Anybody who works in media or advertising is now aware of programmatic advertising, which is the buying and selling of inventory using software that automates much of the work that was manually done in the past. But even those who have a good grasp on what it is can still get confused when new terms and acronyms are used. What makes it worse is when people misuse terms and then confuse other people even more! For this reason, having a programmatic glossary or cheat sheet bookmarked or printed out by your computer is a great idea so that you can quickly check a definition when working or reading content.

So without further ado, below is the Knight Global programmatic glossary.

RTB – Real-Time Bidding. Ad buying and selling in a bid environment driven by supply and demand

DSP – Demand-Side Platform. Software used to automate ad buying. Examples are The Trade Desk and MediaMath

SSP – Supply-Side Platform. Software used to automate ad selling. Examples are Rubicon and Pubmatic

Exchange – Digital marketplace that enables the buying and selling of ad inventory in real-time. Examples are the Google Ad Exchange and OpenX

Ad Server – A platform that stores and delivers ads, helps both publishers and buyers with campaign management, and acts as a third- party for reporting purposes. Examples are DCM (DoubleClick Campaign Manager) and Sizmek

Agency Trading Desk – A company or team that specializes in programmatic buying; these either act as a separate company within a larger media holding company or a specialty team that sits within an agency. Examples are Accuen and Xaxis

First-party data – Data that is owned by the advertiser. Common examples are cookie pools of site-visitors or CRM data

Second-party data – This isn’t as common as first-party and third-party, but basically it is someone else’s first-party data which you are accessing directly from them. An example is if you sell tennis clothing, and you partner with a tennis racket company and they provide you with a cookie-pool of their site visitors

Third-party data – Data aggregated from various sources and then sold to advertisers. A common example is an audience segment consisting of anybody who made an offline purchase of diapers in the past 60 days; this segment is valuable to some advertisers so they would pay to use this data for targeting

DMP – Data Management Platform. A data warehouse used to collect and store different types of (but often audience) data. This can be then used for audience creation, lookalike modeling, attribution modeling, and more. Examples are Krux, Lotame, and Exelate

PII – Personally Identifiable Information. Names are an example

Retargeting/Remarketing – Giving ad exposure to users who previously interacted with the advertiser in some way. A common example is targeting people who visited the advertiser site but didn’t yet convert

Cookie Synch/Cookie Match – Mapping cookies from one system to another. Usually, some drop-off will occur in the process

Open Exchange – The open RTB marketplace where ads are bought and sold

PMP – Private Marketplace – when a seller offers a specific type of inventory in an invite only auction, meaning that not all advertisers can participate

Programmatic direct/programmatic guaranteed – an agreement made between a buyer and seller to transact with specified terms (price and quantity) but to use programmatic platforms (usually an SSP and DSP) to do the operational work. This is not RTB

Deal ID – the unique identification number for a private marketplace deal. The number is usually created in the SSP

Header Bidding – a technique increasing in popularity with publishers where they make an impression available in multiple ad exchanges and then compare the potential revenue with other sources like direct buys that are in place; this helps them to maximize revenue from their inventory

Waterfall – a yield technique that has been decreasing in popularity due to the rise of header bidding; this method involves making the impression available to by different methods in a sequence rather than at the same time; for example, first they will check to see if the impression can be sold in a direct buy; if not, then they will offer it in an SSP at a specified price floor; if it doesn’t get sold, they will offer it to a second SSP at a lower floor, etc

Blacklist – A list of sites where a buyer doesn’t want their ads to appear; this list is used in the buying process so that bids aren’t placed on blacklist sites

Whitelist – A list of sites where a buyer does want their ads to appear; a buyer won’t make a bid unless it is coming from a site on this list

KPI – Key Performance Indicator. A measure used to track a campaign’s success

CTR – Click-Through Rate (clicks/impressions)

CPC – Cost Per Click (cost/clicks)

CPM – Cost Per Thousand Impressions (cost/impressions*1000)

CPA – Cost Per Action (cost/conversion actions)

Win Rate – The number of impressions won compared to the number of bids placed (bids/impressions)

Audience On-Target Percent – A KPI used to determine what percent of impressions were served to people that are in the target demographic

Brand Lift – Measure of ad effectiveness when comparing users who viewed an ad compared to those that didn’t

Viewability – This refers to the number of impressions served that were actually visible on the page

Non-human traffic – Amount of traffic that originated from non-human sources, sometimes stemming from bots










Programmatic Advertising – A Complete Glossary
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Programmatic Advertising – A Complete Glossary
Having a programmatic glossary or cheat sheet bookmarked or printed out by your computer is a great idea so that you can quickly check a definition when working or reading content.
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Knight Global
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