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A Sell-Side Platform (SSP)

A technology platform with the single mission of enabling publishers to manage their ad impression inventory and maximise revenue from digital media. As such they offer an efficient, automated and secure way to tap into the different sources of advertising income that are available, and provide insight into the various revenue streams and audiences.

AD Exchange

An advertising exchange is an open and transparent marketplace that facilitates the buying and selling of online advertising. The ideal online advertising exchange provides every buyer and seller with the tools and controls they need to reduce risk and maximize return for every single impression.

AD Network

A company that provides sales representation for multiple independent websites by aggregating the ad inventory and selling ads across multiple sites.


Media agency (or media shop) is a company which helps companies to communicate with current and potential consumers and/or the general public. These agencies work with their clients to understand the business issues, their markets and their consumers. It then identifies the consumer insights, which can help to devise a channel-neutral communication strategy which really connects with those consumers; using channels ranging from public relations (PR), events and sponsorship to advertising, interactive advertising, word of mouth and direct mail; to build a genuinely integrated campaign.

Agency trading desk

A centralized, service-based organization that serves as a managed service layer, typically on top of a licensed demand-side platform (DSP) and other audience buying technologies; manages programmatic, bid-based media and audience buying. Works as an agency’s internal “center of excellence,” supporting agency teams wishing to tap into this new buying model on behalf of agency clients.


When a user interacts with an advertisement and clicks through to the advertiser’s website.

Click-through rate (CTR)

Frequency of click-throughs as a percentage of impressions served. Used as a measure of advertising effectiveness.

Conversion rate

Measure of success of an online ad when compared to the click-through rate. What defines a conversion depends on the marketing objective eg: it can be defined as a sale or request to receive more information.


A small text file on the user’s PC that identifies the user’s browser so that they are recognised when they re-visit a site.

Cost per Action (CPA)

A pricing model that only charges advertising on an action being conducted eg. a sale or a form being filled in.

Cost per Click (CPC)

The amount paid by an advertiser for a click on their sponsored search listing. Allows advertisers to bid for placement in the paid listings search results on terms that are relevant to their business. Advertisers pay the amount of their bid only when a consumer clicks on their listing. Also called sponsored search/ paid search.

Cost per Mille (CPM)

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.

Data Exchange

Data exchange is the process of sending and receiving data in such a manner that the information content or meaning assigned to the data is not altered during the transmission.

Data management platform (DMP)

A DMP is the backbone of all online advertising operations for an economy that has increasingly become digital and data-centric. It provides marketers and agencies with a centralized view of all their audience and campaign data while helping them manage and analyze that data to create, target and optimize campaigns that can reach the right people at the right time with the right message.

Data supplier

A platform suppliers collect, compile and sell (anonymous) data on (online) consumers. This data can be provided at an individual level (geographic, demographic, lifestyle, income shopping behavior…) or at an aggregate level (by postal code or by territory).

Delivery systems, tool & analytics

Delivery systems, tools and analytics are the technologies that ensure different types of ads can be served, and are served correctly. They also support the process of booking and managing online campaign s, forecasting, billing , tag management, verifying and measuring online advertising.

Demand side platform (DSP)

A demand side platform (DSP) is a system that allows digital advertisers to manage multiple ad exchange and data exchange accounts through one interface. Real time bidding for display online ads takes place within the ad exchanges, and by utilising a DSP, marketers can manage their bids for the banners and the pricing for the data that they are layering on to target their audiences.

Sales house

An organisation which sells advertising on behalf of other media owners. Sales houses typically retain a percentage of the revenue they sell in exchange for their services. These organisations may combine a number of websites together and sell them as different packages to advertisers.

Search engine marketing (SEM)

The process which aims to get websites listed prominently in search-engine results through search-engine optimisation, sponsored search and paid inclusion.

Search engine optimisation (SEO)

The process which aims to get websites listed prominently within search engine’s organic (algorithmic, spidered) search results. Involves making a site ‘search engine friendly’.