general media

Jargon & terms of advertising, marketing, public relations, publishing, graphic design, analytics, sales and digital media.

A/B Testing

A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a method of testing the effectiveness of ads.

With A/B testing, you change a specific element of an ad, such as the adverb used in the call to action or the shape of the button that people have to click. You run the two ads under the same circumstances and see which one performs better.

The goal of A/B testing is to narrow down the elements that are making the most impact on an ad. That way, you can put only the effective elements into the ad for maximum returns.

Ad Click

The action taken when a user interacts with an ad by either clicking on it with their mouse or by pressing enter on their keyboard.

Ad Completion

An Ad Completion event occurs when a video ad plays through to the end.

Ad Exchange

A technology-facilitated marketplace that allows Internet publishers and advertisers to buy and sell advertising inventory in real-time auctions.Ad exchanges are a departure from the historical method of buying ad inventory, where advertisers and publishers would enter price negotiations in order to show ads on a particular website. With an ad exchange, an auction is conducted in real-time, providing instantaneous bidding for ad space that’s available across the Internet.

Ad Unit

A size-and-format specification for an ad. The Interactive Advertising Bureau, a trade association promoting digital ad standard and practices, has

a set of guidelines for sizes.

Ad Fraud

Ad Fraud is when a company knowingly serves ads that no one will actually see as a way to drive “views” and revenue. For example, a website can use bots to automatically refresh its pages in order to register a high number of page views and appear more attractive as an inventory source on ad exchanges.

Ad Network

A company that connects websites with advertising to sell, then aggregates that inventory for advertisers to buy, usually via programmatic exchanges.

Ad Server

A company whose technology relays an ad buy to a website and reports on how it performed.

Ad Tag

An ad tag is code publishers place on websites in order to sell ad space. It consists of two parts: 1. a URL and 2. a piece of HTML or JavaScript code. Working together, these two parts first request content (ads or other ad tags) from the URL and then instruct the browser how to display the content.

Ad Tech

Ad tech, short for advertising technology, refers commonly to all technologies, softwares and services used for delivering, controlling and targeting online ads.

Affiliate Marketing

Publishers have websites that get traffic and advertisers want to promote their products to the people who visit those websites. Affiliate marketing is an agreement between a publisher and an advertiser where the publisher receives compensation for every click delivered and/or every sale made of the advertiser’s product or service.

Affiliate links are links to a page or post, creative, text, that creates a customer journey through a reference. Upon sale of product or service, a commission is attached to that specific link that was clicked. The publisher earns that commission.

Agency Trading Desk

An Agency Trading Desk is a team within an ad agency that executes online media buying as a managed service.


Data and statistics about the users of a website and how they interact with the website. Analytics can be used to uncover information about how many people browse a website, how much time they spend on the website and the specific actions they take on the website.This information is then used to target audiences, understand consumer behavior, improve user experience and optimize advertising campaigns.


An application programming interface (API) is a language format, written in code, which allows programs and applications to communicate with each other and their respective operating systems. The language creates a standard of rules and protocols which programmers use to develop software that doesn’t conflict. In the mobile ad tech sector, API-powered mobile devices offer greater visibility into a user’s lifestyle, delivering data that can create marketing opportunities and inform strategic decisions.


The goal of attribution is to identify which touch, of the many possible, is most (or partially) responsible for a conversion, so ROI can be calculated. First touch, last touch, and multi-touch are common attribution models. For example, a sale might begin with an ad, lead to an email campaign, and end with a phone call from a sales person. With first-touch attribution, the ad would get the entire credit for the sale. With last-touch, the phone call gets all the credit. With multi-touch, the ad, the email and the phone call each get partial credit.

Audience Extension

Audience Extension is a process used in advertising technology that attempts to expand the target audience size while ensuring relevancy and maximizing engagement. The extension process takes a known audience segment and catalogs various shared characteristics that can be used to target people who bear similarities and are therefore likely to become customers. Audience Extension techniques are also sometimes called “Lookalike Modeling”.

AdWords (Google Ads)

This is an advertising service by Google for businesses wanting to display ads on Google and its advertising network. The AdWords program enables businesses to set a budget for advertising and only pay when people click the ads. This ad service is largely focused on keywords. See PPC


The intended target market for an advert, usually defined in terms of specific demographics (age, gender, class) and psychographics (interests, behaviors, trends).


refers to any system that handles placing your ads or monitoring them. Automation can make it easier for you to get results from your advertising, as well as help you to save time and money with your campaigns.

Average Persons

This is the number of people that, on average, will be exposed to each Spot. Average Persons is calculated by multiplying Population by Rating then dividing by 100.

Banner Advert

This is a form of online advertising, and entails embedding an advertisement into a web page.

Behavioral Targeting

Behavioral targeting is a technique used by advertisers and publishers to utilize a web user’s previous web browsing behavior to customize the types of ads they receive. Behavioral targeting can generally be categorized as onsite behavioral targeting or network behavioral targeting, depending on whether the tracking is deployed on a single website or domain, or across a network of websites.


A software application that runs automated tasks – usually that are both simple and structurally repetitive – over the internet typically at a much higher rate than would be possible for a human alone.

Bounce Rate

A bounce is a website visit in which the visitor looked only at the single page they landed on, did not interact with it, and then left the site. The bounce rate expresses such visits as a percentage of the total visitor sessions, within a specific time frame.For example, suppose a website has 100 sessions in one day. (Note that this is different from 100 visitors. Any visitor could visit multiple times, and each time would count as a session.) If 75% of the visits are bounces, then the bounce rate will be 75%. A high bounce rate is often indicative of a poorly designed landing page. It can also indicate that a page completely fulfilled what the visitor was looking for, so the visitor did not need to keep clicking to find out more. (But more often it means the page failed, underscoring how important it is to design landing pages for visitor engagement.)

Brand Awareness

The extent or level to which a potential consumer can recall and identify a particular product or service. Increased brand awareness is one of the two customary important goals for a digital advertising campaign (the other being a conversion of some kind).

Contextual Targeting

A form of targeted advertising for advertisements appearing on websites, mobile browsers or other ad supported devices. The advertisements themselves are selected and served by automated systems based on the identity of the user and the content displayed.

Information stored on a website visitor’s browser. A cookie tracks the visitor’s movement on the website and is used to remember the visitor’s behavior and preferences. These do not transfer across browsers.


When launching a campaign, advertisers select a specific action or set of actions they want audiences to take. Each time a member of the audience takes this action, it is counted as a conversion. Conversions include actions such as signing up for a newsletter, or making a purchase on a website.

Conversion Pixel

A 1×1 image pixel placed on a web page (such as a thank-you page) which is triggered whenever a conversion occurs. Usually transparent.The first is by the taking the number of users who completed the conversion and dividing it by the total number of impressions served.The second, more common way, is by taking the number of users who completed the conversion and dividing it by the total number of users who clicked on the ad.

Conversion Rate

Expressed as a percentage, a conversion rate can be calculated in two ways:

Conversion Tracking

Monitoring how many conversions have occurred during any specific time period, and analyzing which ads led to the conversions.


Text in an ad, or text written to be delivered audibly.


(Cost Per Acquisition) The cost of acquiring one customer. Typically calculated by dividing the total amount spent on an advertising campaign by the number of customers acquired through that campaign.


This stands for ‘Cost per Click’. This is the price paid by an advertiser to a publisher for a single click on the ad that brings the consumer to its intended destination.


This stands for ‘cost per thousand impressions’ and is another measure of cost efficiency which enables you to compare the cost of this ad to other advertisements. CPM is calculated as the Media Cost divided by Impressions divided by 1,000.


Cost per Completed View; the price paid by an advertiser to the publisher once a video has been viewed through completion.


(Cost Per Engagement). With the CPE bidding strategy, impressions are free and advertisers only pay when users actively engage with ads (ie: click, watch, roll-over, etc.).


CPI, or Cost Per Install, is an advertising method that only charges advertisers each time their app is downloaded.


How much an advertiser pays, on average, for each ad click that results in a lead conversion. CPL is calculated by dividing the total amount spent on a campaign by the number of leads generated.


With the CPM bidding strategy, advertisers pay based on the number of impressions your ad receives.


(Cost Per View). A bidding method where you pay for each time your video is played.


A Creative, or, ad creative, is a file that houses the digitally formatted design and artwork for an advertisement. This file is rendered as a display ad on the publisher’s medium and can take the following formats: Image (GIF, PNG, JPEG), Flash File (SWF), HTML or JavaScript.


This relates to technology or media that applies across multiple formats and across multiple devices. This is different from “cross-device”, which implies only multi-device application rather than multiple formats within devices.


“Call To Action” is 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.


This stands for ‘click through rate’ and is a metric that measures the number of clicks your ad(s) receive per number of impressions.


“Dynamic Ad Insertion” expands advanced advertising opportunities by allowing advertisers to target ads that can be swapped in and out of VOD content.


Traditionally used for television buying; a block of time that divides the day into segments for purchase, scheduling and delivery (e.g., primetime).

Deal ID

A unique piece of code assigned to an automated ad buy, used to match buyers and sellers individually, based on a variety of criteria negotiated beforehand.

Display Advertising

This is a form of online advertising where an advertiser‘s message is shown on a web page, generally set off in a box at the top or bottom or to one side of the content of the page.


(Data Management Platform). Is a “data warehouse” used to house and manage cookie IDs and to generate audience segments, which are then used to target specific users with online ads.


Do Not Track (DNT) is specifically a HTTP header field that sends a signal to other websites, namely analytics companies, ad networks and social platforms, requesting them to disable any tracking of individual users. Despite the request, many sites still do not honor the DNT signal. There currently exists no standardized protocol for its enforcement.


Demand-Side Platform; software used to purchase advertising in an automated fashion, allowing advertisers to buy impressions across a range of publisher sites through ad exchanges. TubeMogul is a Demand-Side Platform.


This stands for ‘Digital Out-Of-Home’ advertising, that is, digital ads that are marketed to consumers when they are “on the go”, such as in transit, in commercial locations, or in waiting areas.

Email Advertising

Clickable banner ads and links that appear within emails and e-newsletters.

Fill Rate

The fill rate is the rate at which a publisher successfully displays an ad in relation to the number of times the ad was requested. Essentially, this rate evaluates the amount of wasted inventory space a publisher has.


This is the average number of times the advertisement will be presented to the audience. One way to calculate frequency is to divide the number of Impressions by the Reach. Another way is to divide GRPs by Reach Percentage.

Frequency Capping

Setting a limit on the amount of times an ad should be shown to a consumer within a specific time period.


Commonly referred to by its acronym, GDPR is the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation. It became effective on May 25, 2018.


Showing ads to people based on their mobile device’s location, postal code information they submit when registering a site/service or GPS coordinates collected by site/service.


This stands for ‘gross rating point’ and is a measure of the size of an advertising campaign by a specific medium or schedule. GRP is calculated by multiplying the number of Spots by Rating.


These are the total number of exposures to your advertisement. One person can receive multiple exposures over time. If one person was exposed to an advertisement five times, this would count as five impressions. Impressions are calculated by multiplying the number of Spots by Average Persons.


This is the actual placement of an advertisement – digital or otherwise – as recorded by the ad server.

In-Stream Video Ad

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


Interstitials are ads that appear between pages. For example, if a user clicks on a link to go to another page, they will be taken to the interstitial ad instead. Interstitials are common with online newspapers, offering subscriptions or the opportunity to pay for an individual article. They are also common for mobile content.


The ‘Key Performance Indicator’ is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives.

Lookalike Audience

If you’re like most businesses, you know who your customers are from a demographic and even psychographic point of view. A Lookalike Audience targets people who are similar to your existing customers which helps improve your conversion rates. You can use Lookalike Audiences when you’re running online display, Facebook, mobile display or just about any other kind of digital marketing campaign.

Media Cost

This is the price you pay to present your advertisement. There are many different ways to price media including points, impressions, clicks, leads, actions, days, weeks, months, etc. However, it ultimately boils down to the amount you pay to present your advertisement, which is Media Cost. Media Cost excludes the cost to create the advertisement and other costs.

Media Market or Market

This describes the set of people that could potentially be exposed to your advertisement. The media market is often described using Designated Market Areas or DMAs, (which are trademarked by Nielsen). However, Media Market can be any market you define.


Mobile ad mediation is a technology that allows publishers to maximize the revenue gained from selling impressions. The ad mediation platform ranks ad networks according to publisher priorities, enabling the publisher to quickly find and choose ad networks that provide the highest potential revenue for their inventory.

Message Recall

A measurement used to evaluate an ad’s effectiveness at driving a viewer’s ability to remember a brand or the message it intended to communicate. Typically measured using a control/exposed survey methodology.

Native Ads

Native advertising is any type of ad that matches the look and feel of the site on which it appears. For example, a paid search ad is native advertising. A sponsored post, a blog post referring to a company or linking to a product, a video tutorial – they can all be native ads.

Native ads are very popular because they evade ad blockers and they engage users, helping them to be more successful.


This stands for Out-Of-Home advertising, referring to any advertisement viewed in commercial, public locations.

Opt In

Refers to an individual giving a company permission to use data collected from or about the individual for a particular reason, such as to market the company’s products and services.


Overlays are similar to pop-up ads, but they cannot be blocked by ad-blocking software. An overlay floats over site content. One type of overlay expands to cover the full page if a user hovers over it for a second or two. Advertisers then pay for the ad based on the number of times it is expanded.

Most marketing efforts focus on organic search, which refers to a site’s ability to appear at the top of the results page when a user searches for something. Paid search ensures that you get right at the top. Whenever someone searches for the terms you choose, your ad appears at the top if you have paid a high bid. You then pay that bid every time someone clicks on the ad.


A piece of code provided by a company that wishes to track the end-user’s behavior and identification (cookie) on a website.


This is the total number of people in your Media Market.


Identical to a pop-up except it loads under your current webpage. It’s generally assumed to be less intrusive than a pop-up because visitors often don’t see it until after they’ve clicked to close their current browser session.


Opens in a new browser window that loads on top of the current webpage. Pop-ups are operated by script (e.g., Javascript); thus, can be blocked and commonly are by a wide variety of available software.


Standing for ‘pay per click’, this is a type of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Essentially, it’s a way of buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to “earn” those visits organically. Search engine advertising is one of the most popular forms of PPC.

Programmatic Media Buying

An automated method of buying media which ensures that advertisers are reaching the right person, at the right time, in the right place. The ads are bought based on a set of parameters pre-defined by the company placing the ads. Programmatic advertising uses data to make decisions about which ads to buy in real time, which improves efficiencies and increases the effectiveness of the ads. (See also, Ad Exchange.)


This is the percentage (0 to 100) of the market that will likely be exposed to your advertisement. Rating is an estimate based on past performance often sourced from surveys.


This is the number of people (or percentage) in the market that will likely be exposed to one Spot of advertising.


Real-time bidding (RTB) is the process by which ad inventory is bought and sold instantaneously through programmatic means. The auctions, which take place every time a web browser opens a website, sell ad space provided by publishers to the advertiser willing to pay the highest price. The entire process is facilitated by ad exchanges.


Targeting refers to the specific characteristics and demographic components that you choose to focus on in your ad or that you choose as criteria for showing your ad to users. Retargeting occurs when you choose to show your ad only to those users who have looked at your site or your products previously.

Retargeting is a highly effective for conversions because it acts as a gentle reminder to users for items in which they’ve already shown interest.

Rich Media

Rich media constitutes a kind of ad that will typically contain some form of video or user interaction engagement. Rich media allows advertisers to connect with and involve consumers on a deeper level, providing dynamic content and effects.


A software development kit (SDK) is a set of programming tools for developers and programmers to use for the creation of a wide range of applications for various software packages. In mobile tech, these tools are often made available to customers, offering an intuitive, easy-to-use programming kit to develop their own mobile apps. Once created, apps created from publishers and consumers alike can be published and sold over the popular app marketplaces.


A tall, thin online advert (often one of two sizes: 120×600 and 160×600).


This is a single broadcast of an advertisement. Typically, an advertising placement includes multiple spots.


Viewability is a metric that addresses an ad’s opportunity to be seen by a viewer.


Video Player Ad-Serving Interface Definition; allows a rich interactive user experience with in stream video ads.


View-Through Rate; measurement of how many people saw an ad and eventually visited the advertiser’s site.


The percentage of clicks vs. impressions on an ad within a specific page. Also called “ad click rate.”

Yield Management

Yield and Revenue Management is the process of understanding, anticipating and influencing advertiser and consumer behavior in order to maximize profits through better selling, pricing, packaging and inventory management while delivering value to advertisers and site users.