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Advertising Terms Glossary

By 03/27/2018Advertising

Every job has its own set of terms and phrases specific to the work and environment of that industry. Advertising is in the unique position of not only being an industry in and of itself but also functioning as a fundamental part of growth plans for every other industry. As if that weren’t confusing enough, advertising still has its own set of ‘isms and jargon used to build, inform, and simplify campaigns and projects; lots of acronyms, buzzwords, and terms that make sense only within specific contexts.

So, here’s a not too long list of some terms we use on a regular basis and how they apply to the advertising industry and your campaigns and strategy. While by no means exhaustive, this list of terms should provide a strong knowledge base on which to build your understanding of marketing and advertising.

Avails – Unsold units of time available for broadcasters to sell to advertisers. Also refers to a station’s submission of programs and rating estimates for advertising planning and buying.

Bounce Rate – The percentage of visitors who leave your website after viewing only one page or landing and immediately abandoning your website.

Note: Bounce rate can be a positive KPI. Bounce rate should be discussed within the context of the page a visitor enters from. A strong campaign will utilize many landing locations based on what the audience is searching for rather than sending every visitor to the homepage. Guide traffic based on your top performing pages. Also, if promoting traffic to specific blogs, you can expect to see a bounce rate increase over time. Landing pages are intended to give a user everything they need without leaving that page (so in this instance bounce rate can be positive).

Behavioral Targeting – A digital targeting strategy that determines relevant ad placements based on a user’s online behavior, i.e., which websites they visit, session duration, and how they interact with online content.

Note: For maximum effectiveness, behavioral targeting should be combined with other forms of targeting to create a complete audience profile.

CMS – A Content Management System is a program or series of programs used to store, manage, and create digital assets. The most common use of a CMS at our agency is for the creation of websites and implementation of inbound strategies. WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and Sharepoint are all popular examples of CMSes and their robust capabilities.

Contextual Targeting – A digital targeting strategy that analyzes search history to place relevant messages where the target audience is likely to see them. This targeting method places online activity within the broader context of a users historical searches to ensure maximum content relevance and advertisement effectiveness.

Note: For maximum effectiveness, contextual targeting should be combined with other forms of targeting to create a complete audience profile.

Conversion – the short answer… it’s whatever you want it to be. A conversion is an indicator that a potential customer has completed the action you set out to have them complete. This is how we analyze the effectiveness of a digital campaign. Digitally, businesses record conversions at many steps in the process to help prove campaign ROI (link to ROI definition).

Note: While many actions can be set as conversions, the best way to effectively calculate ROI is to view a conversion as the perceived completion of the customer’s journey. For a service company, it could be the submission of an order form or a click on the “call now” button on a website or within a search engine. For a retail or e-commerce company, it could be when a customer clicks the “checkout” button in the online store. Make conversions meaningful actions that will help you make direct correlations between web traffic and sales.

Cookies – A small piece of data generated by a website and saved by your web browser. Its purpose is to record information about search habits and interests to deliver more personalized, targeted content. Cookies help sort out the vast wealth of internet content to help ensure users are delivered content they will be most interested in.

CPA – Cost Per Acquisition is an online ad-space bidding strategy that focuses on conversions. Under this model, you pay when a preset conversion action is made. Highly targeted, but relatively expensive. You decide on how much you believe conversion is worth to you and your business goals.

Note: Since the path from ad to conversion is so short, CPA bidding looks attractive on the surface. However, it important to ensure that other measures are in place throughout your campaign to ensure your potential customer is primed to act when they receive a conversion focused message.

CPC – Cost Per Click is an online ad-space bidding strategy. One step beyond broad branding, this strategy is utilized when a click is deemed the most efficient way to acquire a conversion. If you’re sales funnel is set up in a way that this click will provide valuable information as to the purchase intent of a potential customer, this bidding strategy can be very valuable.

CPM – Cost Per Thousand Impressions – One of the most popular online ad-space bidding strategies. Inexpensive but broad, the CPM bidding strategy is great for brand recognition and high visibility, but not necessarily for converting sales. Under this strategy, the goal is to gain as many eyeballs as the budget will allow.

CPP – Cost Per Point – A traditional media buying term that pits the price of an ad placement against the popularity in rating points (link to GRP) of the show or day part (link to day parts) it is placed within. A more expensive ad placement on a more highly rated show may be a better deal than an inexpensive ad on a show with an average rating if the CPP is significantly lower.

Dayparting – On traditional channels, it’s the practice of splitting the broadcast day into several key time slots to take advantage of different audiences and listening habits based on the time of day. Usually, the broadcast day is split into early morning, daytime, early fringe, prime access, prime time, late news, late fringe, and post late fringe.

Display Marketing – Broadly, display advertising is any form of advertising that conveys its message visually using text, photography, animation, videos and other graphics. Usually referenced in relation to the digital space, display marketing is often delivered in the form of banner ads that fill predetermined online ad spaces across websites that allow advertising.

Designated Market Area (DMA) – Nielsen’s term for geographical areas made up of exclusive counties based on which home market stations receive the predominant share of viewing.

Frequency (Impressions divided by Reach = Frequency) – The number of times a single person is exposed to the same advertising message. Used in relation to “reach”(a unique individual) to help determine the effectiveness of a given message.

Geo-targeting – An ad placement strategy that delivers a message within a set geographic location. Geo-targeted advertising can often be dialed into a delivery radius of a single mile and can be increased as desired in mile increments.

GRP – Gross Rating Point – A measure of advertising impact for traditional radio and television. The GRP helps determine the unit price for available ad space and is calculated by multiplying the percentage of a target market reached by the frequency of exposure.

Example: If an ad reaches 25% of the target market with an exposure frequency of 5, the ads GRP is 125.

Impressions – The total amount of times a message has been seen. This takes into account both reach and frequency.

In-Stream – Video advertising that occurs before, during, and after internet videos (ty[ically refers to a YouTube video). An ad is considered “in-stream” if the video plays in the same space as the organic content it supplements.

Interstitial – A full-page digital banner ad that appears before reaching the intended landing page. This is an intentional touchpoint, these ads almost always contain a call to action designed to convert a sale or capture information or drive traffic.

Insertion order – The final step in the ad buying process. An insertion order is a final correspondence between an advertiser and a media outlet confirming and commissioning the run of an ad or campaign. For a digital campaign, insertion orders are placed directly by an advertiser or an advertisers ad agency. Traditional insertion orders are usually executed by the advertiser’s account executive or media buyer.

KPI – Key Performance Indicators – A measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives. Organizations use KPIs to evaluate their success at reaching targets. In advertising, KPIs are often set to monitor key points in the conversion process.

Landing Page – A landing page is any page a website visitor lands on first when entering the site. More specifically to digital advertising campaigns, a landing page is used as a lead capturing device. Landing pages are intended to be the first and final stop for a user before converting to a full-time lead or customer.

Native Advertising – Any form of online advertising that follows the form and function of the platform on which it appears. Native ads are meant to be subtle ads that can sometimes look as if they are not ads. Social media ads and sponsored articles on blogs or publications are common examples.

Organic Search – Search results populated by a search engine using the search engine’s own relevance algorithm. Organic search results are not affected by paid search engine marketing.

O.T.O. – one time only, usually referring to a TV or radio special program.

Tracking Pixel – A small, pixel-size image that allows for the tracking of visitors to and from a website. Tracking pixels are valuable analytical tools for determining customer journey and purchase intent.

Pre-emption – the substitution of one advertiser’s local TV commercial by another advertiser paying a higher price for the spot, or by a different program of interest.

Pre-roll – Currently the most prevalent form of online video advertising, pre-roll videos are ads that play before video content.

Note: Facebook and other social media sites have recently implemented midroll advertising in their short-form content. These ads, which have replaced traditional commercial breaks on many streaming services, play in the middle of online videos.

Programmatic Advertising – The use of automation in buying and selling of media, programmatic can apply to anything from display to digital out-of-home and television.It is the real time-algorithmic purchase and sale of online advertising. Programmatic advertising is set to be one of the most important digital trends during 2018 and beyond as more and more software emerges to fuel both the collection and utilization of big data.

Reach – The number of people exposed to an advertising message. Used in relation to the frequency to help determine the effectiveness of a given message.

Retargeting – Also known as remarketing, retargeting is any form of online advertising that targets consumers based on past actions. Behavioral and Contextual Targeting are both forms of retargeting. Retargeting is commonly used not only in relation to general past actions but more specifically, to deliver a message to those who have already visited a website. This valuable touchpoint can help rekindle interest in a previous customer or recapture those who did not make a purchase decision the first time around.

RFP – Request for Proposal – In the Advertising world, an RFP is written up as both a public release and creative brief when a company is seeking creative services. An open RFP invites any creative agency to submit a pitch to fulfill the services requested in the RFP.

SEM – Search Engine Marketing – The managed, paid placement of a web presence within search engine results. SEM is a bid based system and paid results are ranked using a variety of indicators, such as relevance, quality of web presence, and of course, budget. Paid search results appear before, and sometimes after organic search results and are denoted as paid placements with an icon or badge.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization – The process of optimizing a website to appear in organic search results within the proper context. There are hundreds of factors taken into account by search engines when determining search results. Some of these include external links, page copy, responsiveness, security and overall user experience.

Note: While well managed SEM allows instantaneous placement at the top of search engine results, it is entirely reliant on available budget. SEO builds organic credibility over time without the need for a monthly advertising budget. Use both for ultimate visibility and credibility.

Share of Voice (SOV) – a brand’s percent of the total advertising weight in its product category.