Adspruce’s A-Z Guide to Advertising and Marketing

guide to advertising

Do you need some assistance getting your head around the abundance of marketing and advertising terms that keep popping up all the time? From your banner ads to frequency capping to SEO, we explain everything there is to know about the world of marketing and advertising (well, every important thing there is to know). Get to grips with our non-exhaustive A-Z guide below…


Above the Fold – When you click on a website, everything that you see without scrolling your mouse is ‘above-the fold’. Anything that you see after the touch of your mouse is not. Simple really.

Above the Line – This is an industry term which refers to any type of advertising which is commission based, therefore typically broadcast, digital and outdoor advertising. ‘Above the line’ advertising tends to focus on burning the brand image into the consumers’ minds via engaging, humorous or seductive images, for example.

Advertorial – An advertisement that has the appearance of a news article, normally featured within a print publication.

Advertising Plan – An outline of what goals the advertising campaign should achieve, how to achieve these goals and whether the goals have been achieved.

Advertising Agency – An Ad Agency is dedicated to creating, planning and managing advertising for its clients. Most manage many different types of clients with different advertising needs.

Advertising Network – A business that acts as the middle-man in connecting advertisers to publishers where the ads will be hosted. The advertising network is therefore a commercial and technical intermediary between advertisers and publishers.


Banner ad – Banner ads are used for online advertising and are typically a large headline or text extending across the top of the web-page. The banner ad can contain text, images or even a video to engage the user.

Banner Burnout – This is the term used when a user sees a banner ad so many times that they begin to not notice it when it appears on the web-page so are therefore less likely to click on the ad.

Below the Line – BTL advertising is a means of advertising where the focus is on contacting targeted lists of people via emails, direct post or leaflets, therefore this form of advertising is more one-to-one.

Brand Identity – This is how brands want consumers to view their brand or product. Brand identity is the way in which the business wants consumers to perceive the brand, not the way in which consumers do perceive the brand.

Brand Lift – The increase of positive recognition and general awareness of a brand in the minds of the target audience.

Business to Business – advertising directed from one business to another to attract new business. Also known as B2B.


Call to Action – A call-to-action is an instruction used to provoke an action from the user, such as a banner, button, graphic or text that would attract the user’s attention. An advertisement without a CTA may leave the audience unsure of the next steps they are meant to take and therefore could negatively affect ROI.

Campaign – A campaign is designed in order to promote a product or brand. A marketing campaign is a series of steps that include the promotion of a product through different mediums such as TV, web, mobile and print using a variety of different advertising formats.

Click-through – This is when a user will click on an advertisement which will then take you through to the brands website.

Click-through rate – Otherwise known as CTR, it measures how successful an ad has been in capturing the user’s interests. The higher the CTR, the higher engagement the ad has received.

Cookies – When you visit a website, a web server sends you a cookie and your browser stores it. When you visit that web page again, the web server calls for the stored text. Advertisers use cookies for re-targeting campaigns and to cap the frequency that a person will see an advertisement.

Cost per impression – This is known as CPM in the industry. Ad campaigns are often bought and measured by the number of impressions or in case of video, plays, that the advert has received. Before a campaign is started, the advertiser and publishers will agree on the number of impressions to deliver and price them based on a CPM rate.

Cost per view – CPV is becoming more popular and ad networks will now charge on a per view basis. This is normally calculated when a user reaches the 2nd or 3rd quartile of a video ad which is enabled with VAST tracking.


Direct Marketing – This is when a promotional message is sent directly to consumers rather than via a mass medium. This can be done through email, post or even telecommunications.

Direct Response – As the name suggests, direct response advertising is designed to offer the consumer the opportunity to respond to the advertisement, for example, a phone number or email being displayed.

Data capture – This is when a business will capture the contact details of their customers and their potential customers and capture what geographic location they are from, what they are interested in etc.

Deceptive Advertising – This term is used when an advertisement is likely to mislead a consumer. The Federal Trade Commission have described it as “a representation, omission or practice that is likely to mislead the consumer”

Demographics – This is the study of the population based on factors such as age, sex, location and race. Demographics are useful in marketing in order for the business to assess the size of its potential market and also to see whether its products/services are reaching the right consumers.


Earned media – Earned media can also be described as free media. It refers to free publicity that a brand has gained through promotional campaigns rather than advertising. Earned media can relate to coverage on radio, TV, magazines, newspapers or blogs. Earned media can only be gained organically and it cannot be bought.

E-PR – Otherwise known as online PR, this involves communications via the internet and digital technologies such as podcasts and online video to deliver messages in a highly effective way.

End User – The person who actually uses the product, regardless of whether or not they purchased it.

Exposure – Exposure is when a consumer has seen or heard an advertisement or media vehicle, regardless of whether they have paid attention to it.


Frequency Capping – Frequency capping describes the process of setting up a maximum limit of the number of times a user sees a particular ad campaign in a day, week, month or lifetime of the campaign. Frequency capping is one of the outcomes of advertisers being able to use cookies to track users.

Flat-rate – Flat rate is a media rate that allows for no discount.

Flash – Developed by web technology company, Macromedia. Flash allows you to fit on-screen graphics interactively into a relatively small-size file.


Gross Audience – The audience of all the media in one campaign, combined. Some, or much, of the gross audience may represent a duplicated audience.

GIF – GIF stands for the graphical interchange format; most animated banner ads are in this format and it is more popular than the JPEG format.

Geo targeting – Geo-targeting allows for adverts to be targeted based on the physical location the user is accessing the internet from.


Hit – This refers to a request made to the web server for a page, graphic, audio, sound or file. For example, if a webpage has 5 graphics then this will create 6 hits – 5 for the graphics and 1 for the webpage itself.

HTML – HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language and it helps control the format of a documents content and design on the internet.

IAB – This stands for the Internet Advertising Bureau is the leading online global advertising industry trade association. The IAB recommends standards and practices for online advertising activity and also conduct research into online activity.

Impressions – The number of times an advert is requested and seen by the users. The number of impressions may not always be accurate due to various issues with cache in which the impressions may be under-counted. In some cases the impressions may be over-counted due to requests that were not completed.

Infomercial – An advertisement which resembles a news programme, talk show or any non-advertising content.

Insertion Order – Known as an IO in the industry. An IO details the specifics of an advertising campaign. The terms of agreement may also be included on the IO.

Interstitial – An interstitial ad is an ad that appears before the webpage you have requested loads, therefore, can be quite intrusive.

In-Stream – A solution of mobile video-advertising which is the closest you can get to traditional TV advertising. An advert will be inserted as a commercial break between programming on TV channels, helping to build a brand.


JPEG – This stands for ‘Joint Photographic Experts Group’ and is a graphics format which displays photographs and graphic images.

Jump page – This can also be known as a ‘splash page’. Advertisers often use it to direct people who click on an advert to a page with information relating to the product that the advert was advertising, rather than sending the user directly to their homepage.


KPI – Key Performance Indicator. This is different for every brand and every campaign. A key performance indicator could be the percentage of traffic that an ad campaign drove to a web page, the increase in product sales or the number of people talking about that brand on social networks such as Facebook.

Keyword – a name or phrase entered into the search engine in an effort to get the search engine to return relevant results.


Landing Page – This is a page on a website where a user is taken to after clicking on an advertisement. This can be any page, but is normally a page providing more information on the product/service.

Lead – This is a term used that describes a person or company that has expressed interest in an offer. The sales team will follow up with a lead in the hope of converting them into customers.

Market Profile – This is a summary of the characteristics of a market, including information of typical purchasers and competitors.

Market Share – The percentage of a product’s category sales, in terms of units, obtained by the brand.

Market Research – This is when data relating to the product is gathered, recorded and analysed.

MI – This stands for Monthly Impressions which is the term used to describe the number of impressions in one month.

Monetization – Monetization refers to how a service or resource generates revenue. Many online websites monetise by displaying CPC or CPM adverts from brands.


Non-profit Marketing – This is the marketing of a product or service which in itself is not intended to make a monetary profit for the company.

Niche – Can also be referred to as a company’s ‘target’ market, who will be the type of people who would be the most interested in your product.

Native Advertising – A form of advertising by which the advertiser will try and gain the user’s interest by providing content in the context of the user’s experience. For example, a branded TV channel.


Objective – The desired or needed result which is to be achieved before a specific time.

Opt-In – This is where a user usually volunteers to receive information from a company, usually in the form of signing up for a newsletter.

Page-view – This occurs when a browser requests a web-page. A single page-view can create multiple hits if the page contains many elements such as images, videos or banners.

Paid Media – Paid media is the opposite of Earned Media. Advertisers pay for advertorials, infomercials and other coverage of their brand on media outlets such as newspapers, television and magazines.

Point of Purchase – This refers to the place where the consumer will make their purchase. For example, with online purchases, the POP would be on the checkout webpage.

Pop-Up – This is a type of advert which is displayed in a second smaller browser window. Pop up advertisements are considered to be quite intrusive and ruin the user experience.

PPC – Pay per Click. This is when advertisers will show ads for free but get paid for the clicks on the ads.

Pre-Roll – A pre-roll advert will appear when a user clicks play on a desired piece of video content. The pre-roll advert will show before the content starts to play.

Publisher – A publisher is a company or business that will display the adverts from the advertisers. For example, a web-site will display ads and will then be paid by the advertiser for doing so.

Programmatic Buying  The process of booking, flying and optimizing advertising campaigns via software interfaces and computer algorithms. Programmatic Buying allows advertisers to automatically monitor and analyse several data points and information sources and adjust their ad campaign settings in order to improve ad effectiveness.


Real-time – This is a term used to describe immediate results, for example, an advertiser may need real-time statistics on how their campaign is running.

Rich Media – This is a technology which will include richer graphics, audio or video in an advertisement. Rich-media also enables users to interact with the adverts.

ROI – This stands for Return on Investment. This is used to determine whether the monetary benefits from expenditure such as an advertising campaign are above or below the amount of money spent on the campaign.

RSS – Really Simple Syndication is an XML format which is used when you want to syndicate news and other web content.

RON – Run of network. An ad campaign can appear on any page or website included in the publisher inventory of an ad network.


SEM – Search Engine Marketing is the process of promoting a website through a search engine.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization is used to increase the amount visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page such as Google.

Slogan – A slogan is a short, memorable phrase used in advertisements to catch the user’s attention, such as McDonalds’ ‘I’m Loving It’.

Superstitials – These are rich-media advertisements that download in the background when the user is reading a webpage and then launch a browser window only when it has downloaded. Because they load in the background they are not as annoying as banners or interstitials.

Supply Side Platform – A SSP is a piece of software used to sell advertising in an automated fashion. SSP’s are used by online publishers to help them sell display, video and mobile adverts.

Traffic – This is the general term used to describe a quantity of requests for web-pages or other downloadable content.

Target Audience – The target audience is a specified demographic group for which an advertisement is designed.

TubeViral – A video advertising solution that Adspruce offers which promotes a YouTube video and grows the video’s views.


Unique Visitors – This is the term used to describe the total number of visitors to a site over a certain time period. This is done through tracking a user’s IP address, but this does not give an accurate result.

USP – This stands for Unique Selling Proposition and is therefore the unique benefits that the company offers which the competitors do not offer.

Up-sell – Once a sale has been secured from a customer, an additional offer relating to the product will be made before the transaction is completed.

URL – This stands for Uniform Resource Locator. Quite simply, it is the internet ‘address’ of a website.


VAST – The IAB has created an industry standard for video advertising.


Webcasting – A process whereby sound or video is broadcast online, either live or pre-recorded content.

We hope you enjoyed and found our A-Z Guide to Advertising and Marketing informative. If you have any suggestions for us to add to the list, let us know by commenting below…



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