Glossary Of Retargeting Industry Terms

Ad Agency - A company that provides services such as planning, creating, and buying, and tracking advertisements and ad campaigns on behalf of a client.

Ad Exchange - An ecosystem through which advertisers, publishers, and networks meet and do business on a unified platform or system. An ad exchange allows advertisers and publishers to speak the same language in order to exchange data, set prices, and ultimately serve an ad.

Ad Network - A company that serves as a broker between a group of publishers and a group of advertisers. Networks traditionally aggregate publishers and advertisers and handle remnant inventory, but can have a wide variety of business models and clients.

Ad Quality - A term that refers to the settings that allow sellers to determine which creatives will be allowed to serve on their inventory.

Ad Server - The computer or group of computers responsible for the actual serving of creatives to websites, or for making decisions about what ads will serve. An ad server may also track clicks on ads and other data. Major publishers, networks, and advertisers sometimes have their own ad servers.

Ad Verification - A service that confirms if an ad ran only where it was intended by the Advertiser. Advertiser - An entity that shows its creatives on publisher web pages in order to enhance brand awareness, induce the user to make a purchase, etc.

Agency Trading Desk - A department or arm of an Agency that oversees programmatic buying.

Anonymous Information - Facts that don’t identify a person specifically, such as age group and gender. Often referred to as Non-PII (Non-Personally Identifiable Information)

API - Application Programming Interface. A way to interact with a piece of software. AppNexus uses APIs to interact with the AppNexus Console and to allow bidders and the Impression Bus to communicate with each other.

Attribute - A single piece of information known about a user that may be used to match ad content to users. Attributes consist of demographic information (age, gender, geographical location), online behavior, or purchase intent.

Attribution - Attribution refers to how we determine which advertisement was responsible for triggering a conversion or acquisition. The most common attribution model is the last view/last click.

Auction Service - Service through which Buyers buy Inventory through an auction or real-time buying process (RTB).

Audience Buying - Acquiring inventory based on audience targeting.

Audience Tag - JavaScript or other code on or within a web page or player that requests a graphic image from a server that allows that server to set, read, and modify a Cookie.

Backfill - Inventory that is not pre-sold; i.e. remnant inventory. Can also refer to one ad network filling unsold inventory for another ad network.

Banner Ad - A basic image or flash display ad, rather than a rich media unit.

Behavioral Data - Information collected from a users' online actions, for example, things they've searched for in the past and types of websites they frequent. Advertisers sometimes use this type of data in their campaigns to match relevant users with their offers.

Bid Request - Inventory offered by Sellers to Buyer using an Auction Service.

Bid Response - The information, specifications, and rules submitted to Seller by Buyer in response to a Bid Request.

Blacklist - A list of web sites that an Advertiser will not permit their ads to be placed on. These sites often contain content that is not aligned with the brand image of the Advertiser.

Brand Safety - Contextual technology aimed at ensuring advertisement does not display on webpages where its appearance might negatively impact the Advertiser's brand.

Buyer - An agency representing advertisers that buys or attempts to purchase Inventory.

Campaign - A campaign dictates a buying strategy for purchasing inventory. Most campaigns also include criteria such as a specific start and end date, daily or overall budgets, frequency restrictions, and targeting based on user or inventory data.

CDN - Content Delivery Network. A CDN delivers static content, such as creative image or flash files. Usually, a CDN provider has servers across the globe configured to deliver content as quickly as possible, which is why it is typical for an ad server to use one.

Click Log - Server-side log of predefined information gathered when a user clicks on an ad that has passed through the Impression.

Click-through Rate (CTR) - The number of clicks divided by total impressions served for a particular creative or campaign.

Contextual Data - Information on the contents of the webpage that the user is viewing upon ad call. Usually used for ad targeting; for example, if the user is viewing a newspaper article about travel, an airline may wish to display on that page.

Conversion - When a user signs up, makes a purchase or performs some other desired action in response to an ad. Also called an acquisition or action, especially to distinguish it from clicks in an acronym (CPC vs. CPA).

Conversion Funnel - This describes the path a consumer takes from seeing an ad or otherwise hearing about a brand or concept (the broad end of the funnel) to possibly navigating an e-commerce web site and finally taking a desired action, such as making a purchase (the narrow end of the funnel). In a simplistic example, many users see an ad, fewer click, fewer visit a site, fewer purchase. Various stages of the funnel may be used as a proxy for measuring the effectiveness of advertising, and funnel events do not need to be linear.

Conversion Pixel - A pixel that fires when a user converts, e.g. clicks on an ad, registers, makes a purchase, etc. Advertisers place conversion pixels on a landing page, registration page, checkout page, etc.

Cookie - A parcel of text sent by a server to the cookie file in a browser and then sent back unchanged by the client each time it accesses that server. HTTP cookies are used for authenticating, session tracking, and storing information about specific users, such as site preferences or buying habits. Advertisers often use cookies to track the number and frequency of advertisements that have been shown. See also First-party Cookies and Third-party cookies.

Cookie-Sync Mechanism - The matching process of the SSP cookie ID to the DSP cookie ID.

Cost Plus - A payment model in which advertisers agree to pay the cost of media plus an additional CPM or % profit margin on top.

CPA - Cost per action/acquisition. A payment model in which advertisers pay for every action, such as a sale or registration, completed as a result of a visitor clicking on their advertisement. Note that an "acquisition" is the same as a "conversion."

CPC - Cost per click. A payment model in which advertisers pay each time a user clicks on their advertisement.

CPL - Cost per lead. A payment model in which advertisers pay for every lead or customer inquiry that resulted from a visitor who clicked on their advertisement. Also known as cost per inquiry.

CPM - Cost per thousand ("mille"). A pricing model in which advertisers pay for every 1000 impressions of their advertisement served. This is the standard basic pricing model for online advertising. See also CPC and CPA.

Creative - The actual graphical advertisement or banner itself. Common creative formats include GIF, JPEG, JavaScript, HTML, and Flash.

Creative Tag - Similar to an ad tag, this is a snippet of code that gives the location of the creative, which is usually a content delivery network (CDN) or an ad server.

CSV - Comma-separated values. A data file used structured in a table form with fields separated by commas.

CTR - The number of clicks divided by total impressions served for a particular creative or campaign.

Data Management Platform (DMP) - A system that allows the collection of audience intelligence to Buyers, thereby allowing better ad targeting in subsequent campaigns.

Data Providers - Businesses that provide data about users so that advertisers can better target users Decisioning - The process by which an ad server, ad platform, or exchange chooses who to serve an ad to. This can be based on an auction, prioritizing certain advertisers based on relationships and prior agreements, or some other method.

Demand - Advertising demand; entities that wish to buy ad space and display creatives.

Demand Side Platform (DSP) - A technology platform that provides centralized and aggregated media buying from multiple sources including ad exchanges, ad networks, and sell-side platforms, often leveraging real-time bidding capabilities of these sources. Our platform is a demand-side platform.

Direct Media Buy - Pre-brokered agreements between an advertiser and publisher to deliver a certain amount of specific inventory for a preset cost.

Direct Response - Term applied to marketing or advertising that is designed to solicit a direct response which is specific and quantifiable. In online display advertising, this can be clicking on an ad, making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, etc.

Display Advertising - Online advertising is often divided into "display" and "search." Display ads are images and search is text-based. Display ads sometimes referred to as banners, come in standardized ad sizes, and can include text, logos, pictures, or more recently, rich media.

DMA - Designated Market Area. (Sometimes called demographic metropolitan area.) A geographic area originally defined as a group of counties that made up a cohesive television market. May also stand for the Direct Marketing Association; see DMA OBA Compliance.

DR - Direct Response: Term applied to marketing or advertising that is designed to solicit a direct response which is specific and quantifiable. In online display advertising, this can be clicking on an ad, making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, etc.

DSP - Demand Side Platform (DSP): A company that allows advertising clients to buy digital media on several different selling systems or exchanges through one interface.

Dynamic Ad Insertion - The process by which an ad is inserted into a page or player in response to a user's request.

Dynamic ad placement - allows alteration of specific ads placed on a page based on any data available about the user. It allows for multiple ads to be rotated through one or more spaces, served by a template creative.

Dynamic Creative - Many advertisers wish to show different ads to different customers; for example, an advertiser might wish to show a woman's polo to a woman and a man's polo to a man. Dynamic creatives can refer to having a few different creatives and choosing the most appropriate one for the user through some automated means such as audience segmentation or based on frequency and recency.

Dynamic Pricing - The purchase price for an ad impression that is determined via a real-time auction rather than a predetermined fixed rate.

EAP - Estimated Average Price: EAP is a bid price estimated to win about half of the impressions from AppNexus platform sellers based on historical bids and their success or failure.

ECP - Estimated Clear Price: ECP is a bid price that is likely to win most impressions from our platform sellers based on historical bids and their success or failure.

eCPA - Effective Cost Per Acquisition. This is calculated by dividing your cost (or revenue) by the number of conversion events.

eCPC - Effective Cost Per Click. A translation from CPMs, CPCs, CPAs, and other pricing models so they can be compared.

eCPM - Effective Cost Per Thousand. A translation from CPMs, CPCs, CPAs, and any other pricing models so they can be compared to each other.

EMP - Estimated Minimum Price is now termed Estimated Clear Price.

Engagement Metrics - Most digital media buyers are interested in measuring the effectiveness of their advertising. This is most easily done by direct marketers who use CPAs, but there are a variety of other ways to measure the impact of ads via "customer engagement." Some possible engagement metrics are whether a user has watched an entire video ad if a user hovers over a creative with a mouse, and the popular (but possibly low-value) click. The term engagement metrics may also be applied to things other than advertising, such as how long a visitor spends on a web site.

Estimated Average Price - EAP is a bid price estimated to win about half of the impressions from AppNexus platform sellers based on historical bids and their success or failure.

Estimated Clear Price - ECP is a bid price that is likely to win most impressions from our platform sellers based on historical bids and their success or failure.

Exclusive Inventory - If inventory is associated with a particular bidder, that bidder can set an exclusive parameter so that no other bidder will see the inventory or bid on it. Useful for sitting in on auctions without participating.

First Look - Prioritized access to select Advertisers. Instead of the winning impression going to the highest bid, it affords the first right of refusal for an impression within an exchange based on a pre-negotiated floor or fixed price. If the buyer bids, they are guaranteed to win the impression. This privilege is typically granted in return for a commitment.

First Touch - An attribution model in which credit is given to the first impression a user saw.

First-party Cookies - Cookies that use the domain of the website a user is currently on. For example, if you visit and the domain of the cookie is, then this is a first-party cookie. First-party cookies are usually used for login, user experience, and remarketing purposes. See also Third-party Cookies.

Floor - The lowest price at which a seller is agreeing to sell an Ad Inventory to a Buyer.

Frequency - How often an ad is shown in a certain period, such as 24 hours. Advertisers often want to limit frequency to avoid overexposure.

Frequency Capping - The ability to set a limit on the number of times an Advertiser exposes a user to their advertising within a fixed time period.

Google tag Manager - See GTM

GTM - Google Tag Manager - a service provided by Google to allow you to aggregate code on a website that is used to track data or collect information. Examples that would be placed into the Google Tag Manager are Google Analytics Code, retargeting pixel code, and other data collection snippets of JavaScript or code that would be placed on a page. GTM allows you to place a single block of code on an entire website and then never touch it again because all the changes happen in the GTM management console (or in Our Platform). This is also used to prevent your competition from seeing what you use to collect data or who you use to do your retargeting.

Impression - A creative served to a single user at a single point in time.

Independent Trading Desk - A third-party company that licenses and supports DSP technology to act as a trading desk for Advertisers/Agencies.

Inventory - The opportunity to display digital advertising content in a particular medium, including, without limitation, web, mobile, in-stream audio and video, application, and/or widget-based advertising inventory.

Landing Page - The page to which a user is directed after clicking on an ad. If a user clicks on a web design ad, they may be directed to, or to or some other landing page chosen by the advertiser. This can be slightly different than a Click URL.

Last Click - A type of attribution model that pays out on the last impression that was clicked on by the user.

Last View - A type of attribution model that pays out on the last impression that was viewed by the user.

Lift - The percent increase in performance (measured in ROI, CPC, CPA, etc.) that can be attributed to advertising (or some other marketing endeavor).

Long Tail Publishers - Small, sub-scale ad Publishers such as blogs to niche commercial sites. Longtail - Ad inventory with a relatively low number of users (e.g. most blogs) or less desirable users (very young, minimal disposable income, etc.). The longtail can be difficult to monetize.

Marketer - Generally a large advertiser that manages at least some of its own digital advertising. Also called a direct marketer.

Media Plan - A holistic view of all your real-time media buys and direct media buys.

Network - Either refers generally to an Ad Network or specifically to a member on the AppNexus platform that buys and sells on behalf of advertisers and publishers.

Open Ad Exchange - A sales channel for Sellers that also provides aggregated inventory to Buyers. It provides technology that facilitates automated auction-based pricing and buying in real-time.

Optimization - Optimization is the process of collecting data to determine the price you should bid for a piece of inventory based on how successful your campaign has been on that inventory in the past.

Pixel - A pixel, also called a web bug, is a way to track user data. It is a snippet of code that calls for a 1X1 transparent pixel to be delivered to a webpage by a third-party server. When the pixel loads, the third-party server can record information such as the IP address of the user's computer, URL of the page, and time the page was viewed. See also Conversion Pixel and Segment Pixel.

Pixels (Tags, Beacons) - 1x1 pixel tags on websites that can track web users’ location and activities, such as a registration or conversion.

Pop Up Ad - An ad that displays in a secondary browser window in front of (Popup) or behind (Popunder) the initial browser window.

Popunder - An ad that displays in a secondary browser window directly behind the initial browser window.

Popup - An ad that displays in a secondary browser window directly in front of the initial browser window. See also Popunder.

PPM - Profit per 1000 ("mille") impressions.

Private Ad Exchange / Marketplace - A virtual marketplace operated by sellers to represent their high value/premium inventory, providing programmatic access to select buyers (via a DSP) who agree to transact based on pre-negotiated terms. Private exchanges offer access to inventory that is not otherwise available within the open market.

Programmatic Buying - A method that enables Buyers to show a highly-targeted piece of Advertiser Content to a consumer based on their online behavior through RTB.

Publisher (Seller) - A digital service from a traditional broadcaster or a digital music service.

Rate Card - The list of advertising prices and products and packages offered by a Seller.

Re-targeting - Re-messaging various messages to a collective pool of participants based on the pools the buyer/client creates.

Reach - The number of unique user IDs that can be reached by online advertising. You might broaden your reach by targeting new inventory, or evaluate the reach inherent in some set of user data such as "female clothes shoppers."

Real-Time Bidding - Bidding on inventory in real-time. A real-time bid is often dynamically generated based on past performance of creatives, inventory, user groups, and other parameters. Note that real-time bidding may differ from real-time buying, which can mean allocating inventory in real-time through prioritization rather than a monetary bid. Real-time bidding also implies multiple bidding systems or exchanges making calls to each other in real-time.

Real-Time Inventory - Inventory auctioned off in real-time, as a webpage is loading. See also Real-Time Bidding. Recency Capping - A way to space out the showing of an ad over time. For example, "don't show an ad to a user more than once every 20 minutes."

Remnant Inventory - Inventory that a Publisher is unable to sell directly which is turned over to a third-party.

Retargeting - Targeting users who have performed an action in the past, who may therefore be more likely to perform the same or a similar task in the future. For example, an advertiser might wish to put a segment pixel on their website and then target users who have visited their website in the past because they are more likely to make a purchase.

Rich Media - Rich media refers generally to media that has non-standard characteristics such as: Larger than ~40k, out-of-banner (OOB) behavior, features like "post to Facebook," plays video within a banner, or in-creative metrics collection.

ROI - Return on Investment

Rotating Creative - Sometimes a single ad tag is set to send one of several different creatives. Our platform allows creatives that rotate between different images, but not that rotate brand, offer, or advertiser.

RPM - Revenue per 1000 ("mille") impressions.

RTB - See Real-Time Bidding

Segment - Members of a target audience identified based on the webpages they visit, the actions they take such as making a purchase, or data such as gender or location.

Segment Pixel - A pixel that marks a user as belonging to a certain Segment. For example, an advertiser might place a segment pixel on the homepage and mark all visitors to the homepage as "homepage visitors."

Sell-Side Platform (SSP) - A technology platform that provides outsourced media selling services for Sellers. It aggregates ad impression inventory purchased through DSPs or Ad Exchanges.

SSP - See Supply Side Platform.

Supply Side Platform - Analogous to a Demand Side Platform, an SSP enables publishers to access demand from a variety of networks, exchanges, and platforms via one interface.

Tag - A snippet of HTML, generally either JavaScript or an IFRAME, that tells the browser to request some content from an ad server. "Tag" is often used to mean an ad tag but can also be a creative tag or some other kind of tag. A tag is provided by an ad server or exchange and placed in the webpage by a publisher.

Tag Container - Many advertisers and their media buyers use a number of tags for tracking impressions, clicks, conversions, and other data. Some use tag containers to manage these disparate pixel tags and make it easier to change them via a single source. When a page loads, the tag container code displays the code for all tags stored within the container.

Google Tag Manager is an example of a tag container.

Targeting - Choosing to serve ads to a particular segment as well as when, where, and how often to serve ads.

Third-party Cookies - Cookies with a different domain than the website a user is currently on. For example, if you visit, an AppNexus cookie with the domain would be a third-party cookie. See also First-party Cookies.

Third-Party Data - Any data obtained or licensed by the Buyer from a third-party provider.

UGC - User Generated Content: Content on a website that was posted by users, not the publisher. For example, Myspace or Facebook profiles. Different publishers have varying levels of control over user-generated content.

User - A target customer for advertisers; i.e. the person browsing the web who will see an ad.

User Agent - This usually refers to a browser application. For example, Mozilla 5.0 is a specific user-agent.

User Data - Information about users that makes them more valuable to advertisers. User data can include age, gender, location, intent to purchase, demographics, psychographics, wealth, past purchases, and more. Please note that user data is generally associated with a UUID found in a cookie rather than any personally identifiable information. User data is distinct from contextual data. Often used interchangeably with segment data and audience data.

User-Generated Content - Content on a website that was posted by users, not the publisher. For example, Myspace or Facebook profiles. Different publishers have varying levels of control over user-generated content.

Whitelist - A list of web sites that an Advertiser will permit their ads to be placed on. Websites not on this list will not be used to display ads for the Advertiser.

Yield Optimization - Technique employed by Publishers to determine the value of their ad impressions to manage the flow of inventory.