Marketing Definitions (A-B)
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Above-the-Line Advertising - advertising which employs one of five main media - the press, television, radio, cinema and posters.

Absolute Cost Advantage - the cost advantage one company has over another if it has a cheaper source of raw materials, control of superior knowledge through patents, cheaper manufacturing or assembly costs, or similar benefit.

Access Barriers - factors such as tariffs and legal restrictions which reduce the size of a market by preventing potential customers from purchasing a particular product.

Account Manager - a sales representative responsible for a major customer account or group of major accounts; also referred to as an account executive.

Account Objectives - the specific aims and sales goals to be achieved within a specified period by a salesperson for an account for which he or she is responsible.

Account Representative - a salesperson with direct responsibility for one specific major account or a group of major accounts.

Account Strategies - broad methods employed in achieving the objectives set by a salesperson for a particular account.

Action Planning- a detailed plan showing how major marketing tasks will be managed and implemented, who will do them, and when; also called an Action Plan.

Activity Quota - a common form of sales assignment, goal or target used to measure a sales representative's performance in relation to his or her selling activities; activities used in this way include total calls made, total sales made, number of new accounts opened, number of displays set up, and so on. Other common forms of sales quotas are unit volume quotas, dollar volume quotas, gross margin quotas and net profit quotas.

Activity Reports - reports requiring salespeople to provide details (such as number of calls made, new accounts opened, displays arranged, dealer sales meetings attended and so on) as a measure of their activity in a given period.

Added Value - the increased worth of a firm's offering as a result of marketing; four factors which generate the additional value are features, quality, customer perception (or image) and exclusiveness.

Adoption Process - the series of stages, including awareness, interest, evaluation, trial and rejection or adoption, which consumers go through in their decision-making process

Advertising - the paid, public, non-personal announcement of a persuasive message by an identified sponsor; the non-personal presentation or promotion by a firm of its products to its existing and potential customers.

Advertising Agency - a firm specializing in the creation, design and media placement of advertisements, and in the planning and execution of promotional campaigns. 

Advertising Copy - the content and context of a message contained in an advertisement.

Advertising Media - outlets or vehicles (for instance, newspapers and magazines, television, radio, cinema, posters, etc) used in communication between advertisers and customers. Note that advertising media is a plural term; its singular form is advertising medium.

Advertising Objectives - specific aims or intentions of an advertisement (for example, to inform, to persuade, to remind).

Advertising Planning Process - the steps or stages taken in planning an advertising campaign; the steps include identifying the target market, establishing the advertising objectives, developing the advertising budget, developing the advertising strategies, selecting the appropriate media, and evaluating the advertising effectiveness.

Advertising Research - research done to test the effectiveness of advertising; this may include the pre-testing and post-evaluating of specific advertisements and campaigns. Communication-effect research attempts to measure whether the advertising communicates effectively; sales-effect research attempts to measure whether it produces the desired level of sales.

Advertorial Advertising - advertising in which the sponsoring organisation declares its position on a matter of public interest (usually of a controversial nature).

Agent - an intermediary or middleman who facilitates the flow of goods and services from producer to end-user, but who, unlike other members of the distribution channel, does not take title to them.

Amiable (Social Style) - one of four social styles (with Analytical, Driver and Expressive) commonly used to classify salespeople and their customers in terms of their communication approach; Amiables are characterized by high responsiveness and low assertiveness. 

Analytical (Social Style) - one of four social styles (with Amiable, Driver and Expressive) commonly used to classify salespeople and their customers in terms of their communication approach; Analyticals are characterized by low responsiveness and low assertiveness. S

Anchor Store - a popular, major retailer located within a shopping mall to attract mall patronage.

Area Market Potential - an estimate of the amount of sales, in units and dollars, that might be possible in a given territory or region under a given level of industry marketing effort under given environmental conditions.

Area Market Specialist - a marketing manager, with good local knowledge, located in a high-volume, distinctive market to support the sales effort.

Available Market - that part of the total market which professes an interest in a product, can afford to purchase it, and is not prevented by access barriers from reaching it. 

Average Cost - the average cost per unit of production of a set or group of products; the total cost of production divided by the total number produced; the Unit Cost. 

Average Cost Pricing - a pricing method in which a mark-up for profit is added to the average cost of production. See Cost-Plus Pricing.

Average Fixed Cost - a measure of cost control, calculated by dividing the total fixed cost of the goods produced by the number of units sold.

Average Revenue - a measure used in price setting, calculated by dividing the total revenue by the number of units sold.

Average Total Cost - a measure of cost control, calculated by dividing the total cost of the goods produced by the number of units sold.

Average Variable Cost - a measure of cost control, calculated by dividing the total variable cost of the goods produced by the number of units sold.


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Baby Boomers - the generation of people born between 1946 and 1959.

Baby Bouncers - the generation of people who are the children of the "baby boomers"; also referred to as Yuppies.

Backward Integration - a strategy for growth in which a company seeks ownership of, or some measure of control over, its suppliers. 

Backward Invention - an product strategy in international marketing in which a company produces a less complex version of its domestic product for developing and less-developed countries.

Balance of Payments - the difference between the payments made to foreign nations and the receipts from foreign nations in a given period.

Balance of Trade - the difference between the value of the goods and services sold to foreign nations (exports) and the value of the goods and services bought from foreign nations (imports) in a given period.

Balanced Product Portfolio - a product strategy in which a firm maintains an even combination of new, growing and mature products. 

Bundled Offer - a consumer sales promotion in which two related product items are bundled together and sold at a special price. 

Bar Code - an arrangement of lines and spaces in code form used to identify a product by style, size, price, quality, quantity, etc. The code, read by a scanning device, is used in marketing decision-making, including stock control and inventory level adjustment.

Bargaining Power - the strength or influence one party has in a business negotiation; the capacity of one party to dominate by virtue of its size or position or by a combination of personality and negotiating tactics.

Barter - an exchange in which one good is traded for another; money is not involved.

Bartering - exchanging goods for others of equal value.

Base-Point Pricing - a pricing method in which customers are charged freight costs from a base point; the base-point may be chosen arbitrarily, but the location of one of the company's manufacturing plants is commonly used. 

Basic Stock - the level of inventory required to meet the desired service standard taking into account the expected rate of depletion and the order lead time.

Battle of the Brands - a term used in reference to the often intense competition between manufacturers' brands, wholesalers' brands and retailers' brands. 

Behaviouristic Segmentation - the division of a market into groups according to their knowledge of, and behaviour towards, a particular product. Behavioural dimensions commonly used to segment markets include benefits sought, user status, usage rate, loyalty status and buyer readiness stage. 

Bells and Whistles - the optional features built into a basic product to satisfy or impress as large as possible a number of buyers.

Below-the-Line Advertising - all advertising by means other than the five major media - the press, television, radio, cinema and outdoors; below-the-line advertising employs a variety of methods - direct mail, sponsorship, merchandising, trade shows, exhibitions, sales literature and catalogues, and so on. 

Benefit Segmentation - the division of a market into groups or segments on the basis of the particular benefit sought by each group from a product. 

Billings - the amount of money spent on media buying by advertising agencies on behalf of clients.

Bird Dogs - individuals, sometimes junior salespeople, who seek out sales leads and prospects for more experienced salespeople. 

Blanket Purchase Order - a purchase arrangement in which a buyer contracts with a supplier to take delivery of an agreed quantity of goods at a specified price over a fixed period of time; also called a Blanket Contract.

Blocked Markets - markets, especially in foreign countries, to which entry permission is refused, or in which it is not possible to compete on reasonable terms.

Body Copy - the descriptive paragraphs in a print advertisement (as opposed to the headlines.

Body Language - a nonverbal form of communication in which posture, facial expressions, hand movements, etc, convey a message from sender to receiver. 

Bonus Plan - a scheme for additional payments to salespeople to be made at the discretion of management for a particular sales achievement.

Bottom Line - a colloquial term meaning "profits".

Bottom-Up Approach to Planning - a participative approach to planning in which there is involvement at all levels; plans are developed at the lower levels of an organisation and funnelled up through consecutive levels until they reach top management. 

Bottom-Up Approach to Promotion Budgeting - an approach to promotion budgeting which takes as its basis the tasks that are thought to be necessary to achieve the specified promotion objectives; these tasks are costed and the total cost, when approved by top management, is the budget. 

Bottom-Up Approach to Sales Forecasting - an approach to sales forecasting which takes market conditions rather than the company's objectives as its basis; sometimes referred to as the "build-up" method. 

Boundary-Spanning Role - the difficult dual role played by sales managers and senior account managers who, in developing close relationships with clients, must provide the link between company and customer.

Brainstorming - an idea generating process commonly used in new product development; the process encourages open communication and full participation by group members, while withholding any criticism. Evaluation takes place after all ideas have been expressed. 

Brand - a name, sign, symbol or design, or some combination of these, used to identify a product and to differentiate it from competitors' products.

Brand Advertising - the featuring of a particular brand in media vehicles in order to build strong, long-term consumer attitudes towards it.

Brand Competitors - competing brands of products which can satisfy a consumer's wants almost equally as well as each other. 

Brand Positioning - the image that the brand sponsor wants a particular brand to have; the desired positioning of the brand in the market and in the minds of consumers.

Brand Conviction - the strong attitude or attachment consumers have towards a particular brand.

Brand Development Index - a ratio of brand consumption intensity to population intensity by country, state, city, region, etc.

Brand Equity - a term used in reference to the value of a well-known brand; brand equity can greatly affect the buyout price of a company.

Brand Establishment - the building-up of a brand in the introductory stage of the product's life cycle; brand establishment involves developing an effective distribution network for the product and convincing consumers to buy it. 

Brand Extension - the use of a well-known brand name to launch a new product, of an unrelated category, into the market; also called Franchise Extension.

Brand Familiarity - the awareness consumers have of a particular brand.

Brand Franchise - the loyalty that attaches to a well-managed brand. 

Brand Harvesting - decreasing marketing expenditure on a brand to zero, or to a minimal level, when sales and profits begin to decline, relying on its purchase by loyal customers to sustain it; brand harvesting (which often precedes total elimination of the brand) is usually undertaken to free up cash with which to pursue new market opportunities.

Brand Image - the feelings, moods, emotions and connotations evoked by a brand.

Brand Leveraging - broadening a company's product range by introducing additional forms or types of products under a brand name which is already successful in another category. 

Brand Licensing - the leasing of the use of a brand to another company.

Brand Life Cycle - a concept, building on the product life cycle concept, which states that brands also have a life cycle - introduction, growth, maturity, decline - and that particular brand management strategies are appropriate at each stage. 

Brand Loyalists - consumers who remain loyal to a brand over a long period of time. 

Brand Loyalty - a measure of the degree to which a buyer recognizes, prefers and insists upon a particular brand; brand loyalty results from continued satisfaction with a product considered important and gives rise to repeat purchases of products with little thought but with high-involvement. 

Brand Manager - an individual given responsibility for planning and co-ordinating the firm's marketing activities related to a single brand.

Brand Mark - the part of a brand which can be seen but not spoken; the logo, symbol or design that forms part of the brand. 

Brand Monopoly - a circumstance in which a particular brand dominates a market.

Brand Name - the part of a brand which can be spoken. It may include words, letters or numbers. 

Brand Personality - the feeling that people have about a brand as distinct from what the product can actually do.

Brand Power - the force a particular brand has to dominate its category through the magnitude of its recognition.

Brand Preference - the stage of brand loyalty at which a buyer will select a particular brand but will choose a competitor's brand if the preferred brand is unavailable. 

Brand Promiscuity - consumer buying behaviour marked by an absence of brand loyalty. 

Brand Recognition - the stage of brand loyalty at which the buyer is aware of the existence of a particular brand but has no preference for it. 

Brand Reinforcement - activity associated with getting consumers who have tried a particular brand to become repeat purchasers and with attracting new users; brand reinforcement is a key objective of the growth stage of the product's life cycle. 

Brand Repositioning - changing the appeal of a brand in order for it to attract new market segments; brand repositioning may or may not involve modifying the product.

Brand Revitalization - strategy employed when a brand has reached maturity and profits begin to decline; approaches to revitalization may include one or all of market expansion, product modification or brand repositioning.

Brand Revival - the resurrection of a brand that is being harvested or which has previously been eliminated; brand revival, where the brand name is still strong, is often a less costly strategy than the creation of a new brand and may provide a firm with a significant advantage in a mature market.

Brand Sponsor - the manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer who owns the brand. 

Brand Strategies - decision-making for the effective handling of brands; three general branding strategies are available - a single brand for all of the organisation's products, family branding, or the use of individual brand names for all products. 

Brand Switching - the changing of support and conviction for one brand to a competing brand. 

Break-Even - the point at which total revenue is equal to total cost.

Break Even Analysis- a method of determining the number of units of a product that must be sold at a given price in order to recover the total cost of production.

Breakthrough Opportunities - opportunities that are seen by innovative firms which develop hard-to-imitate marketing strategies that are very profitable for a long time; less creative firms adopt risk-avoiding "me-too" strategies. 

Broad Assortment - an assortment strategy in which a reseller decides to carry a wide range of related product lines. 

Broker - a marketing intermediary or middleman between buyer and seller; an agent. 

Buddy System - an on-the-job sales training method in which an experienced salesperson is responsible for the training of a new salesperson. 

Budgeting - the process of financial planning of income and expenditure for the firm's various activities - marketing, promotion, advertising, personal selling, etc.

Bundling - the practice of offering two or more products or services as a single package at a special price; also referred to as Bundled Pricing. 

Business Analysis - a stage in the new product development process in which the information gathered in the screening, concept development and testing and marketing planning stages is used to produce break-even and return-on-investment projections. 

Business Cycles - historical patterns of prevailing economic conditions - prosperity, recession, depression and recovery.

Business Plan - a blueprint for building a company, containing a definition of the company's mission, identified opportunities, objectives, strategies and action plans and control and evaluation measures.

Buyer Behaviour - the study of consumers and organizations in relation to their purchase decisions. See Consumer Behaviour; Organizational Buying Behaviour.

Buyer Resolution Theory - the idea that a buyer decides to purchase only after mentally resolving five specific issues - need, product, source, price, and timing.

Buyer's Market - a market in which there is an abundance of a particular good or service for sale.

Buyer-Seller Interdependence - the close relationship between buyers and sellers, especially in organisational markets, where buyers become highly dependent on sellers for assured supply and delivery.

Buying Allowance - a trade sales promotion in which buyers are offered a price reduction for each carton, case, etc. purchased during the period of the promotion. 

Buying Cycle - the time taken by an organization to complete its decision to buy.

Buying Power - the resources, especially financial, that customers have at a given time.

Buying Signals - signs or indications, verbal or nonverbal, that tell a salesperson that the buyer is ready to buy.

By-Product - a secondary product produced during the process of manufacturing another.


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Last modified: November 21, 2007