An Ad Tech Glossary: Must-Know Terms, If You’re Looking for An Ad-Tech Partner

T he digital ad world has a language unto itself, and a whole new set of companies have emerged to help marketers get out their messages. If you are looking for an ad tech partner, turn to LookBook. Once you find those partners, here are some of the must-know terms so you’ll be speaking the same language.

Ad Exchange: An online marketplace for advertisers to buy and sell inventory, often through real-time auctions. Top players include Google’s AdX, Yahoo’s Right Media, Facebook Exchange and AppNexus.

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 is 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 deals with advertisers and publishers to manually buy and sell ads across the web. Top players include Google Display Network, AOL’s Advertising.com, Millennial Media.

Ad Server: A company whose technology relays an ad buy to a website and reports on how it performed. Top players include Google’s DoubleClick for Publishers, Facebook’s Atlas, Sizmek.

Agency Trading Desk: A division within an ad agency focused on buying ads and using technology. Top players include Omnicom’s Accuen, WPP’s Xaxis, Publicis Groupe’s Vivaki, Interpublic Group’s Cadreon.

Audience Extension: Sometimes called “look-alike modeling,” a process that 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. For example, Facebook identifies the top interests of people who “like” Coca Cola’s Facebook page and creates an audience segment of people with the same set of interests to which the soda brand can show ads.

Behavioral Targeting: Showing ads to people based on the types of sites they visit. For example, targeting people who visit ESPN.com and the New York Post’s site with ads for New York sports teams.

Cookie: Identifier attached to a person’s internet browser to track the sites he or she visits.

Data-Management Platform (DMP): Company that provides technology to store and catalog marketer data. Top players include: BlueKai, eXelate, Lotame.

Deal ID: A piece of code containing the agreed-upon terms (negotiated pricing, for example) between an advertiser and publisher that allows the advertiser to access the publisher’s inventory.

Demand-Side Platform (DSP): A company that provides technology for media buyers to purchase ad placements, typically via bids in exchanges’ real-time auctions. Top players include MediaMath, Turn, Google’s DoubleClick Bid Manager.

First-Party Data: Data that a company has collected directly, like a retailer’s list of loyalty members.

Geotargeting: 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. For example, targeting a Gap ad on a person’s phone when he or she is in or near a mall with a Gap store.

Hashing: A way for separate companies to match their data sets without either side being able to access the other’s data. For example, Facebook’s Custom Audiences ad-targeting program uses hashing to match an advertiser’s customer email list with those customers’ Facebook accounts.

In-Stream: 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.

Pixel: A piece of code placed on a website so companies can recognize which cookies have already been dropped on a person’s browser and put in new cookies.

Programmatic Direct: An ad buy done directly between a publisher and advertiser through automated ad-buying systems.

Programmatic Reserved (or Programmatic Premium): An automated ad buy that’s only open to a specified set of advertisers.

Programmatic Non-Reserved: The typical automated ad buy. It’s similar to an open auction in which relatively anyone can bid to buy ad space that’s up for sale.

Real-Time Bidding (RTB): The purchase and sale of ads through computer-run auctions that happen within milliseconds.

Retargeting: Showing an ad to a person who visited your site while that person is visiting another site. For example, a person checks out a pair of shoes on Amazon, and then sees an ad for those same shoes on Yahoo.com.

Second-Party Data: When a company makes its first-party data directly available to another company, which then uses it to sell ads. For example, Comcast partners with Twitter to let TV advertisers target Comcast subscribers with Promoted Tweets.

Supply-Side Platform (SSP): An ad-tech company that works with publishers to help them sell their inventory for the most money possible. Top players include Rubicon Project and Pubmatic.

Third-Party Data: Information that a company collects indirectly (such as through cookies) or aggregates from others (such as credit card companies and magazine publishers) and then sells to ad buyers to air in targeting.

Unique-User/Device ID: Identifier assigned to a device or user that lasts until the device is reset or the account is deleted. For example, Google and Apple create advertising-specific device IDs for phones and tablets running Android and iOS, respectively. Facebook has unique-user IDs tied to each account on the social network.

Viewability: Measuring an ad to make sure that at least half of it appeared on a device’s screen for at least two seconds. The industry is moving toward this as a new standard of an impression.

VTR (View-Through Rate): The measurement of how many people saw an ad and eventually visited the advertiser’s site. For example, if someone sees a Ford ad on Monday, and visits Ford.com on Tuesday, that would count toward the VTR.

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