Dictionary

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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Term
Definition
See Also
valence
A salesperson's desire to receive additional amounts of a given reward (e.g., a pay increase). Valences can influence salespeople's level of motivation.
validity
A term applied to measuring instruments reflecting the extent to which differences in scores on the measurement reflect true differences among individuals, groups, or situations in the characteristic it seeks to measure, or true differences in the same individual, group, or situation from one occasion to another rather than constant or random errors.
VALS
An acronym standing for values and life styles. VALS is a psychographic segmentation approach developed at Stanford Research Institute International.
value
The power of any good to command other goods in peaceful and voluntary exchange
value added
1. (environments definition) An economic concept referring to the value that a firm adds to the cost of its inputs as a result of its activities, thereby arriving at the price of its outputs. [WL/MBC] 2. (product development definition) A measure of the contribution to a product's worth by any organization that handles it on its way to the ultimate user. Value added is measured by subtracting the cost of a product (or the cost of ingredients from which it was made) from the price that the organization got for it. For resellers, this means the firm's gross margin; for manufacturing firms, it means the contribution over cost of ingredients. Presumably whatever work that firm did is reflected in the higher price someone is willing to pay for the product, hence that firm's value added.
value added by marketing
The increase in value due to performance of marketing activities by a firm. Value added by marketing is computed by subtracting the market value of purchased goods from the market value of goods sold.
value adding resellers (VARs)
Retail intermediaries who modify equipment, integrate several components into a system solution, or provide additional services to offer customized solutions to the customer. VARs are found especially in markets for computer equipment and other forms of information technology.
value analysis
1. (industrial definition) An analytical procedure to study the costs versus the benefits of a currently purchased material, component, or design in order to reduce the cost/benefit ratio as much as possible. It is also called value engineering. When performed by a seller, it is often referred to as value-in use analysis. 2. (product development definition) A systematic study of a product wherein the analyst keeps asking, "Can the cost of this part, this subassembly, or this step be reduced in any way, or even eliminated?" Value analysis is usually performed by engineers who are seeking new, less expensive ways to design or create the product being studied. It may be performed on the products the firm produces, or on products that it purchases from its suppliers.
value based pricing
A price setting process based on the value the product provides to the customer.
value chain analysis
An approach to assessing the positions of competitive advantage. A value chain first classifies the activities of a business into the discrete steps performed to design, produce, market, deliver, and service a product. Supporting these specific value-creation activities are firm-wide activities such as procurement, human resource management, technology, and the infrastructure of systems and management that ties the value chain together. To gain advantage a business must either perform enough of these activities at a lower cost to gain an overall cost edge while offering a parity product, or perform them in a way that leads to differentiation and a premium price.
value engineering
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  • value analysis
  • value expressive reference group influence
    An individual's use of groups to enhance or support his or her self concept.
    value pricing
    A method of setting prices based upon the perceived value the product gives a specific consumer or group of consumers.
    Value Propositions
    "A customer value proposition is the sum total of benefits a customer is promised to receive in return for his or her custom and the associated payment (or other value transfer). A customer value proposition is what is promised by a company's marketing and sales efforts, and then fulfilled by its delivery and customer service processes." Source: Wikipedia Source: SEMPO
    value-added system
    Refer to "See Also" column to the right.
    value-added taxes
    Refer to "See Also" column to the right.
    value-expressive function of attitudes
    A function of attitudes that allows the individual to express his or her self concept. The value-expressive function is served by attitudes that demonstrate one's self image to others. It is one of the functions of attitudes proposed by the functional theory of attitudes.
    value-in-exchange
    The amount of money or goods actually paid for a product or service.
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  • value-in use
  • value-in-use
    The amount of money or goods that buyers would be willing to pay for a product or service. Value-in use is always greater than value-in exchange.
    value-in-use pricing
    A method of setting prices in which an attempt is made to capture a portion of what a customer would save by buying a firm's product.
    value-in-use-analysis
    Refer to "See Also" column to the right.
    >>See Also
  • value analysis
  • value-oriented pricing
    Refer to "See Also" column to the right.
    values
    The beliefs about the important life goals that consumers are trying to achieve.
    values (consumer behavior definition)
    Beliefs widely shared by members of a culture about what is desirable or good (nutritious food, French wines, free speech, or honesty) and what is undesirable or bad (arson, bigotry, escargot, spinach, or deceit). If a value is accepted by the individual, it can become a major influence on his or her behavior. 3. The important, enduring ideals or beliefs that guide behavior within a culture or for a specific person. For example, health and fitness have recently become im-portant values for Americans.
    variable cost
    Variable costs are expenses that change in proportion to the activity of a business.[1] Variable cost is the sum of marginal costs over all units produced. It can also be considered normal costs. Fixed costs and variable costs make up the two components of total cost. Source: The MASB Common Language Project. http://www.themasb.org/common-language-project/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variable_costs
    variable import levies
    The import charges levied when the prices of imported products would undercut those of domestic products. The effect of these levies would be to raise the price of imported products to the domestic level.
    variable price policy
    A policy of adjusting prices to different customers, depending on their relative purchasing power or bargaining ability.
    variety
    The number of different classifications of goods carried in a particular merchandising unit. It implies generically different kinds of goods.
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  • assortment
  • variety seeking
    The choice of an alternative in order to experience diversity or variety in consumption over time. For example, someone may eat a Butterfinger candy bar for a snack one day, but choose a Baby Ruth candy bar the next day specifically to get something different.
    variety store
    An establishment primarily selling a wide variety of merchandise in the low and popular price range usually in limited assortments, such as stationery, gift items, women's accessories, toilet articles, light hardware, toys, housewares, and confectionary. Variety stores were formerly known as limited price variety stores because merchandise was usually not sold outside some specified price ranges.
    VARs
    Refer to "See Also" column to the right.
    vehicle
    Refer to "See Also" column to the right.
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  • media vehicle
  • vending machine
    The retail sale of goods or services through coin- or currency-operated machines activated by the ultimate consumer-buyer. (See also automatic merchandising machine operator, automatic selling, and nonstore retailing.)
    Vendor
    1. (industrial definition) An organization that supplies specific goods or services to the business markets and/ or organizational markets. 2. (retailing definition) Any firm from which a retailer obtains merchandise.
    vendor analysis
    1. (industrial definition) An organized effort to assess strengths and weaknesses of current or new suppliers to assure supplier quality. It is usually undertaken by the purchasing department. 2. (retailing definition) An analysis of sales, stocks, markups, markdowns, and gross margin by vendors.
    venture
    A risky new product project or business start-up. Ventures are often staffed by managers who are pulled out of their regular functional jobs and assigned to the project. The venture may be totally in-house (located on the customary premises, close to the regular operation) or it may be spun out (relocated at some point well apart from the ongoing operation). If carried out in cooperation with another firm, it is a joint venture.
    venture team, in new product development
    This is similar to a new product task force, but with an important difference: the team is independent of any functional department. Members stay with the project until abandoned or commercialized. In the latter case they may become the management team responsible for running the new product as a separate business. The venture team is authorized to obtain assistance as needed from functional departments or to purchase external assistance. A venture team usually reports to a top corporate officer. Comment: A venture team is appropriate for developing new products that are outside of the company's existing businesses. A venture team is also appropriate for totally new products that usually require more time, expense, and risk than managers of currently operating businesses are willing to support. A venture team is more likely to be used for high technology industrial products than, for example, consumer packaged goods. A venture team requires long-term commitment and support from corporate management.
    Venue Marketing
    Promotional strategy linking a sponsor to a physical site (sponsorship of stadiums, arenas, auditoriums, amphitheaters, racetracks, fairgrounds, etc.). Source: IEG
    vertical banner
    A banner ad measuring 120 pixels wide and 240 pixels tall.
    vertical business system
    Refer to "See Also" column to the right.
    vertical cooperative advertising
    Advertising in which the retailer and other previous marketing channel members (e.g., manufacturers or wholesalers) share the cost.
    Vertical Creep
    Positioning trends when vertical listings appear at the top of organic search engine results and below top sponsored listings (when they are displayed on the SERP). Source: SEMPO
    vertical integration
    1. (channels of distribution definition) The combination of two or more separate stages in the channel through ownership, including mergers or acquisitions. 2. (environments definition) The expansion of a business by acquiring or developing businesses engaged in earlier or later stages of marketing a product. In forward vertical integration, manufacturers might acquire or develop wholesaling and retailing activities. In backward vertical integration, retailers might develop their own wholesaling or manufacturing capabilities.
    vertical market
    A situation in which an industrial product is used by only one or a very few industry or trade groups. The market is narrow but deep in the sense that most prospective customers in the industry may need the article.
    vertical marketing system
    1. (channels of distribution definition) The channel systems consisting of horizontally coordinated and vertically aligned establish-ments that are professionally managed and centrally coordinated to achieve optimum operating economies and maximum market impact. The three types of vertical marketing systems are administered vertical marketing system, contractual vertical marketing system, and corporate vertical marketing system. 2. (physical distribution definition) A long-term channel relationship in which two or more firms acknowledge and desire interdependence
    vertical marketing system competition
    The competition between rival vertical marketing systems. For example, the total vertical marketing system of General Motors competing with that of Ford Motor Company
    vertical merger
    The joining or combination of two or more companies at different stages in the production or marketing process, such as the combination of IBM, a manufacturer of computers, with Intel, a manufacturer of microprocessors.
    >>See Also
  • merger
  • Vertical Portal/Vortal
    Search engines that focus on a specific industry or sector. Such vertical search engines (also called "vortals") have much more specific indexes and provide narrower and more focused search results than the Tier I search engines. Source: SEMPO
    vertical price-fixing
    A conspiracy among marketers at different levels of the channel to set prices for a product.
    vertical restraint
    The arrangement between firms operating at different levels of the manufacturing or distribution chain that restrict the conditions under which firms may purchase, sell, or resell.
    vertical restriction
    Refer to "See Also" column to the right.
    vertical structure of the sales organization
    An enumeration of which managerial positions have the authority for carrying out specific sales management activities. It also provides for effective integration and coordination of selling efforts throughout the firm.
    Verticals
    A vertical is a specific business group or category, such as insurance, automotive or travel. Vertical search offers targeted search options and PPC opportunities to a specific business category. Source: SEMPO
    vicarious learning
    The changes in an individual's behavior brought about by observing the actions of others and the consequences of those actions.
    VICS
    Refer to "See Also" column to the right.
    Vidale-Wolfe model
    An econometric model that represents the rate of change of sales as a function of the rate of advertising spending. The tagged effect of advertising is incorporated using a sales decay term (Vidale and Wolfe 1957). The model allows the effect of advertising to have different rise versus decay rates.
    video news release (VNR)
    A publicity device designed to look and sound like a television news story. The publicist prepares a 60- to 90-second news release on videotape, which can then be used by television stations as is or after further editing. It is more sophisticated than a news clip.
    videotex retailing
    An interactive electronic system in which a retailer transmits data and graphics over cable or telephone lines to a consumer's TV or terminal.
    viral marketing
    A marketing phenomenon that facilitates and encourages people to pass along a marketing message. Nicknamed viral because the number of people exposed to a message mimicks the process of passing a virus or disease from one person to another.
    Virtual Signage
    The insertion of signage electronically during a TV broadcast that is not actually present at the event. Source: IEG
    Virus
    These are programs that can be downloaded onto your computer or network from the Internet. Some are harmless, others are programmed to destroy your system, trash your files and disable your software. No kidding. So be careful. Use anti-virus programs. They take a few extra minutes every day to use, but the protection is worth it. Source: Lazworld
    Vision
    A guiding theme that articulates the nature of the business and its intentions for the future. These intentions are based on how management believes the environment will unfold and what the business can and should be in the future. A vision has the following characteristics: (1) informed-grounded in a solid understanding of the business and the forces shaping the future, (2) sharedcreated through collaboration, (3) competitive-creates an obsession with winning throughout the organization, and (4) enabling-empowers individuals to make meaningful decisions about strategies and tactics.
    visual front
    An open storefront design that has no vision barrier between the interior and exterior.
    visual merchandising
    A situation in which reliance is upon the use of informative labels, descriptive signs, or a self service type of display, as opposed to dependence upon a salesperson for information.
    visual system of stock control
    A method of controlling the amount of stock on hand by systematic observation rather than by records.
    Vlog
    A vlog is a video blog. Source: Lazworld
    VNR
    Refer to "See Also" column to the right.
    voice pitch analysis
    A type of analysis that examines changes in the relative frequency of the human voice that accompany emotional arousal.
    volume projections
    Volume projections enable marketers to forecast sales by sampling customer intentions through surveys and market studies. By estimating how many customers will try a newproduct, and how often they'll make repeat purchases, marketers can establish the basis for such projections. Source: The MASB Common Language Project. http://www.themasb.org/common-language-project/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volume_projections
    voluntary chain
    Refer to "See Also" column to the right.
    >>See Also
  • voluntary group
  • voluntary group
    A contractual vertical marketing system in which a wholesaler bands together its independent retail customers into a voluntary group. A complete range of services is offered to retail members including centralized advertising and promotion, store location and store layout, training, financing, and accounting.
    voluntary inter-industry communications standard
    A communications standard adopted by the mass merchandising industry for electronic transmission of information between buyer and seller.
    volunter directory
    A Web directory staffed primarily by unpaid volunteer editors.