16/10/2020 - Adacado included in The Forrester Wave™: Creative Advertising Technologies, Q4 2020 "The Nine Providers That Matter Most And How They Stack Up" - Click here to get your copy*

The Ad Tech Glossary

Ad Tech Glossary

Everything you need to know about the ad tech industry!

AB | CD | E | FG | H | I | J | K | L | M | N |

O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |


Ad campaign

An advertising strategy carried out across multiple channels to achieve a specific objective such as brand awareness. The advertisements within the campaign generally contain a single idea or theme.

Ad exchange

An online marketplace where publishers and advertisers trade digital ad inventory. It is an online platform that involves publishers offering their ad space inventory for sale. For advertisers, it serves as an online marketplace for bidding on ad inventory.

Ad network

An ad network acts as a mediator between publishers and advertisers. Ad networks curate a large repository of ad inventory from publishers then sell it to advertisers. Ad networks are a big part of advertising technology that are widely used in digital media trading. Most publishers putting up their ad space for sale look for ad networks to secure buyers. Similarly, advertisers use ad networks to find the most suitable inventory for their needs.

Ad server

It is a web-based tool used by publishers, advertisers, and networks that store data about advertising content and delivers ads to websites and applications. They are available as hosted services or as self-hosted products.

Ad tag

An ad tag is a piece of HTML or java script that is placed on the web page to get an ad from the server. This code signifies where the ad will be placed on the web page. The tag not only signifies where on the page that ad will be placed, but as well the size of the ad, topic/sub-topic of the page requesting for the ad, basic page info, custom key values and more.

Ad targeting

An advertisement that is served to a specific consumer audience, for example a particular demographic. In essence, ad targeting means that ads are chosen in relevance to site content, with the assumption that these ads will be relevant to the site audience.

Ad tech

Ad tech (short for advertising technology) is a massive umbrella term for software and tools that help brands and agencies target, deliver, and analyze their digital advertising efforts. Some of these tools and software include: demand-side platforms, data management platforms, ad networks, exchanges etc.


An agency is built around an organization that brings creative talent and humanity together. With this, agencies help companies make their products, services or brands relevant to the life of the people. Agencies use technologies such as Adacado to deploy their work on top of using their creative strategies. For example; agencies do a variety of activities for their clients such as content creation, SEO optimization, ad campaigns and more.

Agency trading desk

Trading desks are media buyers and re-sellers within an ad agency that help advertisers execute programmatic media buys. They use either proprietary technology or a demand side platform to buy and optimize media campaigns on ad exchanges, ad networks, and other inventory sources.


Click-through-rate (CTR)

A ratio that shows how often people who view your ad end up clicking it. Further, CTR is calculated by dividing the number of times your ad is shown (impressions) by the number of clicks your ad received.

Contextual targeting

Contextual targeting is the practice of displaying ads based on a website’s content. For example: placing an ad of skis on a ski/snowboard website. Contextual targeting is generally based on keywords relevant to the ad and the website combined.

Cost-per-thousand (CPM)

The CPM model refers to advertising bought on the basis of impressions. In essence, CPM refers to the cost incurred for one thousand impressions.


Dynamic creative

Dynamic Creative is a term commonly used in the digital marketing world. In simple terms it is another way of saying “personalized content”. Dynamic Creative ads are built in real time when an ad request is sent to the server and will pull different creative elements together based on the environment, user and other factors. Whether it’s a web page a user visited, or the history of a users browser, an ad using dynamic creative will pick up this information and serve content based on the the user and their behavior.

Data management platform (DMP)

A centralized system that is used for collecting and analyzing large sets of data coming from different sources. The system collect first, second, and third-party data, allowing businesses to gain invaluable insights into their customers.

Demand side platform (DSP)

A demand-side platform is software used by advertisers to buy mobile, search, video and display ads. These platforms allow for the management of advertising across many real-time bidding networks as opposed to just one like Google Ads. Therefore, this third party software allows you to purchase, analyze and manage ads across many networks from a single place.


First-party data

Information that organizations collect about their customers or audience from their own sources. (ie. Website, CRM  etc.)


Golang (GO)

Go, also known as Golang is an open-source programming language that makes it easy to build simple, reliable and efficient software.



Kubernetes is a portable, extensible, open-source platform for managing containerized workloads and services, that facilitates both declarative configuration and automation. At Adacado, we are proud to use kubernetes in the deployment of our dynamic creative platform.


Media buying

The purchasing of media space and time for displaying ad creatives. Includes both digital (ie. display) and traditional media (ie. TV).

Micro services

An architectural approach to building applications. It breaks an app down into its core functions (called a service) and can be built and deployed independently without negatively affecting other functions.


Programmatic advertising

The automated buying and selling of online advertising. Targeting tactics using first-party data are used to segment audiences so that advertisers only pay for ads delivered to relevant audiences.


The act of helping attract new audiences who are likely to convert and become customers. These users are generally people who are of good fit to your company but are unaware of the benefits your company could provide to them. For example, a prospecting campaign will target users with very similar profiles to current customers and are often executed for awareness. 


Real-time bidding (RTB)

Real-time bidding refers to the buying and selling of online impressions through real-time auctions. Real-time bidding occurs in the time it takes to load a web page and is often facilitated by ad exchanges or supply-side platforms.


To target users who have previously visited or interacted with your website. For example, once a user has visited your website, clicked on a product or takes a certain action you want them to take, a cookie is set on their browser so that you can “retarget” the user with ads based on their interaction, once they have left your website.


Supply-side platform (SSP)

An advertising technology platform used to coordinate the supply and distribution of ad inventory to and from advertisers. It is used by publishers to optimize inventory usage so that no space is wasted.


Third-party data

Third-party data is the collection and aggregation of user behavior and demographic information that is collected by data processors, who do not have direct relationships with consumers. Third-party data is sold to advertisers for more focused targeting.

Tracking pixel

Tracking pixels are exactly what they sound like: a code snippet which is loaded when a user visits a website or opens an email. It is used to track user behavior and conversions. With a tracking pixel, advertisers can acquire useful information for online marketing, web analysis or email marketing.