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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The information attached to or on a product for the purpose of naming it and describing its use, its dangers, its ingredients, its manufacturer, and the like. A label is usually thought of as printed material, but labeling in the broader sense has been ruled to include spoken information and separate promotional pieces, if they serve the information purpose and are closely allied to the product.
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  • label
  • labor intensive
    A product or an industry in which labor requirements are large relative to requirements for capital goods.
    laboratory experiment
    A research investigation in which investigators create a situation with exact conditions so as to control some variables and manipulate others.
    A technique to discover the associations consumers have between specific product attributes and more general end states or consequences.
    The fifth, and last, group of users to adopt an innovation.
    lagged effect
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    laissez faire leadership
    A leadership style wherein sales managers supervise their sales personnel minimally and thus have a low degree of active involvement with them. Using this sales management leadership style usually requires sales personnel to resort to their own devices to execute their job tasks.
    landed cost price
    The quoted or invoiced price of a commodity, plus any inbound transportation charges.
    Landing Page / Destination Page
    The web page at which a searcher arrives after clicking on an ad. When creating a PPC ad, the advertiser displays a URL (and specifies the exact page URL in the code) on which the searcher will land after clicking on an ad in the SERP. Landing pages are also known as "where the deal is closed," as it is landing page actions that determine an advertiser?s conversion rate success. Source: SEMPO
    language system
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  • dialog system
  • Lanham Trademark Act (1946)
    This act provides for the registration and protection of trademarks.
    late majority
    The fourth (and large) group of users to adopt an innovation.
    latent conflict
    The existence of antecedent conditions of other states of conflict.
    Latent Semantic Indexing
    LSI uses word associations to help search engines know more accurately what a page is about. Source: SEMPO
    lateral diversification
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  • diversification
  • launch control
    The process by which a management plans for and supervises the introduction of a new product; the product's progress is monitored against pre-established norms, variances are detected, and corrections made such that the original goals set for the product are achieved.
    law of comparative advantage
    This law states that a country tends to export those economic goods in the production of which it has a comparative advantage and to import those economic goods in the production of which it has a comparative disadvantage. If a country has no comparative advantage, then it should tend to produce those products for which it has the least comparative disadvantage.
    law of demand
    1. (popular definition) The law that, other things being equal, consumers will buy more of a product at a low price than at a high price. 2. (economic definition) The law that, under the same conditions of demand, the amount of product taken by a market varies inversely with its price.
    law of diminishing marginal utility
    A situation in which consumption of an additional unit of a good adds less to total satisfaction than the preceding unit.
    law of diminishing return
    After a certain point has been reached, each successive application of a factor of production will add less to total output than before
    law of effect
    A technical term from learning theory in psychology often credited to Thorndike. Of the several responses made to the same situation, that which is accompanied or closely followed by satisfaction, other things being equal, will more likely be repeated, and the connections learned. Those responses that are followed by punishment will be extinguished. For example, the consumer's probability of repeating purchase of a brand would increase if he/she were satisfied with the purchase and decrease if he/she were dissatisfied. However, whether rewards and punishment are essential for learning to occur is controversial in that many learning theorists claim that reinforcement is unnecessary.
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  • reinforcement
  • lay-away
    The purchase of an article with a down payment, but the store retains the article until full payment is made, often in a series of installments.
    The format of a print advertisement that indicates where the component parts (artwork, body copy, headline, subhead, trademark, and other graphic elements) are to be placed on the page.
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    lead generation
    The process of collecting contact information and extracting potential sales leads.
    lead users
    1. (product development definition) A small group of potential product users who need new products before the general market recognizes the need. If this need can be satisfied, the lead user expects significant benefits. Because lead users have a specific problem to be solved in their own organizations, they can provide valuable information and assistance to a product developing organization 2. (industrial definition) The buying organizations that consistently are early adopters of new technologies. Lead users have needs that will become general in the marketplace later on, benefit significantly by obtaining a solution to those needs, and often largely influence other firms' buying decisions. For example, Intel has been a lead user of microchip production equipment.
    lead, sales
    An inquiry or referral about an individual or organization that is a potential customer.
    leader pricing
    The practice of knowingly and intentionally marking a part of the stock at prices that will not yield the maximum profit return on these particular goods. The article so selected for special price emphasis is identified as a leader.
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  • loss leader
  • leadership substitute
    A nonsupervisory source of direction, guidance, support, and encouragement for salespeople. Examples of leadership substitutes include closely-knit, cohesive work groups; advisory and staff personnel; formalized and detailed job descriptions; quotas; sales force compensation plans; and expense plans. Use of leadership substitutes can provide direction and guidance to sales personnel in the absence of a sales manager and may afford a sales manager additional time to attend to particularly important supervisory duties.
    The amount of space between lines of text on a printed page.
    leading economic indicators
    Those economic indicators that reach peaks or troughs before aggregate economic activity.
    leading question
    A question framed so as to give the respondent a clue as to how he or she should answer.
    1. (retailing definition) The amount of time determined by a merchandiser to be necessary to add on to the purchasing period in order to assure that sufficient merchandise will be on hand until the particular order is received. If delivery time is long, or if raw materials are in short supply, leadtime may be longer than when conditions are normal. 2. (physical distribution definition) The time required to receive inventory once an order is placed. It is also called replenishment time.
    leapfrog routing
    A method for scheduling calls that requires salespeople to call on a cluster of customers that are in close geographic proximity, "leaping" over single customers in isolated areas. The objective of the method is to minimize travel time.
    learned reaction
    See cognition learning According to Hilgard, learning refers to more or less permanent change in behavior that occurs as a result of practice. It is a process by which an activity originates or is changed through reacting to an encountered situation, but does not include those changes induced by maturation, genetic response tendencies, or temporary situations such as fatigue or drug influence. It includes such activities as the learning of facts and skills, brands, jingles, purchase behavior, beliefs, and attitudes.
    learning curve
    Typically, this is a graph of the amount of material learned, plotted against time or number of trials. Many learning situations lead to an S-shaped curve.
    learning decay
    The fading of memory of a specific learned response. Because forgetting is a controversial issue among learning theorists-some claiming that nothing is ever forgotten-the terms decay of advertising effects or decay of a learned response are more accurate for the process of forgetting.
    leased department
    A section of a retail business managed and operated by an outside person or organization rather than by the store or which it is a physical part, whether conducted by an individual or a chain.
    A contract through which the asset owner (lessor) extends the right to use the asset to another party (lessee) in return for periodic payment of rent over a specific period. It is divided into financial leases and operating leases.
    least squares regression
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    Something that is permitted, authorized, or sanctioned by law, not forbidden by law.
    less-than-carload-lot (LCL)
    The shipping rate that applies to less than full carload shipments.
    less-than-truckload (LTL)
    A small freight shipment typically less than 10,000 pounds transported by common carriers.
    letter of credit
    A letter by which a bank substitutes its creditworthiness for that of the buyer. It is a conditional guarantee issued by the bank on behalf of the buyer to a seller assuring payment if the seller complies with the terms set forth in the letter of credit.
    letters to the editor
    A newspaper section used to air public opinion. When used as a publicity device, letters to the editor can help a company make known its position on various topics of community interest.
    The degree to which a change in sales volume leads to a subsequent change in operating profits and financial performance of a company.
    lexicographic rule
    Unlike the conjunctive rule or disjunctive rule, the lexicographic rule, or heuristic, assumes that attributes of products can be ordered in terms of importance. In making a choice, alternative brands are first compared with respect to the most important attribute. If one alternative is preferred over all others for this attribute, then that alternative is chosen regardless of the values the alternatives have on the other attributes. If two brands are equal on the most important attribute, the second attribute is considered, then the third, and so on.
    An on-line database that indexes articles and casework related to legal matters.
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  • libido
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  • id
  • Licensed Merchandise
    Goods produced by a manufacturer (the licensee) who has obtained a license to produce and distribute the official Marks on products such as clothing and souvenirs. Source: IEG
    Manufacturer which has obtained a license to produce and distribute Licensed Merchandise. Source: IEG
    licensing (1)
    1. (strategic marketing definition) A relatively simple, low risk linkage that allows a manufacturer to "enter" new markets (typically foreign markets). It is an arrangement in which a licensee in a new market is given the right to use a process, trademark, patent, or other proprietary item for a fee or royalty. 2. (global marketing definition) An agreement between two companies in which the licenser grants the right to the licensee to sell a patented product in specified markets for an agreed-upon fee. It is a tool for participating in foreign markets without large capital outlays. When capital is scarce, when import restrictions forbid any means of entry, when a country is sensitive to foreign ownership, or when it is necessary to protect trademarks and patents against cancellation for non-use, licensing is a legitimate means of capitalizing on a foreign market.
    licensing (2)
    Right to use a property's logos and terminology on products for retail sale. Note: While a sponsor will typically receive the right to include a property's marks on its packaging and advertising, sponsors are not automatically licensees. Source: IEG
    life style
    1. (consumer behavior definition) In general, this is the manner in which the individual copes and deals with his/her psychological and physical environment on a day-to-day basis. More specifically, it is used by some theorists as a phrase describing the values, attitudes, opinions, and behavior patterns of the consumer. 2. (consumer behavior definition) The manner in which people conduct their lives, including their activities, interests, and opinions.
    life style analysis
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    life-cycle costs
    The costs of a durable good over its entire operating life. Comment: Life-cycle costs are often introduced to show that products with higher initial costs (e.g., because they are built better) really have lower costs over their effective lives. (e.g., because they need fewer repairs).
    light equipment
    The industrial product (business product) classification that includes items such as portable power tools such as drills, saws, grinders, measuring instruments, typewriters, calculators, etc.
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  • equipment
  • light factory equipment
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  • equipment
  • Likert scale
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  • summated rating
  • liking
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    limited price variety store
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  • variety store
  • limited problem solving (or decision making)
    A choice process involving a moderate degree of cognitive and behavioral effort.
    limited promise
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  • warranty
  • limited service
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    limited-function wholesaler
    The term applied to a variety of types of wholesalers that have placed emphasis upon reducing, eliminating, or modifying certain well-established functions ordinarily performed by regular wholesalers.
    limited-service advertising agency
    An advertising agency that specializes on a particular function such as the development of advertising messages, media planning, or media buying.
    line authority
    The authority managers need to manage the people assigned to them in order to achieve the goals for which they are held responsible by higher management. It generally encompasses the authority to hire, assign, direct, reward, demote, and fire, although company policy may require that some of these actions have the approval of higher line managers or managers with functional authority.
    line extension
    A new product marketed by an organization that already has at least one other product being sold in that product/market area. Line extensions are usually new flavors, sizes, models, applications, strengths, etc. Sometimes the distinction is made between near line extensions (very little difference) and distant line extensions (almost completely new entries).
    linear learning model
    A brand choice model that views the probability of choosing a particular brand on the current choice occasion as linearly related to the consumer's probability for choosing that brand on the previous occasion. The particular linear function applied to the previous period's choice probability depends on whether the brand of interest was actually chosen last time (in which case the "acceptance operator" is applied) or not chosen last time (causing the "rejection operator" to be applied) (Kuehn 1962). In this model, the consumer's probability of selecting a particular brand on the current choice occasion is affected by the entire sequence of previous choices-hence the term learning model is appropriate.
    linear programming
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    line-haul rate
    The transportation rate commonly charged by common carriers (motor carriers). There are three basic types of line-haul rate: class rate, exception rate, and commodity rate.
    Link Cardinality
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  • Link Popularity
  • link checker
    A tool used to check Web pages for broken links.
    Link Farming
    The attempt to substantially and artificially increase link popularity. Source: SEMPO
    link popularity
    A measure of the quantity and quality of sites that link to your site. Often used as one of the criteria to determine rank on search engines.
    link text
    The text contained in a link.
    Also known as link bait, this is something on your site that people will notice and link to. By linking to your site, other sites are saying they value the content of your site and that they think other people will be interested in it, too. Source: SEMPO
    Linking Profile
    A profile is a representation of the extent to which something exhibits various characteristics. A linking profile is the results of an analysis of where of your links are coming from. Source: SEMPO
    When Web pages previously accessible at a particular URL are no longer reachable at that URL due to movement or deletion of the pages.
    list of key items
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  • never-out list
  • list price
    The selling price for an item before any discount or reductions in price.
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    An e-mail-based system designed to support group discussions of a particular topic.
    literature search
    A search of statistics, trade journal articles, other articles, magazines, newspapers, and books for data or insight into the problem at hand.
    A model for predicting the sales over time of a new (typically frequently purchased) consumer product using pretest market data. The approach views a potential customer as moving through the stages of awareness-trial repeat. It incorporates explicitly the effect of advertising and promotion on awareness and trial of the product. The model's parameters are calibrated using a laboratory-test-market coupled with a follow-up telephone interview (Blackburn and Clancy 1982). LITMUS 11 adds monthly or quarterly projections, sensitivity analysis, and profit analysis.
    live rack
    A storage rack designed so product automatically flows forward to the desired selection position. The typical live rack contains roller conveyors and is constructed for rear loading. The rear of the rack is elevated; gravity causes the product to flow forward.
    living conditions
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  • census tract
  • living standard
    A measure of the possession and distribution of the material goods among members of a society.
    A person or group of persons seeking to influence the proceeding of legislative bodies through personal intervention.
    local advertising
    Any advertising placed by a company, organization, or individual operating in a limited geographical area such as a city or within a state. Local advertising does not include advertising placed directly with media in local markets by nationwide advertisers, or regional advertising activities that encompass multistate geographic areas.
    local brand
    1. (product development definition) A brand of product that is marketed (distributed and promoted) in a relatively small and restricted geographical area. It may be called a regional brand if the area encompasses more than one metropolitan market. 2. (global marketing definition) A brand that is developed for a specific national market.
    local rate
    The price charged local advertisers for space and time in local advertising media. Traditionally, newspapers, radio, and television stations have charged lower rates for local advertising than for national advertising.
    location affinities
    The clustering of similar or complementary kinds of retail stores.
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  • affinities
  • log file
    A file that records the activity on a Web server.
    Log File Analysis
    The analysis of records stored in the log file. In its raw format, the data in the log files can be hard to read and overwhelming. There are numerous log file analyzers that convert log file data into user-friendly charts and graphs. A good analyzer is generally considered an essential tool in SEO because it can show search engine statistics such as the number of visitors received from each search engine, the keywords each visitors used to find the site, visits by search engine spiders etc. Source: www.thewebdivision.com/glossary.html Source: SEMPO
    logistical cost
    The costs associated with providing purchasing, manufacturing support, and physical distribution services.
    logistical resource planning (LRP)
    A formal plan for controlling and monitoring overall materials logistics process. Emphasis is placed on integrating the overall objectives of the enterprise with logistical requirements.
    A single logic to guide the process of planning, allocating, and controlling financial and human resources committed to physical distribution, manufacturing support, and purchasing operations. The Council of Logistics Management (formerly NCPDM) offers the following definition: "Logistics management is the term describing the integration of two or more activities for the purpose of planning, implementing and controlling the efficient flow of raw materials, in-process inventory and finished goods from point of origin to point of consumption. These activities may include, but are not limited to, customer service, demand forecasting, distribution communications, inventory control, materials handling, order processing, parts and service support, plant and warehouse site selection, procurement, packaging, return goods handling, salvage and scrap disposal, traffic and transportation and warehousing and storage. "
    logistics manager
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    logistics model
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    logistics-related optimization model
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    logit model
    A probabilistic model for representing the discrete brand choice behavior of individuals. On any choice occasion the individual is assumed to choose the item for which he/she has the highest preference. Over repeated choice occasions preferences are assumed to have a probabilistic component. For the logit model this random component of preference is taken to have the double exponential distribution (i.e., the type I Fisher-Tippett extreme value distribution). The model can be used to predict choice probabilities based on attributes of the items being chosen (Corstjens and Gautschi 1983; Yellott 1977). This model is a substitute for discriminant analysis that in addition provides approximate standard errors of estimated model parameters. It is an alternate to regression analysis when the dependent variable is categorical as opposed to continuous. Unlike the probit model or the nested logit model or the Elimination-By-Aspects model, logit assumes that Luce's Choice Axiom holds, which is sometimes seen as a drawback to the use of this model.
    1. (product development definition) A clipped or shortened form of logotype. A logo is a word or phrase that serves to identify an organization. It is similar to a trade name. 2. (advertising definition) A graphic design that is used as a continuing symbol for a company, organization, or brand. It is often in the form of an adaptation of the company name or brand name or used in conjunction with the name.
    Long Tail
    Keyword phrases with at least three, sometimes four or five, words in them. These long tail keywords are usually highly specific and draw lower traffic than shorter, more competitive keyword phrases, which is why they are also cheaper. Oftentimes, long tail keywords, in aggregate, have good conversion ratios for the low number of click-throughs they generate. Source: SEMPO
    longer combination vehicle (LCV)
    A truck tractor pulling two or more trailers that exceed standard length. LCVs are restricted to certain states and highways in the United States. Considerable debate exists regarding the safety and environmental impact of LCVs.
    longitudinal study
    An investigation involving a sample of elements that is measured repeatedly through time.
    long-range planning
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  • planning
  • Long-Tailed Keywords
    Keyword phrases with at least 2 or 3 words in them. Source: SEMPO
    loop layout
    A type of store layout that provides a major customer aisle that begins at the entrance, loops through the store, usually in the shape of a circle, square, or rectangle, and then returns the customer to the front of the store. It is also referred to as a racetrack layout.
    loose money
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    loss leader
    An item that is sold at a "loss" of markup that would normally be obtained on the particular item, for the express purpose of increasing store traffic.
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  • leader pricing
  • loss leader pricing
    The featuring of items priced below cost or at relatively low prices to attract customers to the seller's place of business.
    loss prevention department or function
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    love needs
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    low income countries
    Countries with the lowest income per capita compared with the rest of the world. Normally the bottom decile to bottom quartile are considered low income.
    low involvement consumer behavior
    Consumer decision making in which very little cognitive activity is involved. It includes those situations in which the consumer simply does not care and is not concerned about brands or choices and makes the decision in the most cognitively miserly manner possible. Most likely, low involvement is situation-based and the degree of importance and involvement may vary with the individual and with the situation.
    low involvement hierarchy
    In the hierarchy of effects model, the order consists of acquiring information, leading to formation of positive attitudes and then to the behavioral act of purchase or trial. Under low involvement conditions, the process is reversed such that it is after purchase, if at all, that interest and attitudes emerge.
    A negotiation strategy in which the salesperson agrees to a low price and later raises the price claiming that circumstances changed after agreeing on the price, but before the order was placed.
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  • social class
  • loyalty
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  • brand loyalty
  • LRP
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    Luce's Choice Axiom
    A statement that the relative odds of an individual's choosing one particular item (e.g., brand A) over another (e.g., brand B) are unaffected by the presence or absence of other items (e.g., brand C, brand D, etc.) as potential choices. The property is also known as independence from irrelevant alternatives or IIA (Luce 1977; Yellott 1977). The logit model possesses this property (which is sometimes seen as a liability), while the probit model and other brand choice models can avoid it.
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