Advertising Dictionary

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Ready to speak the language of digital advertising like a seasoned pro?

Confused by advertising buzzwords and jargon? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

We’ve all been there – trying to decipher the complex language of digital advertising can feel like a daunting task.  Industry-specific acronyms & jargon can be confusing, especially for those outside the industry. Our aim is to make things a little easier by providing a resource that defines key advertising & marketing terminology. With the Advertising Dictionary, you can now reference & understand digital advertising lingo like a pro in no time!

Table of Contents

In Alphabetical Order:


Ad Completion

Occurs when a video ad plays through to the end.

Ad Fraud

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 Recall
Estimated ad recall lift (people) metric is available for ads on Facebook or Instagram. The estimated ad recall lift (people) metric shows how many people Facebook estimates would remember seeing your ad if we asked them within 2 days.
Ad Recall Rate
The Facebook and Instagram metric is calculated as the difference between the predicted recall of people who saw your ads and the number of people who didn’t see your ads. The estimated recall is based on the number of people you reached with your ads and how likely each person is to recall the ads they saw.
Ad Server
A company whose technology relays an ad buy to a website and reports on how it performed.
Ad Tech​

Short for advertising technology; refers commonly to all technologies, software and services used for delivering, controlling and targeting online ads.

Agency Trading Desk

A team within an ad agency that executes online media buying as a managed service.

AOR (Agency of Record)

An agency that is authorized to purchase advertising time (for radio or television advertising) or space (for print or web advertising) on behalf of the company with which they have an agency contract.

Before someone buys a product or service, they may see several advertisements for it. For example, they may hear a radio commercial, see a billboard, and then see an online ad. Attribution refers to which advertisement was responsible for informing that purchase. Different services have different attribution models, taking into account different factors such as how customers interacted with ads and when that interaction occurred relative to a purchase.
Audience Extension

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 catalogues 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”.


Behavioral Targeting

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.

The amount you are willing to pay to have shoppers click on your advertisement. With Amazon Advertising, you can use automatic bidding (your bid will automatically be optimized to help you reach your objective), or you can choose manual bidding and set your own bid.
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

The percentage of people who visit a webpage and navigate away from it, seeing only that single page. For more information, see Why Page Views & Bounce Rate Matter and A Quick & Easy Guide to Bounce Rate.

Brand Lift
A measurement of the direct impact your ads have on a shopper’s perception and behaviors toward a brand. This metric is calculated in a number of ways using post-exposure success metrics, such as brand awareness, and likelihood to purchase metrics.The increase in effectiveness measurements (e.g., message recall) between respondents who did not view the ad and those who did.
The maximum amount of money you will spend on your advertising campaign.


Connected TV

Refers to any TV that can be connected to the Internet and access content beyond what is available via the normal offering from a cable provider. For related readings, see What is OTT Advertising?

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.
CPA (Cost per Acquisition)

Also known as cost per action, pay per acquisition (PPA) and cost per conversion, is the cost for a specified acquisition – for example a sale, click, page view or form submit.

CPC (Cost per Click)
Referring to the actual price you pay each time someone clicks your ad in a PPC campaign. This number is calculated by dividing the amount of money you spent on an ad divided by the number of clicks it received. Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands are examples of cost-per-click ads, so you only pay when your ad receives clicks.
CPCV (Cost per Completed View)

The price paid by an advertiser to the publisher once a video has been viewed through completion.

CPE (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 (Cost Per Install)

An advertising method that only charges advertisers each time their app is downloaded.

CPM (Cost-per-thousand-impressions)
CPM technically stands for “cost per mille”. The average cost you pay to deliver 1,000 impressions of your ads. With the CPM bidding strategy, advertisers pay based on the number of impressions your ad receives.
CPV (Cost per View)

A bidding method where you pay for each time your video is played.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
CRM software is a category of software that covers a broad set of applications designed to help businesses manage many of the following business processes: customer data. customer interaction. access business information. automate sales. Examples include: Hubspot, Salesforce, Zoho and Insightly.
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.
CTR (Click-Through Rate)

The percentage of ad impressions that are clicked as compared to the entire number of clicks. The standard calculation for CTR is (clicks/impressions) x 100. For related readings, see Quality Score & Click-Through Rate.

Consumer Purchase Journey/ Consumer Decision Journey
A term that refers to the sum of experiences that shoppers go through when interacting with your company and brand. Instead of looking at just a part of a transaction or experience, the customer journey documents the full experience. You can map your advertising objectives to the stages of the journey, which are, typically: awareness, consideration, purchase or conversion, and loyalty.
An action that a customer completes; this phrase can be used to refer to any number of actions, including clicking “Add to Cart,” completing a purchase, etc.


DMP (Data Management Platform)

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.

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
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.
DMA (Designated Market Area)

As defined by Nielsen, DMAs divide the country into different regional markets by population centers (e.g., San Francisco Bay Area).

DMO (Destination Marketing Organization)
They represent destinations and help to develop their long-term travel and tourism strategy. DMOs come in various forms and have labels such as “Tourism Board,” “Convention and Visitors Bureau” and “Tourism Authority.”
DOOH (Digital Out-Of-Home Advertising)

DOOH refers to “out-of-home” advertising – that is, ads that are marketed to consumers when they are “on the go”, such as in transit, in commercial locations, or in waiting areas.

Dynamic Search Ad (DSA)

An ad type that is dynamically-created based off of the user’s search terms.​ PPC advertising platforms like Google or Bing crawl the content on your website & if it’s relevant to the user, they will serve your ad to them.

DSAs are a great way to capture leads who may not know your brand & allow them to conveniently find your website in a highly relevant manner to what they’re looking for.

DSP (Demand Side Platform)
The software that is used to programmatically purchase and manage digital advertising inventory from multiple publishers in an automated fashion, allowing advertisers to buy impressions across a range of publisher sites through ad exchanges. Kedet™ is a Demand-Side Platform.
Dynamic Ad Insertion
DAI expands advanced advertising opportunities by allowing advertisers to target ads that can be swapped in and out of VOD content.


ECPM (Effective Cost Per Thousand)
A metric for measuring advertising revenue generated across various marketing channels, calculated by dividing total earnings by the total number of impressions in thousands.
Engagement Rate
Calculated as the number of Engaged Users divided by the total reach of that Facebook post. Multiply the whole thing by 100 to turn it into a percentage. Engagements on Facebook include reactions, shares, comments, and some clicks on links, videos and images.
Exit Rate
The number of times website visitors had left a website from a specific page. The exit rate of a page tells how often people exit from it after visiting any number of pages on the website. Calculated as: Total Page Exits / Total Visits to a Page


Fill Rate
The ratio of ad requests that are successfully filled in relation to the total number of ad requests made, expressed in percentage.
First-Party Data
Data directly collected by a brand – typically through e-commerce sites and company websites – about the actions their users take while on that site.
The number of times an ad is delivered to the same browser in a single session or time period.



Graphics Interchange Format, better known by its acronym GIF, is a lossless format for image files that supports both animated and static images.

Showing ads to people based on their mobile device’s location, ZIP code information they submit when registering a site/service or GPS coordinates collected by site/service.
GRP (Gross Rating Point)
The standard currency that broadcast TV has used to plan, purchase and measure advertising campaigns since the 1950s. Defined as [reach x frequency] for a target demographic.


A way for separate companies to match their data sets without either side being able to access the other’s data.


The number of times an ad was rendered on a page or device.
An ad that appears within a piece of content. For example, a pre-roll ad attached to a YouTube video or a Promoted Tweet in a Twitter feed.
Actual placement of an advertisement – digital or otherwise – as recorded by the ad server.
Insertion Order
Purchase order between a seller of advertising and a buyer (usually via an advertising agency).
Interactive In-App Pre-Roll
Video ads containing rich media or interactive functionality running in-app on smartphones or tablets. Interstitial ads playing in-app expand to full screen unless viewer exits.
Interactive Pre-Roll
In-stream video ads that play before video content and feature interactive and rich media elements, such as overlays, video galleries, microsites and/or zip code locators.




These words or phrases are used to target your ads to relevant shopping queries. You may select the keywords you’d like to target using manual targeting or let Amazon Advertising select the keywords using automatic targeting. For more information, see Do I Need to Bid on Branded Keywords?

KPI (Key Performance Indicator)
A measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives.


Linear TV
Live television that is watched as scheduled; stands in contrast to pre-recorded or video on demand (VOD).


Additional ad impressions which are negotiated in order to make up for the shortfall of ads delivered versus the commitments agreed upon in the insertion order.
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.
Form of online video ad placement where the ad is played during a break in the middle of the content video.
Mobile Pre-Roll
Video ads with standard functionality, such as click-throughs, running on smartphone or tablet devices. Can be in-stream or in-app.
MRC (Media Rating Council)
A body whose mission is to secure audience measurement that is valid, reliable, and effective.



Open Exchange
An open digital advertising marketplace for aggregated inventory from multiple partners where buyers can bid either manually or programmatically to purchase impressions.
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.
A data-driven modification within existing campaign parameters to enhance campaign performance.
OTA (Online Travel Agency)
Online companies whose websites allow consumers to book various travel related services directly via the Internet. They are 3rd party agents reselling trips, hotels, cars, flights, vacation packages etc. provided / organized by others.
OTT (Over-the-Top)

Content accessed via the internet without the involvement of a television service provider. OTT includes Subscription Video-on-Demand (SVOD) services like Netflix, as well as free ad-supported services like Hulu. For more information, see What is OTT Advertising?


Page Request
The opportunity for an HTML document to appear on a browser window as a direct result of a user’s interaction with a website.
PII (Personally Identifiable Information)

Digital information that can be used, on its own or together with other information, to track back actions to a specific, known individual.

A piece of code provided by a company that wishes to track the end-user’s behavior and identification (cookie) on a website.
The place where an advertisement appears. Examples include in shopping queries on Amazon, on Amazon devices (such as Fire TV or Fire tablet), and on third-party sites.
Post-Roll Ad
The streaming of a mobile advertising clip after a mobile TV/video clip. The mobile advert is usually 10-15 seconds.
Pre-Roll Ad
A video advertisement that appears directly preceding an online video. Common formats include :15, :30 and :60 lengths.
A term used in the digital advertising industry which refers to the automated buying and selling of digital advertising inventory.
Programmatic Ad Buying
The use of software to purchase digital advertising, as opposed to the traditional process that involves RFPs, human negotiations and manual insertion orders.
Programmatic Direct
An ad buy done directly between a publisher and advertiser through automated programmatic ad-buying systems.
Programmatic Non-Reserved
A typical automated buy, similar to an open auction, in which relatively anyone can bid to buy ad space that is for sale.
PTV (Programmatic TV)
A technology that enables brands and agencies to buy TV ads programmatically – using software.



RTB (Real-Time Bidding)

The buying and selling of online ad impressions through real-time auctions that happen within milliseconds.

The total number of users who are shown the same ad on any web page or screen.
ROAS (Return On Ad Spend)

A measure of how many dollars you earn for every dollar you spend on advertising. The standard calculation for ROAS is (total ad sales) / (total ad spend).For more information, see What is Return On Ad Spend?

ROI (Return On Investment)
A measure of how much net profit you earn for every dollar you spend. The standard calculation for ROI is (revenue – cost) / (cost).
Retargeting (Remarketing)

A form of online targeting advertising and are served to people who have already visited your website or are a contact in your database (like a lead or customer).

RON (Run Of Network)
The scheduling of Internet advertising whereby an ad network positions ads across the sites it represents at its own discretion.
ROS (Run Of Site)
The scheduling of Internet advertising whereby ads run across an entire site, often at a lower cost to the advertiser than the purchase of specific site sub-sections.


Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

The page presented to a user when they use a search engine like Google or Bing to search for something online by typing in a search query or keyword. SERPs offer two types of results: organic and paid results. Paid search ads are typically at the very top of the SERP, followed by organic posts. To rank high for organic search results, websites need to work on Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The process of improving a website to rank higher on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) have unique algorithms that rank web pages’ based on quality, relevancy, and other factors. Good SEO means your website is more likely to appear higher on the SERP.
Second-Party Data
When a company makes its first-party data directly available to another company, which then uses it to sell ads.
Sell-Through Rate
The percentage of ad inventory sold as opposed to traded or bartered.
Set-Top Box
An electronic device that connects to a TV providing connectivity to the Internet, game consoles or cable systems.
SOV (Share of Voice)
An ad revenue model that focuses on weight or percentage among other advertisers; used to represent the relative portion of ad inventory available to a single advertiser within a defined market over a specified time period.
Skippable Pre-Roll
In-stream video ads that allow viewers to skip ahead to non-advertisement video content after playing for a few seconds.
A tall, thin online ad unit defined by the IAB as one of two sizes: 120×600 and 160×600.
SSP (Supply-Side Platform)

Software used to sell advertising in an automated fashion.

Standard Pre-Roll

In-stream video ads that play before video content.


Digital advertising services use a variety of ways to match ads with potential customers based on interests. Examples include relevant shopping queries or purchases of related products.
Target Audience
The intended audience for an ad, usually defined in terms of specific demographics (age, gender) and psychographics (interests, behaviors).
Third-Party Ad Server
Independent outsourced companies that specialize in managing, maintaining, serving, tracking, and analyzing the results of online ad campaigns.
Third-Party Data

Information that an established data company collects indirectly or aggregates from others and then sells to ad buyers.


Unique User/Device ID

Sometimes called UDID; identifier assigned to a device or user that lasts until the device is reset or the account is deleted.


VAST (Video Ad Serving Template)
A universal XML schema for serving ads to digital video players.
VCPM (Viewable Cost-Per-Thousand-Impressions)

Cost per thousand viewable ads served – a simple calculation for vCPM = CPM / viewability rate.

A metric that addresses an ad’s opportunity to be seen by a viewer.
Viewable Completion
When a video is viewable at the end of ad play.
Viewable Impression
As defined by the Media Ratings Council, a viewable video impression is one where 50% of a video player’s pixels are in view in an active browser tab for any two consecutive seconds.
VPAID (Video Player Ad-Serving Interface Definition)
Allows a rich interactive user experience with in stream video ads.
VTR (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
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.


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