Advertising Acronyms: How Many Do You Know?


We’re somewhat allergic to jargon but sometimes, there’s no getting around but to get it right. The use of acronyms is on the rise and it’s hard to keep up with all of them – the advertising agency market being no exception to the rule. It can really throw you off the conversation if you do not know what it means; especially with industry-associated acronyms which can have multiple meanings and heads ready to scorn at you if you even go haywire with one.

Help’s here! While not totally comprehensive, below is a list of twenty acronyms dispelled by BrandBerry Marcom, a Delhi-based ad agency:

KPI: Key Performance Indicator

The first step to any digital advertising campaign is to recognize your goals and the success metric you plan to measure. Key performance indicator is the metric one plans to measure.

CPM: Cost Per Thousand Impressions

One of the most common methods for pricing is to charge a certain “x” amount every 1000 times your ad loads to a page – that’s CPM for you!

CPC: Cost Per Click

Advertisers charge you every time someone clicks on your ad. If one person clicks on your ad 3 times, then you’ll be charged three times.

PPV: Pay Per View

It is defined as your ad video or image being visible on the page and in view for a certain amount of time at the publisher’s discretion.

VTC: View Through Click

This helps to measure the effectiveness of your advertisement campaign. It means that a customer saw your advertisement and did not click but visited your website at a later session.

CPL: Cost Per Lead

CPL means that you will be paying for leads that are delivered through your ad campaign.

CPA: Cost Per Acquisition

CPA is very competitive and could carry higher price tags – it applies to a specific “action” determined by the advertiser like donations made to your non-profit or a ticket for an event.

CTR: Click Through Rate

CTR allows you to measure the engagement with your advertisement – the higher the percentage, the higher the engagement.

CTA: Call To Action

It means, your request for the user to take a specified step. Example “Click Here,” “Donate Now,” or “Watch this Video.”

DSP: Demand Side Platform

It’s a device which allows advertisers to purchase display ad inventory across real time bidding networks such as Google.

RTB: Real Time Bidding

RTB is a method of purchasing unsold inventory through programmatic auction. Your bid can be over ruled and the highest bid takes priority.

DMA: Designated Market Area

Geographic location you intend to target for advertisement area, state or country.

IAB: Interactive Advertising Bureau

A business organization that sets the industry standard for digital advertising and ad specifications.

ROS: Run Of Site

It means that you are running your online ads on a specific website.

SEM: Search Engine Marketing

Your ads will come up based on the users search criteria on search engines like Yahoo search, Google or Bing.

SEO: Search Engine Optimization

SEO affects the visibility of your website through search engines – it precisely means to optimize search engine to render a given site as a result for a given list of keywords.

SOV: Share of Voice

Calculation of the percentage of your ad which is seen on the screen. For eg. 5 advertisers rotating ads every 20 seconds, meaning that each advertiser would have a 20 percent share of voice.

 eCP“x”: Effective Cost Per “x”

The “e” here can be applied to all cost models such as CPM, CPL, or CPA. It helps to determine your average spend depending on your budget and results.

If you didn’t know, now you do! You get it, right?



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