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Ten Media Acronyms You Should Know

Whether you’re new to advertising and marketing, or you’ve been around for quite some time, chances are, you hear lots of different acronyms every day. Here’s an opportunity to brush up on your media ABCs.

Some of these definitions may resonate naturally, while others might leave you scratching your head in wonder. Are you familiar with any of the below?

  1. ISP: Internet service provider. You know, that thing that allows you (the public) to access and use the internet (like Comcast). This includes domain name registration, Web hosting and more.

  2. DSP: Demand Side Platform. DSP refers to the technology that enables advertisers to bid on digital advertising inventory to get the least expensive rate for ads.

  3. SSP: Supply Side Platform. The opposite of DSP, where advertising inventory is made available to DSPs.

  4. DMP: Data Management Platform. This is the tool that allows you to create and sort groups of people to target with media, using internal and external data.

  5. CTR: Clickthrough Rate. Pretty straight forward, a CTR is the number of clicks an ad receives, divided by the number of impressions (times the ad was viewed). CTR can be used to determine the effectiveness of creative, like images or calls-to-action (CTAs).

  6. RCR: Research Conversion Rate. RCR covers the number of visits (sessions) to a site that includes engagement with key research activities, like a photo or video gallery. The engagements are then divided by the number of impressions to get the RCR. RCR can be used to optimize media audiences and/or specific Websites, typically for awareness campaigns.

  7. SCR: Shopping Conversion Rate. Similar to RCR in that the engagements are divided by number of impressions, but instead, engagements are with shopping activities. Like RCR, SCR can be used to optimize media audiences and/or specific Websites, but typically with in-market or retail campaigns.

  8. PCR: Promotion Conversion Rate. Anything an audience member engages with (like a brand campaign) that isn’t a part of research or shopping, divided by the number of impressions. PCR can be leveraged similarly to RCR and SCR, but for activities outside of the two.

  9. TCR: Total Conversion Rate. TCR applies to all campaigns, regardless of campaign objectives. It combines Research, Shopping and Promo, divided by total number of impressions.

  10. CPA: Cost per Action. CPA is a specific action, like a research or shopping outcome, completed by a user. CPA can also refer to the overall media strategy tied to those actions. Media partners manage the process, and clients only pay when actions are completed.

Additional 411: It’s common to confuse efficiency with effectiveness. Efficiency speaks to investment (i.e., how hard did my marketing dollars work?). The goal is to drive the most economical outcome. Effectiveness speaks to volume of desired outcomes (i.e., did my campaign do what I wanted it to do?). For example, if the campaign goal is to drive awareness and consideration, amongst millennials, reaching and engaging with that target is the priority. While cost per engagement is still important, it’s not the driving force of campaigns.

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