Programmatic Jargon Buster

30 Jun 2017 | Articles

The online advertising industry is full of acronyms and technical terms that many busy marketers aren’t familiar with. At Admedo, we believe in making programmatic accessible to all, so if you’re new to the industry, here are some of the key terms and concepts defined.

Display Advertising

Display Advertising (aka Online Advertising and Online Marketing) is graphical advertising on the Internet (online) that appears in specific locations next to content on web pages, IM applications, email, mobile apps etc. These ads, often referred to as banners, come in standardised ad sizes, and can include text, logos, pictures, calls to actions (buttons implying that you click on them), so called rich media where you are shown pictures of products you've previously shown interest in and sometimes even videos.

Real Time Bidding (RTB)

Real time bidding (RTB) is a server-to-server buying process that allows inventory (ad space on websites) to be bought and sold on a per-impression basis. It happens instantaneous through an auction that determines who gets to buy a specific impression. It happens programmatically in the same way as financial markets do. If a bid is won, the advertisers ad is immediately shown on the bought publishers site.

Demand Side Platform (DSP)

A technology platform that allows clients to programmatically buy digital advertising (online advertising/display advertising) inventory across multiple ad exchanges through real time bidding. Admedo is a DSP.


A technology platform that groups multiple sites and networks of sites and sell their unsold ad-space inventory to the highest bidder through real time bidding.


Programmatic Advertising

The automated buying and selling of online media, using technology to improve cost efficiency and media performance for advertisers.


Retargeting /Remarketing

Retargeting (also known as remarketing) shows an ad to a user that has been on your website and as they leave and visit other websites, reminds them of where they just were. Technically all that is necessary is to place a JavaScript tag in the footer of your website and your campaign will be able to drop a cookie on them, and follow them to other websites where it can show them ads reminding them of where they’ve just been.

Glossary of Industry Terminology

Confused by some of the terms used in online advertising? Don’t worry – here are some of the key terms you’ll come across when beginning your journey in programmatic advertising.


Machine Learning technology icon



Technology that serves, tracks and optimises online ads for brands across digital publishers. Ad serving companies can help make online advertising more streamlined for brands by serving as a single point of contact across a number of publishers.


Also known as click through URL or click command. This is used to record the number clicks delivered on an advertising banner.


Information placed on a visitor’s computer or mobile by a web server that can be stored or retrieved when the site is accessed. Used to record a user’s unique behaviour during each visit.


Refers to the tracking script that collects cookies of the users browser so that the user can be tracked and retargeted with banners. A conversion pixel is a tracking script that reports to the campaign when a conversion has taken place.


online reach icon



The digital advertisement that shows on a website, is clickable and by clicking on it takes you to a website called landing page.


The amount and types of ad space a publisher has available for an advertiser to buy.


A word often used in the same way as ad banner and refers to the creative image that is displayed as the ad.


A means of improving campaign performance through automated and semi-automated means, usually through a systematic approach. Ad optimisation often focuses on cost (especially prices in automated bidding), targeting or creative, gleaning performance improvements through testing.


The booking of display advertising setup with budget, CPM, run dates, targeting and banners (creative).


A banner displayed on the part of a website that is visible without having to scroll down on the page would be above the fold.


Refers to a performed action motivated by the display of the campaign. That action counts as an action or an acquisition (sometimes lead or conversion). Example: Signing up for a test drive of a car after having seen an offer in a banner online. 


An instruction often embedded in advertising that explains how to respond to an opt-in for a particular promotion or mobile initiative.


At Admedo, this number refers to the amount of money out of your campaign budget that has been spend purchasing data to get your targeting fulfilled.


The dates in between the day the campaign starts and ends, including holidays and weekends.


Restriction on the amount of times a specific visitor is shown a particular ad.


The amount and types of ad space a publisher has available for an advertiser to buy.


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The number of times a click is made on a banner divided by the total number of impressions (CTR = number of users who clicked on ad/number of times the ad was delivered.)


Online advertising can be purchased on the basis of what it costs to show the ad to one thousand viewers (CPM). It is used in marketing as a benchmark to calculate the relative cost of an advertising campaign or an ad message in a given medium. Rather than an absolute cost, CPM estimates the cost per 1,000 views of the ad. CPM is short for Cost Per Mille. Mille means 1000.


Refers to the overall costs associated with acquiring one user. This can be calculated by dividing total marketing costs by total number of new users.


A metric expressing each time an ad is served and displayed, whether it is seen or not, whether it is clicked on or not.


The number of times a user has clicked on a banner and landed on the linked site as a result of that click.


A conversion that has taken place after a user has clicked on an ad and then gone on to make a purchase.


The amount paid by an advertiser for a click on their ad. This can be calculated by dividing total marketing costs by total number of clicks for the campaign.


Percentage of participants who opted in to participate in a digital campaign. Conversion rate = total participants (conversions)/total number of impressions served (audience).


A conversion that has taken place after a user has seen an ad and then gone on to make a purchase.


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The category of targeting that comes from existing data gathered over longer periods of time and large categories of sites and volumes of users. This targeting is specific and effective and uses existing knowledge to target the right users online.


The on/off option that allows you to chose a demographic user group to target with your ads.


The process that matches your ads to relevant sites, using keywords, topics, and contextual categories.


The option that allows you to target a specific geographical area in the world. Often down to very close range around a city or postcode.

Want to learn more about programmatic? Have a chat with us and see how it can work for you. Call us on+44 (0)20 3603 8610 or email us at [email protected] 

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Adela has worked in digital marketing across the retail, travel and B2B sectors. She lived in Spain for a year before trading in the mediterranean to work for a multi-website online retailer based in the UK which is where her marketing career began. Adela is the Marketing Manager at Admedo where she manages all elements of marketing strategy from branding, aquisition, content, PR and events.

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