"*" indicates required fields




American Association of Advertising Agencies, often abbreviated as 4A’s, seeks to promote and advance the advertising and marketing industry. 4A’s provides community, advocacy and training to its 700-plus member agencies.
5G is the fifth generation of wireless technology. It will be designed to bring increased speed, decreased delays and greater ability to connect multiple devices at once. Early 5G launches (2019 and 2020) are likely to rely on “milimeter wave” technology, clusters of networks with short reaches that deliver extremely high speeds.


An activation is a marketing event or campaign that is designed to get consumers to interact with a brand and thus build loyalty.
Ad Blocker
An ad blocker is software designed to filter or remove ads—pop-ups, for example—from online content. Users add such programs to their web browsers. Ad blockers work by recognizing ad server tags.
Ad Exchange
An ad exchange is a marketplace for automated buying and selling of ad inventory. Advertisers can connect to ad exchanges via demand-side platforms, target audiences and bid on space. Publishers tend to utilize supply-side platforms.
Ad Fraud
Ad fraud is deceptive representation of traffic, impressions and other aspects of advertising to generate revenue. It is often carried out by bots and costs brands and publishers billions of dollars each year.
Ad Impression
An ad impression, also called an ad view, is the point at which an ad on a website appears on a user’s display. Counting impressions is critical in online advertising, so the point at which an ad becomes countable is essential. A website may have spaces for multiple ad impressions, and an impression is counted each time an ad is shown to a user, whether or not the ad is clicked.
Ad Inventory
Ad inventory is the amount of space or the number of advertisements a publisher has availble to sell to advertisers.
Ad Serving
Ad serving is technology that automates the requests and serving of ads to a website; many programs also track the ads’ performance. When a user arrives at a website, an ad server concludes what ads are suitable for the request (criteria might include time of day, size of ad slot, etc.), and the ad is placed on the website for the user to see.
Ad Targeting
Ad targeting is designing ads and their delivery to reach specific audiences through behaviors and locations, among other qualifiers. Advertisers often make use of data management platforms, or DMPs, for this purpose.
Ad Tech
Ad tech, short for advertising technology, encompasses all technologies and services employed for targeting and delivering online advertisements.
Addressable TV
Addressable TV is technology that allows advertisers to show different ads to different audiences within the same TV program. Audiences can be segmented by geography, demographics or other qualifiers.
Agency Network
An agency network is a group of independently owned advertising agencies, which do not compete with each other but serve as allies to help in unfamiliar markets.
Application Programming Interface (API)
An application programming interface, or API, is a set of commands that allows multiple applications to communicate with each other. For example, scheduling posts for a brand via social media management platforms utilizes APIs.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence, or AI, is performed by machines programmed to learn from experience and adjust to inputs, by recognizing patterns.
Association of National Advertisers (ANA)
Association of National Advertisers, or ANA, is a trade association offering marketing and brand-building, and seeks to enhance career development and provide networking for its members.
Augmented Reality (AR)
Augmented reality, or AR, combines computer-generated images with a user’s current environment. Whereas virtual reality (VR) provides a simulated environment for a user to interact with, AR provides additional elements to the user’s real world.
Automation is using technology to program and monitor advertising decisions via data and patterns.


Blockchain is technology that allows for a distributed and continually updated record of transactions. Blockchain has no single point of failure and cannot be controlled by any one entity. Bitcoin, for example, relies on blockchain.
A bot, short for web robot, is commanded by code and performs automated tasks on the internet. Frequently, bots are used to carry out ad fraud by simulating human traffic to websites.
Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is potential customers’ recognition of a brand and its products or services.
Brand Crisis
A brand crisis occurs when a negative event is highly publicized and centers on one company. Brand crises affect reputation and revenue.
Brand Identity
Brand identity encompasses all aspects of a product, service or company, from its name, logo and tagline to its core values, among many other factors. It is the sum of a brand’s efforts to be portray itself the way it wants to be perceived.
Brand Purpose
Brand purpose is why a brand exists, other than to make a profit. Brand purpose is not a product or the technology needed to create it, but it is the deeper reason for a brand or company’s existence, often a cause or belief.
Brand Safety
Brand safety encompasses the strategies and technologies used to make sure ads are placed only in contexts that would not harm the brand. Tools for this are often added to ad exchanges.
Branded Content
Branded content can be articles, videos, podcasts or other media produced or funded by brands and often presented alongside or integrated into editorial content. Branded content is distinct from editorial content and from traditional advertising, but it does blur the lines between the two. It does not necessarily include an overt sales pitch but nonetheless serves to promote the brand through awareness and engagement.
Business to business, commonly abbreviated B2B, is marketing or sales, or the exchange of information or services between businesses rather than between a business and a consumer, or B2C.


C3/C7 are Neilsen’s commercial ratings for the first three and seven days after a TV program initially airs, accounting for video on demand.
CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, is held yearly by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) to showcase consumer technology and hold conferences for attendees.
A CMO is an organization’s chief marketing officer. The CMO is responsible for maintaining a company’s vision and developing brand strategy around it.
CPM is literally “cost per mille” with mille meaning thousand. In web advertising, this abbreviation is often used to mean cost per 1,000 impressions, refering to ads on web pages.
Cannes Lions
The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is held yearly in Cannes, France, to discuss industry issues and network. Its awards, which are called Lions, honor the best in advertising and creative communications.
Cause Marketing
Cause marketing may produce mutual benefit for a for-profit brand and a nonprofit organization as they partner. In this form of cause marketing, brands are seen as having higher ethical standards and taking a stand on issues important to their target audience. Cause marketing can also simply mean social-cause-based marketing with the goal of making the world a better or more charitable place.
Challenger Brand
Though they may also be considered underdogs, challenger brands tend to be category disruptors that force more established legacy brands in many industries to change the way they do business.
A chatbot is a program that uses artificial intelligence to simulate human conversation, typically via instant messaging systems on the internet.
Client Services
Client services roles include project management, account management and client strategy. These roles ensure that projects stay within budget, are profitable to the advertising agency, meet clients’ needs and are appropriate for clients’ businesses.
Clio Awards
Clio Awards are held yearly to honor innovation and achievement in advertising. Awards are given in fashion and beauty, sports, music, entertainment and health.
Contrasted with an agency, a consultancy is typically used for its expertise for a specific advertising aspect or problem. In recent years, the agency-consultancy lines have begun to blur as professional services and IT consulting firms like Accenture, Deloitte, IBM, KPMG, McKinsey and PricewaterhouseCoopers acquire traditional shops to build out their own marketing operations.
Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG)
Consumer packaged goods (CPG) are items used quickly and frequently, such as food and cleaning products. Contrast CPG with durable goods (DG), which are items used for long periods of time and typically not replaced until they fail, such as appliances and furniture.
Content Studio
Content studios produce promotional and informational material tied to a brand’s vision and story. Content might include videos, short films and virtual reality, among other media.
A cord-cutter is a person who shifts from consuming traditional cable television to internet-based viewing, or streaming. Cord-cutting is this process.
Creative Agency
A creative agency focuses on design, rather than marketing strategy, within the advertising and marketing world. A creative agency is likely to be tasked with creating or updating logos and responsible for a brand’s visual cohesiveness.
Cryptocurrency is virtual cash that relies on blockchain technology and is exchanged within peer-to-peer networks instead of through central banks.
Customer Experience
Customer experience encompasses all of a customer’s perceptions of and interactions with a brand over the duration of the relationship the customer has with the brand.


D&AD Awards
D&AD (British), Design & Art Direction, is a nonprofit advertising and design association. Its yearly awards recognize creativity and raise standards in the advertising, creative and design industries.
Data Visualization
Data visualization is graphical presentation of data and information, often intended to share concepts and patterns with stakeholders or other decision-makers.
To daypart is to separate a day into segments for the purposes of scheduling commercials and programming appropriate for the various time periods in a day. Often used with broadcasting schedules, a daypart might be morning drive, daytime, prime time or late night, for example.
Demand-Side Platform (DSP)
A demand-side platform, or DSP, is software often used by advertisers to automate purchasing advertising by scanning ad exchanges for their targeted audiences.
Digital Agency
A digital agency focuses more on strategy and technical development than the creative aspects of marketing. A full-service digital agency will also likely provide web design, ecommerce, etc.
Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is the application of digital technology into all areas of a business, increasing efficiency and value to customers. Processes become automated, goals are data based and customers are directly involved via social media.
Direct Marketing
Direct marketing is advertising from businesses straight to customers, e.g., text messages and physical mailings.
Direct-to-consumer outreach and sales are done from company to consumer without distributor or retailer involvement.
Display Advertising
Display advertising is advertising online via images often coupled by text in obvious spaces reserved for ads, such as banner ads.
Held yearly in Cologne, Germany, Dmexco is a conference and expo for those in digital business and marketing. Attendees can network, receive training and test products and services.
A drone, an unmanned aerial vehicle, can be used to record visual information that previously required a plane or crane, transmit the information quickly or even display ads via a trailing banner or emitted images.
A duopoly is when two sellers dominate a market. Facebook-Google is often cited as the digital advertising duopoly.


Ecommerce is buying and selling products and services on the internet, with exchange of payment and data to complete the transactions.
Email Marketing
Email marketing uses email to promote products and services and to build relationships with customers and potential customers.
Emerging Tech
Emerging tech is technology that is currently in development, viewed as capable of changing business and cultural environments.
Esports, short for electronic sports, is competitive video-gaming at a professional level.
Experiential Marketing
Experiential marketing is a strategy that relies on hands-on customer involvement with a brand and potentially engages all five senses and sparks emotions that form lasting memories. The goal is to build customer loyalty and create direct connections with consumers. In an ideal experiential marketing effort, consumers would encounter a brand experience, post about it on their social channels, give the brand their contact information and and become more likely to purchase something from said brand as a result of the entire experience.


The FCC, short for Federal Communications Commission, is the U.S.’s main authority for communications law and regulation. The FCC regulates communications via cable, radio, satellite, TV and wire throughout the country and its territories.
Facial Recognition
Facial recognition is software that measures and maps individuals’ faces to create templates for comparison. For example, Facebook uses facial recognition in suggesting whom to tag in photos.


GDPR, short for General Data Protection Regulation, is a European Union law governing digital data collection, use and storage. It took effect in May 2018. GDPR is intended to protect individuals’ data privacy and requires that companies within the EU clearly explain how personal data is collected and used. EU citizens can object to their data being used for direct marketing, for example.
Gamification is including gaming elements in marketing strategies to include improving skills via playing and potentially winning a prize. Gamification is meant to increase audience engagement with a brand.
Gen Z
Gen Z is the demographic cohort that follows millennials. Born starting in 1995, this generation is marked by drive to succeed, pursuit of social equality and belief that brands should stand up for causes, among other traits.
Geotargeting is showing content based on users’ locations.
Graphic Design
Also called communication design, graphic design combines text and visuals to share ideas intended to promote, educate or call to action.


Denoted by the number or pound sign (#), hashtags are keywords users add to their social posts, for categorization and visibility.
Holding Company
A holding company is a firm that doesn’t actively engage in its own business but instead owns other companies’ assets, such as controlling amounts of stock. In the agency world, the term refers to a large international or multinational company that owns many advertising, public relations, media and other types of networks. The so-called “Big Six” holding companies in the brand marketing ecosystem are WPP, Omnicom, Publicis, Havas, IPG and Dentsu.


Independent Agency
Independent agencies are advertising agencies that are not owned by holding companies or beholden to controlling ownership.
An influencer has the ability to affect purchasing decisions by their audience because on knowledge, relationships and visibility. Influencers can have any role and be in any industry. Social media platforms are often home to influencers and their large followings.
Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing relies on brands partnering with credible or popular individuals with large social followings to promote a brand’s authenticity and authority.
Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories is a feature of mobile social-networking app Instagram that allows users to post photos and videos that vanish after 24 hours. Stories can be adorned with hashtags, stickers and polls.
Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB‎)
The Interactive Advertising Bureau, or IAB, is an advertising business organization that conducts research, publishes best practices and offers education for its member companies. IAB focuses on digital advertising and marketing.
Interstitial Ad
Interstitial ads appear during navigation from one webpage to another, after leaving Page 1 but before Page 2 loads, during transitions or between activities in an app or other digital content. Interstitial ads can appear in the same browsing window or in its own.


Linear Television
Linear television is programming that is watched live, as it is scheduled, rather than on demand.
Location-Based Marketing
Location-based marketing, also called geomarketing, uses a device’s location to serve relevant ads. Users often need to opt in: For example, users enable location identification in a business’s app.
Long-Form Video
Long-form video is video content that runs more than 10 minutes. Long-form video allows creators to put more emphasis on storytelling than short-form video.


Machine Learning
Machine learning is a branch of artificial intelligence, providing systems to computers to interpret data and improve performance on tasks without specifically being programmed to do so.
Makegood is rerunning an ad or providing additional ad inventory when the original slot underperformed versus provided ratings. A related term is audience deficiency unit: ad inventory provided to the advertiser to fulfill the original rate guarantee.
Mar Tech
Mar tech, short for marketing technology, examines and utilizes digital tools meant to automate tasks and provide data for marketing decisions, such as finding and interacting with customers and measuring campaign effectiveness.
Media Agency
A media agency provides strategy for campaigns, planning when and where they should appear, to include consumer insight and buying ad space specific to a client’s needs.
Media Buying and Selling
Media buying is purchasing ad inventory for optimal placement, timing and price. Media selling is the sale of ad inventory in print, on the web, on air and on physical signage.
Media Rating Council (MRC)
The Media Rating Council, or MRC, is an organization focused on audience measurement that establishes standards for rating operations, accredits ratings services and audits rating services. Members have expanded from broadcast to also include print, internet and advertising.
Media Strategy
A media strategy is an action plan designed to help businesses reach target audiences and increase the business’s conversion rate. The media strategy is informed by marketing budget and measurable goals.
Messaging Platform
A messaging platform is a system on the internet that is used to exchange human communications. A messaging platform can be a website or an app used socially or for business (e.g., Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, etc.).
Millennials are a generational cohort born between 1981-1996. This cohort is believed to remember and have an understanding of the historical significance of 9/11 in its youth, came of age and entered the workforce during economic recession and is the most racially and ethnically diverse adult generation in U.S. history.
Mobile Advertising
Mobile advertising refers to ads served on mobile devices, such as smartphones. Mobile advertising makes use of traditional online advertising, via banners and videos, but can also utilize location in apps and social media.
Mobile Apps
Mobile apps are software programs that are downloaded and run on mobile devices. Apps can serve myriad purposes: social media, maps, games, purchasing and many others.
Mobile Gaming
Mobile gaming is playing video games on mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets or smartwatches. They can be done solo or with multiple players. Some mobile gaming involves augmented reality, like Pokemon Go.
Mobile World Congress
Mobile World Congress, abbreviated MWC, hosts large exhibitions across the world focusing on mobile technology: operators, manufacturers, technology providers and vendors.
Monetization is utilizing existing website traffic or app users to produce revenue, often via ads or affiliate links. Influencers monetize their social media profiles and followings, for example.
Multichannel Network (MCN)
Multichannel networks, or MCNs, are third-party service providers that connect with many YouTube channels to aid their audience metrics, programming, monetization and other services for fees.
Multicultural Marketing
Multicultural marketing uses languages and traditions of various cultures within a region to communicate and advertise.
Multiplatform Campaign
A multiplatform campaign seeks to reach its goals and share its messages by using many digital and social platforms.


Native Advertising
Native advertising is paid media that mimics the user experience of the website or app on which it is used, blending into surroundings to look like the publisher’s content.
Net Neutrality
Net neutrality is the idea that internet service providers are required to provide equal access to all online content, without blocking some data or giving priority to others.
Network Affiliate
A network affiliate is a local TV or radio station that is not owned by a network but broadcasts much of a network’s same programming, via an agreement.
Run by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the Digital Content NewFronts are events for companies to reveal upcoming programming and partner with media buyers to commit to ad deals months in advance. NewFronts target digital video rather than traditional TV. (See “upfronts.”)


OTT, over-the-top, is media streamed via the Internet without needing a cable TV subscription, for example. OTT services take three forms: free and ad-supported, subscription-based and transactional.
Omnichannel Marketing
Omnichannel marketing seeks to provide a consistent experience for customers across all channels, to include physical stores, phone calls and internet interactions.
Online Advertising
Online advertising utilizes websites, mobile apps and smart TVs, for example, as platforms for ads. Ads can take the form of banners, sponsored content, paid search results, social media and email, among others.
Original Programming
Original programming is content that is created for the network or streaming service that is airing it, rather than content produced for one network or studio and then licensed to be shown again on another.
Out-of-home advertising, also called outdoor advertising, is designed to reach consumers when they are not in their homes. Examples include billboards, bus shelters and traditional store signage.
Outdoor advertising, also called out-of-home advertising, is designed to reach consumers when they are not in their homes. Examples include billboards, bus shelters and traditional store signage.


A PSA, short for public service announcement or public service ad, is content shared to inform the public of an issue rather than to advertise products or services.
Packaging Design
Packaging design is the creation of a product’s container, including the shape of the package and the text and graphics on it, to appeal to current and prospective purchasers.
Paid Search
Also called search-engine marketing or pay-per-click advertising, paid search results appear at the top of search-engine results pages, appearing similar to organic results.
Personalization, also called retargeting, tracks a user’s internet-browsing behavior to deliver customized advertising. Cookies, for example, collect user information on websites. This information can be used to reach out to potential customers and to deliver ads to users after they leave a company’s website, to direct them back.
Podcasting is broadcasting audio shows via the internet and played back on mobile devices or computers, either downloaded or streamed. The word “podcast” is often cited as a portmanteau of “iPod” and “broadcast.”
Postproduction describes the steps taken after filming or recording has finished: editing film and sound, adding effects and other processes.
Preroll Ad
A preroll ad is a promotional message that plays before selected video content. Some can be skipped after a certain amount of time.
Privacy is freedom from being observed by others. Often paired with “data” in digital use, privacy is protecting user data from being sold or used by other entities to customize ads or access to services.
Production Company
A production company handles all elements of preparing and creating a film or radio program, including shooting, recording and editing.
Programmatic Advertising
Programmatic advertising is automated buying and selling ad inventory, utilizing software to make data-driven decisions. It is touted as efficient and affordable.
Programming is content that is broadcast to audiences, either solely audio (e.g., radio and podcasts) or both audio and visual (in the case of television). Programming can also refer to deciding what content is broadcast when.
Public Relations
Public relations is tasked with using media to maintain favorable perceptions of individuals or organizations and to build trust between those entities and the public.


Ratings measure a program’s audience. They indicate households or other specified groups, out of the whole audience, that watch or listen to a show. Advertisers use ratings to inform media buying.
Real-Time Response
Real-time response is the actual time during which a relevant answer is generated, generally the quicker the better.
Rebranding is changing one or many aspects of an existing corporate image. This can include a name change, new logo, updated slogan, etc. Rebranding is often done in response to a change in company practices, customer needs or even mistakes in the original branding.
Regional Agency
Regional agencies tend to serve nearby clients, offering local knowledge and understanding of life and culture. Nearby clients are not necessarily small businesses; some regional agencies represent nationwide companies that are headquartered in their areas.
Retargeting, also called personalization, is aimed at directing an internet user back to a website they left, via tracking browsing behavior to deliver customized advertising. Cookies, for example, collect user information on websites. This information can be used to reach out to potential customers and to deliver ads to users after they leave a company’s website.
A company launches a review when it is evaluating its agency-of-record relationships. A consultancy typically searches for agencies that best suit the company’s needs, and then the company narrows it down to a few agencies that are then asked to participate in a competitive pitch for the given account. Incumbent agencies are sometimes invited to defend and sometimes not.


Scatter is buying and selling ad inventory on a short-term basis, closer to the programming airing, rather than all at once for a publisher’s or broadcaster’s year. (See “upfront.”)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is using keywords and links to increase a website’s visibility in organic search results and thus bring in more and better web traffic.
Second Screen
Second screen is the idea that those using one screen (for example, watching a television show) often also utilize another at the same time (e.g., posting on Facebook via smartphone). The goal is to make the TV experience interactive for the viewer, raising more awareness of the brand, product or service and ultimately exposing the viewer to more advertising.
Set-Top Box
A set-top box, abbreviated STB and often called a cable box, is hardware that enables digital signals to be displayed as programming on a TV. STBs can be used for various signal sources, including cable, satellite and internet.
Shopper Marketing
Shopper marketing is a strategy aimed at understanding purchasers’ experiences, habits and perceptions as they make their purchases.
Small and Midsize Business (SMB)
Small and midsize businesses (SMBs), also called small and midsize enterprises (SME), vary in size, revenue, IT and marketing needs, among other factors, but generally have fewer than 1,000 employees, take in less than $1 billion in revenue and make IT and marketing decisions based on price and ease of use.
Social Engagement
Social engagement is a brand’s way of communicating and building a bond with its consumers or online audience, often via social media, through availability and interaction. The term “engagement” may also refer to the number of interactions—likes, comments, shares, retweets—people have with a brand’s content.
Social Media
Social media is a broad term for communication and communities on websites and apps used for social networking and microblogging. Users create profiles, join groups and share messages and visuals. Both individuals and businesses have presences on these social networks.
Social Network
A social network is a website or mobile app that lets users connect with other users and share personal or professional messages. Examples include Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
South by Southwest
South by Southwest, often abbreviated SXSW, is a multi-day conference and festival in Austin, Texas, focusing on film, interactive media and music industries.
Specialized Agency
A specialized agency, as opposed to a full-service agency, provides limited but specific advertising services.
Streaming Audio
Streaming audio is delivered via a constant flow over a network, providing only the segment heard immediately, rather than a downloaded file.
Streaming Video
Streaming video is delivered via a constant flow over a network, providing only the segment seen immediately, rather than a downloaded file.
Subscription Model
In a subscription model, customers pay recurring fees in exchange for ongoing access to products or services, including streaming content and publications.
Supply-Side Platform (SSP)
A supply-side platform is software often used by online publishers to automate selling advertising by connecting to multiple ad exchanges.


A tagline is a brief, memorable catchphrase or slogan used in advertising that reinforces a brand’s message.
The Effies
The Effies, short for The Effie Awards, honor effective marketing communications. The awards are given yearly by Effie Worldwide to promote effectiveness in the advertising industry.
The One Show
The One Show is an award competition in advertising, branding, design and interactive entertainment. These awards are given yearly by The One Club to promote creativity within art and commerce.
The Shortys
The Shortys, short for The Shorty Awards, honor the best of social media—brands, influencers and organizations—for global impact. Judges come from advertising, entertainment, internet and media.
Third-Party Data
Third-party data is information about users gathered by an entity that does not have a direct relationship with those users. The data often comes from internet interactions but also includes purchases and locations. This information is used for targeting ads.


An upfront is an event for networks to reveal their upcoming programming and for media buyers to commit to ad deals several months in advance.
User Experience (UX)
User experience, or UX, involves the entirety of an end-user’s interaction with a company and its products and services, especially via a website or computer program. UX includes all of interface, design, usability and other human-computer interaction and is not limited to one of these.
User-Generated Content
User-generated content is media created by an online system’s users, often shared on social networks.


Vertical Video
Vertical video indicates the portrait orientation (versus landscape orientation) of videos and ads, specifically on mobile devices.
Video on Demand
Video on demand, or VOD, is programming that a user can view at any time (i.e., “on demand”) after its initial air time.
Viewability is a metric focused on ad impressions actually seen by users. For example, an impression would not be deemed “viewable” if a user does not scroll down far enough on a page to see the ad. The MRC’s standards established in 2014 require 50 percent of a display ad to be in view on a screen for one second (two seconds for video ads) before an advertiser is charged.
Virtual Influencer
Virtual influencers are computer-generated lifelike online personas that rely on artificial intelligence to create buzz for a brand, mostly via social media. They operate in much the same way real-life influencers do. Some are created by brands themselves.
Virtual Reality (VR)
Virtual reality (often abbreviated as VR) is a computer-simulated 3-D environment in which users wearing headsets can interact with a simulated program.
Voice AI
Voice AI is voice-activated artificial intelligence in machines programmed to interpret users’ questions or commands and reply in kind. It relies on voice to direct queries and report outcomes to the asker in a humanlike way.


Wearables, short for wearable technology, are gadgets, such as fitness trackers and smartwatches, that people wear and that measure and report data like heart rate, calories burned and number of steps taken.