-Out is where a company's own management raises the funds to purchase and take over the company.
Megabyte (Mb) Approximately 1 million bytes.
Memory A generally used term describing the storage of data. Types of memory include RAM, ROM and disk storage.
Middleware Software sitting between an operating system and application software which co-ordinates complex tasks in order to simplify the operation of a system for developers and users. Middleware can manage complex processes involving actions carried out by a number of different application software programs, as well as automating frequently repeated tasks.
Minicomputer In between a mainframe computer and a desktop PC in size, a minicomputer can provide processing for small companies or departments within an organisation.
MIPS Millions of Instructions Per Second is a basic measure of the speed at which a computer performs.
Mission statement A short sentence which sums up a business and its purpose. The shorter and simpler the sentence, the more effective.
MLR The Minimum Lending Rate is the rate of interest at which the Bank of England lends to the money markets.
Mobile Computing Refers to the growing trend towards the use of portable equipment which enables users to work at any location and take their computers with them when they travel. Compact devices, such as laptop PCs, handheld PCs and Personal Digital Assistants - which can communicate with other computers via mobile phone, radio or other form of wireless communications - can be used in hotels, on trains and, sometimes, even up a mountain.
Modem A device that translates data to and from digital formats, so that it can be transmitted and received via telephone lines and other communications systems. Many businesses and individuals access the internet and send email and faxes via a modem.
Money market An institution that deals in gold, foreign exchange and securities in the short term.
Motivation Running a successful business requires considerable effort and individuals must remain motivated to apply the effort required, even when times are tough. All sizes of business require employees to be motivated to ensure they operate at maximum efficiency and provide a high level of service to customers. There are many techniques used to motivate business owners and employees.
Mouse A device for moving and controlling the cursor on a computer screen. By pressing the mouse button, a user can select menu options and instruct software programs to perform specific functions.
MP3 MP3 is the name for MPEG audio layer 3 files, which compress recorded sounds (eg music) into small computer files which can be transmitted across the internet and downloaded for playback on PCs or portable MP3 players.
Multi-level marketing A process of direct selling where a salesperson can recruit other sales people and receive bonuses from the sales made by these recruits.