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a4 Tech Glossary – Get to Know Common Advertising Terms

Advertising is a complex world. It has a lot of technical terms that every advertiser should know, from CTRs to IP targeting. Check out our list of common phrases and what they mean:


Ad Impression – Ad impressions are the count of ads which are served to a user. Ads can be requested by the user’s browser or they can be pushed. Ad impressions are a measurement of responses from an ad delivery system to an ad request from the user’s browser, which is filtered for robotic activity and is recorded at a point as late as possible in the process of delivery of the creative material to the user’s browser – therefore closest to the actual opportunity to be seen by the user.


Athena by a4™ – Athena is a4’s multiscreen planning and activation platform. Having the means to plan and execute a campaign is one thing. Being able to quickly execute and deliver on it is another. a4’s multiscreen planning and activation self-service tool, Athena, lets brands and agencies quickly define their audiences, the spend and the campaign parameters. It features a drag-and-drop environment to quickly upload the creative and plan, budget and execute cross-screen campaigns in a matter of minutes.


Authenticated Audiences – Authenticated audiences are exactly who they appear to be. a4’s “authenticator/compiler” tech – installed at 10 of the top 12 ISPs – maps U.S. Postal addresses to IP addresses, enabling audiences to be constantly refreshed & authenticated and eliminating worry about cookie deletion or not reaching devices that don’t have cookies.


Authenticated IP Targeting – a4 partners with 10 of the top 12 internet service providers (ISPs) in the U.S. to enable privacy-compliant IP address-based digital ad targeting. ISPs assign IP addresses to consumers’ households when they sign up for broadband service. As IP addresses change — which they do often — a4’s technology instantly maps the new IP address to the physical address of that household, enabling the ongoing delivery of targeted digital advertising with the precision of the U.S. Postal system.


Banner Ad – Banner ads are one of the most dominant forms of advertising on the internet. Banner ads are a form of display advertising that can range from a static graphic to full motion video.


Behavioral Targeting – Using previous online user activity (e.g., pages visited, content viewed, searches, clicks and purchases) to generate a segment which is used to match advertising creative to users. Behavioral targeting uses anonymous, non-PII data.


Bounce Rate – A percentage that compares the number of visitors to a website who arrive and immediately leave vs. those who stay and spend time on the site. It can be used to measure the effectiveness of a website, a search campaign or an ad campaign.


Brand Awareness – Research studies can associate ad effectiveness to measure the impact of online advertising on key branding metrics.


Campaign – In traditional marketing, a campaign is a series of advertisement messages that share a single idea and theme. In digital advertising, a campaign will refer to a set of ad buys from a specific ad network or publisher.


Connected TV – A television that is connected to the internet and is able to access web-based content.


Cookie – A cookie is a string of text sent from a web server to a user’s browser that the browser is expected to send back to the web server in subsequent interactions. A cookie has a few core attributes – the cookie value, the domain and path within which it is valid, and the cookie expiry.


Compiler – The a4 Privacy Compiler™ tech maps IP addresses to household addresses — essentially creating an authenticated “postal system” for the internet that is constantly updated (Note: IP addresses tend to change on a frequent basis, e.g. when a consumer unplugs their router and plugs it back in a new IP address is oftentimes assigned). a4’s tech continually maps changing IP addresses to physical address to keep the “postal system” current. The a4 system is very privacy conscious: while it enables advertisers to target exact households, it also provides anonymity for consumers. This is enabled by a4’s “compiler”— installed behind its ISP partners’ firewalls — which cannot be accessed by any third-parties. Importantly, these two pieces of data — the IP address and household address — are information that the ISPs already have, not new data that the ISPs are collecting.


Connected TV Advertising – Connected TV advertising will be rolled out in 2018. This new capability brings the targeting precision of digital to television via emerging platforms that stream digital video content to connected TV’s (like Hulu, Roku). The ads play at the full resolution of the TV on media app load or during content streaming.


Cookie Matching – A method of enabling data appending by linking one company’s user identifier to another company’s user identifier.


Cookie Targeting – For homes that don’t subscribe to cable, we extend authenticated addressable digital campaigns via cookie targeting. The net impact is that we can reach more of a given target audiences via the authenticated addressable digital + cookie blend, which will drive stronger results for the ad dollar invested.


CPC (Cost-per-click) – CPC or cost-per-click is the cost of advertising based on the number of clicks received.


CPL (Cost-per-lead) – Cost of advertising based on the number of database files (leads) received.


CPM (Cost-per-thousand) – A media term describing the cost of 1,000 impressions. For example, a Web site that charges $1,500 per ad and reports 100,000 impressions has a CPM of $15 ($1,500 divided by 100).


CTR (Click-through rate) – A click-through rate is the percentage of ad impressions that were clicked on as compared to the entire number of clicks [CTR% = (Clicks ÷ Imps) x 100].


Data – Data is information in a form suitable for use with a computer. There are three types of data associated with advertising: observed facts (for example, searches or page views), declared facts (like demographic information) and inferred facts (like market segmentation). Data can be used to deliver appropriate ads to the right person.


Demand Side Platform – A demand side platform (DSP) is a technology platform that provides centralized and aggregated media buying from multiple sources including real time bidding capabilities of these sources.


Demographic Targeting – A targeting method that enables advertisers to show an ad specifically to visitors based on demographic information such as age, gender and income which may come from, site registration data or an inference-based mechanism.


Display Advertising – A form of online advertising where an advertiser’s message is shown on a destination 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) – Regions in the United States in which local television viewing is measured by The Nielsen Company.


Dynamic Ad Insertion – The process by which an ad is inserted into a page in response to a user’s request. Dynamic ad placement allows alteration of specific ads placed on a page based on any data available to the placement program. It allows for multiple ads to be rotated through one or more spaces.


Flighting – The timing around when a commercial will air, this can be used to talk about laying out the parameters of a digital ad campaign.


Frequency – The number of times an ad is delivered to the same browser in a single session or time period.


Geo-targeting – Displaying (or preventing the display of) content based on automated or assumed knowledge of an end user’s position in the real world. Relevant to both PC and mobile data services.


Impression – A single display of online content to a user’s web-enabled device. Many websites sell advertising space by the number of impressions displayed to users. An online advertisement impression is a single appearance of an advertisement on a web page. Each time an advertisement loads onto a user’s screen, the ad server may count that loading as one impression. However, the ad server may be programmed to exclude from the count certain non-qualifying activity such as a reload or internal user actions.


Intelligent Multiscreen – Intelligent multiscreen is how a4 does TV + digital campaigns. a4’s multiscreen planning & activation platform is informed by the client’s target audience’s ACTUAL media consumption data to optimize the mix of TV & digital and TV networks & dayparts.


ISP (Internet Service Provider) – An ISP is a business that provides internet access and related services. Typically, internet access is provided by a class of ISPs called ”access providers” who focus on provide a connection via dial-up, DSL, cable internet, FTH, or other similar technologies.


Keyword – Specific words entered into a search engine by the user that results in a list of websites related to the keyword. Keywords can be purchased by advertisers in order to embed ads linking to the advertiser’s site within search results.


KPI (Key Performance Indicators) – KPIs, like CTR or impressions, help an organization define and measure progress toward organizational goals.


Lead Generation – Fees advertisers pay to Internet advertising companies that refer qualified purchase inquiries or provide consumer information where the consumer opts into being contacted by a marketer.


MVPD – A multichannel video programming distributor is a cable or satellite TV service (like Altice, Cox, Comcast, Dish) that provides multiple television channels.


On-demand Video – Video media that is available to a user at the convenience of that user – for example, YouTube, Hulu, and Netflix.


OOH (Out-of-home) – Out-of-home advertising placements appear in public places; for example billboards, airports, grocery stores, taxi cabs, bus stations, etc.


OTT (Over-the-Top) – Over-the-top is a term for a service that provides a product over the internet. OTT devices and applications include smart TVs, Roku, Netflix and Hulu.


Optimized Linear Targeting – Optimized linear TV targeting advertising uses the target audience’s anonymized TV viewing data to determine the ideal TV schedule based on the channels the target watches and when they are most likely to watch.


Page Views – When the page is actually seen by the user.


Personally Identifiable Information – Personally identifiable information (PII) is user data that can be used to contact the user, either directly or through a lookup. User data that can be used to contact the user directly includes postal address and email address.


Programmatic – Programmatic is the automated buying and selling of digital media.


Rich Media – Advertisements with which users can interact (as opposed to solely animation) in a web page format. These advertisements can be used either singularly or in combination with various technologies, including but not limited to sound, video or Flash.


SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – SEO is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via “natural” (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results.


Search Retargeting – A method that enables advertisers to show an ad specifically to visitors based one or more searches or search click events.


Search Targeting – Local search targeting helps advertisers target users when they look for places, businesses, housing, entertainment, etc. in specific geographies using a search. This allows advertisers to present highly relevant localized offers and advertisements to users.


Segment – (May also called data segment or audience) – A set of users who share one or more similar attributes.


Session – A sequence of internet activity made by one user at one site. If a user makes no request from a site during a 30 minute period of time, the next content or ad request would then constitute the beginning of a new visit.


Set-top Box (STB) – A device electronic device that connects to a TV providing connectivity to the Internet, game systems or cable systems.


Site Retargeting – A method that enables advertisers to show an ad specifically to previous site visitors when they are on third-party web sites.


Social Marketing – Marketing tactic that taps into the growth of social networks, encouraging users to adopt and pass along widgets or other content modules created by a brand, or to add a brand to the user’s social circle of friends.


Sponsored Content – Paid text, video, or images created to promote a brand or product that is presented alongside similar media that isn’t promotional.


Supertech – Supertech is technology plus a4’s unique assets, like authenticated IP, exclusive data and a superior planning and activation tool.


Target Audience – The intended audience for an ad, usually defined in terms of specific demographics (age, sex, income, etc.) product purchase behavior, product usage or media usage.


Unique Visitors – Unique individual or browser which has accessed a site or application and has been served unique content and/or ads such as e-mail, newsletters, interstitials or pop-under ads.


Video on Demand – Video on Demand, usually refers to services offered by cable companies through set-top boxes.


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. The standard threshold for viewability is a least 50% of an ad must be in view for a minimum of one second for display ads or two seconds for video ads.


Visit – A single continuous set of activity attributable to a browser resulting in one or more pulled texts and/or graphics downloads from a site.


Source: IAB