iSOCRATES Glossary of MADTech Terms

In an effort to save time and help you gain a quick and easy understanding of common MADTech terms, we’ve compiled and seek to keep current this Glossary. By no means is the list of terms below meant to be exhaustive. It is provided here to help you navigate some of the technical jargon used by industry professionals.

MADTech is the convergence of Marketing Technology, Advertising Technology and Data Technology (which includes Analytics). MADTech is a large and growing global industry that combines automation, artificial intelligence, real-time auction-based electronic trading, other new and emerging technologies and processes, and specialized skills and capabilities to achieve incremental effectiveness and efficiency in an increasingly complex and fast-moving world. The MADTech industry is composed of publishers, marketers, agencies and consultancies, and their data and tech enablers.

iSOCRATES Glossary of MADTech Terms


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iSOCRATES Glossary of MADTech Terms
1st Party Data

Customer, prospect or digital audience information compiled and owned by a publisher or marketer which can be compiled explicitly (i.e., signing up for an email list, filling out a form or survey, etc.) or implicitly (i.e., information about past web surfing habits, site visits, etc.). A “truth” set. Likely your best data source.

2nd Party Data

On a permissioned basis, customers and prospects provide their identity and other data to another company, which in turn shares or uses it in partnership.


A cross-industry initiative started by three advertising trade associations (IAB, ANA, and 4A’s) to create standards for how digital media is measured, planned and transacted as well as provide guidance to make digital measurement comparable to traditional measurement.

3rd Party Data

Audience, contextual, demographic, behavioral or other data directly collected and shared by other than the publisher, marketer or a 2nd party. 1st party data can be enriched by 2nd party and/or 3rd party data, which in turn can be even more enriched by data aggregators or data management platforms.


This is the part of the web page or email that is viewable when a page renders in the browser, without scrolling down. Any placements below this are considered ‘Below-the-Fold’. Above-the-Fold placements are generally considered to have a better performance, but publishers can now actually track the performance of all ads.


When a user signs up, makes a purchase, or performs some other desired action in response to an ad displayed on the Internet. Also called a conversion or action.


The execution of the marketing mix as part of the marketing process. The activation phase typically comes after the strategy and planning phases during which managers plan their marketing activities and is followed by feedback and optimization phases in which results are evaluated with media and marketing analytics.

Ad Blocker

An ad blocker is a software product that prevents advertisements from appearing with the content the user is intentionally viewing. People block ads for a variety of reasons. For example, many of them find interrupt marketing ads annoying and even stressful. Interrupt marketing is intrusive by design, like an interstitial ad that comes between users and the content they are attempting to view or an autoplay or rollover ad that starts up without any intentional act on the part of the user.

Ad Call

When an open slot of ad space is available on the Internet, a user’s browser sends requests to ad exchanges or ad servers to send an ad. This request is known as an ad call. Ad calls include information from browser cookies and ad tag information such as publisher ID, size, location, referring URL, and other specifications and data needed for the ad to serve.

Ad Effectiveness

How well advertising accomplishes what the marketer intends. Companies use many different statistics or metrics to measure their advertising effectiveness. A company’s advertising effectiveness usually increases over time with repeated exposures of sequenced, relevant messages, but ad effectiveness in any one media channel typically declines over time. Certain advertising objectives can be realized using measurable techniques including: reach, frequency, brand awareness, consideration, intent, purchases, and loyalty.

Ad Exchange

An auction-based intermediary in the process of digital media trading that connects buyers and sellers of ad inventory. The ad exchange provides a technology platform that functions in real-time – as the user loads the web page, the publishers’ unsold inventory becomes available for purchase to advertisers on a single impression basis. When a bidder wins the impression, the advertiser’s creative is displayed on the web page to a single user/viewer.

Ad Fraud

Ad fraud is defined as the deliberate practice of attempting to serve ads that have no potential to be viewed by a human user. There are numerous types and sources of ad fraud. Ad Fraud Detection has become a critical tool for the buy-side of the market. Relatedly, there are numerous viewability methods and resources.

Ad Injection

Ads are inserted on a page by software on the user’s computer, such as a toolbar ad-on. The ad units were not placed by the publisher, and the publisher is not compensated for them. Ad injection software either replaces the authorized units on the page with unauthorized ones, or adds new placements to the page, possibly in poor positions (i.e. below the fold).

Ad Network

An intermediary in the process of digital media trading that sells publisher inventory to advertisers or agencies. Ad Networks repackage publishers’ inventory, which may or may not be remnant rather than premium, selling it to advertisers at a price determined by the network and/or negotiated between the buyer and seller at a price higher than what the network paid the publisher.

Ad Operations

The various technical and workflow tasks needed for running digital advertising campaigns. Ad operations ensure more efficient and effective delivery for ad insertion orders and ad inventory management.

Ad Retargeting

Ad retargeting is simply increasing the frequency of ads being sent to someone who has been selected as part of your audience. It could be an increased delivery of the same ad, a similar message or a sequential message. It’s not exactly the same as retargeting because the consumer isn’t being qualified in the same way.

Ad Server

The technology and service that places advertisements on websites and mobile properties. Ad serving technology companies provide software to publishers and advertisers to serve ads, count them, help choose the ads that will make the website or advertiser the most money, and monitor the progress of different advertising campaigns.

Ad Source

The network or entity from which advertising content is consumed by a given inventory unit. Multiple sources may compete for display in a single unit (for example, AdSense and AdX as backfill challengers).

Ad Tags

These are markers that categorize a file, image or video so that it can be found by being linked to other content. Tags are usually attached during an item’s creation and items usually have more than one tag.

Ad Type

The digital advertising types that brands utilize, including social media ads, search ads, display ads, native ads, and programmatic ads. Each ad type has its own benefits and requires its own strategy.

Ad Unit

A single unit of ad space.

Ad Verification

Services that offer to validate that the advertiser’s ad was delivered to the agreed upon specification in the advertising insertion order. There can be additional criteria such as above the fold placement, geographic targeting.


The AdChoices program was created by the ‘Digital Advertising Alliance’ (DAA) and is supported by 4As, AAF, ANA, BBB, DMA, IAB and NAI, which are all industry trade association. The program allows users to click on an icon on the upper or lower right corner and see information about the companies that are providing the internet-based ads as well as click to opt-out and not be behaviorally targeted.


Ads.txt stands for Authorised Digital Sellers and allows publishers to add a text file to their servers, which are then integrated into Programmatic platforms. This helps publishers clearly communicate who is authorised to sell their inventory, adding additional layers of transparency for Programmatic buyers.


A Google service that can help you display Google ads on your website’s content pages and earn money.

Advertising Budget

Amount of money an organization has set aside for promotional activities, materials, and campaigns. The advertising budget should be allocated prior to building a strategy.

Advertising Cost of Sales (ACoS)

The number of clicks your Amazon Ads receive, compared to the amount of money the campaign earned for your organization. The result is expressed as a percentage. To find the ACoS of a campaign, simply divide ad spend by ad revenue and then convert it to a percentage by multiplying it by 100.

Advertising Placement

The location where a digital ad is shown. The placement of the ad is strategic, primarily wherever a business’s target audience is most likely to engage. The cost of an ad is typically dependent on its placement, and different brands tend to prefer specific placements based on KPIs, context, budget, platform, and campaign.

Advertising Platform

A tool used for serving paid digital advertisements to target audiences. Different platforms allow marketers to place ads on different websites with varying measures of control.

Advertising Server

The technology that gets ads in front of target audiences. These can be first-party (run by the same company whose site the ads will be displayed on) or third-party (run by an independent company to manage ad placements across numerous platforms).

Advertising Technology (AdTech)

Tools and software that marketers employ to target audiences, deliver messaging, and measure online advertising campaigns. Technology solutions designed to help advertisers create, place, manage, and analyze the performance of their digital advertisements.


A company or entity that applies its expertise and technology to help marketers buy advertising inventory from media sellers and marketplaces such as publishers, ad exchanges, ad networks, sales houses, etc.

Agency Trading Desk (ATD)

A centralized, service-based organization within an ad agency that manages the Demand-Side Platform (DSP), other audience buying technologies, as well as manages Programmatic and RTB audience buying. All major agency holding companies have trading desks.

Aggregated Information

Data combined from many individual users that does not identify any single user.


Systematic trading rules or a computational procedure to activate delivery and to derive results from data.

Amazon Advertising Strategy

Allows retail media companies to serve targeted ads to their customers on one of the largest ecommerce marketplaces in the world and is based on the pay-per-click (PPC) model.

Amazon Targeting
A type of ad targeting for use with Amazon’s Sponsored Display and Sponsored Products. Both Sponsored Display and Sponsored Products allow brands to customize ad information that displays at key locations in relevant search results.
Also known as Web Metrics, analytics refers to the collection of data about a website and its users. Analytics programs typically give performance data on clicks, time, pages viewed, website paths, and a variety of other Google Analytics information. The proper use of Web analytics allows website owners to improve their visitor experience, which often leads to higher ROI for profit-based sites.
Anonymous Information
Data points that do not identify a specific person, such as age or gender.
An Application Programming Interface (API) is a tool that enables software and applications to communicate and interact with each other. APIs offer a simplified way to access databases and hardware without needing knowledge of the underlying programming languages, ensuring stability and reliability. These APIs, such as SOAP or REST services, allow consumers to remotely interact with web-based software and apps without disrupting their functionality.
App Marketing
Strategies used to build interest for a mobile app and then more importantly, convince users to download. The campaign seeks to increase the engagement of users in and out of the app, through tactics such as ads within app stores and in-app messaging.
App Remarketing
App remarketing is retargeting within app-only environments, after a user has downloaded an application. Typically, the message is to encourage users to revisit the app and have a new experience.
In the more general sense, the basic business strategy of exploiting market inefficiencies by buying a commodity in one market and reselling it in another, at a profit and with little risk. In the context of RTB for example, this refers to the purchasing cheap display impressions, loading a video player into it, and re-selling the inventory at a much higher priced “in-stream video” impressions on a video exchange.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
A category of technologies that use computers to achieve functions usually associated with human intelligence such as reasoning, learning, and synthesizing information. It is often referred to as “AI.”
Aspect Ratio
Ratio of width to height for a video or image.
The art work or file associated with a creative object.
This is known information about a user that can be used to match them to an ad content they would be interested in based on their demographics, segmentation, and retargeting information.
Attribution Models
Composed of rules, or sets of rules, that determine how credit for sales and conversions are assigned to touchpoints in conversion paths. For example, the Last Interaction Model assigns 100% credit to the final touchpoints (i.e., clicks) that immediately precede sales or conversions. Other models include: Heuristic models, Shapley models, Data-driven probabilistic models, and Agent models. Bidding and budget allocation can be done with Multi-Touch Attribution models (MTA).
Auction Pricing

A dynamic form of pricing where the price is determined by the market. Buyers are able to bid from a floor price with the bid going to the highest bidder. Programmatic media uses a second price auction model. This means that the highest bidder has to pay $0.01 more than the second highest bid.

A classification of a user group that has some common characteristics or attributes such as demographic data, habits, interests, behaviors or more. These segments are used to target individuals when delivering online advertising campaigns.
Audience Buying
This utilizes 1st and 3rd party data to create, target and buy audience segments, increasing the number of possible targets.
Audience Data
Consumer data that is provided by a first-party such as a publisher or a DMP or other third-party data sources. This term is frequently used in reference to an advertiser’s own retargeting list or to data coming directly from a publisher, which is available at the moment an ad impression is made available. First-party data is generated when a cookie is placed on a website by the owner (publisher) so that the owner can recognize return visitors to the website. Third-party data is generated when a cookie is placed on a website by a third-party, such as an ad server or data provider. Information from these cookies is collected and can be used to place users in one or more segments, based on their online activity. These cookies are used to target advertisements and segment audiences.
Audience Development
The application of a data-driven, cost-effective approach to creating more and better site traffic for the explicit purpose of greater publisher monetization. These programs may leverage publisher data, analytics, media planning, buying and optimization capabilities across Display, Video and other media channels.
Audience Extension
A process which extends digital audiences beyond a publisher’s owned and operated ad inventory allowing advertisers to reach the same people, devices and/or households elsewhere. Audience extension typically leads to higher conversion rates and a more efficient ad spend by increasing reach and frequency for the advertiser while increasing revenue for the publisher.
Automated Guaranteed
Automated Guaranteed Digital Media Inventory, also known as Programmatic Guaranteed, involves reserved ad space with fixed pricing for one-on-one transactions through a publisher’s ad server API. Factors affecting it include ad server prioritization, Deal ID, data usage, transparency to buyers, and pricing floors. The IAB OpenDirect specification standardized APIs, enabling publishers to offer guaranteed volumes, while marketers can access, filter, and manage inventory offers seamlessly, resembling an online shopping experience.
When algorithms or automated decision processes are used to improve campaign performance indicators (e.g. cost-per-click or cost-per-acquisition) based on available data.
Autoplay Video
Autoplay video is audiovisual content, usually containing advertisements or promoted content, that starts automatically when a user goes to the host web page. The purpose of autoplay is to get the user’s attention, which it is bound to do so long as the user has sound turned on.
Average CPA
The average amount that a marketing campaign spends on achieving one conversion. Cost per acquisition (CPA) can be calculated by dividing the costs of a campaign by the number of successful conversions, whether that means new leads, new followers, or new users.
Average CPC
Determined by dividing clicks’ total cost by the total number of clicks. This helps determine the effectiveness of the campaign and informs future budgeting and strategy.
Average CPM
Average cost-per-thousand (CPM) is calculated by dividing your average advertising cost by the average number of impressions, multiplied by one thousand. This number determines the amount you are paying to reach 1,000 users.
Average ROAS
Average return on ad spend (ROAS) is determined by dividing revenue by the amount spent on advertising during a specific period of time. This metric puts a dollar amount to the return on advertising investment for a certain campaign or time period.
A banner is an advertisement in the form of a graphic image that typically runs across a web page or is positioned in a margin or other space reserved for ads. In addition to adhering to size, many websites limit the size of the file to a certain number of bytes so that the file will display quickly.
Banner Blindness
The tendency of Web visitors to ignore display ads when consuming content online, leading to low click rates, visibility for advertisers and revenue for publishers.
Behavioral Targeting
An area of internet marketing becoming increasingly refined, behavioral targeting looks to put ads in front of people who should be more receptive to the particular message given past Web behavior, including purchases and websites visited. The use of cookies enables online behavioral targeting.
Data that measures how ad campaigns are performing in comparison to competitors’ ads or industry averages.
Bid Management

The auction component of the buying algorithm that places bids on ad impressions.

Bid Optimization
Process of setting the price of bids for paid search advertisements at different levels for different entities identified via better bidding to achieve maximum ROI on advertising.
Bid Price
The amount of the money the advertiser wants to pay for the ad display opportunity being actioned.
A list of domains or apps that a buyer does not want to buy ad space on.
Blocks of data strung together as a distributed ledger running over a peer-to-peer network that authenticates and protects the data.
A distributed collection of computers running bots, typically home computers infected with malware. The distributed nature of the activity makes it harder to single out.

Computer programs designed to simulate human web browsing activity and generate fraudulent ad impressions.

Bounce Rate
The percentage of people who visit your website but leave without visiting any other page.
Brand Safety

A set of practices and technical tools that ensure the advertiser’s brand is not damaged as a result of the improper or inappropriate placement of ads.

A type of display ad campaign that has the primary goal of spreading awareness of a company’s products or services.
A shot video ad that plays before or after an ad slot during video content.
Call to Action
A phrase included within an ad, or a graphic element such as a button, which invites the audience to take a certain action. Examples include phrases such as Click to Read More, Download Your Free eBook Now, or Click Here.
A specific marketing initiative run by an advertiser, identified by a time period and a specific objective or message.
Campaign Dashboard
Visuals like charts, graphs and tables that provide a snapshot of media and marketing campaign performance at a point in time so executives can spot problems, or identify marketplace opportunities, and optimize appropriately.
Campaign Optimization

Campaign optimization saves time and money while helping marketers achieve and improve upon media and marketing objectives by efficiently collecting the necessary data to analyze marketing campaigns and make informed data-driven business decisions. Campaign analysis helps marketers to reduce waste but can also provide the marketer with insight into maximizing the lifetime value of a customer over time. The campaign analysis and optimization process can be divided into two major categories: a) Harvesting Low Hanging Fruit: areas in need of improvement that are relatively easy to identify and provide quick and effective results; and, b) Long Term Optimization: the process of continual optimization over time and includes improving the customer’s overall lifetime value.

A piece of legislation passed in 2003 that governs the sending of marketing emails.
An advertising channel is any application on a digital device (e.g. web browser, gaming app, email, social, video player, and more) on which companies market products and services. The amount of channels available to marketers has grown enormously with the advancement of digital devices to embellish traditional media advertising.
Channel Partner
A third-party organization or individual that markets and sells products, services or technologies for a manufacturer or service provider via a partnering relationship.
A click is “when a visitor interacts with an advertisement.” This does not apparently mean simply interacting with a rich media ad, but actually clicking on it so that the visitor is headed toward the advertiser’s destination. (It also does not mean that the visitor actually waits to fully arrive at the destination, but just that the visitor started going there.)
Click Fraud
These are clicks that are generated falsely, either by humans or artificially with the intent to creating a click on a search engine listing or text ad, forcing the advertiser to pay even though the click is not real. Search engines have measures to try and prevent this. Indicators of click fraud are a spike in clicks and can be monitored by collecting log file and visitor data.
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
This is the number of click throughs received by an ad divided by the number of ad impressions. This is a key performance indicator for ads.
A recorded path of the pages a user requested in going through one or more websites. Click stream information can help website owners understand how visitors are using their site and which pages are getting the most use. It can help advertisers understand how users get to the client’s pages, what pages they look at, and how they go about ordering a product.
In general, a computing cloud is a networked group of servers accessible through remote means. In ad tech, this usually refers to cloud computing infrastructure on which an ad platform of some kind runs. Data or processes existing within such a network is sometimes said to be “in the cloud”.
Consumer Data Platform (CDP)
A marketer- or publisher-managed system that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems. This structured data is then made available to other marketing systems.
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A CDN delivers static content, such as creative image or flash files. Usually, CDN providers have servers across the globe configured to deliver content as quickly as possible, which is why it’s typical for ad servers to rely on them.
Content Management System (CMS)
This technology allows website owners to make text and picture changes to their websites without specialized programming knowledge of software like Adobe Dreamweaver or Microsoft FrontPage. Content Management Systems can be edited by anyone with basic word knowledge via an internet connection. No need for length or costly web development contracts or need to wait on someone outside your company to make changes. CMS examples include WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla.
Content Marketing
Content marketing is the publication of material designed to promote a brand, usually through a more oblique and subtle approach than that of traditional push advertising. The essence of good content marketing is that it offers something the viewer wants, such as information or entertainment.
Contextual Targeting
A form of automated, targeted advertising based upon page/view-level content displayed to audiences on sites and in mobile browsers.
An event showing a user has become a customer of the advertiser. The conversion event can be defined by various of actions, such as a successful page landing, a registration on the advertiser’s website, an email subscription, making a deposit, a product purchase etc.
Conversion Pixel

A 1×1 image or js pixel placed on a web page (such as a thank-you page) which is triggered whenever a conversion occurs. Usually transparent.

A small text file on the user’s desktop computer that identifies the user’s browser so that they are recognized when they re-visit a site or go elsewhere online.
Cookie-less targeting
Cookie-less targeting refers to a number of non-cookie based methods that can be used for targeting in cases where cookies may not work.
Cookie Syncing
The process of matching the user ids from one system to another. This allows SSPs and DSPs to identify the same browser for the purpose of re-targeting browsers through the ad exchanges.
Cost per Acquisition (CPA)
The advertiser pays according to each ‘action’ attributed to the campaign or evaluates it according to the resulting CPA.
Cost Per Click (CPC)
The advertisers pay according to the number of clicks attributed to a campaign.
Cost Per Install
The price an advertiser pays to a publisher when a user downloads their mobile app after clicking on an advertisement. This metric is measured by dividing ad spend by total app installs.
Cost Per Lead (CPL)
The total cost of acquiring a new lead. CPL is calculated by dividing the advertising spend by the total number of leads acquired over the course of a campaign, or designated period of time.
Cost per Thousand (CPM)
In digital advertising, CPM is an estimate of the price or cost per 1,000 views of an ad. It is a useful measure for calculating the relative cost of an advertising campaign or for comparing different marketing channels for the campaign.
Cost per Video (CPV)
The CPV price is the amount that gets paid when a video ad is played. In general, the video doesn’t have to be watched the whole way through to cause a payout – just started. In some video advertising models this price is also paid when someone clicks on a video ad.
A model that allows advertisers to pay only when an ad is watched for a pre-determined amount of time, such as 30 seconds.
A model that allows advertisers to pay only when playback on the ad meets a certain viewability requirement, e.g. 50% of pixels in view for at least 2 continuous seconds for the MRC standard. CPVV is always relative to a view ability definition or standard.
Creative Tag
Similar to an ad tag, this is a snippet of code that gives the location of the creative, which is usually a content delivery network (CDN) or an ad server.
Utilizing different channels at one time. One can assume that campaigns targeting email, mobile, and online users are performing cross-channel tactics.
Involving multiple screens—those of laptops, tablets, phones, desktop computers or TVs. Marketers are trying to understand when their messages reach consumers on different devices throughout the day, identifying users accurately as they switch screens. Cross-device data lets marketers avoid repeating messages to the same person on different screens more than they want to, among other things.
Cross-Platform Advertising

Using multiple advertising channels to reach target customers wherever they are and customizing those efforts to fit each channel appropriately.

Customer Data Platform (CDP)
A publisher- or marketer-managed system that creates a persistent, unified customer database that may include personally identifiable and non-personally identifiable information accessible to other systems.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Software solutions that help enterprise businesses manage customer relationships in an organized way. An example of a CRM would be a database containing detailed customer information that management and salespeople can reference in order to match customer needs with products, inform customers of service requirements, etc.

Structured or unstructured, data is made up of values of qualitative or quantitative variables belonging to a set of items.

Data Clean Room

A data clean room is a technology service that helps content platforms keep first person user data private when interacting with advertising providers.

Data Lake

A storage repository that holds a vast amount of raw data in its native format until it is needed. While a hierarchical data warehouse stores data in files or folders, a data lake uses a flat architecture to store data. Each data element in a lake is assigned a unique identifier and tagged with a set of extended metadata tags.

Data Management Platform (DMP)

Technology that provides a publisher, marketer, agency, or trading desk with a single integrated view of enterprise, campaign and audience data, helping with targeting, overall management, and analysis of data.

Data On-Boarding

Data on-boarding, also known as ‘data on-ramping’ facilitates the transfer of data gathered offline to an online database. It is used to connect offline customer records with online users through matching technology. Data on-boarding enables an individual to leverage accurate customer data as a result of their marketing campaign. By identifying information from offline datasets we are able to gather those same customers online.

Data Provider

Data providers source various types of data including audience descriptions and identity, market intelligence, audience intention, and publisher performance data. This data is then collated and packaged to sell to companies such as demand-side platforms and trading desks. Brought together in a DMP, the 3rd party data compliments 1st party data, which is owned and generated by a marketer, agency, or trading desk. Data allows for smarter targeting and analysis, including bidding in ad auctions.

Data Science

Data science incorporates and builds on techniques and theories from many fields, including math, statistics, data engineering, pattern recognition and learning, advanced computing, visualization, uncertainty modeling, data warehousing, and high-performance computing with the goal of extracting meaning from data and creating data products.


Serving ads at different times of the day and days of the week, or even changing bids or copy / creative at different times. For example, you may not want your ads to show from 11AM-2PM on Tuesdays. This can be done manually in most online platforms, or automatically in some such as Google AdWords. Automated day parting is not currently available directly through many social media advertising platforms such as Facebook ads and LinkedIn direct ads.

Deal ID

A deal ID is a piece of code that is used as the unique ID number to identify a pre-negotiated deal between a buyer and a seller in an automated buy. The deal ID is typically generated by the platform through which the deal will be executed. The ID itself doesn’t include any details of the deal (content, data packages or price floors.) The details of the deals are stored in the platform where the ID was generated.

Default Creative

A creative that runs as a backup in an open Internet ad space, in the case that no other creatives are available. A default creative can be a literal creative, say an in-house ad, or it can be a redirect in the form of a third-party ad tag to a third-party ad server. A default creative may also be called a “reserve creative”.

Demand Path Optimization

Publishers optimizing the path from supply-side platforms (SSPs), exchanges and ad networks to trade desks, demand-side platforms (DSPs) and brands that have taken their buying in-house.

Demand-Side Platform (DSP)
Technology that enables a marketer to utilize a single interface to perform Programmatic and Real-Time Bidding media buying. A DSP allows the marketer to manage bidding on and buying ad inventory and data across multiple ad exchanges, ad market-places, and data provider accounts.

Demographics is data about the size and characteristics of a population or audience (for example, gender, age group, income group, purchasing history, personal preferences, and so forth).


Data that can accurately identify a consumer for targeting ads, such as a visitor’s login information for a website. Other deterministic data points are credit cards, phone numbers and addresses. (See “Probabilistic”)

Digital Marketing Funnel

How companies attract and retain clients through search marketing. The six stages of the digital marketing funnel are: Exposure- Done through SEO and Ads; Discovery- When a potential customer clicks through your site to learn more about you, your product, and service; Consideration- Potential customer considers purchasing your product; Conversion- Potential customer buys something, or completes an actionable item on your site, turning them into an actual customer; Customer Relationship- Maintain a good relationship with your client base through engagement, communication, and customer service; Retention- Creating value for customers that they do not receive from competitors is crucial. By creating value, maintaining excellent service and user experience, customers often return or stay.


A traditional insertion order-based ad campaign delivered programmatically, but bought and sold between humans with very specific advertiser goals, such as a product purchase, level of brand awareness, store foot traffic, the creation of a new customer account, etc.

Direct Response

A type of display ad campaign with very specific advertiser goals, such as the creation of a new account.


Interactive banner ads or rich media typically containing color, graphics, and pictures created by the advertiser, publisher or by others on their behalf.


Designated Market Area. DMAs cover a metropolitan area, in some cases grouping together multiple smaller cities.

Dynamic Creative

Many advertisers wish to show different ads to different customers; for example, an advertiser might wish to show rain gear to people who live in rainy climates and sunblock to those who live in sunny climates. Dynamic creative refers to having a few different creatives and choosing the most appropriate one for the user through some automated means such as audience segmentation or based on frequency and recency. Many platforms have rules about how much creatives can vary within the same placement – for example, there may be limitations on rotating brands.

Dynamic Pricing

The price at which inventory during a real time bid instead of a fixed, negotiated price between an advertiser and publisher.

Ecommerce Advertising

A method of creating top-of-funnel awareness of an online store and products. The goal is to generate website traffic and new customer acquisition through paid placements on third-party platforms, either by targeting new prospects or retargeting those who have expressed interest.

Email Service Provider (ESP)

A company that offers bulk email deliverability and services. An ESP makes it possible to send out mass amounts of emails at once without the possibility of getting blocked.


A measure of how consumers interact with ads with regard to their involvement.


The act of creating and serving an ad. It can refer to the ad itself or the campaign as a whole.


The concept of showing a user an ad.


FAST is a coalition of the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), the ANA, and the ARF that has recommended or is working on guidelines for consumer privacy, ad models and creative formats, audience and ad impression measurement, and a standard reporting template together with a standard insertion order. FAST originated with Proctor and Gamble’s Future of Advertising Stakeholders Summit in August 1998. FAST’s first guideline, available in March 1999, was a guideline on “Basic Advertising Measures.” Our definitions in this list include the FAST definitions for impression and click.

First Look
In Programmatic auctions, the “First Look” is the initial bid opportunity when advertisers identify their target audience. It gives advertisers the best chance to win the auction and display their ads to their desired audience. To secure this position, advertisers need an integration with a publisher that includes a Header Bidding Vendor’s tag, an Ad Server connection with API access, and an OMS connection with API access if available, enabling media buyers to access their target audience through a Programmatic buy-side utility (DSP).
First Touch

An attribution model in which gives credit for the first impression a user saw. This may be used as an alternative to the last view/last click model, which gives credit for the last viewed or clicked ad.


The lifetime of a campaign, from its start date to its end date. A campaign can also have no flight dates and continue indefinitely. A campaign that is active is said to be “in flight”.


The number of times individuals, devices or households in the target audience is exposed to a specific advertising message/ad unit. Usually it takes three or more exposures to an advertising message before impact can be measured. Frequency of exposure per audience identity should be capped to avoid wasteful spending.


The practice of targeting users based on their geographic location.

Global Leader in MADTech Resource Planning and Execution
The definition, scheduling, segmentation, valuation, purchase/sale, monetization, delivery, tracking, optimization, and payment/collection of paid, owned and earned media and marketing-related data & campaigns. When specified and deployed correctly and supported by the right resources organized optimally, these tools and processes offer participants in the industry value chain (media companies, agencies, marketers and their suppliers) greater efficiency and effectiveness improving the likelihood of achieving their business goals and objectives.
Google Adsense

A program in which enterprises can display Google advertisements on Web sites and earn revenue from hits that generate traffic for the Google search engines.

Google Adwords

Google’s paid search marketing program, the largest such program in the world and in most countries with notable exceptions such as China (Baidu) and Russia (Yandex). Introduced in 2001, AdWords was the first pay per click provider offering the concept of Quality Score, factoring search relevancy (via click-through rate) in along with bid to determine ad position.

Guaranteed Direct

A Programmatic transaction in which the publisher promises to deliver a specific audience (e.g., in-market Ford truck buyers, cricket enthusiasts) or outcome (e.g., engagement, leads).

Header Bidding
Header Bidding, also known as advance bidding or pre-bidding, is an advanced Programmatic technique wherein publishers offer inventory to multiple buyers including retargeters, market makers, and ad exchanges simultaneously (as opposed to sequentially as in “waterfall” mediation) before making calls to their ad servers.
Heat Map

A visual representation of user activity such as clicks and eye focus on a website.

High-Frequency Trading (HFT)
High-frequency trading is a computer-based platform that rapidly executes a large volume of orders using complex algorithms to respond to market conditions. Success in this field is linked to effective models, low transaction costs, and speedy execution. High-frequency trading contributes significantly to exchange volume, operating in milliseconds and boosting liquidity, cost-efficiency for buyers, and often higher earnings for sellers.
Hot Spot

An area of an ad unit, which when rolled-over/rolled-on by the user’s cursor, such rollover triggers and event (i.e. expand ad).

House Ad

Display ads promoting a product or service sold or provided by the publisher of the website on which it appears.


An acronym for Hypertext Markup language, version 5. HTML5 extends earlier versions to include tags for processing video, audio, canvas, and other embedded audio and video items without requiring proprietary plugins and APIs. HTML5 has been used as an alternative to developing and executing interactions similar to those using Adobe Flash but with very different technology.

Hybrid Customer

A blend of two consumer types, in-person and digital, that prefers a physical shopping experience some of the time but is also comfortable shopping online. They often move seamlessly between the two throughout a single purchase journey.


The term used to describe a very specific area and/or demographic. Targeting a hyper-local area is another way to narrow down your target market.


Interest-based advertising – which is also sometimes called ‘online behavioral advertising’ – uses information gathered about a site user’s visits over time and across different websites or applications in order to help predict preferences and show ads that are more likely to be of interest to you.


A value assigned to a particular user or device and is used to assist in ad serving functionality. The identifier contains no personally identifiable information, can be reset by the user at any time, and respects user options to limit or opt out of ad tracking. Identifiers are used for audience list targeting, frequency capping, and sequential creative rotation. Examples of identifiers are cookies (used on web and mobile web), mobile advertising IDs (used within mobile apps) and publisher provided identifiers (PPID, used for cross screen serving).

Identify Graph

A database that houses all the known identifiers that correlate with individual customers.


An HTML iframe tag tells the browser to open a mini browser window of a specified size inside the current window. This way the ad content cannot expand beyond the size specified and “take over” the screen.

Image Maps

Clickable regions on images that make links more visually appealing and websites more interesting. Image maps enable spiders to “read” this material.

Impression Laundering

Distinguished from spoofing by using technical measures to make an impression appear to be something it is not. Most commonly, this involves creating a shell website such as “”, which appears to be a cooking blog, hosting a simple web page on that domain containing nothing but an ad unit, and using an IFRAME to load that web page on an unrelated website (such as piracy site “”). Simple automated identification of the domain of the ad will read “”, which is technically the domain the ad is serving on, but is misleading as it is actually loaded into another site.

Impression Stacking

Loading multiple ad units on top of each other. So, while only one has any possibility of being seen, multiple impressions are generated and charged.

Impression/ Ad Impression

This is the main way in which the success of an ad is measured. This is determined by the size, type, placement and context of the ad. It is also important to note that the number of ‘viewable’ impressions determines its performance.

In-banner Video

A type of creative played in a standard banner rather than in a video player. Any banner placement may accommodate an in-banner video creative, if allowed by the publisher.

Incrementality Testing

A measurement method where a marketer makes a specific change to a Test Group, as opposed to the Control Group, in order to determine the incremental value of a marketing strategy or tactic. The method is a popular alternative to using cookies and consumer data tracking.

Independent Media Trader (IMT)

Arms-length buyer and seller of advertising inventory offering execution services on behalf of publishers, marketers and/or agencies, and networks. The IMT may or may not offer additional services to buyers and sellers. The media trader may trade on its own behalf and may or may not bear risk as principal. Less common, the independent media trader may also trade continuously in specific market segments as a Market Maker. In its role as Market Maker, the IMT may or may not have special privileges and/or responsibilities granted to it by the publisher, ad exchange, and/or audience or contextual data supplier.

Insertion Order (IO)

A contract, usually between the website or agency and advertiser that details the specifications of an ad campaign and includes terms of payment, etc.

Instagram Advertising

Advertisement on the social media platform Instagram, which displays ads to users as posts from a brand page with a “sponsored” tag. Ads can be served to users as image posts, video posts, stories, IGTV ads, reels, explore ads, collection ads, carousel ads, and collection ads.

In-Stream Video

Video ads played before, during or after the video content the publisher is delivering to the consumer.

Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB)

An organization that fosters the growth of advertising on the Internet. Membership is available to corporations engaged in selling, measuring, monitoring or producing advertising on the Internet.


An interstitial (something “in between”) is a page that is inserted in the normal flow of editorial content structure on a Web site for the purpose of advertising or promotion. It can be more or less intrusive and the reaction of viewers usually depends on how welcome or entertaining the message is.

Invitation-Only Auction

A type of inventory that is unreserved, has auction-based pricing and incorporates a one seller-to-few buyers type of participation. Other terms used in the market to describe Invitation-Only Auction digital media inventory are: Private Marketplace, Private Auction, Closed Auction and Private Access. Prioritization in the ad server, the Deal ID, Data usage, Transparency to buyer and pricing floors are other things to consider as an impact to Invitation-Only Auction Digital Media Inventory.


The most popular programming language used for website development. It’s relatively easy to learn, and marketers often add tracking codes and for data collection to understand the performance of campaigns.


Just-in-Time is a production and workflow strategy that seeks to improve return on investment by reducing in-process inventory, financial capital and associated carrying costs.

Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

A certain quantitative measurement of advertising performance, such as an impression number, click number, conversion number, CPM, eCPC, eCPA, CTR etc.

Landing Page

The first page a person sees when coming to your website from an advertisement. This page can be any page on your website including your home page. Almost anytime you direct someone to your website from an advertisement, you should send them to a specialized landing page with tailored information to increase your landing page conversion rate. Radio advertisements are a notable exception as spelling out specific URL‘s can be time consuming and difficult to remember. Direct Online Marketing™ has extensive experience in creating, testing, and modifying landing page conversion rates to give your business the highest quality, least expensive, most cost-effective leads possible.

Last Click

A type of attribution model that pays out on the last impression that was clicked on by the user. This may be used as an alternative to the first touch model, which gives credit for the first impression a user saw.

Last View

A type of attribution model that pays out on the last impression that was viewed by the user. This may be used as an alternative to the first touch model, which gives credit for the first impression a user saw.

Lead Generation

A web monetization strategy that involves collecting contact and demographic information about a site’s visitors and selling to lead aggregators or other companies.


One of the most common display ad units, usually seen in dimensions of 728 pixels wide by 90 pixels high.

Lifetime Value (LTV)

A measure of the total income a business can expect to bring in from a typical customer for as long as that person or account remains a client.


In the context of yield management this is the percentage by which an ad was optimized. It is calculated by finding the percentage difference between the optimized group and the control group.

LinkedIn Advertising

A paid digital marketing tactic that allows companies to reach and nurture target audiences by serving ads on the business-focused social media platform.


Advertising assets become liquid when they can be bought and sold (crossed) easily.

Location Targeting

A method for targeting ads to customers based on their vicinity or location. Targeting techniques can encompass a variety of data including geolocation, contextual element of media, user preferences, and more.

Long Tail Publishers

Small publishers and blogs that are ad supported and go through ad networks and ad exchanges to monetize their sites.

Look - A like Percentage

Determines how closely your lookalike audience will resemble an original group of users. A lower percentage will result in a more homogeneous audience; a larger percentage leads to a broader audience.

Look - A like Targeting

When a target-audience is built using the attributes of a specific customer profile in order to find other users with the same interests.

Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) technology that is programmed to adapt in a way that resembles human learning. Types include supervised, unsupervised, and reinforcement learning.

Convergence of marketing technology plus advertising technology plus data technology.

Unified data and analytics MADTechAI is the unified data and artificial intelligence platform purpose-built for both MarTech and AdTech to serve the supply-side and demand-side including B2C and B2B publishers, marketers, agencies, and their enablers.

Managed Services
Outsourced execution and support on behalf of publishers, marketers and/or agencies. These services may include: administration; technologies and related support services; monetization; data, analysis and reporting; and business development and marketing.
Media Futures
A class of media for sale in a marketplace expected to transact at a set future date for a set future price and volume for a defined audience via a Programmatic auction. A futures market for digital media would invite industry players and speculators to bet, through online exchanges, on the future price of media inventory. Ad sellers could lock in sales further out, while buyers could lock in prices on inventory that they expect to become more expensive.
Media Kit
A document used primarily by ad sales professionals to concisely summarize the audience and advertising options for a website.
Media Market Maker (a/k/a Independent Media Trader)
A media market maker, a new type of independent agency, may use client funds or its own capital to purchase media and audience data, charging transparent fees. They aim to buy and resell media for profit, often operating on narrower profit margins with high transaction volumes. This risk-bearing role reduces the gap between advertiser costs and publisher earnings, leading to higher fill rates and eCPMs for publishers.
Media Savvy
Able to understand how the media works and able to use and orchestrate the media to one’s advantage.
Media Trading Desk
A service-based organization that provides a managed service layer overlaying or interfacing to one or a number of data management platforms (DMP), demand-side platforms (DSP), supply-side platforms (SSP) or trading platforms. Through the trading desk, a publisher, marketer or their proxy (agency or consultant) can programmatically buy/sell/optimize exchange-based biddable ad inventory.
Medium Rectangle
A standard display ad that is 300 pixels wide by 250 pixels high.
A video ad unit that runs during video content within a video player environment.
Media that is consumed other than fixed position, traditional channels. These include tablets, cellular devices, and laptops.
Mobile Device ID
A unique identifier for a mobile device. The device ID cannot be linked to personally identifiable information (PII). Different operating systems use different identifiers: IDFA (iOS), AAID (Android), and Windows Advertising ID (Windows).
Mobile Marketing Attribution
The process of matching data points to create an understanding of what happens when a user interacts with a mobile ad. Comprehensive mobile attribution covers the entirety of the conversion funnel. It identifies and reports whether a user reacts upon seeing an advertisement, if a user installs an app after seeing an ad, and how a user behaves after taking a specific action.
Mobile Measurement Partner (MMP) Integration
Use of a third-party platform to collect, track, and organize data by app marketers to help understand the performance of a campaign.
A process used to define and analyze data requirements needed to support marketing processes.
The process of converting audience traffic at a particular website or mobile app into revenue by implementing Pay Per Click (PPC) and/or Cost per Mille/Objective (CPM/CPO) pricing.
MRC Standard
Viewable impression standard set by the Media Ratings Council. The current definition is that 50% of the ad unit be in view for 1 consecutive second for display and 2 consecutive seconds for video.

The buying of inventory across any channel (web, mobile, social, email, etc.) and any format (banners, rich media, video, etc.).

Multi-Touch Attribution (MTA)
A marketing measurement method that gives weight to every touchpoint along a customer’s journey. Gives credit to each advertisement used to push a customer to the buying decision.
Native Ads

These are ad placements that are integrated into content so that users have a more streamlined content experience. Social media platforms tend to have unique functionalities that allow for native ads.

Non-O&O Audience Development
The term “Audience Development” describes activity which is undertaken specifically to meet the needs of existing and potential audiences. It can include aspects of marketing, commissioning, programming, education, customer care and distribution. Most often, the term refers to using paid and earned media to drive site traffic to a publisher’s digital property from non-endemic (other publishers’) properties.
Non-O&O Audience Extension
Audience extension allows advertisers to target and publishers to deliver the same or similar premium site audiences found on a publisher site(s), but when the inventory delivering those audiences not owned and operated by the publisher. This “synthetic” ad buy may or may not then be made at a lower CPM than running ads on the original premium site. Audience extension requires cookies, mobile IDs or other audience identifiers as triggers for behavioral targeting techniques.
Non-personally identifiable information (non-PII) is data that cannot be used on its own to identify, trace, or identify a person, so basically the opposite of PII.
Non-Remnant Inventory
Inventory sold directly by a publisher to an advertiser. Remnant inventory is usually sold by a third-party.
Offline Data
Offline data refers to data used for data-driven marketing on digital marketing channels and which originates from offline sources. Offline data can be the owner’s data – from CRM data files – or data bought from offline data vendors. Offline data offered by vendors can be retail transactions from credit card networks, aggregated offline catalog transactions, syndicated loyalty-card data and more. Regardless of where offline data comes from, the onboarding process removes personally identifiable information, leaving the population that is targetable as a group, but anonymous.
Omnichannel Marketing
A marketing strategy that covers all (or as many as possible) channels that potential customers can be found on. In a true omnichannel strategy, data from all platforms is connected and analyzed to inform how advertisers use each channel to get maximum benefit and optimize resources.
Open Auction Digital Media Inventory
Ad inventory that is unreserved, has auction based pricing and incorporates a one seller-to-all buyers type of participation. Other terms used in the market to describe Open Auction Digital Media Inventory are: Real-time Bidding (RTB), Open Exchange and Open Marketplace. Prioritization in the ad server, the Deal ID, Data usage, Transparency to buyer and pricing floors are factors to consider impacting to Invitation-Only Auction Digital Media Inventory.
Open Exchange
An open exchange is defined as an open digital advertising marketplace for aggregated inventory from multiple partners where buyers can bid either manually or programmatically to purchase ad impressions. Ad Inventory on an open exchange allows all buyers the opportunity to purchase the same inventory.
Open Web
The public side of the internet where all users can participate and contribute rather than being controlled by gatekeepers or government regulation.
The process of using historical data to adjust a MADTech approach to buying a piece of inventory. Frequently, this information will be used to either alter the bid price for a piece of inventory or determine if a buyer is willing to bid on a piece of inventory at all.
The redirecting of an impression back to an ad server when no acceptable bid is received from a mediated bid, in order to allow the next highest bidder a chance to win the impression. See also default tag.
Performance Marketing
Marketing techniques and campaigns by which the advertiser pays only for measurable results, including: Cost per action or CPA (any action agreed by publisher and advertiser), Cost Per Sale or CPS (flat fee or sales commission), Cost per lead (often based on filled webforms), and Cost per Click (CPC).
Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
This is data that allows a user to be identified by their true identity. This includes name, birth date, gender, social security number etc. Sites collect this via the registration process.
This term usually refers specifically to a piggybacked pixel. When pixel A has pixel B piggybacked on to it, then the firing of pixel A causes the firing of pixel B. This second firing can either be via a redirect or a server-side firing. Piggyback pixels may be used for tracking conversions in secondary systems.
Pinterest Advertising
Running advertisement campaigns on Pinterest, an image sharing and social media platform built around visual “pins” and “pinboards.”
A way to track user data. Originally, all pixels were literally snippets of code that called for a 1X1 transparent pixel to be delivered to a webpage by a third-party server. Nowadays, pixels may either be literal pixels or be javascript based. When the pixel loads, the third-party server can record information such as the IP address of the user’s computer, URL of the page, and time the page was viewed. See also conversion pixel and segment pixel.
Pop-up Ad
An extremely abused type of online marketing advertisement, pop-ups open new windows on your screen that partially or wholly cover your current Web Browser window. Some search engines ban ads that create a certain number (or even any) pop-up ads. Direct Online Marketing™ does not include pop-ups or pop-unders as part of its internet marketing services.
Pop-up Under
An advertisement that opens in a new Web Browser window once you visit a particular page or take some other action. Considered less annoying than Pop-Up ads because the new window appears behind the existing one.
A video ad unit that runs after video content within a video player environment.
PPC Advertising
The pricing model favored by most search engines. The advertiser agrees to pay a set amount for each time a user clicks on the advertised link.
Premium Inventory
Better quality ad inventory found on well-known and well-respected publisher sites and apps. This type of media is more likely to achieve marketer ROI and is considered of highest value to an advertiser or publisher.
Pre-roll Ad
A pre-roll ad is a promotional video message that plays before the content the user has selected. The video advertisements are often repurposed television ads, sometimes shortened to 10 or 15 seconds because the 30-second standard for ads on television is not suitable for videos, which are themselves frequently only a few minutes long.
Price Floor
A price, usually set by the publisher, specifying the minimum CPM at which their inventory can be sold. It is common to set different floor prices for different sections of inventory and different ad formats.
Private Ad Exchange
A publisher-controlled ad exchange through which a publisher can directly auction and sell its ad inventory retaining more control over bid selection, setting dynamic reserves, and limiting potential buyers including by invitation-only auctions. A private ad exchange is an auction marketplace that a publisher can exclusively use to sell some or its entire ad inventory combined with its own proprietary data sets to obtain better bids and therefore improve revenues and yield using MADTech media channels.
Private Marketplace
A “Private Marketplace” (PMP), functions similarly to an open auction in pricing and is determined in real time based on what advertisers are willing to pay. The difference is Private Marketplace deals (PMP Deal IDs) are more exclusive, because only a select group of invited buyers are permitted to bid in the auction.
Using data points to guess who the consumer is on the other side of the screen. Knowing where a person is, what time it is and the device in use help, but not with nearly 100% confidence. This type of data is considered less accurate than deterministic (see “Deterministic”), though many say a blend of the two yields the most accurate results.
Using software to manage advertisements, ad buying, and relevant data collection automatically.
Programmatic Direct

Programmatic Direct is a way to automate direct ad buys for set campaigns. Programmatic Direct is the transactional methodology of automated direct sale of guaranteed advertising between advertiser and publisher.

Programmatic Display
The automated purchasing and selling of banner advertisements that are displayed in applications, social media platforms, or in specific locations on websites. Programmatic display provides a level of transparency for marketers that allows total visibility over their campaigns.
Programmatic Guaranteed
Programmatic Guaranteed is an automated, one-to-one sale with fixed pricing and reserved inventory processed within OpenRTB. Publishers use Programmatic auction technology, like deal IDs, to negotiate fixed prices for reserved inventory, adapting real-time bidding solutions for direct sales. These transactions require a holistic view of both direct commitments and Programmatic sales.
Programmatic Marketing
Programmatic media buying best practices and technology originally developed for computerized buying of online display advertising can be applied beyond display advertising or even beyond paid media to embrace all digital marketing activities. Programmatic marketing is about data and algorithmically-driven targeting and campaign management being applied integrated across all paid, earned, and owned digital marketing activity.
Programmatic Media Buying
Automated buying and selling of digital media using disparate data and typically algorithmically-driven trading systems with direct access to publisher ad servers, ad exchanges, supply side platforms, demand side platforms, trading desks and other auction-based electronic marketplaces, sellers and buyers. Programmatic trading can be real-time or forward bought.
Programmatic Shopper Hub
A data, analytics and activation platform that combines disparate sources of shopper Personally Identifiable Information (PII) like names, emails, postals, purchases and non-Personally Identifiable Information(non-PII) like cookies and mobile device IDs with media like ad inventory and email. The Programmatic Shopper Hub applies its proprietary unified Shopper ID such that the publisher can offer fully integrated the client targeting, activation, measurement, optimization, and reporting.
Organizations that deliver content or a service to an audience/users. Publishers may depend on selling advertising to generate revenue to fund the development and delivery of content or services. Publishers have traditionally directly sold their best quality advertising spots or space, whereas those that can’t or can’t cost-effectively be sold directly are often sold through third party resellers such as ad networks, supply-side platform or ad exchanges (electronic marketplaces) on their behalf. As marketers move more and more toward automated or Programmatic media buying, so are publishers as they are adapting and learning how to effectively list their ad inventory in Programmatic channels.
Quality Score
The way paid search ad platforms “rate” ad content, which directly impacts the price per click and price per conversion within each respective platform.
In the application of statistics to advertising and media analysis, reach refers to the total number of different (unique or unduplicated) people, households or devices exposed, at least once, in an ad campaign or to a specific media outlet during a given period.
Real Time Bidding (RTB)
A technology that uses highly specific data, algorithms and automation to enable marketers or their agencies to bid on ad inventory in millisecond auctions. During the time in which a user’s web page loads—in anywhere from 200 to 1000 milliseconds—the marketer places a bid on a particular ad impression, which is then served to the user once the page is loaded. Using data related to the user’s cookie in addition to other sources, the marketer is able to track the user and match them with available ad impressions. This allows for the delivery of the marketer’s message directly to the consumer in a live setting.
Recency Capping
A way to limit the showing of an ad over time. For example, an advertiser might want to avoid showing an ad to a specific user ID more than once per hour.
Remnant Ad Inventory (also known as Backfill)
Remnant ad inventory refers to unsold or deliberately unallocated advertising space by a publisher. This inventory is often sold through third parties, and sometimes the publisher conceals its identity to prevent pricing disruptions in direct sales. Some publishers are now exploring direct sales of remnant ad inventory through private ad exchanges, providing more control and insights into media buyer behavior and inventory demands.
Request for Proposal (RFP)
A document sent by an advertiser or agency inviting a publisher to submit a proposal for an upcoming advertising campaign.
An action taken by a user based on the exposure to an ad.
Retail Analytics
The practice of gathering data about sales, customers, supply chains, inventory, and more in order to draw conclusions about what is working and what isn’t, and help businesses build successful marketing strategies.
Retail Media
Advertising clearly labeled products directly on a retailer’s website, designed to reach consumers where they’re shopping.
Retail Media Network
A retail media network is an advertising infrastructure that creates a collection of digital channels, such as websites and apps, that are offered by a retail company to third-party brands for a variety of advertising decisions for products. Purchasing ad space on a retail media network can help brands extend their digital marketing strategies.
Also known as remarketing, retargeting is digital advertising that features specific products or services and targets an individual who has viewed them online. Customers and leads already in an advertiser’s database may also be subjects for retargeting. Retargeting is the technology behind ads that follow people from one site to another.
Rich Media
Advertising that contains perceptual or interactive elements more elaborate than the usual banner ad. Some studies have shown that rich media ads tend to be more effective than ordinary animated banner ads.
Return On Advertising Spending and represents the dollars earned per dollars spent on the corresponding advertising.
Performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment and to compare the efficiency different investments. To calculate ROI, the benefit (return) of an investment is divided by the cost of the investment; the result is expressed as a percentage or a ratio. Return on investment is a common metric because of its versatility and simplicity. That is, if an investment does not have a positive ROI, or if there are other opportunities with a higher ROI, then the investment may not be undertaken.
Rollover Ad
A rollover ad (sometimes called a mouse-over ad) is an online advertisement that appears to be a static image until the cursor touches the image and activates it. Movement of the cursor over the image is known as a rollover. In the case of a rollover ad, activation usually causes an expansion of the ad.
Sales Lift
% increase in sales (in $ or volume) obtained due to retailer merchandising. Calculated as (Incremental/Base) x 100
When used in context of social, refers to the audience reach available to marketers via social media platforms.
Search Advertising
A marketing technique that displays paid ads in relevant search results based on search queries for the advertiser’s desired keywords. Advertisers bid on search terms through a pay-per-click (PPC) method.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
A method of promotion and advertising to help companies’ content rank higher among search engine traffic. Like search engine optimization, search engine marketing helps companies improve the way content is ranked by search engines.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
An area of website development that seeks to improve the way content is ranked by search engines in organic search results. Various approaches are taken to achieve that goal, including making sure the website architecture makes it easy for visitors to find content and that pages are mobile-friendly and load quickly.
Search Retargeting
A specific type of retargeting that allows an advertiser to show ads to searchers of given keywords who have never visited the advertiser’s site.
Second Price Auction
Second price auctions means the winner of an ad impression pays just one cent more than the next highest bidder.
A group composed of members of a target audience identified based on the webpages they visit, the actions they take such as making a purchase or completing a sign-up form, or data such as gender or geographical region.
Segment Pixel
A pixel that marks a user as belonging to a certain segment. For example, an advertiser might place a segment pixel on the homepage and mark all visitors to the homepage as “homepage visitors.”
Semantic Targeting (see Contextual Targeting)
In theory, semantic targeting means figuring out what the content on a webpage is really about and being able to place ads based on that content. For example, if a website says, “sunny weather,” is it about great beach vacations, or is it about skin cancer, and do you want to advertise flights to Florida on it or not? However, the term is often used by different people to mean slightly different things, and is often used to be synonymous with contextual targeting.
Share of Voice
Share of Voice (SOV) is a measurement of the market share that a brand holds in relation to its competitors. This is a gauge for a brand’s visibility and the amount of control of the dialogue. The popularity and authority among users and potential clients are likely to increase as market share increases.
Shopper Marketing
A marketing strategy that focuses on every step of the shopper journey, from awareness to purchase, and even post-transaction.
Site Retargeting
The most common form of retargeting: displaying your ads to a visitor based on a visit to your site, or individual page of your site. These cookie-based can appear on any publisher throughout the ad network being used. Various targeting options exist, including only showing ads when a certain page has been visited (such as a landing page) and an action has not been completed (e.g. a conversion).
Internet or mobile-based applications and tools to share communications and information. Social media includes popular networking websites, like Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter, as well as commenting and bookmarking sites like Disqus and Reddit. Social includes blogging, forums and any aspect of an interactive presence which allows individuals to engage in conversations with one another, often as a discussion over a particular blog post, news article, or event.
Misrepresenting an impression as something that it is not. For example, claiming that an impression is “” when it actually serves on a completely different website. This is possible when platforms allow inventory to be self-declared, with no validation of what it actually is.
The prevailing market price for a given ad impression. It can also mean buying market-by-market or just-in-time rather than a national network buy or on a forward basis.
Standard Ad Units
A set of ad specifications for standard image or animated in-page ad units that establish a framework for advertising inventory and webpage design.
Streaming Video
A distribution method for serving video files such that the video is played over a persistent connection between the browser and the ad server. Versions of the file at different levels of compression (quality) can be served based on detection of the user’s Internet bandwidth. HTML5 files cannot be streamed and rely on adaptive bitrate streaming technologies such as HLS and MPEG-DASH.
Supply Path Optimization (SPO)
An algorithm used by DSP’s to streamline how they interact with SSP’s. It gives media buyers the ability to bid on and win inventory at the most reasonable price, while it lets publishers maximize their revenue over the long run.
Supply-Side Platform (SSP)
Publisher-facing technology platform that enables publisher to better manage and to maximize the revenue from its ad impression inventory.
A snippet of HTML, generally either JavaScript or an IFRAME, that tells the browser to request some content from an ad server. Tag is often used to mean an ad tag but may also be a creative tag or some other kind of tag. A tag is provided by an ad server or exchange and placed in the webpage by a publisher.
Tag Container
Many advertisers and their media buyers use a number of tags for tracking impressions, clicks, conversions, and other data. Some use tag containers to manage these disparate pixel tags and make it easier to change them via a single source. When a page loads, the tag container code displays the code for all tags stored within the container.
Tearsheet or Screenshot
One or more screenshots of webpages or apps showing specific ads, for the purpose of proving to the advertiser that they ran in the way that the advertiser wanted.
Test and Learn
A conversion rate optimization process in which all changes and investments are hypotheses that are tested. A test-and-learn culture designs experiments, observes the results, and makes decisions based on findings.
Tracking Pixel
A 1×1 pixel-sized transparent image that provides information about an ad’s placement. In many cases, a tracking pixel is used to notify an ad tracking system that either an ad has been served (or not served, in some cases) or that a specific webpage was accessed. Also knows as: beacon, web beacon, action tag, redirect.
Unique User ID
Also, sometimes called a UUID. A unique, anonymous user ID for a given user profile that may be stored in a user’s browser cookie and/or in the ad server-side cookie store. Ad traffickers are not permitted to associate these IDs in any way with personally identifiable information (PII), and user IDs do not necessarily equate to a unique individual. An individual may also be associated with multiple user IDs due to clearing cookies or using multiple browsers and multiple devices. Additionally, for mobile devices, a unique user ID may be associated with multiple device IDs (for example, Apple IDFA, OpenUDID, etc.).
Unique Visitor
A unique visitor is someone with a unique address who is entering a website for the first time that day (or some other specified period). Thus, a visitor that returns within the same day is not counted twice. A unique visitor count tells you how many different people there are in your audience during the time period, but not how much they used the site during the period.
Unreserved Fixed Rate
A type of inventory that has fixed pricing and incorporates a one seller-to-one buyer type of participation. Other terms used in the market to describe Unreserved Fixed Rate Digital Media Inventory include: Preferred Deals, Private Access and First Right of Refusal. Prioritization in the ad server, the Deal ID, data usage, transparency to buyer and pricing floors are other things to consider that impact Unreserved Fixed Rate digital media inventory.
User Acquisition
Obtaining new mobile app users through digital marketing. Similar to lead generation, wherein an app developer creates a strategy that uses data to craft effective strategies to gain new users.
User Attribute
Data about a user that is stored in a behavioral profile which may be used to match ad content to that user. Attributes can consist of demographic information (age, gender, geographical location), segment or cluster information (auto enthusiast), and retargeting information (visited Site X two days ago).
User Initiation
The willful act of a user to engage with an ad. Users may interact by a discrete device action like clicking on the ad, and/or tapping over an ad (or a portion of an ad). Rollover is not a valid user initiation action.
Video Ad Serving Template. This is an XML-based video ad serving protocol. It was created to provide a uniform way for video content to be transferred from ad servers to video players on web pages. For details, see the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) VAST documentation.
Reviewing, inspecting or testing to establish and document that an ad unit, product, service or system meets regulatory or technical standards.
Organizations that serve a specific niche, such as healthcare, cybersecurity, or manufacturing. Companies in the same vertical often compete with one another. Advertisers typically employ different strategies to reach different verticals, aligning their strategy with their customers’ unique needs.
In the digital advertising industry, a Viewable Impression is a metric applied to ads which were actually viewable by a human when served. The measurement can be in part or entirely based on conditional parameters and is typically verified by a third party. There may or may not be a delivery guarantee between ad inventory buyers and sellers tied to a minimum threshold based on this measurement.
Video Player Ad-Serving Interface Definition. VAST supports relatively simple in-stream video ad formats that are not executable. VPAID was created to support more interactive rich media video formats. For more information, see the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) VPAID documentation.
Walled Garden Advertising
A type of advertising where the owner of the publishing platform has total control over the tech, the reporting, and the serving and tracking of the content that users have access to. Walled gardens can collect large amounts of data on users, which is used to target potential customers.
A list of web sites that an advertiser will permit its ads to be placed on. Websites not on this list will not be used to display ads for the advertiser. The opposite of this is blacklist.
Win Rate
The number of impressions won over the number of impressions bid.
Publisher realized revenue derived from ad unit, site, mobile app, or page audience traffic reflected as a percentage. Yield Management is the technology used by publishers to ensure maximum revenue generation.
Zero Party Data
Data collected via surveys, preference settings, and other direct methods volunteered by a customer. This data is valuable because it does not transgress user privacy, and it is considered more accurate than other forms of data.
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