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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racetrack layout
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  • loop layout
  • rack jobber
    A wholesale middleman operating principally in the food trade, supplying certain classes of merchandise that do not fit into the regular routine of food store merchandise resource contacts. The rack jobber commonly places display racks in retail stores providing an opening inventory on a consignment or on a guaranteed-sale basis, periodically checks the stock, and replenishes inventories. The term is somewhat archaic with trade acceptance of the term service merchandiser.
    radio wrap-around
    The radio equivalent of a video news release, a radio story lasting 90 seconds or less and including an announcer who introduces sound bits from one or more news sources.
    radio-frequency technology (RF)
    A specific information technology application that allows the positive identification of merchandise both while intransit and during the materials handling process.
    A promise given to customers when merchandise is out of stock to sell them merchandise at the sale price when the merchandise arrives.
    random digit dialing
    A technique used in studies employing telephone interviews in which the numbers to be called are randomly generated.
    random model
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    random utility model
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    randomized response model
    An interviewing technique in which potentially embarrassing and relatively innocuous questions are paired, and the question the respondent answers is randomly determined.
    The maximum distance a consumer is ordinarily willing to travel for a good or service; as such it determines the outer limit of a store's trade area or market area.
    How well positioned a particular web page or web site appears in search engine results. For example, if you rank at position #1, you?re the first listed paid or sponsored ad. If you?re in position #18, it is likely that your ad appears on the second or third page of search results, after 17 competitor paid ads and organic listings. Rank and position affect your click-through rates and, ultimately, conversion rates for your landing pages. Source: SEMPO
    A close, harmonious relationship between a salesperson and customer.
    1. (advertising definition) The cost of a unit of space or time in an advertising media vehicle. 2. (physical distribution definition) A charge usually expressed in dollar terms for the performance of some transportation or distribution service.
    rate card
    A printed listing of the charges associated with different amounts of time or space, different placements in the vehicle, and other conditions of sales. Often rate cards serve as the starting point for negotiation in the fashion of the sticker on the window of a new car.
    rate differential
    The difference between the local advertising and national advertising rates charged by a local advertising vehicle.
    rate of return pricing
    A method of determining prices by adding a markup that will produce a predetermined return on investment.
    rate regulation
    The process by which rates are administered. In a highly regulated economy, this could include extensive rules and policies on pricing and related services. Regulation occurs at the federal, state, and local levels.
    The percentage of the total potential audience who are exposed to a particular media vehicle. In television, a rating is the number of households with their television sets tuned to a particular program for a specified length of time divided by the total number of households that have television. In print media, ratings are computed using survey data about actual readership rather than information about circulation.
    ratio of output and/or input measures
    An objective measure of sales force performance that incorporates common ratios used to evaluate salespeople. These ratios include expense ratios, account development and servicing ratios, and call activity and/or productivity.
    ratio scale
    A measurement in which the numbers assigned to the attributes of the objects have a natural or absolute zero and that therefore allow the comparison of absolute magnitudes of the objects.
    rational appeals
    1. (consumer behavior definition) The concept of rational or irrational appeals does not exist in modern consumer behavior thinking but rather this is a term carried over from economics. From the point of view of the consumer, all behavior is rational although it may not appear so to the observer. 2. (industrial definition) Claims that attempt to show that a specific product will yield certain functional benefits. Rational appeals form the core of most organizational sales messages while more emotional appeals, addressing self-image, life style and the like, are more often used to position products in the consumer marketplace.
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  • buying motives
  • rational motivations
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  • buying motives
  • rationalization
    An ego defense in which unattainable goals are perceived to be undesirable (sour grapes) and those that are attainable are perceived to be remarkably adequate (sweet lemons).
    A system of allocating goods and services that are in short supply, other than by price, to prevent prices from rising to unreasonable levels and prevent inequitable distribution. It is often used in periods of emergency.
    Raw Data Feed
    Raw data is information that has been collected but not formatted, analyzed or processed. This raw data can be used to build an optimized XML feed. Source: SEMPO
    raw materials
    1.(industrial definition) The natural products (coal, iron, crude oil, fish) and farm products (wheat, cotton, fruits) that are sold in their natural state. They are processed only to the level required for economical handling and transport. 2. (product development definition) The products such as lumber and minerals that are bought for use in the production of other products, either as part of the finished item or in the industrial process.
    The number of different persons or households exposed to a particular advertising media vehicle or a media schedule during a specified period of time. It is also called cumulative audience, cumulative reach, net audience, net reach, net unduplicated audience, or unduplicated audience. Reach is often presented as a percentage of the total number of persons in a specified audience or target market.
    reaction formation
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  • ego defenses
  • reactive moves
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    readership test
    A test of advertising effectiveness of print media in which a sample of readers of a particular issue of a publication are asked whether they noticed and/or read particular ads. It is also called a recognition test.
    readiness-to-buy stage
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    real cost
    The cost of a product or service adjusted for changes in purchasing power and taking into consideration alternative uses of funds.
    real dollars
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    real income
    The power of one's income to command other goods in the market.
    real self concept
    The knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions people have about themselves as they actually are.
    A return of a portion of the purchase price in the form of cash by the seller to the buyer.
    rebuy purchase
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    recall loss
    A type of error caused by a respondent forgetting that an event happened.
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  • telephone error
  • recall test
    A test of advertising effectiveness in which a sample of members of the audience are contacted at a specific time after exposure to a media vehicle and asked to recall advertising messages they remember seeing and/or hearing in the media vehicle. It is called unaided recall if there is no prompting with elements of the ads or commercials being examined. With prompting, the results are called aided recall.
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  • cash flow
  • receipt-of-goods dating (ROG)
    This denotes that the discount period does not begin until the day the customer receives the shipment.
    A turning point in a business cycle characterized by dropping production and increasing unemployment.
    reciprocal links
    An agreement where two Web site adminstrators agree to link to each other's site. Such activity serves to increase the content value of a site and raise a site's ranking in search engines.
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  • popularity
  • reciprocity
    1.(industrial definition) A buying arrangement in which two organizations agree to purchase one another's products. 2. (sales definition) A special relationship between two companies that agree to purchase products from each other.
    recognition test
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  • readership test
  • recovery
    A phase of the business cycle characterized by increasing gross national product, lessening unemployment, and a leveling out of previously falling prices. It is popularly called an upturn or revival.
    red tape
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    redemption rate
    The number or percentage of sales promotion offers that are acted on by consumers or retailers out of the total number possible.
    redemption store
    An establishment operated by a trading stamp company redeeming stamps for merchandise.
    The arbitrary exclusion of certain classes of customers, often those from poor neighborhoods, from such economic activities as borrowing money or getting real estate mortgages.
    reducing market attractiveness
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  • market defense
  • reference group
    1. (consumer behavior definition) A reference group is one that the individual tends to use as the anchor point for evaluating his/her own beliefs and attitudes. One may or may not be a member and may or may not aspire to membership in a reference group; nevertheless, it can have great influence on one's values, opinions, attitudes, and behavior patterns. A reference group may be positive; that is, the individual patterns his or her own beliefs and behavior to be congruent with those of the group. Or, it may be negative. A negative reference group is just as influential. The church, labor union, political party, or sorority are examples of both positive and negative reference groups for specific individuals. It also is a term coined by Herbert Hyman to designate a group that an individual uses as a "point of reference" in determining his or her own judgments, preferences, beliefs, and behavior. The size of a reference group can be a single individual (although perhaps in this case the term group should not be used) to a very large aggregate of persons such as a political party or religious institution. 2. (consumer behavior definition) The people who serve as a point of reference and who influence an individual's affective responses, cognitions, and behavior.
    reference price
    The price that buyers use to compare the offered price of a product or service. The reference price may be a price in a buyer's memory, or it may be the price of an alternative product.
    reference product
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    A lead for a prospect given to the salesperson by an existing customer
    referral approach
    A method used by salespeople to approach prospects in which the salesperson uses the name of a satisfied customer or friend of the prospect to begin the sales presentation.
    1. (pricing definition) A return of the amount paid for an item. 2. (sales promotion definition)
    A nonsampling error that arises because some designated respondents refuse to participate in the study.
    regiocentrism orientation
    An attitude or orientation toward internationalization with the focus on regional orientation.
    regional brand
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    regional edition
    The subdivision of a national magazine's circulation into geographic regions, so that advertisers can purchase only the portion of the publication's circulation that applies to their immediate needs. A region can be a group of neighboring states, a single state, or in some instances, regions within specific states. A demographic edition operates on the same principle, except that the subdivisions are based on various demographic characteristics of the publication's circulation.
    regional sales manager
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    regional shopping center
    1. (geography definition) This type of shopping center ranges from 300,000 to more than 1,000,000 square feet. It provides shopping goods, general merchandise, apparel, furniture, and home furnishings in full depth and variety. It is built around at least one full-line department store with a minimum of 100,000 square feet. 2. (retailing definition) One of several standard classes of shopping centers recognized by The Urban Land Institute. It provides for general merchandise, apparel, furniture, and home furnishings in depth. Typically, it has one or two full-line department stores larger than 100,000 square feet and total center store area ranging from 300,000 square feet to 850,000 square feet. It is a class of planned shopping centers, usually with major department store units and with usually 50 to 100 stores, serving a very large trading area. It is larger than a community shopping center.
    regression analysis
    A statistical technique used to derive an equation that relates a single, continuous criterion variable to one or more continuous predictor variables.
    regression models
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    The efforts by governmental units to create and enforce conditions that specify acceptable business practice.
    rehearsing desired behavior
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    Reilly's law
    A model used in trade area analysis to define the relative ability of two cities to attract customers from the area between them.
    1. (consumer behavior definition) A consequence that occurs after a behavior that increases the probability of future behavior of the same type. 2. (consumer behavior definition) A term from learning theory denoting the reward available to an organism for the response that the experimenter was trying to create or encourage.
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  • law of effect
  • rejection operator
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    relationship marketing
    Marketing with the conscious aim to develop and manage long-term and/or trusting relationships with customers, distributors, suppliers, or other parties in the marketing environment.
    relationship value
    The bonds, both actual and perceptual, that are created between the customer, the marketer, and the brand by a specific sales promotion event.
    relationship-oriented behavior
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  • consideration
  • relative precision
    A degree of precision desired in an estimate of a parameter is expressed relative to the level of the estimate of the parameter.
    Relative URL's link
    Relative URLs link to just the file, for example, "page1.htm". Source: SEMPO
    In relation to PPC advertising, relevance is a measure of how closely your ad title, description, and keywords are related to the search query and the searcher's expectations. Source: SEMPO
    The similarity of results provided by independent but comparable measures of the same object, trait, or construct.
    religious organization
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    The practice of remarking merchandise due to price changes, lost or mutilated tickets, or customer returns.
    reorder point calculations
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    repeat sale
    The subsequent sale of a product after the initial purchase. The level of repeat sales for a product is often used as a measure of customer satisfaction-the higher the level of repeat sales, the more satisfied customers are.
    repeat usage of product
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    replacement level fertility
    A total fertility rate of 2,120 or 2.12 births per 1,000 women. It is the rate at which a population reaches zero population growth.
    replacement sale
    A sale that takes place when a product becomes physically or economically obsolete. The timing of replacement is influenced by a customer's business prospects, its cash flow, product alternatives in the market, as well as the seller's financing terms and sales efforts.
    replenishment cycle
    A term used in inventory management that describes the process by which stocks are resupplied from some central location. This process often involves the development of quantitatively based inventory models designed to optimize this resupply process.
    reply card
    An addressed card inserted between pages of a magazine or newspaper.
    reply envelope
    An addressed envelope inserted between pages of a magazine or newspaper.
    The recovery of merchandise by the store after delivery, owing to a customer's failure to complete payment.
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  • ego defenses
  • repurchase rate
    The volume of purchase and the amount of time that typically occur between consumer or retailer purchasing occasions for a specific product.
    request for proposal (RFP)
    A request issued by a potential buyer desiring bids from several potential vendors for a product or service satisfying specifications describing the buyer's needs.
    request for quotation (RFQ)
    A document transmitted to a potential supplier requesting price and delivery terms on a specific item or set of items. A supplier responds to an RFQ with a quotation.
    resale price maintenance
    The determination or suggestion by the manufacturer of the price at which an item will be resold by wholesalers and/or retailers.
    resale price maintenance laws
    Federal and state statutes permitting agreements between a supplier and a retailer that state that the latter should not resell commodities below a specified minimum price.
    research and development (R&D)
    The function of working through various sciences and technologies to design new products. This usually involves some basic research for creating new technologies, and some applied research for converting those basic discoveries (and others) into specific new products. The applied (or developmental) phase begins after new product concepts have been screened and desirable attributes set up for them. It ends when scientific personnel deliver to manufacturing the necessary process specifications and finished product specifications. R&D departments also have many other duties not so directly related to new products.
    research design
    A framework or plan for a study that guides the collection and analysis of the data.
    research process
    A sequence of steps in the design and implementation of a research study, including problem formulation, determination of sources of information and research design, determination of data collection method and design of data collection forms, design of the sample and collection of the data, analysis and interpretation of the data, and the research report.
    reseller market
    A market composed of the individuals and organizations that acquire goods for the purpose of reselling or renting them to others at a profit.
    reservation price
    The highest price a buyer is willing to pay for a product or service.
    reserve system of stock control
    A method of controlling the amount of stock in the reserve stockroom by keeping records of all goods sent to the selling floor and all goods received from vendors. Stock in reserve is determined without counting the goods, but by adding the number of pieces received to the past physical inventory and subtracting the number sent to the selling floor.
    resident buying office
    An office that represents many retailers in the same line of business in the central wholesale market providing information about market developments and guidance in purchasing and actual placing of some orders for their clients.
    residual market value
    The image enhancing communication about the product or service that remains with the consumer after the sales promotion event is over.
    resource allocation and budgeting
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  • implementation
  • resource allocation models
    Models for guiding the allocation of marketing resources. Mathematical programming, decision calculus models, and the analytic hierarchy process are often used.
    resource rating
    The evaluation of resources through the statistical measurement and rating of vendors according to their respective contributions to store volume and profits and quality or dependability of service.
    respect needs
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    A person in a survey who is asked for information using either written or verbal questioning, typically employing a questionnaire to guide the questioning.
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  • subject
  • respondent conditioning
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    response latency
    An amount of time a respondent deliberates before answering a question.
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    restraint of trade
    A concept with origin in common law and that embraces acts, contracts, conspiracies, combinations, or practices that operate to prejudice the public interest by unduly restricting competition or unduly obstructing the due course of trade.
    retail accordion theory
    A theory of retail institutional change that suggests that retail institutions go from outlets with wide assortments to specialized narrow line store merchants and then back again to the more general wide assortment institution. It is also referred to as the general-specific-general theory.
    retail advertising
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    retail establishment
    A single or separate place of business principally engaged in the performance of marketing functions, where in or out sales are made primarily to ultimate consumers.
    retail inventory method of accounting
    A type of accounting system whereby the closing inventory at cost is determined by the average relationship between cost and retail value of all goods available for sale during the period.
    retail life cycle
    A theory of retail competition that states that retailing institutions, like the products they distribute, pass through an identifiable cycle. This cycle can be partitioned into four distinct stages: (1) innovation, (2) accelerated development, (3) maturity, and (4) decline.
    retail reductions
    The total of markdowns, discounts to employees and other classes of customers, and stock shortages.
    retail salesperson
    A salesperson employed by a retailer who is involved in selling goods and services to the ultimate consumer in retail stores.
    retail store
    A place of business (establishment) open to and frequented by the general public, and in which sales are made primarily to ultimate consumers, usually in small quantities, from merchandise inventories stored and displayed on the premises.
    retail structure
    The spatial distribution of retail stores and store types, including the composition of groupings of stores, spacing, and relationship to market.
    A merchant middleman who is engaged primarily in selling to ultimate consumers. One retailer may operate a number of establishments.
    retailer sales promotion
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    retailer sponsored cooperative
    A form of contractual vertical marketing system that is an example of backward integration. Independent retailers organize contractually to form a cooperative that gives them greater market power in dealing with suppliers.
    retailer's handling charge
    A sum of money above the face value of a coupon paid by the manufacturer to the retailer as a fee for accepting and initially processing manufacturer-originated coupons.
    A set of business activities carried on to accomplishing the exchange of goods and services for purposes of personal, family, or household use, whether performed in a store or by some form of nonstore selling.
    retailing mix
    Those variables that a retailer can combine in alternative ways to arrive at a strategy for attracting its consumers. The variables usually include merchandise and services offered, pricing, advertising and promotion, store design, location, and visual merchandising.
    retailing the invoice
    1. The practice of writing the unit selling prices on vendors' invoices that serves as the buyer's authorization. 2. It also refers to extensions of price-quality relationships to ascertain total retail value for purposes of the retail inventory method of accounting.
    retention rate
    Retention rate is used to count customers and track customer activity irrespective of the number of transactions (or dollar value of those transactions) made by each customer. Source: The MASB Common Language Project. http://www.themasb.org/common-language-project/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retention_rate
    return days
    The number of days an affiliate can earn commission on a conversion (sale or lead) by a referred visitor.
    return on investment
    Return on investment (ROI) is one way of considering profits in relation to capital invested. Source: The MASB Common Language Project. http://www.themasb.org/common-language-project/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Return_on_investment
    return on marketing investment
    Return on marketing investment (ROMI) is the contribution attributable to marketing (net of marketing spending), divided by the marketing 'invested' or risked. Source: The MASB Common Language Project. http://www.themasb.org/common-language-project/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Return_on_marketing_investment
    return on sales
    Return on sales (ROS) is net profit as a percentage of sales?revenue. ROS is an indicator of profitability and is often used to compare the profitability of companies and industries of differing sizes. Significantly, ROS does not account for the?capital?(investment) used to generate the profit. Source: The MASB Common Language Project. http://www.themasb.org/common-language-project/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operating_margin
    return to stock
    When a customer returns merchandise to the store for an exchange, credit, or money-back, this process of placing the merchandise into stock again is accompanied by a transaction to return to stock so that the item and the dollar amount are added back to inventory levels.
    returns and allowances from suppliers
    The sum of purchased goods returned to the supplier and unplanned reductions in purchase price. This represents a reduction in the cost of purchased items or total purchases. It is also referred to as purchase returns and allowances.
    reusable containers
    A form of premium in which the product is packed in a container that has additional uses or value after the product has been consumed.
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  • package
  • Reverse DNS
    A process to determine the hostname or host associated with an IP or host address. Source: SEMPO
    reverse logistics
    The process of returning products in a physical channel. In many logistics systems, there are two way flows of product and service. In some systems, products must be returned to a central location for repair and refurbishing. In other systems, products may be recalled and returned to a central processing area.
    reverse marketing
    A proactive, market-oriented approach to procurement.
    reverse reciprocity
    A selling arrangement in which two organizations agree to sell their scarce products to one another.
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  • recovery
  • revolving credit
    A consumer credit plan that combines the convenience of a continuous charge account and the privileges of installment payment. It is commonly used for purchase of merchandise on a nonsecured basis.
    Revshare/Revenue Sharing
    A method of allocating per-click revenue to a site publisher, and click-through charges to a search engine that distributes paid-ads to its context network partners, for every page viewer who clicks on the content site's sponsored ads. A type of site finder's fee. Source: SEMPO
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    rich media
    New media that offers an enhanced experience relative to older, mainstream formats.
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  • apron
  • Right of First Refusal
    Contractual right granting a sponsor the right to match any offer the property receives during a specific period of time in the sponsor?s product category. Source: IEG
    Right Rail
    The common name for the right-side column of a web page. On a SERP, right rail is usually where sponsored listings appear. Source: SEMPO
    risk analysis
    As a stage in the preparation of a strategic plan, internal vulnerabilities of the business and external threats need to be identified. The risks with the highest probability of occurring and/or those that would cause the most damage need to be identified in order that appropriate action may be taken. The importance of any specific risk factor is equal to the negative (or positive) consequences of the factor multiplied by the likelihood of its occurrence.
    risk reduction
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  • perceived risk
  • risk surrogate
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  • channel flows
  • rituals
    Actions or behaviors performed by consumers to create or affirm desired symbolic cultural meanings.
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  • culture
  • roadrailer
    A transportation innovation that allows a truck chassis to be outfitted with a set of rail trucks (wheels) that allows the truck to be used directly on the rails. This provides significant intermodal flexibility and service improvement.
    Acronym for Return On Advertising Spending, the profit generated by ad campaign conversions per dollar spent on advertising expenses. Calculated by dividing advertising-driven profit by ad spending. Source: SEMPO
    Robinson-Patman Act (1936)
    This is an amendment to the Clayton Act that prohibits price discrimination when the effect "may be substantially to lessen competition or create a monopoly"; prohibits payments of broker's commission when an independent broker is not employed; forbids sellers to provide allowances or services to buyers unless these are available to all buyers on "equally proportional terms"; and prohibits a buyer from inducing or receiving a prohibited discrimination in price.
    The use of sophisticated custom-designed machines to do specific tasks in the production, materials handling, and distribution areas of a business.
    A text file present in the root directory of a website which is used to direct the activity of search engine crawlers. This file is typically used to tell a crawler which portions of the site should be crawled and which should not be crawled. Source: SEMPO
    Return on Keyword Investment. Source: Lazworld
    role set
    The set of people who have a vested interest in how the salesperson performs the job. These people include the individual's immediate superior, other executives in the firm, purchasing agents and other members of customers' organizations, and the salesperson's family. They all try to influence the salesperson's behavior, either formally through organizational policies, operating procedures, training programs, and the like, or informally through social pressures, rewards, and sanctions.
    The behavior that is expected of people in standard situations. Roles are the patterns of needs, goals, beliefs, attitudes, values, and behavior that are expected of an individual occupying a particular position in society.
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    ROP color
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    Rorschach ink blot
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    A dummy of a print advertising layout or an early version of a television storyboard prepared by art directors and copywriters to help them realize the advertising idea and discuss it with others in the advertising agency and sometimes with clients.
    routine call pattern
    A method used by salespeople to schedule sales calls regularly on customers.
    1. (physical distribution definition) A process of directing either an employee or a vehicle along some predesignated path. The path is usually designed to minimize cost or effort given some overall objective of the system. 2. (sales definition) A plan describing how a salesperson will travel through the salesperson's sales territory.
    routinized choice behavior
    A choice involving little cognitive and behavioral effort.
    routinized response behavior
    After a sufficient number of trials or purchases of a particular brand, the decision process requires very little cognitive effort and little or no decision making is involved. The behavior becomes habitual or routine.
    Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication. RSS is an acronym for Rich Site Summary, an XML format for distributing news headlines on the Web - also known as syndication. Source: Lazworld
    RSS Aggregators
    "A client software that uses web feed to retrieve syndicated web content such as blogs, podcasts, vlogs, and mainstream mass media websites, or in the case of a search aggregator, a customized set of search results. Such applications are also referred to as RSS readers, feed readers, feed aggregators, news readers or search aggregators. These have been recently supplemented by the so-called RSS-narrators [such as TalkingNews or Talkr] which not only aggregate news feeds but also converts them into podcasts." Source: Wikipedia Source: SEMPO
    rule of reason
    1. (economic definition) A principle for determining the legality of business practices. Illegality is determined by evidence concerning the country, competitors, and consumers. 2. (legislation definition) A standard applied to the Sherman Antitrust Act that interprets it to prohibit only "unreasonable restraints of trade" rather than every restraint of trade. The courts have not consistently defined the term "unreasonable."
    rule of thumb
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  • heuristic
  • run of network (RON)
    An ad buying option where ad placements can appear on any pages within an ad network.
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  • run of site)
  • run of press coupon (ROP)
    A couponed advertisement placed in a publication in which the location is at the discretion of the publisher.
    run of site (ROS)
    An ad buying option in which ad placements may appear on any pages of the target site.
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  • run of network
  • runners
    The styles, especially in fashion apparel, for which there are many repeat wholesale purchases of the same item.
    run-of-press (ROP)
    The positioning of ads anywhere within the pages of a newspaper or magazine as the staff of the publication prepares the various pages for printing. This contrasts with advertisers paying premium prices for ads that are to be placed in specific locations in a magazine or newspaper. (See also preprint advertising and run-of press color.)
    rural population
    That part of the total population not classified as urban.
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