Whether you're looking for an obscure phrase or your basic marketing definition, the AMA Dictionary has it all! Originating from the print version in 1995, we're always adding new terms to keep marketers up to date in the ever-evolving marketing profession.

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  • free-on-board
  • F.O.B. destination
    A shipping term that indicates the seller pays the freight to the destination. Title does not pass until the merchandise reaches its destination; thus, the seller assumes all risks, loss, or damage while goods are in transit, except for the liability of the carrier.
    F.O.B. origin pricing
    A form of geographical pricing in which the seller quotes prices from the point of shipment. Free-on-board (F. O. B.) means it is the buyer's responsibility to select the mode of transporting the goods, choose the specific carrier, handle all claims, and pay all shipping charges.
    face validity
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    face value
    The printed financial value of a coupon (actual savings). The face value can be either a specific monetary amount, a percentage discount, or combination offer with another product.
    facilitating agent
    A business firm that assists in the performance of distribution tasks other than buying, selling, and transferring title (e.g., bank, transportation company, warehouse).
    fact sheet
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    1. A specialized financial institution engaged in factoring accounts receivable and lending on the security of inventory. 2. A type of commission house that often advances funds to the consignor, identified chiefly with the raw cotton and naval stores trades.
    factor analysis
    A body of statistical techniques concerned with the study of interrelationships among a set of variables, none of which is given the special status of a criterion variable.
    factoral design
    An experimental design that is used when the effects of two or more variables are being simultaneously studied; each level of each factor is used with each level of each other factor.
    A specialized financial function whereby manufacturers, wholesalers, or retailers sell accounts receivable to financial institutions, including factors, banks, and sales finance companies, often on a nonrecourse basis.
    factors of production
    The productive resources of an economy, usually classified as land, labor, and capital. Management is frequently included as a fourth factor of production.
    factory outlet center
    A shopping center that specializes in manufacturers' outlets that dispose of excess merchandise or that may serve as an alternate channel of distribution.
    factory pack
    The multiple packaging of one product, or of one product and another product of the same firm, or one product and a sample or premium. The packaging is done at the factory and arrives in the trade channel already in the promotional form. fad A product (e.g., unique doll andvideo arcade) whose popularity is intense but temporary. A fad comes in fast, receives much attention and publicity, and goes out fast. The time period is highly variable, and a fad can repeat at intervals of several years as the hula hoop does.
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  • fashion cycle
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act (1970)
    This act is designed to ensure accuracy of credit reports and to allow consumers the right to learn the nature of the information and challenge and correct erroneous information.
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  • equal time
  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (1978)
    An act that specifies that a third party debt collector (i.e., one who collects debts owed to another), cannot communicate with the consumer in connection with the debt at any unusual time or place, and may not harass or abuse any person in connection with the collection of the debt.
    Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (1966)
    This act requires that labels on consumer commodities identify the type of product being sold, the name and address of the supplier, and where applicable, the quality and contents of each serving. The act also authorizes the FTC and FDA to issue regulations concerning specific products covering items such as ingredient statements, package size standards, "slack-fill" packaging, and sales price representations.
    fair trade laws
    Federal and state statutes permitting suppliers of branded goods to impose resale price maintenance contracts fixing minimum retail prices. The Consumer Goods Pricing Act of 1975 outlawed such practices.
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  • belief
  • FAK
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    A group of at least two people in a household based on marriage, cohabitation, blood relationships, or adoption.
    family brand
    A brand that is used on two or more individual products. The product group may or may not be all of that firm's product line. The individual members of the family also carry individual brands to differentiate them from other family members. In rare cases there are family brands that have as members other family brands, each of which has individual brands. Automobiles fit the latter situation, as with Oldsmobile (family) Cutlass (family) Ciera (individual).
    family decision making
    The processes, interactions, and roles of family members involved in making decisions as a group.
    family life cycle
    1. (consumer behavior definition) A sociological concept that describes changes in families across time. Emphasis is placed on the effects of marriage, divorce, births, and deaths on families and the changes in income and consumption through various family stages. 2. (consumer behavior definition) Families account for a very large percentage of all consumer expenditures. Much of this spending is systematic and stems from natural needs that change as a family unit goes through its natural stages of life. These range from the young single and the newly married stages to the full nest as the children are born and grow, to the empty nest and the final solitary survivor stage. Each transition prompts changes in values and behavior.
    family packaging
    The use of one design or other key packaging element to integrate the packaging of two or more individual items. The packages clearly belong to one set, but there are usually some individualizations, especially in brand name.
    family roles
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  • roles
  • FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
    FAQ is a commonly used abbreviation for "Frequently Asked Questions." Most Internet sites will have a "FAQ" to explain what is in the area and how to use its features. Source: Lazworld
    An accepted and popular style.
    fashion coordination
    The function of analyzing fashion trends in order to ensure that the merchandise offered for sale in various related apparel departments is of comparable style, quality, and appeal.
    fashion cycle
    The process by which a particular design, activity, color, etc., comes into some popularity and then phases out. This cycle of adoption and rejection is quite similar to the product life cycle, but the fashion cycle uses different terms to describe its phases: (1) distinctiveness phase, in which the style is eagerly sought; (2) emulation stage, in which its popularity grows; and (3) economic stage, in which it becomes available at lower prices to the mass market.
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  • fad
  • fashion product
    A subcategory of a shopping product. This subcategory contains items that are wanted by consumers for their fashion aspects.
    fast food outlet
    A food retailing institution featuring a very limited menu, precooked or quickly prepared food, and take-out operations.
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  • bookmark
  • FCB grid
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    fear appeals
    Communications material that attempts to persuade or manipulate by using frightening message content (e.g., not using Brand X deodorant will lead to a miserable social life). The relationship between fear and persuasibility seems to be curvilinear such that moderate levels of fear appear to be more effective than the use of either mild fear or strong fear. The difficulty is in the definitions and measurement of what are mild, moderate, and extreme fear appeals.
    The use of advertising, displays, or other activity, generally by a retailer, to call special attention to a product, generally for a limited period of time.
    feature story
    A type of publicity material that can be used by the media at their convenience because it is not time related. A feature is often human interest-related and contains more background information than typically found in a news release. It is also known as an evergreen because of its relatively long life span.
    feature, product
    A fact or technical specification about a product.
    Federal Cigarette and Labeling and Advertising Act
    This act required a warning statement on cigarette packages and prohibited the advertising of cigarettes and little cigars on electronic media under the jurisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission. In 1986, these restrictions were extended to smokeless tobacco.
    Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
    A federal regulatory agency responsible for supervising radio and television broadcasting.
    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (1971)
    This commission replaced the Federal Power Commission established in 1920 and is responsible for issuing licenses for the development of water and electrical power and prohibiting operators from restricting output or restraining trade in electrical energy.
    Federal Environmental Pesticide Control Act (1976)
    This act requires registration of a pesticide before it can be distributed, sold, or offered for sale or shipped or received in any state. Responsibility for pesticide control is placed with the Environmental Protection Agency.
    Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act (1938)
    This act brought therapeutic devices and cosmetics within the regulatory authority of the FDA and strengthened the FDA's enforcement powers.
    Federal Hazardous Substance Act (1960)
    This act requires cautionary labeling of household chemical products.
    Federal Maritime Commission
    This commission regulates foreign and offshore domestic trade. It authorizes the setting of international sea freight rates
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  • Shipping Act
  • Federal Power Commission
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    federal regulatory agencies
    Administrative agencies that create and enforce the bulk of the laws that make up the legal environment of business. More than one hundred federal agencies exercise some degree of control over private economic activities.
    Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
    The FTC is responsible for enforcing the Federal Trade Commission Act, which prohibits "unfair methods of competition" and "unfair or deceptive acts or practices."
    Federal Trade Commission Act (1914)
    This act placed a blanket prohibition against "unfair methods of competition" and created the FTC to enforce it.
    fee method of compensation
    The compensation method whereby advertising agencies are paid by their clients on the basis of negotiated fees for the specific services rendered.
    A web document that is a shortened or updated (revised content only) version of a web page created for syndication. Usually served at user request, through subscription; also includes ad feeds to shopping engines and paid-inclusion ad models. Ad feeds are usually in Extensible Markup Language (XML) or Rich Site Summary (RSS) format. Source: SEMPO
    feel-felt-found method
    A method used by salespeople to helpfully respond to prospect objections by showing how other prospects held similar views before buying the product or service.
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    fertility rate
    The ratio of the births during a year to the total number of women ages 15 to 49.
    A free-for-all links list, where there are no qualifications for adding a link.
    field edit
    A preliminary edit, typically conducted by a field supervisor, that is designed to detect the most glaring omissions and inaccuracies in a completed data collection instrument.
    field experiment
    A research study in a realistic situation in which one or more independent variables are manipulated by the experimenter under as carefully controlled conditions as the situation will permit.
    field observations
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    field sales manager
    A title assigned to sales managers at regional, district, branch, or unit levels in companies with large sales forces. While the lowest level of field sales management provides direct supervision of salespeople, each level has a role in the overall field sales management job of recruiting; selecting; training; compensating; motivating; assigning of territories, quotas, and expense budgets; and the measurement and control of salespeople. In companies using specialized sales forces there may be field sales management titles assigned by product lines, markets, or accounts.
    field salesperson
    A salesperson who is responsible for contacting and selling goods and services to customers in their place of business or residence.
    field warehousing
    1. (economic definition) A financing device whereby a field warehouse receipt is pledged as security for a loan. 2. (retailing definition) An arrangement by which the owner of goods leases a portion of the storage facility to a licensed warehouser who places a representative in charge, posts signs stating that a designated portion of the warehouse is in the charge of the outside organization, and adds to or takes from stock as directed by the financial institution that has the stock as collateral.
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    fighting brand
    A line extension of a main brand that is marketed by one producer to compete directly with the lower-priced products of other producers in a given market. The fighting brand usually has a separate brand identity and a low price. Its quality is usually lower than that of the main brand; it may only be temporarily on the market; and its purpose is to hold customers without having to lower the price of the main brand.
    fill rate
    An inventory's availability goal used when setting customer service objectives, e. g., 99 percent product fill rate or filling 99 out of 100 customer orders.
    filler sheet
    A collection of brief (less than 100 words), newsworthy items related to the product or service being promoted. The media use filler sheet material when there are empty spaces in print layouts or broadcast time.
    final purchase
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    financial analyst
    A person who investigates, evaluates, and advises clients on the value and risk of investment offerings.
    financial leases
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  • leasing
  • financial quota
    A quota that focuses on financial criteria such as gross margin or contribution to overhead. Financial quotas are used to make salespeople conscious of the cost and profit implications of what they sell. Financial quotas are often stated in terms of direct selling expenses, gross margin, or net profit. They are most applicable when the firm's market penetration approaches saturation levels. In such instances, increasing sales or market share is difficult, so an emphasis on selling efficiency and cost control becomes a logical mechanism for increasing profits.
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    A security barrier placed between an organization's internal computer network -- either its IS system or intranet -- and the Internet. It keeps your information in, and unwanted people out. It consists of one or more routers which accept, reject or edit transmitted information and requests. Source: Lazworld
    first in, first out (FIFO)
    A method for valuing inventory that assumes that the oldest merchandise is sold before the more recently purchased merchandise.
    first-mover advantage
    The ability of pioneering firms to gain long-term competitive advantages due to early entry. Mechanisms that lead to first-mover advantage include preemption of competition, development of a leadership reputation, increased brand loyalty due to customer switching costs, proprietary experience curve effects, and a sustainable lead in technology due to patents and trade secrets.
    Fishbein's learning theory of attitudes
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    fixed capital
    Durable capital that may be used repeatedly over a considerable period of time.
    fixed cost
    Fixed costs are business expenses that are not dependent on the level of goods or services produced by the business. They tend to be time-related, such as salaries or rents being paid per month, and are often referred to as overhead costs. Source: The MASB Common Language Project. http://www.themasb.org/common-language-project/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fixed_cost
    fixed equipment
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  • equipment
  • fixed exchange rate
    An exchange rate that is fixed by government policy and that is not free to fluctuate in response to market forces.
    fixed stock
    A definite amount of a good already produced, on hand, and ready for sale. It cannot be increased in the short run and can be decreased only by sale.
    fixed-alternative question
    A question in which the responses are limited to stated alternatives.
    The use of special graphic techniques on the product package or store shelf to call attention to a particular offer such as a reduced price, bonus pack, etc.
    flagship store
    In a local department store organization, the main or downtown store, especially when it is large or dominant in relation to other company stores.
    Flammable Fabrics Act (1953)
    This act made illegal the production or distribution of any article of apparel which is "so highly flammable as to be dangerous when worn," under the Federal Trade Commission Act.
    flanker brand
    A line extension. Sometimes the term is meant to cover only those line extensions that are not premium-priced or low-priced.
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  • brand
  • flanking
    An indirect strategy aimed at capturing market segments whose needs are not being served by competitors. Flanking can be executed by targeting either a geographical segment or a consumer segment (group) that is not being well served by competitors, when the competitor is unwilling or unable to retaliate.
    A multimedia technology developed by Macromedia to allow high interactivity in a small file size. Flash is often used as a format for animated banner ads or as a dynamic graphic on Web sites.
    Flash Mob
    A flash mob is a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and pointless act for a brief time, then quickly disperse. The term flash mob is generally applied only to gatherings organized via telecommunications, social media, or viral emails.
    flash report
    As soon as the day's sales figures have been read on whatever kind of register is in use, a tentative, unaudited report is released to give management the day's results for comparison with budget or perhaps last year's sales figure.
    flat organization
    This term (and the term horizontal organization) refers to an organization with few or no intervening levels of management between the top executive and the workers. It presents a stark contrast to the classic hierarchical organization and bureaucratic organization with their layers of managers each of whom supervises a lower layer, leading finally to the supervision of workers. The underlying concept of the flat organization is that trained workers with assigned goals, and with the authority to achieve the goals in their own way, will-working individually or in groups-be more productive than workers who are closely supervised by managers. Comment: A truly flat organization would be feasible only for a small business or service organization or institution in which all employees report directly to the boss. For a large organization wishing to delegate more authority down the line, a more descriptive term would be "flatter" organization. Layers of management are reduced to the minimum and workers are given more authority and responsibility to achieve their assigned goals. It should be noted, however, that in the case of a business (particularly where stock is issued to the public) the hierarchy cannot be dispensed with entirely. The corporation is charged with many fiduciary and legal requirements. Consequently, top management must provide policies, direction, and controls to ensure that managers and workers at all levels understand and comply with these requirements.
    flat rate
    A price charged for advertising space or time that does not include discounts based on the quantity of space or time purchased by the advertiser.
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  • open rate
  • flexible pricing
    A practice of selling at different prices to different customers. This practice could be suspect under the Robinson-Patman Act.
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  • flighting
  • flighting
    An advertising continuity or timing pattern in which advertising messages are scheduled to run during intervals of time that are separated by periods in which no advertising messages appear for the advertised item. Any period of time during which the messages are appearing is called a flight, and a period of message inactivity is usually called a hiatus.
    floating exchange rate
    An exchange rate that is determined by private supply and demand and that is free to respond to market forces.
    Fake blogs or reviews by employees or other profit-motivated people.
    floor audit
    The use of floor sales registers for all transactions, both cash and credit, so as to obtain from the register readings the total sales for each salesperson, department, and type of sale.
    focus group
    1. (consumer behavior definition) A method of gathering qualitative data on the preferences and beliefs of consumers through group interaction and discussion usually focused on a specific topic or product. Also, it is a group of respondents brought together for this purpose 2. (marketing research definition) A personal interview conducted among a small number of individuals simultaneously; the interview relies more on group discussion than on a series of directed questions to generate data. It is also called group in-depth interview.
    focus strategies
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  • mores
  • follower advantage
    The ability of nonpioneering market entrants to gain long-term competitive advantages due to late entry. Mechanisms that lead to follower advantage include resolution of demand and market uncertainty, shifts in technology or customer needs, the ability to free-ride on first-mover investments in buyer education and infrastructure development, and learning from the pioneer's product, positioning, or marketing mistakes.
    Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
    This administration, created by the Pure Food and Drug Act off 906, has the power to set standards for foods and food additives, to establish tolerances for deleterious substances and pesticides in foods, and to prohibit the sale of adulterated and misbranded foods, drugs, cosmetics, and devices. All new drugs must be submitted to the FDA for approval, and applications must be supported by extensive laboratory testing indicating efficacy and safety.
    food court
    In a shopping center, a concentration of restaurants and food service facilities in a particular area apart from stores, usually with a shared eating area.
    Foote, Cone & Belding (FCB) grid
    A two-dimensional grid developed by the Foote, Cone, & Belding advertising agency for analyzing consumers and products. The grid divides products on the basis of whether they are higher or lower in involvement and on the basis of whether they are "think" products or "feel" products.
    foot-in-the-door technique
    A technique in which compliance is gained for a relatively large request by first gaining compliance to a relatively minor request; the compliance with the minor request positively affects later compliance with the larger request. For example, getting someone to make a small donation to a charity can be used to increase the probability that he/she will donate more later. The first, small request is the foot in the door.
    forced sale
    A sale of products at less than market price due to the urgent need for a merchant to liquidate merchandise assets, generally to meet the demand of creditors. It is also the sale of goods or property under order from the court: an ordered public auction sale.
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    forecasting models
    In forecasting sales, share, or other marketing objectives, a variety of models have been used, including time series models (e. g., moving averages, exponential smoothing, decompositional), econometric models (e.g., regression, input-output), and judgmental models (e.g., Delphi technique). Most common of the econometric models are those including marketing mix variables of the firm and its competitors, thus offering diagnostic insights. A brief review of the various forecasting models is offered in Lilien and Kotler (1983, Chapter 10).
    foreclosing avenues for attack
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  • market defense
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) (1977)
    1. (legislation definition) This act made it illegal for members of any United States business firm to pay money or give gifts, or promise to do so, to any foreign official, foreign political party, or candidates for foreign political office in order to obtain or retain business. 2. (global marketing definition) The U.S. law that makes it a crime for U.S. corporations to bribe an official of a foreign government or political party to obtain or retain business in a foreign country.
    foreign direct investment
    Investing in a country with control or influence over the direction of the investment. For balance of payments purposes, any holding of more than 20 percent of the shares of a company is considered direct as opposed to portfolio investment.
    foreign exchange
    Any currency that is purchased or sold in the foreign exchange market.
    foreign exchange market
    The buyers and sellers of currencies that are traded for both spot and future delivery on a continuous basis.
    foreign exchange risk
    The economic risks arising from fluctuating exchange rates.
    foreign marketing
    The phenomenon of marketing in an environment different from that of the home or base environment.
    foreign trade zones (FTZs)
    An area where goods can be made, stored, assembled, refined, or repackaged and then exported without incurring customs duties or taxes. Maquiladoras in Mexico are an example.
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    fork-lift truck
    A materials handling device to move unit loads. It is capable of moving loads both horizontally and vertically. The most common power sources are propane gas and electricity.
    formative research
    The market research, usually on target customers, carried out before a marketing program is begun in order to help formulate effective strategy and tactics.
    formula selling
    A selling approach in which the sales presentation is designed to move the customer through the stages in the decision-making process such as get the customer's attention, develop interest, build desire, and secure action (AIDA).
    An online community where visitors may read and post topics of common interest.
    forward integration
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  • integration
  • forward stock
    1. (physical distribution definition) Inventory placed in the channel of distribution in advance of customer commitment. 2. (retailing definition) Merchandise carried on the selling floor, rather than in a reserve stockroom.
    forward vertical integration
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    Four Ps
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  • The Four Ps).
  • Four P's
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  • The Four Ps).
  • frames
    A structure that allows for the dividing of a Web page into two or more independent parts.
    The privilege, often exclusive, granted to a distributor or dealer by a franchisor to sell the franchisor's products within a specified territory. A franchise is an example of a contractual vertical marketing system.
    franchise system
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  • franchising
  • franchising
    A contractual system of distributing goods and services whereby one party (the franchisor) grants to another party (the franchisee) the right to distribute or sell certain goods or services; the franchisee agrees to operate the business according to a marketing plan substantially prescribed by the franchisor; and the franchisee operates the business substantially under a trademark or trade name owned by the franchisor.
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  • franchising
  • free alongside ship (F.A.S.)
    Under this contract the seller must place goods alongside, or available to, the vessel or other mode of transportation and pay all charges up to that point. The seller's legal responsibility ends once he or she has obtained a clean wharfage receipt.
    free goods
    An additional amount of product offered as a reward to the consumer or reseller for purchasing a certain product or volume of product.
    free merchandise
    A trade sales promotion technique in which an additional amount of the product is offered without additional cost as an incentive to purchase a minimum quantity. The incentive is typically offered for a limited period of time.
    free sample
    A consumer sales promotion technique in which a regular or specially sized quantity of the product is given away without cost to prospective purchasers.
    free standing insert (fsi)
    1. (sales promotion definition) A preprinted advertising page(s), commonly offering coupons or other promotional activities, that is inserted into a separate publication, such as a newspaper. 2. (advertising definition) Preprint advertising of one or more pages that is loosely inserted between the pages of a newspaper or magazine.
    free trade area
    The area of jurisdiction encompassing a group of countries that have agreed to abolish all internal barriers to trade between the member countries.
    A store design used primarily in specialty stores or within the boutiques of larger stores that arranges fixtures and aisles in an asymmetrical pattern.
    free-on-board (F.O.B.)
    This implies loading on a transportation vehicle at some designated point. After the letters Co.b., there is generally a designation of a place where title and control pass to the buyer. For example, f.o.b. plant means that the control and title to the goods pass to the buyer at the seller's plant origin.
    Shareware, or software, that can be downloaded off the Internet -- for free. Source: Lazworld
    freight absorption pricing
    A policy of pricing in which the seller picks up the tab for transportation. This is usually done in order to meet the delivered price of a local competitor.
    freight bill
    The document used by carriers to charge for transportation services provided.
    freight classification
    All products transported by common carriers are grouped together into common freight classifications based upon the characteristic of the product that influences cost of handling and transport.
    freight forwarder
    1. (physical distribution definition) The freight forwarder combines small shipments from different shippers into larger shipments for scale economies in the purchase of intercity transportation. The freight forwarder functions as a wholesaler of transportation services. 2. (global marketing definition) Specialists in traffic operations, customs clearances and shipping, and tariffs and schedules. They assist exporters in determining and paying freight, fees, and insurance charges. They usually handle freight from port of export to overseas port of import. In the U.S. they are licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission.
    freight-all-kinds rate (FAK)
    A mixture of different products are delivered in a combination to a single or limited number of destinations. Rather than determine the classification and rate for each product, an average rate is applied for the total shipment. This simplifies paperwork associated with the bill of lading and freight bills.
    The number of times a person, household, or member of a target market is exposed to a media vehicle or an advertiser's media schedule within a given period of time. This number is usually expressed as an average frequency (the average number of exposures during the time period) or as a frequency distribution (the number of people exposed once, twice, three times, etc.). (See also effective frequency.)
    frequency cap
    A restriction on the amount of times a specific visitor is shown a particular advertisement.
    frequency distribution
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  • frequency
  • frequent shopper program
    A continuity incentive program offered by a retailer to reward customers and encourage repeat business. The reward is usually based on either purchase volume or number of store visits.
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  • continuity plan
  • Freudian theory
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    fringe sizes
    The sizes that are either very large or very small, if offered at all, are offered in very limited depth because of the thin market demand for them. Some stores specialize in fringe sizes or out sizes-e.g., tall women's.
    fringe stocks
    Those categories of merchandise from which a small percentage of sales come.
    fringe trade area
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    File Transfer Protocol. A protocol that allows the transfer of files from one computer to another. FTP can also be used as a verb. Source: Lazworld
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    fulfillment (1)
    The gathering of orders or offers from a sales promotion event and the process of completing the event by distributing items integral to the event such as premiums, rebates, bounce back offer, or ordered merchandise.
    fulfillment (2)
    The delivery of benefits promised to the sponsor in the contract. Source: IEG
    full coverage
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    full nest stage
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    full promise
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  • warranty
  • full-cost pricing
    An approach whereby prices are determined after all functional costs have been allocated.
    full-line forcing
    A form of tying arrangement in which a supplier forces a dealer to carry the full line of products. This has not been treated as per se unlawful by the courts; the restriction may be upheld as reasonable when the supplier can demonstrate a legitimate business need for the dealers to carry the full line.
    full-line pricing
    In this situation, all items in a given line are priced relative to each other, or are discounted as a total package. Changes on any one item take into consideration the prices of the other items in the line, and the seller's intention is to enhance sale of the total line.
    full-line sales organization
    In this organization, each company or division salesperson sells all products to all accounts in a geographic territory. This is an appropriate strategy when the product line is not large, is nontechnical, and is sold through one channel of distribution. It is a lower cost strategy than specializing by product, market, or type of account.
    full-line wholesaler
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    full-service (of retailing)
    The offering of an adequate number of salespeople and sales supporting services to give customers the full range of expected services. It is usually compared to limited services, which implies some expected services are not offered e.g., credit.
    full-service advertising agency
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    functional authority
    Refer to "See Also" column to the right.
    functional discount
    The discount given to middlemen or others who act in the capacity of performing distributive services that would otherwise have to be performed by the manufacturer itself. The discount sometimes prevails regardless of the quantities involved.
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  • trade discount
  • functional expense classification
    A type of expense classification system that identifies the purpose of an expenditure. The major functions promoted by the National Retail Merchants Association are (1) administration, (2) occupancy, (3) publicity, (4) buying, and (5) selling.
    functional middleman
    A middleman who ordinarily assists directly in effecting a change in ownership but does not take title to the goods in which the middleman deals. The middleman specializes in the performance of a single marketing function or a limited number of such functions, one of which is usually related to the transfer of title.
    functional organization
    In a functionally organized company, the managers of each major function (such as marketing, production, research and development, and finance) report to the chief executive, who provides overall direction and coordination. Similarly, in a functionally organized marketing department, the managers of the major marketing functions (such as sales, advertising, marketing research, and product planning) report to the marketing manager. Comment: The advantage of this form is that it provides specialization by function, while coordination of functions is provided by the chief executive. The same can be said for the functional marketing department in which direction and coordination of marketing functions is provided by the marketing manager.
    functional strategies
    Refer to "See Also" column to the right.
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  • strategy
  • functional theory of attitudes
    A theory of attitudes based on the idea that attitudes develop to satisfy certain functions, e.g., needs or goals, for the individual. According to this theory, attitudes reflect the underlying motives of the individual, thus, the theory is sometimes referred to as a motivational approach to attitudes.
    The techniques used to solicit contributions or other support for an organization from outside interests.
    funnel approach
    An approach to question sequencing that gets its name from its shape, starting with broad questions and progressively narrowing down the scope.
    future dating
    A dating method that allows the buyer additional time to take advantage of the cash discount or to pay the net amount of the invoice.
    future transaction
    A commitment to take or deliver a currency at a specified future date.
    futures research
    Refer to "See Also" column to the right.
    >>See Also
  • futurology
  • futurism
    A philosophy or perspective that focuses on the importance of serious thinking about and planning for the future.
    The prediction of future developments by an intensive study of past and present trends, using a variety of techniques, from imagination to the Delphi technique to computer simulations. Perspectives of the future are useful in contingency planning and have been used for strategic long range planning. It is used interchangeably with futures research.
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