Advertising Terms Every Marketer Should Know

Feeling lost in a sea of confusing marketing jargon? Don’t worry, this glossary is your life raft! This comprehensive glossary clarifies essential terms every marketer needs to know, empowering you to navigate the ever-changing landscape of the advertising industry with confidence.

A/B Testing – Experimenting with two campaigns, each featuring a single varying element, to determine which performs better in a specific environment or context. Marketers use this to understand what resonates with the target audience, whether that’s your creative, website, social channels, or advertising platforms.

Above the fold – A term derived from newspaper print advertising, this means that an ad is placed on a website above the scroll line as the page is viewed before any scrolling occurs; in view before scrolling.

Addressable TV – Technology that allows advertisers to show different ads to different audiences within the same TV program. Audiences can be segmented by geography, demographics or other qualifiers.

Ad Extensions – In Google Ads, ad extensions are extra pieces of information that are shown about your product or service. These can refer to store location, phone number, or a link to a page from your website.

Ad Relevance – A term mainly used in paid search to measure how closely related keywords are to ads. 

Ad Serving – The process or technology associated with delivering, or serving, online advertisements to an end user’s computer by an ad server. The ad server allows different ads to be served in order to target different audience groups.

Ad Tag – A small piece of code that defines the ad space where ads display on a website. It includes parameters that describe the inventory advertising campaigns can target, which may in turn display ads in the ad space.

Acquisition – A marketing goal designed to grow an organization’s customer base, drive traffic visits or grow sales.

API – A set of access points and tools that enable developers to build custom workflows and applications that can access certain features and data

Attribution – Measurement of the value of each user interaction that contributes to a conversion within a campaign—allows marketers to more accurately measure the success of a campaign.

Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) – Technology that gathers data from a user of an internet-enabled TV, or Smart TV, to help in identifying and gathering TV viewership data.

AVOD: “Ad-Supported Video-On-Demand” Ad-supported video-on-demand platforms like YouTube make their money off ads in between their content. As a result, the platforms are free for viewers. Are you paying for the service? No? Do ads run between the content? Yes? Then it’s an AVOD service.

Banner Ad – Online creative placed on a media owner’s digital property (e.g., a publisher’s webpage). A traditional display banner usually has a preset size.

Behavioral Targeting – Also known as Interest-based targeting, generates an attribute from a consumer’s prior activity, such as the number of pages visited about a particular topic or interactions with content (including ad clicks) associated with a particular brand.

Bid Strategy – A setting within a campaign to target your goals better. Examples of bid strategies include pay per click, pay per conversion, or pay per impression. These assist in tailoring campaigns to various marketing goals. 

Blocklist – A list that identifies the sites on which an advertiser does not want its advertising to appear

Bounce rate – The percentage of people who land on a page on your website and then leave without clicking on anything else or navigating to any other pages on your site. A high bounce rate generally leads to poor conversion rates because no one is staying on your site long enough to read your content or convert on a landing page (or for any other conversion event).

Brand Safety & Fraud Prevention – Brand safety measures protect a brand’s reputation by avoiding showing ads near inappropriate content. Ad fraud prevention is the proactive action of assessing the validity of the traffic to ad campaigns in an effort to intercept and block fraudulent activity and traffic before they can cause any damage.

Bumper Ads – These are short, 6-second video ads that play before a user’s chosen video on YouTube. 

Carousel Ads – These are a feature of Facebook & Instagram which allow advertisers to display a carousel of up to 10 images in the Newsfeed. Users can scroll right or left through the images, reading different headlines on each card. Carousel ads allow for some creative executions and are popular with eCommerce brands. 

Click-Through Conversion – When a user clicks an ad and then converts via whatever is considered a conversion action, such as buying a product or performing a location lookup.

Contextual Targeting – This matches an ad to a page, based on its content. It enables advertisers to display ads to groups of consumers based on their interests and digital content.

Conversion – Refers to the completion of a desired action by a user. Commonly used to describe a form fill, complete an application, or sign up for a service.

Conversion Rate – The percentage of users who completed a conversion divided by the total views. Conversion rates are measured on ads, websites, landing pages, emails, and more. High conversion rates are good, low conversion rates indicate poor marketing performance.

Conversion Tracking – The process of recording conversion events such as purchases or form submissions. Once a conversion is tracked, you can examine the path users took before the conversion, leading to insights user behavior you can use to improve marketing.

Cookie – Information that is placed and kept on a user’s browser. Once the user accesses the site, cookies work to track the user’s preferences and behaviors and use them for targeting purposes later.

Cord-Cutter – A person who shifts from consuming traditional cable television to internet-based viewing, or streaming.

“Cost Per” Metric – Metrics that report on the cost per action taken on a campaign, calculated by dividing cost by the desired metric.

  • CPA – Cost Per Acquisition – Refers to price an advertiser pays when a marketing activity results in a conversion
  • CPC – Cost Per Click – Refers to the price an advertiser pays when a user clicks on their advertisement once.
  • CPCV – Cost Per Completed View – Refers to the price an advertiser pays when users view a video ad in its entirety.
  • CPE – Cost Per Engagement – Refers to the price an advertiser pays for a user to engage with an ad. 
  • CPI – Cost Per Install – Refers to the price an advertiser pays each time a user installs an application.
  • CPL – Cost Per Lead – Refers to the price an advertiser pays for each lead generated by a campaign. 
  • CPM – Cost Per Mille (Thousand) – Refers to the price and advertiser pays per 1,000 impressions.
  • CPQL – Cost Per Qualified Lead – Refers to the cost of acquiring a lead that is likely to convert into a customer, focusing on higher-quality prospects.
  • CPV – Cost Per View – Refers to the price an advertiser pays each time a user plays a video ad for a certain amount of time. 

Cross-Device Targeting – The ability to serve sequential ad messages to the same consumer from one device to the next (e.g. First on a person’s desktop then again on his/her smartphone).

CTA “Call To Action” – A button or statement that encourages users to make an action after seeing your ad.  I.e. “Apply Now”, “Become a Member Now”, and “Learn More” 

CTR “Click-Through Rate” – The percentage of times that users have clicked on a desired hyperlink after viewing your ad.

CTV “Connected TV” – This is a type of OTT and refers to consuming video programming through TV sets that are connected to the Internet through built in technology (Smart TVs) or through devices connected to the TV such as Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire, and gaming consoles.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – A technology that stores information a company has about their customers.

Data Management Platform (DMP) – Collects, processes, and stores large amounts of audience data such as cookie IDs, first-party data, and third-party data, while handling vast quantities of information in real time to better target online ads at specific audiences on a given website.

Dayparting – A strategy that enables advertisers to schedule and display ads for specific times of day or days of the week to reach audiences more effectively.

Demand-Side Platform (DSP) – Is a system that allows buyers of digital advertising inventory to manage multiple ad exchange and data exchange accounts through one interface. Real-time bidding for displaying online advertising takes place within the ad exchanges, and by utilizing a DSP, marketers can manage their bids for the banners and the pricing for the data that they are layering on to target their audiences.

Digital-Out-of-Home (DOOH) – Also called digital outdoor, this type of ad platform allows the opportunity for the screen to rotate through different advertisers, or to rotate through a single brand’s creative, and in some cases even allows passersby to interact either through touching or motion. DOOH can be used for advertising wrapped around buildings in Times Square, on large billboards along the highway, and in kiosks in airports and malls.

Display Advertising – Visual ads placed on websites, social media networks, or apps. They are typically image, text, or video banner ads that when clicked on, take a user to a website or landing page. Display ads are most often found at the top, sides, and/or bottom of websites and apps.

Dynamic Ads – Automatically personalized creative for the consumer viewing it in order to create additional engagement and conversions.

Engagement Rate – A popular social media metric used to describe the amount of interaction — Likes, shares, comments — a piece of content receives. Interactions like these tell you that your messages are resonating with your fans and followers. 

Evergreen Content – Refers to content that is always relevant and fresh to a business’ product or service.

FAST – “Free Ad-Supported Streaming Television” These are channels that offer free access to various video content, similar to traditional cable TV, but delivered through the internet. They rely on advertising revenue to support their operations.

First-Party Data – Data owned and collected on a company’s website that a company, brand, or advertiser manages, which includes user behaviors, actions, or interests demonstrated through websites, subscriptions, or social media, including cross-platform data from mobile web or apps or data from the customer relationship management.

Frequency – The number of times a visitor to a website is shown a single ad. Ad servers use cookies to track the impression count of ads served and to prevent any given ad exceeding a set maximum number of permitted views per person.

Frequency Cap – The maximum amount of times a given ad will be shown to a unique user within a specified time period.

Full-Episode Player (FEP) – Professionally produced, TV-like content that appears on devices across apps and web browsers with commercial breaks.

Geotargeting – The controls to serve ads to users based on location. 

Geo-Fencing – The use of GPS or RFID technology to create a virtual geographic boundary, enabling software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves a particular area.

Google Ads – Allows marketers to reach consumers through the Google network – Search, YouTube, Display Network, Universal App Campaigns, etc. 

Google Analytics – Google’s free software platform created to allow marketers to track the performance of a website, such as the number of visitors to a site, how they found the website, the pages they viewed, and much more. 

Google Tag Manager – A free Google tool that allows you to manage and implement snippets of code (tags) on your website, without having to modify the site code. It is commonly used to track user behavior.

Impression – The number of times your website or ad is viewed.                                                  

Impression Share – In Google Ads, impression share is the number of impressions received, divided by the estimated number of impressions your ads are eligible to receive based on ad rank and budget.

In-Stream Video Ads – In-stream video ads are video ads that are streamed before, during, or at the end of a video when the viewer’s attention is already captured and thus will be more receptive to the ad.

Internet Connected Device – Devices connected to the TV that are used to stream content such as Apple TV, Roku, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, gaming systems, smartphone, computer, laptops, etc.

Interstitial Ads – Interstitial ads are full-screen ads on mobile apps that cover the entire interface of the host’s app and are placed at natural app transition points. If you are playing a game on your smartphone and you reach the next level, an interstitial ad can appear before you begin the next level.

Keyword – Refers to common search phrases that people search for when looking for content. When implemented correctly on relevant pages, these phrases enable users to find your weKbsite within search results. Keywords can be tracked to review site performance and optimized further to improve rankings.                                                                        

KPI – Key Performance Indicator – Refers to a metric that is used to measure the success of a campaign or project. Examples of KPIs can include clicks to a website, the cost per acquisition, cost reduction, revenue improvement, or increased customer satisfaction.                   

Landing Page – A landing page is a website page containing a form that is used for lead generation. This page revolves around a marketing offer and serves to capture visitor information in exchange for the valuable offer. Landing pages are the gatekeepers of the conversion path and are what separates a website visitor from becoming a lead.

Lead – A lead refers to a customer expressing an interest in your product or service. Qualified leads are those which have been identified as likely to result in a conversion.

Linear Platforms Refers to video content that is real-time television service that broadcasts scheduled programs, over the air or through satellite or cable, not streamed to a specific user.

Lookalike Audience – Allows advertisers to target more people who look like their established customers. Uses existing custom audiences or conversion data (conversion pixels) as a “seed” and an audience is built of similar users. It can be used to target people who are similar to sets of customers for acquisition, site registration, purchases, and coupon claims or drive brand awareness.

Makegood – Makegood is rerunning an ad or providing additional ad inventory when the original slot underperformed versus provided ratings. A related term is audience deficiency unit: ad inventory provided to the advertiser to fulfill the original rate guarantee.

Marketing Funnel – Visualizes the journey someone takes from being a prospect to becoming a customer. The stages in this journey are sometimes represented as AIDA (awareness, interest, desire, action).

Media Mix Modeling – This helps determine how different media channels contribute towards achieving the desired marketing goals by analyzing data on various media channels and their impact on KPIs.

Meta Description – A summary of a page’s content that appears on search engine results pages but does not appear anywhere on the actual page. This is critical for search engines to understand page contents as well as giving users an idea of the information they will find after clicking the link. 

Mid-Roll Ads These are video ads that run during the content you have clicked on to watch. In exchange for viewing the free content you have to watch the ad.

Multi-Channel Marketing – Leverages multiple marketing channels to broaden audience reach, increase visibility, and connect with consumers at various stages of the marketing funnel.

MVPD “Multichannel Video Programming Distributor” – Package-based video content delivery services. Most commonly offered through cable, fiber, or satellite TV providers, MVDPs offer customers subscriptions to live broadcast channels, also known as linear TV — though many MVDPs also bundle in content-on-demand options.

Native Ad – Ads that look and feel like the surrounding content in an attempt to improve consumers’ experience by letting ads blend into the content backdrop. Ads on Pinterest (such as Promoted Pins) are a good example of native ads.

Next Gen TV Sometimes referred to as Addressable TV for local stations. More formally known as the ATSC 3.0 standard, was approved by the Federal Communications Commission, enabling the broadcasting of high-quality content over the air using an internet protocol (IP) signal. This could enable local TV stations to provide targeting options to advertisers similar to digital targeting options.

OLV “Online Video” – a type of internet video advertising that runs horizontal ads before, during and after video content on websites and apps.

OOH “Out-of-Home” – Out-of-home advertising, also called outdoor advertising, is designed to reach consumers when they are not in their homes. Examples include billboards, bus shelters and traditional store signage.

OTA “Over The Air” This is broadcast TV also called “linear TV” or “traditional TV”. It’s content that is delivered without using satellite transmission or cable.

OTT “Over The Top” – This is an umbrella term for video programming transmitted via the Internet that bypasses traditional cable or broadcast (linear) distribution. It can be consumed on any device including computers, mobile devices, TVs, and gaming systems. 

Outstream Video – Sometimes referred to as Native Video ads. It is a digital video advertising ad unit that’s integrated within a page and auto- plays once the user scrolls near it. Then, the video auto-pauses if the user begins to scroll away from it before it’s complete.

Performance Max In Google Ads, an automated goal-based campaign that uses machine learning to serve audiences relevant ads to maximize campaign performance

Pixel – Website tracking code placed on a website to track the user traffic and conversion.

PPC – Pay Per Click – A type of online advertising in which the advertisers only pay for every click on their ad. Most common via  Google Ads (Google) and Microsoft (Bing).

Pre-Roll Ads – These are video ads that play before the content you want to consume plays. Typically these are ads that you have to watch (or at least part of them) in order to get to the content you’ve clicked on to watch.

Private Marketplace (PMP) – A programmatic marketplace where real-time bidding (RTB occurs, yet only select advertisers are allowed to bid on a vendor’s inventory.

Programmatic Advertising – Media or ad buying that uses technology to automate and optimize, in real-time, the ad buying process. 

Quality Score – In Google Ads, a diagnostic score indicating how relevant your ad and landing page are for a given keyword, relative to other advertisers.

Reach – Share of the marketer’s audience exposed to at least one ad.

Real-Time Bidding (RTB) – Way of transacting media that allows an individual ad impression to be put up for bid in real-time. This is done through a programmatic on-the-spot auction, which is similar to how financial markets operate. RTB allows for addressable advertising; the ability to serve ads to consumers directly based on their demographic, psychographic, or behavioral attributes.

Remarketing – Also known as retargeting, this is the process of targeting users who have previously viewed your website and/or products.  

Remnant – Any ad units that have not been purchased by an advertiser.   

Responsive Search Ad (RSA) – In Google Ads, responsive search ads let you create an ad that adapts to show more text — and more relevant messages — to your customers. Enter multiple headlines and descriptions when creating a responsive search ad, and over time, Google Ads will automatically test different combinations and learn which combinations perform best based on the audience and query.

Responsive Web Design – A style of website design which ensures that the website appears appropriately on devices with different screen sizes. 

ROAS – Return on Ad Spend – Refers to the amount of revenue your ads receive in comparison to the cost. It is typically expressed as a ratio.

ROI – Return On Investment – The financial results that you see after investing in a service to improve your business, such as Digital Marketing.

Search Impression Share – The number of impressions received on a collection of advertisements, divided by the estimated number of impressions eligible to receive.

SEM – Search Engine Marketing – A digital marketing strategy to help increase a website’s visibility in search engine results pages using paid advertising, also known as pay-per-click (PPC) or paid search marketing  

SEO – Search Engine Optimization – Using keywords and a website’s metadata to increase a website’s visibility within the regular, unpaid or ‘organic’ search results.

Share of Voice (SOV) – Percentage of total advertising weight per brand in a competitive set.

Smart TV A television set that is capable and enabled to access the internet.

Supply-Side Platform (SSP) – An advertising platform that is utilized by publishers to sell their available inventory space.

SVOD “Subscription Video on Demand” – Video content that requires access to a subscription video on demand service. Examples include Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.  Are you paying for the service? Yes? Then it’s an SVOD service.

Target audience – The target audience represents the group of people that are identified as most likely to buy your product or service. 

Third-Party Data – Third-party data is information about users gathered by an entity that does not have a direct relationship with those users. The data often comes from internet interactions but also includes purchases and locations. This information is used for targeting ads.

Unique Visitor – Counting website visitors on a unique level. When a person visits a site or app, the individual is counted once, no matter how many times or pages the person visits, thus creating a better idea of how many people are visiting.

User Engagement – The actions made by users on a website’s product or service page, articles, blogs, or social media posts.

User-Generated Content – Also known as “UGC”,  refers to any form of content, such as images, videos, text, and audio, that have been created and posted to online platforms by users. Sometimes this content is repurposed for marketing campaigns.

Video Ad-Serving Template (VAST) – The most widely adopted Interactive Advertising Bureau standard ad script, tag, or code that is produced by ad servers that allows them to share basic information (data) with video players on a publisher’s site. While it does not offer robust metrics or interactivity options, it is the most widely accepted tag type by publishers.

Video Completion Rate (VCR) – The percentage of video ads that are played in their entirety. 

Video Player–Ad Interface Definition (VPAID) – An Interactive Advertising Bureau standard ad script, tag, or code that is produced by ad servers that allows them to share robust metrics like viewability, completion rate, and click-through rate. Not as widely available, it offers interactivity and can report on more advanced metrics. Ad servers generate a VPAID tag and video ad unit on the publisher’s side that needs to be VPAID-enabled.

Viewability – A term used to describe whether or not a digital media ever appeared in the space within a webpage that was in view to the viewer – for example, when a viewer opens his browser and goes to a website, most often the webpage is longer than the browser window, so the viewer must scroll to continue reading down the page; if an ad never scrolls into that viewable space it is not considered viewable.

View-Through Conversion – When a user views an ad served to them, it goes to the advertiser’s site organically (without clicking the ad) and converts via the conversion action.

vMVPD “Virtual Multichannel Video Programming Distributor” – These are distributors that aggregate live and on-demand television but deliver the content over the internet. Examples include: Sling TV, DIRECTV Stream, YouTube TV, Hulu Live TV, fuboTV.  Does the digital service offer content similar to how cable and broadcast do?  Yes? Then it’s a vMVPD.

Walled Garden – A closed / black-box online environment where advertisers have less access to customer data and have less control over how to measure success. Facebook, Google, Amazon are the best examples of Walled Gardens.

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