As the landscape of advertising evolves and expands to include new mediums and digital platforms, the vocabulary used to describe, plan, and measure successful digital advertising campaigns must naturally grow as well. Keep our digital advertising glossary handy to help you understand and speak intelligently in the “language” of digital marketing today.

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General Digital Terms

Banner Ad

An advertisement on a website with images and text, which can be static or animated, but is not a video. 

Cost Per Thousand (CPM)

The amount an advertiser pays per one thousand digital advertising impressions. 

Dynamic Cost Per Thousand (dCPM)

The amount an advertiser pays per one thousand digital advertising impressions but is dynamic depending on the value of each impression. Higher quality inventory or more data attached varies the CPM at the impression level (vs having a flat CPM despite the details included). 


Reaching users across all their devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and computers, with advertising. 


A potential customer. In digital advertising, a lead is someone who has provided their information by filling out a form or completing a designated action on a website.  

Media Channel

We differentiate between Search, Social, and Programmatic (Display/Mobile/Video/Audio/CTV) 


Adjustments made to a campaign to improve the campaign’s efficiency. For example, removing keywords that aren’t generating results, or changing the geotargeting range.   

Programmatic Advertising

Buying and selling online ads through an automated platform, using data and algorithms to make decisions about which ads to buy in real-time 

Search Advertising

Search advertising allows advertisers to place ads within the search engine results that appear after a user has performed an online search. This tactic is also known as paid search, search engine marketing, SEM, pay-per-click, and PPC. Advertisers are only charged when a user actually clicks on their ad, hence the name pay-per-click.   

Share of Voice (SOV)

The relative portion of ad inventory available to a single advertiser within a defined market over a specified period.   

Social Media Advertising

Ads that appear on any social media platform, like Facebook or Instagram.  These ads are served to a custom audience interested in the products and services provided by the advertiser.  


For Programmatic this would be Display vs. Video vs. Audio vs. CTV; For Social, it could be Facebook vs. Instagram vs. LinkedIn, etc. 

Targeting Terms Behavioral Targeting (BT)

Targeting audiences that have demonstrated an interest in a product or category, either via their web-browsing behavior or another prior action that indicates interest. This data is provided by third-party data providers.   

Category Contextual Targeting

A site targeting tactic based on the content. Impressions are served to users on sites and channels with content related to the product or category. Category Contextual targeting is similar to domain targeting but instead of targeting individual domains, you can target whole categories of sites at a time (all sports sites, all health sites, all finance sites, etc.). 

Cross-Device Targeting (XD)

The targeting applied goes across devices (mobile, PC, TV, tablet), so you are reaching users regardless of what device they are using. XD added to any other targeting means that targeting is applied across devices (ie XDBT = Cross-Device Behavioral Targeting) 

First-Party Targeting / CRM Targeting

Targeting data that is owned by the advertiser. This can be CRM data based on previous marketing efforts, registered clients, subscribed users, etc. This data can then be used to target, exclude, or model from. All first-party data is managed via LiveRamp ensuring that all data/PII is secure and hashed. 

Geotargeting (GT)

Reaching users based on their geographic location. Geotargeting is available at several levels: national, state, DMA, zip code, and a radius around a specific location.  

Geo Retargeting (GRT)

Reaching users based on geographic locations they have historically visited.  

In-App Targeting

Reaching an audience within apps that are contextually relevant to your campaign.  

Keyword Contextual (KW)

Impressions served to users while they are on pages with content related to the product or category.  

Lookalike Targeting (LAL)

Targeting a new audience that is developed based on data signals, to be similar to an established audience. A lookalike audience can be generated by pixel data (from site traffic or conversion activity) or can be modeled from 1st party CRM data or other shared data files. These lookalike models help to reach users who have similar behavioral and demographic profiles as previous site visitors. 

Persona Targeting

Personas are crafted using advanced data science techniques applied across billions of mobile device signals to classify users. A custom app ownership audience can also be built. Personas have the ability to cookie match their mobile audiences, so this can run omni-channel. 


Serving an ad to a user after they have visited a website. The user has indicated an interest in that brand but has not yet converted.    

Search Retargeting

Targeting users based on their search behavior. The best of both search and display. Serve a display ad to users who have searched relevant keywords – later as they are browsing other sites. 


Specific parameters used to determine the audience to serve with ads. This is determined by aggregating various attributes, such as geography, demographics, psychographics, web browsing behavior, and past purchases. 

Targeting / Sub-Tactic

This details what type of targeting types are happening under each Tactic umbrella. E.g., in a Display campaign we may run 3P Behavioral Targeting, 1st Party CRM Lookalike modeling, Domain Retargeting, and Keyword contextual (or any other targeting type mentioned above) 

Third-Party Subtargeting

Targeting data that is purchased from a 3rd party data collector. 

Video/Audio Event Retargeting (VRT)

Serving an ad to a user after they have seen/heard a video or audio ad. These ads can track users at the mid-point or completion of an ad and are bucketed into a retargeting pool that can be used across channels. 

Pixel/Tracking Terms


A trackable action on a site such as a form completion, button click, page visit, or order confirmation. Also referred to as activities. 

Dynamic Tag

Integrate third-party tools for tracking website activity, enabling the notification of third parties in real-time whenever there’s a conversion. 

External ID

In Campaign Manager, an external ID is any ID that you might use outside Campaign Manager 360 for internal reports (this ID is not generated by Campaign Manager 360). You can apply the same external ID to any combination of campaigns or placements or use a unique ID for every campaign and every placement. 


Allows you to track and report on conversions in Campaign Manager — the actions of users who visit your site after viewing or clicking on one of your ads — and to set up an audience, which compiles lists of users who’ve performed specific actions on a site, then makes those users available for targeting by subsequent campaigns. Also referred to as an Activity. 

Placement ID

Identification number generated when creating placements in Campaign Manager. Located next to Placement Name in the platform. 

Placement Tag

A placement tag—sometimes called an ad tag—is code that calls an ad server for ad content when users visit a site. Campaign Manager 360 serves ads when users visit a site with Campaign Manager 360 placement tags. The placement tag instructs the user’s browser to request the ad, and the request often includes information that Campaign Manager 360 can use to decide what kind of ad to send. 

Static Tracking Tag

In TTD, this is a small piece of code that allows advertisers to track user behavior on a website and provide information on the effectiveness of an ad campaign. Can be appended as a Dynamic tag in a Campaign Manager Floodlight to enable Third-Party Tracking. 

Tracking Pixel

A small piece of code that allows advertisers to track user behavior on a website and provide information on the effectiveness of an ad campaign.  

Tracking Tag

A tracking tag is a piece of code added to a website as a way to track that someone landed on a page. In some cases, tracking tags pass on information about what actions a user took on a given page. Tracking tags are not seen by users and are also known as pixels, tracking pixels, retargeting pixels, or conversion pixels. 

Universal Pixel

The Trade Desk’s universal pixel collects data on what pages are visited on a website. The universal pixel supports all the functionality of a static tracking tag while also supporting the additional, optional functionality of pixel mappings. In order to create specific page mappings, the pixel must be placed into the shared code (header/footer) of a webpage. 

General Advertising Metrics


When a user clicks on an ad.

Cost Per Lead (CPL)

The amount of budget spent to acquire one new lead. For example, if an advertiser spends $100 and gets 4 leads, their CPL would be $25.  This can also be referred to as a cost per conversion or cost per action (CPA) 

Estimated Cost Per Activity (eCPA)

The estimated cost to acquire a site activity based on the pixel activities.  

Cost Per Completed View (CPCV)

The cost for a completed view (or audio message) by a user. Video, CTV, and Audio tactics can be planned or measured by CPCV. 

Click-through Rate (CTR)

The number of clicks an advertiser receives on their ads per number of impressions. An ad’s CTR is calculated by dividing the number of clicks an ad received by the number of impressions that were served, then converting it to a percentage.  

Full Episode Player (FEP)

Video units played during long-form content (ie a full episode of ‘Friends’) vs a short-form video (ie a two and a half minute news clip). Full episodes can be viewed across any screen (mobile, PC, tablet, TV), but the user has a time investment and high engagement in the program. 

Private Market Place (PMP)

This is a video, often Connected TV, pre-negotiated deal with the publisher, network, or content provider to push CTV ads onto higher premium content at a lower price. 


An individual instance of an ad being served. In digital advertising, an impression is measured regardless of whether the user has actually seen or interacted with the ad in any way. 


The spend is the media budget spent so far in the date range selected for a campaign.