November 10, 2019

A Break Down of the Main 8 AdTech Acronyms

AdTech acronyms can be daunting at first, and present a significant blocker to a website owner whose primary concern is in driving more traffic – and thus more money – through their website. In this article we’ll make an effort to tear down this acronym wall by exploring some of the common initialisms, terms, and related items in the AdTech world. By clarifying these terms – and their meanings – you’ll be able to more confidently cut through the advertising and get to the meat of the content: improving your business.


KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator. Key performance indicators are, essentially, any metrics or statistics that speak to the success (or failure) of an ad campaign. For a marketplace website, this could be the total number of sales for advertised products. For a video website, this could be represented as total minutes of videos watched. The exact specification will depend very heavily upon your website’s business model.


CPM means Cost Per Mil (Thousand Impressions – with the “M” referring to the Roman numeral for the number 1,000). This metric is a tool you can use to gauge the overall cost of your online advertising campaign – it represents the amount of money it will take for your ad to be viewed by 1,000 users. This cost will be driven by keyword usage, ad placement, and overall traffic on the website displaying your ad.


Similar to CPM, CPC stands for Cost Per Click. This attempts to narrow down the costs exposed by the CPM metric by asking the question “how many people viewed my ad, versus how many people clicked on my ad?” This number will almost always be higher than CPM, as it represents a subset of the users that actually see your ad. To calculate CPC, simply take the CPM and divide it by the click rate per 1,000 views.


CPL, or Cost Per Lead, is a further refinement to CPM and CPC. Where CPM focuses on views, and CPC focuses on clicks, the Cost Per Lead focuses on determining the relative success of your advertising campaign. A lead is classified as someone who expresses interest in your product, either through filling out an online form, registering for an account, or simply by clicking through an ad and then browsing around your website. Defining what a “lead” means for your business is crucial to this statistic, and will determine how successful measuring your campaign’s effectiveness will be.


Click-Through Rate, or CTR, is a simple metric that compares the number of views of your ads to the number of clicks on your ads. It is expressed as a percentage, and as expected higher is definitely better.


CTA stands for Call To Action. A call to action is an element in an advertisement, blog post, or other content item that attempts to drive the user to perform a specific action. This action can be anything desired by the advertiser: purchasing a product, filling out a form, registering for a free account – the exact action to be taken will depend on your business model and your KPIs.


Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process of improving the ranking of your website in search engine search results. This often involves a mix of techniques. The most common technique in SEO is to modify your website’s HTML code to provide more details about the products and market served by your company, which is used by search engines to determine where to place your website within their search results.


MSP or Messaging Services Platform is an exciting new way for publishers to personalize content to drive 1:1 engagement. The platform helps publishers take back the control of their audience relationship and centralize communication. Have you ever been frustrated by the sheer number of tools and platforms needed to build a successful personalized campaign? If so, MSP will be able to help!

AdTech Acronyms

While we’ve covered a healthy cross-section of AdTech acronyms, in reality we’ve only barely scratched the service. The terms we’ve chosen above are the most popular, and most critical to a successful online advertising campaign, but they are far from the only relevant acronyms around. The items important to you will be heavily determined by your business model, campaign content, and other factors that are hard to account for. Have something you’d like to see explained in more detail? Contact us!