Definitions of key digital marketing and advertising concepts


An advertiser is a business or individual that promotes products, services, or brands through paid advertisements. 
As an advertiser, you're the driving force on the "buy side" of programmatic advertising, aiming to showcase your product or service to the right audience.

Ad exchange

An ad exchange is an online marketplace where advertisers and publishers buy and sell digital ad inventory in real-time through automated auctions. 
It facilitates the efficient buying and selling of ad space, allowing advertisers to reach their target audiences and publishers to maximize their ad revenue.

Ad Network

An ad network is a platform that connects advertisers with publishers by aggregating a large inventory of ad space from various websites. 
They aggregate inventory from various publishers and sell it to advertisers, often in bulk. Additionally, ad networks can assist advertisers in managing their campaigns effectively.

Advertising-based video on demand (AVOD)

AVOD is when services stream video content for free, but require viewers to watch ads.

Services such as Hulu and Peacock that offer lower-tier subscription models in exchange for showing ads to the viewers are known as Ad-Supported Video on Demand.

Audio Ads

Audio ads are played during audio streaming content such as podcasts, music streaming services, and internet radio. These ads can be pre-recorded or dynamically inserted.

Automated Guaranteed (AG)

Automated Guaranteed is the automation of traditional direct-sold deals—negotiated directly between sellers and buyers and facilitated by a technology platform. In these deals, the RFP and campaign trafficking processes are automated, inventory (usually premium) and pricing are guaranteed, and flight/run-time is fixed. Once the deal is signed off, it is fed straight into the publisher’s ad server via the ad server API.

Behavioral Data

Behavioral data is based on a user’s history of interaction with advertising content or a website. For example, if a visitor visits pages or articles containing sports content, they may be grouped into a “Sports Lovers” audience.

Contextual Data

Contextual data refers to the context of the webpage on which the advertisement is located. While behavioral campaigns serve ads to prospects based on their past behavior, contextual campaigns try to place ads where “best-fit” potential prospects are going to be browsing. If you were selling advertising and marketing services, you would target visitors on pages that are relevant to advertising and marketing, regardless of visitors’ past behavior.

Conversion Data

Conversion data is just what it sounds like — gathering information on the visitors who have previously converted on your site, whether that is filling out a form, completing a purchase, or signing up for a newsletter. Looking at the similarities among your best customers allows you to find and hopefully convert more customers like them.


A conversion can be any type of action that a company decides that is the one that interests them: a download, fill out a form with the user’s data, or, even, a sale. The most logical thing is that, in the conversion funnel, this metric is the one with the least number. However, it is the most important.

Based on these 3 indicators, the main cost models of online advertising can be identified based on the user’s requested interaction.

Cost-per-click (CPC)

Cost Per Click is the most common form of cost model advertisers are using today. It’s very convenient since the advertiser gets charged only if people click through their ads and not when they just see their ad. With this cost model, you can get people directly to your selling page as well. CPC will cost a little extra than the CPM model.

Cost-per-mile (CPM)

With Cost Per Thousand (Mile) Impressions, as an advertiser, you’ll have to pay a fixed amount to the publisher for thousand impressions of your ad. The advertiser gets charged every time their ad is shown on the publisher’s website, doesn’t matter whether people see that ad or not. 
The other version of this cost model is vCPM which stands for Viewable Cost Per Thousand Impressions. With this cost model, the advertiser gets charged only when their ad is displayed on the visible area of the publisher’s page. The latter, for obvious reason, costs a little extra than the former.

Cost-per-install (CPI)

A cost per install (CPI) campaign is mainly designed for mobile platforms but can extend to some desktop software as well. In a CPI campaign, publishers have digital advertisements placed across many different media platforms to encourage the installation of the mobile application being advertised. The brand is charged the bid or fixed rate only when a user installs and opens the application.

Cost-per-action (CPA)

In the Cost Per Action or Cost Per Acquisition model, the advertisers get charged if people take certain action after clicking on the advertisement. It can be anything like signing up for a subscription form, clicking on a certain button, joining some program, or buying a certain product or service. CPA model is a bit costly when compared to other products but when used the right way, can give high ROI.

Cost-per-view (CPV)

With the Cost per View cost model, the advertisers get charged if people watch their video or interact with it. People can interact with the video by clicking on the CTA overlay or say any banner inside the video ad. The cost totally depends on the type of video ad campaign format you use.

Cost-per-lead (CPL)

Cost per Lead, or CPL marketing, is a media buying model where the advertiser pays for information on a potential client (i.e. lead) interested in their services. CPL advertising is generally bought from Cost per Lead services that offer a list of prospective clients with their names and personal information such as phone numbers or email addresses. 

Click Retargeting

You can create an audience based on visitors who have clicked on an ad and then re-engage them with a new message and a strong call to action using click retargeting (CTA). A user's click qualifies as an indication of engagement with brand, product, or service. You can also exclude people who have completed the desired action, allowing you to further qualify your click retargeting audience as those who want additional messaging to convert.

Customer retention rate

Customer retention rate measures the percentage indicating the extent to which a business has maintained its customer base over a specified period.

Customer churn

Customer churn measures the rate at which clients stop their engagement with your company.

Customers that interact with your products or services on a regular basis have a high retention rate, which means your business has a low churn rate or the percentage of consumers who stop interacting with your company.

Customer lifetime value

Customer lifetime value measures the income a single customer generates.


Cookies are small text files stored on a user's device by a website. 
They collect and remember information about the user's browsing activity, preferences, and interactions, enhancing the user experience and supporting targeted advertising.

Connected TV (CTV)

Connected TV or CTV is any television that is connected to the internet and where users can stream content directly from the internet. 
Smart TVs that are connected to the internet or TVs that are connected to gaming consoles and other devices that enable streaming are called CTVs.

Demand-side platform (DSP)

Demand-side platform (DSP) is a software platform that allows advertisers to purchase digital ad inventory from multiple sources automatically and in real-time. It helps advertisers target specific audiences, optimize ad spend, and measure campaign performance through data-driven insights and automated bidding.

By interfacing with the supply side, DSPs gather crucial information about available inventory and pricing. They leverage advanced algorithms to analyze user data and other key factors, helping you identify the most valuable impressions to bid on.

Display Ads

Display ads are static or animated images that appear in designated ad spaces on websites, apps, etc. These ads can include banners, pop-ups, and pop-unders.

Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO)

Dynamic Creative Optimization is a technology-driven process that automatically generates personalized advertising content based on real-time user data.

It combines creative elements like images, text, and calls-to-action in various combinations, determined by algorithms that analyze user behavior, preferences, and context. This results in highly relevant and engaging ad experiences that resonate with each unique viewer.

Existing customer revenue growth rate

Existing customer revenue growth rate measures the rate at which your business is generating revenue from customer success.

Engagement Retargeting

Engagement retargeting, like website retargeting, allows you to deliver messages to people depending on their activity on a website, landing page, or social media page. This method is particularly beneficial to clients since it determines whether a person is a site visitor who is actively engaged. Following that, you can customize your follow-up messaging to remind them of their previous interactions.

First-party data

First-party data is data collected directly from your own audience through your websites, apps, or CRM systems. It includes information such as user behavior, preferences, and purchase history.


Geo-fencing is a real-time location-based marketing strategy that leverages geolocation data to target people inside a defined geographic area and offers content based on where they are or have previously visited. 
The core of the geofencing approach is using GPS, RFID, Wi-Fi, GPS, or cellular data to trigger a targeted marketing action.


Impression is the most basic metric. Part of the number of users that visualize your ad, amount that establishes the necessary investment. And it is usually expressed in thousands. This means that the cost is calculated according to every thousand impressions. This metric is usually the most numerous.

Impression Retargeting

Impression retargeting allows you to retarget anyone who has been served an impression, meaning they have seen an ad but did not interact with it. You'll create a pool of people who have been served impressions and use an image pixel to retarget them with different messaging on a different platform. This allows you to expand your reach across all of your marketing channels.

Lookback Window

The lookback window is a period of time before conversion. 
It collects all of a user's actions, including all of the channels with which they interacted before converting. If the user converts within the lookback window, credit should be given to all marketing channels they interacted with.

Lookalike modeling

Lookalike modeling is a technique used in marketing and advertising to identify and target new audiences who share similarities with existing customers or desired target segments.
The process starts with choosing a "seed audience," which consists of your most profitable customers, and then figuring out the key characteristics they share. The next step is to find new customers who fit the defined criteria using this vital information. The seed audience can come from a variety of sources, including email lists, profile page data, website visits, converts, and ad engagers, allowing for comprehensive testing and analysis.

List-Based Retargeting 

List-based retargeting is a less-used strategy that utilizes the personal email address list that you offer or acquire through your website as the ad audience.

List-based retargeting allows your business to deliver highly tailored and targeted ads because it is based on information already received as well as online activity features. This means that your ads are shown to the audience, which is more likely to convert. 

 Listen/View Retargeting

Listen/view retargeting is a useful method if your marketing strategy includes awareness tactics. Audio, video and connected TV (CTV) campaigns allow you to collect audiences that have listened to or viewed 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of your content. Depending on how engaged they are with your awareness content, these user pools can be leveraged to deliver the next message in your marketing campaign

Over the Top (OTT)

OTT is a streaming resource providing content to viewers through the internet. OTT is just a different channel through which video content can be delivered to the final users. OTT content can be viewed on different devices, including computers, mobile devices, CTV devices, and more.

Services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and others are known as OTT.

Native Ads

Native ads are designed to blend seamlessly with the content of the platform on which they appear, matching the look and feel of the surrounding content.

Media buyer

Media buyers are a part of an Ad Agency team or own-account workers. Their main goal is to increase and strengthen brand awareness. Media buyers work with branding campaigns for ROI improvement and profitable results (working on CPC/CPM models).

Post-click attribution

A post-click conversion occurs after a user has clicked on an ad. 
This goal action could be a sign-up, subscription, purchase, etc. Each touchpoint, or click, will receive a part of the conversion credit if the action occurs within the defined lookback window if attribution is done on a post-click basis rather than a last-click basis.

Performance marketer

Performance marketers are also a part of an Ad Agency team or own account workers. Their main goal is to get a specific result for clients. Performance marketers run performance campaigns: a completed sale, lead, download, install, or other targeted action (working on CPA/CPI models).

Post-view attribution

A post-view conversion occurs when a user has previously received an impression but has not yet clicked on it. 
The key distinction between post-click and post-view conversions is that post-view conversions are focused on impressions rather than clicks.


In digital advertising, publishers provide ad space on their platforms where ads from advertisers are displayed. 
On the "sell side," publishers are the gatekeepers of ad inventory, offering space on their websites and apps to advertisers. Their primary goal is to maximize revenue by selling each spot to the highest bidder. 

Programmatic direct

Programmatic Direct is a method of buying and selling digital advertising inventory where transactions are negotiated directly between advertisers and publishers, rather than through real-time bidding (RTB) on an ad exchange. 
This approach uses software to help accomplish a one-to-one operation that is similar to traditional ad purchases. Publishers and advertisers use AdTech platforms to set campaign parameters and automate campaign delivery and reporting.

Preferred Deals

Preferred deals are between a publisher and a specific buyer for a fixed-price CPM, usually focused on the audience. In return, publishers give the buyer priority and exclusive access to inventory before it is made available to everyone else in private, and then open auction.

Private marketplace (PMP)

PMP operates in a similar manner to RTB, but it is limited to a select group of advertisers rather than being available to everyone on the open market.

High-end websites and respected brands commonly use this cautious strategy, guaranteeing customized and focused ad placements.


Pixel is a small piece of code placed on your website that collects data on user interactions. This data helps track conversions, optimize ads, and build targeted audiences for future campaigns.

Pixel-Based Retargeting 

Pixel-based retargeting is the most popular method, and it allows you to show ads to any user after they've left the website, regardless of whether or not they provide personal data. The biggest advantage of these ads is that you can target them to a certain page or product that the user was browsing.

If you choose pixel-based retargeting, you'll need to include a snippet of JavaScript code on almost every page of the website. This creates a retargeting pixel, which adds a cookie to the browser of everybody who visits the page. 

Real-time-bidding (RTB)

Real-time bidding (RTB) is the method of buying and selling online ad impressions in real-time auctions conducted through online media marketplaces.

It involves three key players: advertisers, publishers, and users. Advertisers determine the value they're willing to pay to display ads to specific users, while publishers auction ad space on their websites in real time.

In RTB auctions, advertisers submit bids based on various targeting criteria, such as demographics, interests, and browsing behavior. These bids compete with each other, and the highest bidder wins the right to display their ad to the user visiting the publisher's website. This entire process occurs in milliseconds, seamlessly integrating ad serving with website content delivery.

Rich Media

Rich media ads are interactive and dynamic, incorporating elements like video, audio, and clickable content to create a more engaging user experience.

Revenue churn

Revenue churn measures the rate at which revenue is lost from existing customers.


Retargeting is a digital advertising strategy that allows your company to offer tailored ads to users who visited your website but didn't convert into your customer – make a purchase, fill out a form, download a file, etc.

Supply-side platform (SSP)

A Supply-Side Platform (SSP) is a technology platform used by publishers to manage and optimize the sale of their digital advertising inventory programmatically. 
SSPs play a pivotal role by providing publishers with the tools to auction their available ad space efficiently. These platforms enable publishers to organize bids based on factors such as advertiser, format, audience, and price, ensuring optimal matches for their inventory.

Second-party data

Second-party data refers to first-party data that is shared between trusted partners. It’s essentially someone else's first-party data that you can use to enhance your marketing efforts.

Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD)

SVOD is a video monetization strategy based on recurring revenue, usually monthly or annual subscriptions.

Services such as Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime are known as Streaming Video on Demand (SVOD) services. These services offer ad-free streaming services and provide a collection of original and licensed content.

Third-party data

Third-party data refers to information collected from various external sources by organizations not directly interacting with the users.
Data collected and aggregated from various sources by external organizations. This data is sold to businesses to help them target a wider audience.

Transactional video on demand (TVOD)

TVOD is when users can choose to pay for individual videos, rather than subscribing to access the entire video library.

Services such as Google Play and iTunes are designed for larger audiences who may not be consistent since there’s no fee to join, anyone can buy your content.

User retention

User retention is a metric that is used to quantify the number of users who continue to use or engage with a product or application over a specific time period.

This suggests that there is something wrong with the user experience or that the brand is not engaging people to the appropriate degree if the user retention rate is poor. On the other hand, a high user retention rate indicates that the brand is providing consumers with what they want to the extent that they continue to return. 

Video Ads

Video ads are short video clips that can be played before, during, or after video content.

Website Retargeting

One of the most basic types of retargeting is website retargeting, which is simple to implement in any campaign. You may use site retargeting to generate an audience of users who have visited or interacted with a website or landing page by placing a pixel on it. Then, in the next message, modify it to act as a follow-up to the brand exposure — or to remind them of the brand.

Zero-party data

Zero-party data is a type of data that is voluntarily and proactively shared by consumers with businesses or organizations. It is different from first-party data, which is collected by businesses directly from their customers through interactions such as purchases, website visits, and social media engagement.