Marketing Terms offers a detailed list of marketing terms.

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Term Definition
Drop Shipper

Wholesale format represented by distributors that never take physical possession of products but instead act as shipping coordinators who receive product orders and arrange to have products shipped directly to their customers from product suppliers.

Distribution Packaging

Packaging generally offering a higher level of damage protection than the final customer package and used to transport the final customer package through the supply chain often within a multiple unit container.

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.


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.


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.

Direct Retail Systems

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

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 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.

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).

Diffusion of Innovation

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

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.

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).

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.

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.

Department Stores

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