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Mobile Advertising Dictionary

A glossary of mobile advertising terms and concepts

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

 

#

 
Mobile Broadband Data Protocols Theoretical peak
download rates
Actual
download rates
Theoretical peak
uplink rate
2.5G (GPRS) 0.02 Mb/s 0.01 Mb/s 0.01 Mb/s
2.75G ("Edge") 0.15 Mb/s 0.1 Mb/s 0.15 Mb/s
3G 56 Mb/s 2 Mb/s 22 Mb/s
4G (LTE, WiMAX) 300 Mb/s 20-40 Mb/s 75 Mb/s

For comparison, a cable Internet connection ranges from 20-105 Mb/s.

NOTE: "Mb" stands for "megabit;" one megabit = 0.125 megabyte. Megabytes are more commonly used by as a unit of measure computer users (e.g., "megs" = megabytes).

 

A  

accelerometer
[ak•sell•uhr•rah•meht•ur]
(n.) hardware used in most personal electronic devices that detects the G-force acceleration of the device which can be used to determine the physical orientation, directon of motion, etc.

ad impressions
[ad im•presh•uhn]

(n.) each instance that a consumer is exposed to an ad.

ad unit
[ad you•nit]

(n.) an advertising vehicle (e.g., a mobile banner) that includes creative assets inside a mobile ad space.

ad network
[ad net•wurk]

(n.) a system that aggregates ad inventory from publishers and operators to efficiently match the inventory with advertiser demand.

ad space
[ad spayse]
(n.) the area within a mobile app or mobile website dedicated to displaying ads.

advertiser
[ad•ver•tahyz•er]
(n.) an organization that wants to get its message to the right audience, efficiently and effectively.
View [a•mo•bee] solutions for advertisers

analytics
[an•l•it•iks]
(n.) technology used to understand what is working within a mobile marketing campaign and what’s not, based on data collected during the campaign.

API
[ay•pee•eye]
(n.)
acronym for "Application Programming Interface"; specifies how software components should interact with each other. API's are commonly included in SDKs.

app
[app]

(n.) an application. Widely used to differentiate amobile application from a desktop or cloud-based application.

app monetization
[app mahn•it•iz•a•shun]
(n.) making money from a mobile app through advertising, app downoad promotion, or other methods.

ARPU
[ar•pooh]
(n.) stands for "Average Revenue Per User." Calculated by dividing total revenue by total active users. This is a common measurement used by telecommunication operators.

augmented reality
[awg•ment•ed ree-al-i-tee]

(n.) a virtual experience created through the combination of computer-generated images, video, sound, or other information and the physical world. For example, a user might point their smartphone's camera at a logo on a poster, and then see the entire poster image animate. A common use is during televised sporting events where the playing field can be enhanced with highlighted lines, markers, or even advertising, none of which are visible to people in the stadium. Learn more

AWS
[ay dub•ul•you es]
(n.) Advanced Wireless Services. US radio frequencies used for next-generation wireless broadband services. AWS uses one band to transmit to mobile phones and another for to transmit to cellular towers. The two AWS bands are 1710-1755 MHz and 2110-2155 MHz. These were auctioned off by the FCC in 2006, and are limited to a geographic area.


B  

banner ad
[bah•ner ad]
(n.) a mobile ad unit that employs simple creative assets and hyperlinks. The two widely supported banner ad standards are from the iAB and the Mobile Marketing Assocation (MMA).

"Big Data"
[big day•tah]
(n.) an analytics process that aggregates and analyzes large amounts of information about specific mobile users. Learn more about the [a•mo•bee] platform.


C  

campaign
[kam•peyn]

(n.) a series of advertising messages that promote a single theme or message. Campaigns can be composed of multiple flights.

click to call
[klick too kahl]
(n.) a service within an ad that enables a mobile user to initiate a mobile phone call by clicking within a mobile ad.

commerce advertising
[kom•ers ad•ver•tahy•zing]

(n.) advertisement displayed on mobile devices are acting catalysts in the evolution of consumer buying behavior.

conversion rate
[kom•ers ad•ver•tahy•zing]
(n.) the number of impressions or clicks divided by the percentage of those that completed the desired action (e.g., installed a mobile app). Because this term is used in multiple disciplines (traditional retail, mobile marketing, mobile games, etc.), you should always ask the person presenting conversion rate metrics for the formula they are using to determine it.

conversion tracking
[kom•ers ad•ver•tahy•zing]
(n.) conversion tracking gives advertisers visibility into how consumers are interacting with their brand throughout the marketing funnel. Advertisers can define traceable events on mobile websites or within apps to assess consumer engagement or the impact of direct response campaigns.

CPA mobile campaign
[see•pee•ay kam•peyn]

(n.) "cost per acquisition" campaign; an advertising model where the advertiser pays for each specified action linked to the advertisement, typically registration for an online application.

CPC mobile campaign
[see•pee•see kam•peyn]

(n.) "cost per click" campaign, which is an advertising model that charges advertisers every time their ad is clicked.

CPCV
(n.) short for "Cost Per Completed View"; a pricing model based on user completing a particular action, e.g., watching an entire video clip.

CPD mobile campaign
[see•pee•dee kam•peyn]

(n.) "cost per download" campaign; an advertising model where the advertiser pays for each specified action linked to the advertisement, typically the downloading of an application or other file.

CPI mobile campaign
[see•pee•i kam•peyn]
(n.) "cost per install" campaign; an advertising model where the advertiser pays for each installation linked to the advertisement, typically of a mobile app.

CPM campaign
[see•pee•em kam•peyn]
(n.) "cost per thousand impressions" campaign, which is an advertising model based on the number of appearances the advertisement is rendered on mobile inventory (see also, impression).

CTR
[see•tee•ar]
(n.) short for "Click-Through Rate"; a measurement of how many users clicked on an ad. Used to determine the success of a digital advertising campaign.

CR
[see•vee•ar]
(n.) acronym for "Conversion Rate"; a measurement of how many users take action beyond viewing or interacting with an ad, e.g., signing up to receive more information.


D  

demand side platform (DSP)
[dih•mand sahyd plat•fawrm]

(n.) a platform that enables mobile advertisers to manage all ad exchange and data exchange through a single interface.

Designated Market Area (DMA)
[dee•em•ay]

(n.) a term used to describe a unique geographic region in the United States. DMA regions do not overlap, so every US county belongs to only one DMA. There are 210 DMAs in the US.

dynamic optimization
[dai•nam•ik ahp•teh•meh•zay•shun]

(n.) algorithms that allow software to automatically modify buying behavior based on empirical data.


E  

eCPM
[ee•see•pee•em]
(n.) effective cost per mille ("mille" = thousand). "RPM" (revenue per mille) refers to the same formula. This is a revenue model to determine the effective cost per thousand impressions, and is often used to determine publisher revenue opportunities.

The eCPM formula is (monthly revenue / monthly impressions) * 1000 = eCPM
Example: ($35,000 in revenue / 10,000,000 impressions ) * 1000 = $3.50 eCPM

exchange (also, "ad exchange")
[eks•chaynj]
(n.) an ad exchange is a software application that allows the buying and selling of ad inventory from multiple ad networks. It's analogous to a stock exchange, except that ad inventory is traded in place of shares in a company.

expandable ad formats
(n.) rich media ads that expands in size when a user interacts with it; for example, when a small banner ad expands to full-screen. The most common implementations include interstitials and in-banner video.


F  

femtocell
[fem•to•sell]
(n.)a small cellular base station with a range of 10 meters or so; also called a "small cell". Femtocells allow a carrier to extend or improve coverage indoors or where signal quality is poor. "Femto" = is a prefix in the metric system meaning 1000 to the -5 power or one quadrillionth.

"Finger Printing"
(n.) an app tracking methodology or inference technology that collects particular parameters about a specific mobile user like time stamp or network visited to provide a unified method to track a mobile user's activity.

flight
[flahyt]
(n.) subset of a campaign. Each flight can have unique characteristics, such as budget, pricing, targeting and scheduling. A single campaign can contain several flights.

frequency capping
[free•kwuhn•see]
(v.) to limit the number of times an advertisement is shown.


G   geo-fencing
[gee-oh fehn•sing]

(n.) a technology that allows an advertiser to select a geographic point using latitude and longitude information and then to create a virtual "fence" around that point of a given radius (e.g., an advertiser can pinpoint a bank branch, then deliver a specific ad to anyone who comes within a 200 meter radius). Ads delivered using geo-fencing typically yield higher conversions and better ROI for advertisers. Learn more about geo-fencing.


H  

handset
[hand•set]

(n.) a mobile device. Typically used by mobile network operators.

HSPA
[aych•es•pee•ay]

(n.) High Speed Packet Access. a mobile telephony protocol that supports peak data download rates up to 14 Mbit/s and 5.76 Mbit/s upload rates.

HTML 5
[aych•tee•em•el five]

(n.) a markup language for presenting and structuring information on the worldwide web, including the mobile web, and most modern mobile and desktop browsers support HTML 5.

A common misconception is that HTML 5 alone makes sophisticated functionality possible. While some features (e.g., video and audio without the use of plugins) are supported and extremely simple to implement in HTML 5, more complex user interactions are made possible through the use of JavaScript.

HTML 5 differs from HTML 4.x and XHTML 1.x in that content can be defined by standard mark up (<article>,<aside>, etc.) and multimedia elements (<video>, <audio>, etc.) can be used without relying on third-party browser plug-ins. In theory, this simplifies the use of different types of inline media.

hyperlocal
[hai•per lo•kuhl]

See "geo-fencing"


I  

ICT
[eye•see•tee]
(n.) acronym for "Information and Communication Technologies".

IDFA (Identifier For Advertisers), also IFA
[ai•dee•ef•ay]
(n.) a tracking method used in devices running Apple iOS 6 to gather user data for improved targeting. This supplanted use of a device's UDID (Unique Device Identifier) prior to iOS 6.

impression
[im•presh•uhn]

(n.) the number of times an ad is displayed. Do not confuse an impression (the ad is displayed) with a clickthrough (the ad is touched or clicked by a consumer).

in-app ads
[in•ap adz]

(n.) mobile ads that appear within a mobile app. This can include standard banners, video, and rich media ad formats.

interstitial ad
[in•ter•stih•shal ad]

(n.) a mobile ad unit that appears between two views within a mobile website or mobile app. "Interstitial" derives from "interstice" which means "a small space between things, especially when part of a series of uniform spaces and parts" (think of a picket fence, which has interstitial spaces between slats).

inventory
[in•vuhn•tawr•ee]

(n.) available advertising space on all mobile channels, including video, in-application, SMS, audio and mobile web.

inventory forecasting
[fawr•kast•eng]
(v.) to predict the available amount of inventory based on target segments and time constraints.


L  

landing page
[land•een payj]

(n.) a web page specifically designed for people visiting via a pre-determined path. For example, if a person clicks on a mobile ad, they can be taken to a landing page that cannot be accessed by any other means.

listicle
[lis•teh•kuhl]
(n.) a news article of blog post that uses a list as a structural device. An example would be "10 Best Way to Reach the Asian Market". Listicles often spread the listed items across multiple pages to increase ad inventory.

location-based advertising
[loh•cay•shun-bayst ad•ver•tiz•ing]
(n.) when a mobile ad unit is delivered based on specific geographic coordinates (latitude/longitude, DMA or other) of a mobile user. See also, geo-fencing.

LTE (Long Term Evolution)
[el•tee•ee]
(n.) commonly referred to as "4G LTE", LTE is a standard for high-speed data communications. LTE can deliver a download speed of up to 299.6 Mbit/s and an upload speed of up to 75.4 Mbit/s.


M  

M2M Devices (machine-to-machine devices)
[em•too•em dee•vyz•ez]

(n.) a wireless or wired system that allows two devices of the same ability to communicate with each other. M2M devices use sensors to capture event data, and then relay the data through a network to a software program that translates it into useful information.

M-commerce
[em komers]
(n.) electronic commerce from an internet-connected mobile device.

microcell
[mai•cro sell]
(n.) a small cellular base station with a range of 2 kilometers.

mediation
[mee•dee•ey•shuhn]
(n.) a platform that allows publishers to strategically sell remnant and unsold inventory by using multiple ad networks.

MMS
[em•em•ess]
(n.) acronym for "Multimedia Messaging Service". An MMS is a text message with multimedia content, which can include videos, pictures, multiple text pages, and ringtones. Because MMS supports the use of images and rudimentary formatting, it can be used effectively as an advertising channel. Learn more about MMS in advertising.

Mobile Network Operator (MNO)
[em•en•oh]
(n.) acronym for "Mobile Network Operator". Commonly referred to as an "operator" within the telecommunications industry. Also: wireless service provider, wireless carrier, cellular company, or mobile network carrier.

mobile ad exchange
(n.) a technology platform that facilitates the buying and selling of remnant mobile ad inventory that can be bid on in real time.

mobile ad server
[moh•buhl ad ser•ver]

(n.) a scalable, high-performance system made up of hardware and software that reliably delivers mobile ad units across all mobile channels.

mobile advertising
[moh•buhl ad•ver•tahy•zing]

(n.) advertising oriented towards mobile devices, spanning all mobile formats, such as feature phones, smart phones and tablets.

mobile advertising DSP
[moh•buhl ad•ver•tahy•zing dee•es•pee]
(n.) a platform that enables mobile advertisers to manage media buying, booking, trafficking and reporting through a single interface; includes conversion tracking and auto-optimization using algorithms determine the optimal price points and budget allocation across all targeting tactics; supports all ad formats, including augmented reality, 3D and video. Learn more about [a•mo•bee] DSP.

mobile app
[moh•buhl ap]
(n.) shorthand for an application written specifically for a mobile device. See "app".

mobile channels
[moh•buhl chah•nells]
(n.) mobile advertisement modes, including audio, video, SMS, MMS, mobile web
and in-app.

mobile ecosystem
[moh•buhl ek•oh•sis•tuhm]
(n.) the all-encompassing, growing mobile environment.

mobile marketing
[moh•buhl mahr•ki•ting]
(n.) interactive wireless media that provides customers with time and location-sensitive, personalized information that promotes goods, services and ideas.

mobile network
[moh•buhl net•wurk]
(n.) the basic infrastructure of mobile operators which allows for voice and data transfers.

MRAID
[em•rayd ad]

(n.) an acronym for "Mobile Rich Media Ad Interface Definitions," a mobile advertising specification written by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). MRAID is a standardized set of commands that are designed to work with HTML5 and JavaScript that developers creating rich media ads can use to communicate with the apps they are being served into.

Rich media ads written to the MRAID specification will run within MRAID compliant apps from any publisher using an MRAID-compliant SDK. This means that the same creative can be displayed on applications from different publishers.


N  

native ad
[nay•tiv ad]
(n.) a digital or mobile ad that appears inline with the surrounding content. For example, if your mobile app lists regional events, an ad for a particular concert or art show can appear amidst the other listings. The benefit to the publisher is that they can monetize their app without affecting the user experience. Advertisers gain because app users are more likely to notice and act because the ad is shown in context. Native ads are sometimes referred to as sponsored updates, sponsored stories, etc.

Near Field Communication (NFC)
[neer feeld kuh-myoo-ni-kay-shun]
(n.) a set of standards for smartphones and other mobile devices that allows them to communicate over short distances (typically less than 4cm or 1-3/4") with powered/unpowered RFID tags or other systems. Uses for NFC include contract-free transactions (a "virtual wallet"), simplified app installation, etc.

NFC always uses an initiator (e.g., a NFC-capable smartphone) and a target (e.g., a postcard with an embedded RFID tag). For unpowered targets, the initiator generates a radio frequency (RF) field that powers the tag.

The difference between Bluetooth and NFC is that NFC doesn't require pairing and can establish a connection in less than 0.1 sec. Since the target tag can be unpowered, tags can be embedded in almost anything.The connection distances is also shorter, which reduces the chance of someone intercepting the signal.

NFC is supported on some but not all Blackberry, Android, and Windows phones, but not the iPhone 5 or previous versions. NFCWorld.com maintains a comprehensive list of available NFC-capable phones.


O  

Open RTB
[o•pehn ar•tee•bee]
(n.) a project started in November 2010 by the IAB to develop an API specification for companies interested in an open protocol for the automated trading of digital media across a broader range
of platforms, devices, and advertising solutions.

operator
[op•uh•rey•ter]

(n.) an organization in need of a world-class mobile ad solution to monetize content across its entire ecosystem. Operators provide the supply inventory that agencies purchase to advertise. Well-known operators include Vodafone, AT&T, Telefónica, Sprint, SingTel, and China Mobile.
View [a•mo•bee] solutions for Operators

Over-The-Top (OTT)
[oh•vehr thuh tahp]

(adj.) a buzz-word describing video, audio, and other services delivered but not controlled by an ISP or mobile network operator. The ISP is only used as a data transporter instead of as the distributor of content. Well-known examples include Netflix for video and Pandora for audio.


P  

Pay Per Download (PPD)
[pai•purr down•lowd]
(n.) a user acquisition model whereby an advertiser is charged based on the number of times a mobile app or other software is downloaded.

picocell
[pee•ko sell]
(n.) a small cellular base station that has a range of 200 meters or less.

platform
[plat•fawrm]
(n.) an application suite that manages mobile advertising.

Point of Interest (POI) Targeting
[point of in•ter•est tar•get•ing]

(n.) mobile targeting based around a particular location, e.g., the Eifel Tower, a gas station, a sports stadium.

PPC
[pee•pee•see]
(n.)
short for "pay per call"; a pricing model based on the user making a phone call after viewing an ad.

premium inventory
[pree•mee•uhm in•vuhn•tawr•ee]

(n.) advertising space made available by publishers and operators, which directly and accurately targets a desired audience. Premium inventory is often sold as a CPM campaign as opposed to a CPC campaign.

private ad exchange
[pri•vate ad ex•change]

(n.) a technology platform that allows publishers to ensure that top brand advertisers are filling publishers' premium inventory, creating an efficient and controllable arena for both advertisers and publishers to do mobile advertising.

programmatic media buying
[pro•gram•matik mee•dee•ah bai•een]
(n.) the process of automatically buying placements for individual mobile and digital ads according to pre-defined rules. The benefit of using programmatic buying is that targeting data from multiple sources can be used to determine what type of screen an ad should appear on and what the best pricing strategy is at that exact moment, all executed in the blink of an eye.

Advertisers - learn more about [a•mo•bee] RTB DSP
Publishers - learn more about [a•mo•bee] RTB Exchange

The process is similar to computer-to-computer "algorithmic trading" used by stock traders, where shares are automatically bought or sold based on pre-determined rules.

proximity marketing
[prok•sim•i•tee mahr•ki•ting]
(n.) localized, wireless distribution of advertising content.

publishers
[puhb•li•shers]
(n.) an organization looking to maximize the monetization of their mobile content. Publishers use a mobile advertising platform to manage and fill their available ad space or "inventory."
View [a•mo•bee] solutions for Publishers


Q  

QR Code (Quick Response Code)
[kyu•ar kohd]
(n.) a type of static barcode common in consumer advertising. Typically, a smartphone is used as a QR-code scanner which converts the code to a standard URL for a website, thereby obviating the need for a user to type it manually into a web browser. QR codes are an effective way for a mobile user to download an app, visit a mobile website, save content to a device, etc.


R  

reach
[reech]
(n.) the number of unique users exposed to a specific campaign.

remarketing
[ree•mahr•ket•een]

(n.) a system that allows you to continue to show ads to people who have visited your mobile website.

remnant inventory
[rem•nuhnt in•vuhn•tawr•ee]
(n.) advertising space that a publisher or operator is unable to sell directly through its sales force. It is typically sold at a discounted price through mediation.

retargeting (also called "remarketing")
[ree•tar•get•eeng]
(n.) an advertising technology that asdf begins showing ads to appear to people on other websites once they have visited a specific website. It typically uses cookies and JavaScript to identify visitors to a website.

rich media
[rich mee•dee•uh]

(n.) a broad range of interactive and engaging ad formats, including expandable banners, embedded audio and video.

Real Time Bidding (RTB) engine
(n.) software that conducts a real-time auction of available mobile ad impressions by receiving bids from multiple demand sources within a set time interval (typically 100ms, the duration of a blink) and then delivering the ad to the winning bidder.


S  

SDK
[es•adee•kay]
(n.)
acronym for "Software Development Kit"; in mobile advertising, an SDK allows mobile apps, websites, etc. to communicate with advertising software platform.

skeuomorphs
[skew•ah•morfz]
(n.) a design element based on an existing design that retains features that were functional in the original design but are now purely decorative. Examples: a foam rubber ball with molded bumps that resemble the leather stitching on a baseball; a car with "wood" paneling made of stamped steel and paint. In a mobile app, skeuomorphs are most often used to indicate function because the original item was familiar to most users, e.g., an area meant for taking notes might have a background image that looks the striped yellow paper used in legal pads.

small cells
[es•em•es]
(n.) a small portable cellular base station that extends cellular coverage indoors or where the cellular signal needs boosting. There are multiple types:

  • Femtocell - 10 meters
  • Picocell - 200 meters
  • Microcell - 2,000 meters

SMS
[es•em•es]
(n.) stands for "short message service". Generally used to describe text messages sent to a mobile device. The original SMS specification limited messages to 160 characters in length. If multimedia elements are associated with a message, it's referred to as an MMS.

supply side platform (SSP)
[suh•plahy sahyd plat•fawrm]

(n.) a platform that enables mobile publishers and operators to manage and sell their advertising inventory through one single interface.


T  

targeting
[tahr•git•ing]

(n.) the ability to aggregate inventory by demographic, contextual and behavioral traits in order to reach a particular group of prospects.

target segment
[tahr•git seg•ment]

(n.) the specific parameter used to define the group of people an advertiser wants to reach.

third-party ad serving
[thurd pahr•tee ad ser•ving]
(n.) non-biased ad servers that provide advertisements for mobile display advertising campaigns.

3D mobile ad
[three•dee mo•bil ad]
(n.) a mobile ad unit which employs 3D technology (3D models, image mapping, texture mapping, etc.) to provide an immersive user experience.


U  

UDID (Unique Device Identifier)
[you•dee•ahy•dee]
(n.) a hardware-based identifier which was used by advertising companies to gather user data to improve ad relevance. Replaced in 2012 with IFA (Identifier for Advertisers).

UMB (Ultra Mobile Broadband)
[you•em•bee]
(n.) Ultra Mobile Broadband was an alternate technology for next generation radio systems. Development was stopped in favor of LTE.

USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data)
[you•es•es•dee]
(n.) Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) is a GSM protocol used to communicate with a service provider's computers. USSD can be used for a number of services (e.g., checking remaining talk-time minutes on your account). USSD messages can be up to 182 alphanumeric characters. To use USSD, simply dial a code on your phone keypad as if you were making a phone call.

Examples (AT&T network):
*3282# - Data Usage/Text Message Usage
*#06# - IMEI Code
*#123# - Tells if you are roaming


V  

video interstitial
[vih•dee•oh in•ter•stih•shal]
(n.) an interstitial mobile ad unit that displays a video between views within a mobile app or between pages within a mobile website.


W  

WiMAX
[wai•maks]
An international standard (IEEE 802.16) designed to deliver data at rates from 30 Mb/s to 1 Gbit/s to devices. Support on mobile devices has begun, but it not yet widespread. Home and portable data services in the US and other countries have existed since 2009, such as Clearwire, which was bought out by Sprint in 2013. See also "4G".

Wi-Fi targeting
[wai•fai tar•ghet•teen]
(n.) the ability for advertisers to reach customers using mobile devices connected to a wireless internet connection. Wi-Fi targeting is commonly used to deliver rich ads and high bandwidth features like videos.


Y   yield management
[yeeld man•ij•muhnt]
(n.) a method that maximizes publisher revenue by optimizing various third-party revenue sources, including ad networks, DSPs and ad exchanges.

 

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