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1st Party Data

Data collected directly by an organization from its customers, visitors, or users. This includes data from actions, behaviors, or interactions on a company’s own websites, apps, or through CRM systems. This type of data is valuable for its accuracy, relevance, and uniqueness. Example use case: Credit Card Company A uses their own data collected from existing cardholders to upsell them on new services and rewards.

2nd Party Data

Data that is shared directly between organizations with a mutual agreement. It is essentially first-party data that one entity collects and then shares directly with another entity, typically in a partnership arrangement. This type of data is beneficial because it is generally more reliable and relevant than third-party data while allowing both parties to benefit from the enhanced insights without broader public distribution. Example use case: Credit Card Company A can buy Retailer data about Credit Card Company B to prospect new customers.

3rd Party Data

Data that is collected by an entity that does not have a direct relationship with the user the data is collected about. This data is often purchased from external sources that aggregate data from various other platforms and providers, and is used for broad targeting purposes in marketing. Example use case: Credit Card Company A buys data from a 3rd party broker like Oracle about Credit Card Company B's consumers to prospect new customers.

1st Price Auction

A real-time auction in which the highest bidder pays their winning bid as the final price.

2nd Price Auction

A real-time auction in which the winning bidder pays just a penny more than the next highest bid.

Ad Exchange

A digital marketplace that enables advertisers and publishers to buy and sell advertising space, often through real-time auctions. This is where DSPs and SSPs interact.


In marketing, attribution is the process of identifying and assigning credit to the marketing touchpoints that a customer encounters on their path to making a purchase or taking a desired action. The goal of attribution is to determine which channels and messages have the most impact on decision-making and allocate marketing resources accordingly. Attribution models can be simple, like single-touch models, or complex, like multi-touch models, which distribute credit among several touchpoints based on their perceived influence on the customer’s decision.

Attribution Window

The timeframe following a click or impression during which a conversion is attributed to the initial click or impression.

Application Programming Interface (API)

A software intermediary (or “computing interface”) that allows two applications to talk to each other. An API specification defines the kinds of calls or requests that can be made, how to make them, the data formats that should be used, the conventions to follow, etc. An API integration connects two or more systems, and allows them to exchange data in a seamless way.


In marketing and business contexts, "contribution" refers to the impact or role a specific element or factor plays towards achieving a goal, such as revenue, profits, or growth. Contribution can be measured in different ways depending on the context, such as contribution margin in finance, which is the selling price per unit minus the variable cost per unit. In marketing, it might refer to how much a particular campaign or initiative contributes to overall sales or brand awareness.

Cross-device attribution

The process of attributing conversions across multiple devices, regardless of which device the user viewed the ad or converted.

Customer Data Platform (CDP):

A Customer Data Platform is a system that collects and organizes customer data from multiple sources into a single, comprehensive database. This unified data is then made accessible to various business systems for enhancing marketing efforts, improving customer service, and optimizing the overall customer experience.

Data Management Platform (DMP)

A Data Management Platform is a technology used to collect and manage large sets of data, including cookies, and first-party and third-party data. It's primarily used in digital advertising to organize this data into audience segments, which helps advertisers target their ads more effectively across different websites.

Demand-Side Platform (DSP)

A Demand-Side Platform is a software platform used by advertisers to purchase advertising in an automated fashion. DSPs are connected to multiple ad exchanges through which they can buy ads on a real-time bidding basis, optimizing the ad buying process to reach the intended audience at the right moment and price.

Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH)

Digital Out-of-Home refers to digital media used for marketing outside of the home. This includes digital billboards and electronic display boards located in public places like airports, malls, and bus stations. DOOH offers dynamic content and interactive capabilities unlike traditional outdoor media.

Frequency Cap

A frequency cap is a limitation set on the number of times a specific advertisement is shown to a single user over a specific period. This is used to prevent ad fatigue, enhance user experience, and optimize the effectiveness of an advertising campaign.

Header Bidding

An advanced programmatic technique wherein publishers offer inventory to multiple ad exchanges simultaneously before making calls to their ad servers.


An impression in digital advertising refers to each occurrence of a display ad being shown on a website or other digital medium. It measures how often an ad is seen, which is crucial for understanding the reach of an advertising campaign.


In marketing, identity refers to the methods used to recognize and track customers across different platforms and touchpoints in order to deliver a consistent, personalized customer experience.

Last-Touch Attribution

Last-touch attribution is a model in marketing analytics that credits the final touchpoint or interaction a customer had before making a purchase or converting. This model is often used to determine the effectiveness of the final ad or interaction in driving the conversion.

Log Files

Log-file data or Log-level data is data from server logs where each row of data is tied to a specific event, such as an ad impression, ad request, bid request, and so on. Log files will contain data that couldn’t be shared through a front-end user interface, and can provide buyers with new insights into auction mechanics, allow them to validate impression counts, and help them improve bidding strategies and prune their supply path.

Marketing Mix Modeling (MMM)

Marketing Mix Modeling is an analytical approach used to quantify the impact of various marketing tactics on sales and then forecast the impact of future sets of tactics. It uses statistical analysis on historical data to estimate the effectiveness of each marketing channel overall.

Multi-Touch Attribution (MTA)

Multi-Touch Attribution is a method in marketing analytics that assigns a value to each touchpoint or interaction in the customer journey. It helps marketers understand the contribution of each channel or interaction towards the final conversion, providing a more comprehensive view than single-touch models.


Omnichannel refers to a cross-channel content strategy that organizations use to improve their user experience and drive better relationships across all possible channels and touchpoints. The approach ensures customers can engage seamlessly with a company in a continuous fashion across traditional and digital channels alike.

Open Exchange

An open exchange in digital advertising is a public marketplace where advertisers can buy ad space from publishers. Unlike private marketplaces, open exchanges allow any advertiser to purchase impressions on any participating publisher site, often through real-time bidding.

Pre-Bid Targeting

Any targeting applied to a programmatic buy that selects or eliminates inventory prior to the auction taking place. Pre-bid targeting segments may be for viewability, suspicious activity, brand safety, anti-fraud and content categories. Brand Safety Example: Prebid segments based on quality scores are provided by a media quality vendor (such as IAS) to a DSP via API, and the DSP can use these media quality scores to filter out ad requests for specific URLs based on those ratings.

Private Marketplace

Exchange environment created exclusively for the inventory of one publisher / seller.

Programmatic Direct

A method of buying guaranteed ad impressions in advance from specific publisher sites. Unlike RTB, the buyer negotiates directly with the publisher, and the terms are fixed.

Programmatic Guaranteed

Automated direct ad buying/selling. A seller and a buyer negotiate a price and terms for inventory that is guaranteed for that buyer. The buyer has a commitment to fulfill impressions for that inventory. This is different from a private marketplace, in which an auction occurs between multiple buyers. It is also distinct from enabling buyers to take a ‘first look’ at unreserved inventory.

QPS (Queries-per-second)

The number of times a DSP is called to bid on ad impressions.

Real-Time Bidding (RTB)

The digital ad buying process that allows advertisers to compete for display ad impressions in real-time auctions. These auctions occur in the time it takes a webpage to load.

Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

Return on Ad Spend is a marketing metric that measures the amount of revenue earned for every dollar spent on advertising. It is a specific form of ROI used to evaluate the effectiveness of advertising campaigns.

Return on Investment (ROI):

Return on Investment is a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency or profitability of an investment or compare the efficiency of a number of different investments. ROI tries to directly measure the amount of return on a particular investment, relative to the investment’s cost.

Single-Touch Attribution

Single-Touch Attribution is a method of assigning credit for a conversion to one specific touchpoint or interaction in a customer's journey. This approach simplifies the attribution process but often overlooks the complexity of multiple interactions leading up to a conversion. Common models include 'first-touch', where the first interaction gets all the credit, and 'last-touch', where the final interaction before conversion is deemed wholly responsible.

SPO (Supply Path Optimization)

The buy-side practice of optimizing towards efficient paths of inventory access. Most publishers sell via many exchanges, meaning DSP buyers encounter the same inventory in multiple ways, and could end up bidding against themselves! DSPs address this problem on behalf of their buyers by streamlining their supply-side partnerships.

SSP (Supply Side Platform)

A tool that enables publishers to access demand from a variety of networks, exchanges, and partners via one interface. Analogous to a demand side platform (DSP), supporting the ‘supply-side’ of the media ecosystem.

Walled Garden

A walled garden in digital marketing refers to a closed ecosystem in which the platform operator controls all operations within the ecosystem, including access to content, user data, and advertising. Examples include major platforms like Google, Facebook, and Amazon, where the platform itself dictates how data and content can be shared within and outside their networks.


A metric used in digital advertising to track the impressions seen by users, not just the number of ads that are delivered. It ensures that ads were actually visible to the user.