Marketing Terms offers a detailed list of marketing terms.

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Term Definition
Decline Stage of PLC

Stage within the Product Life Cycle which occurs when the market is no longer able to sustain sales levels for a product as sales are decreasing at increasing rates compared to previous periods.


Concerns statistics that describe a population such as age, education level, income, etc., and in marketing is used as a market segmentation variable.

Department Stores

Retail format represented by general merchandisers offering mid-to-high quality products and a strong level of service.

Dependent Channel Arrangement (also Vertical Marketing System)

A binding arrangement between channel members, either legally or in some other manner, to engage in a specific and often strictly outlined business relationship whose types include Corporate, Contractual and Administrative.

Descriptive Data Analysis

Refers to techniques for analyzing research data in which results are presented, often using charts or tables, as a summary of what has been gathered without making a statement of whether the results hold up to statistical evaluation.

Descriptive Market Research

Generally considered the most popular form of market research, this research method has the objective of providing an accurate description for something that is occurring (e.g., monthly sales volume, customer preference).

Development Stage of PLC

Stage within the Product Life Cycle which occurs before a product is introduced to the market and is principally a time for honing the product offering and preparing the market for the product.

Diffusion of Innovation

A concept that explains how information and acceptance of new products spread through a market.

Digital Convergence

A growing trend for using computer technology to deliver media programming and information, thus allowing media from one type of outlet (e.g., newspaper) to take advantage of features and benefits offered through other media outlets (e.g., Internet).

Direct Distribution System

A distribution design where a marketer reaches the intended final customer by distributing the product directly to the customer and includes Direct Marketing Systems, Direct Retail Systems, Personal Selling Systems and Assisted Marketing Systems.

Direct Marketing Systems

A direct distribution system where customers place orders either through information gained from non-personal contact with the marketer (e.g., marketer’s website or print catalog) or through personal communication with a company representative who is not a salesperson (e.g., placing order by telephone).

Direct Retail Systems

A direct distribution system where a product marketer also operates their own retail outlets.


A distribution channel concept which suggests that the growth of the Internet as a communication and distribution channel will lead to a flattening of the layers of distribution resulting in fewer resellers (e.g., wholesalers) as manufacturers and final buyers learn to transact directly.


Key component of the marketer’s toolkit that represents decisions on the activities and strategies needed for the exchange and movement of products (goods or services) between the marketing company and the final customer.

Distribution Center

A type of warehouse where product storage is a temporary activity with products being received from many suppliers and then quickly shipped to many customers.