In this series, we set out to help you get fluent with the Programmatic language.

*This is part 4 of a series, The Ultimate ABCs of Programmatic Advertising. Last week, we published part 3 of this series. For part 1, click here, and for part 2 click here.

We recently launched this series as an aid for every digital marketer out there who has ever been   confused, annoyed, or even a bit frustrated with all the programmatic advertising jargon out there.

In this series, “The ABCs of Programmatic Advertising,” we set out to help you get fluent with all the specific terms and acronyms.

Today, we explore
everything Programmatic
from letters L to S.


After a visitor completes an action on your page, usually a sign-up/opt-in, or download, or contact form, which suggests their interest in your offer by way of providing your business with their information. A lead is therefore a “potential sales contact.”

Monthly Active User

A metric for the average number of users who are active on a website or in-app per month.

Native Advertising

Originally, native advertising stemmed from the print tradition of advertorials. Native ads in the form of Custom Content refers to digital publications, usually articles, which resemble the look and feel of the publication’s editorial content but is sponsored by the advertiser and intended to promote their product or service. The idea is to provide an organic experience for audiences that is non-invasive.

Native ads also come in the form of In-feed Native ads which can now be served programmatically. In-feed native ads includes promoted listings and paid ads. As In-Feed Native has now evolved programmatically, advertisers are now able to include in a placement elements of an editorial like a headline, images, and video which are automatically customized and arranged to look like an editorial based on contextual content.

Negative Retargeting

Negative Retargeting refers to a process where marketers can prevent an ad from being show to a user to that has already completed a specific action so as to prevent unnecessary overspending. For example, a user that you had been targeting completed the desired action of making a purchase.

Negative retargeting in this case would mean limiting any retargeting ads to users that have made a purchase. For such users, ad dollars would be better spent by running new promotions they have not yet seen or suggesting new products that compliments their recent purchase to ensure all audiences receive only the most relevant ad at any given time in the sales funnel. See also “Retargeting” and “Frequency Capping”.


Similar to multi-channel marketing, which markets across several different channels, omnichannel is also a cross channel marketing model – with one important difference: customer experience.

While multi-channel considers each marketing channel as separate silos with independent touchpoints that all work together towards a single goal, omnichannel focuses on the customer’s experience of receiving media communication through all potential channels in a unified, seamless, and holistic manner.

The best way to imagine omnichannel is from a birds eye view. “Omni” is Latin for “every/all” and also the root word for ‘omniscient’. Multichannel is more like being on the ground and surveying the landscape across the entire expanse of the horizon.

Omnichannel is all encompassing, includes online and offline, all devices, OOH, digital, and telecommunications as well.

Open Exchange

Sometimes referred to as “Open Auction”, an open exchange is where ad auctions open publicly take place. Unlike Private Exchanges, they do not require closed invitations and anyone can buy inventory.

Page View

The number of a web page is requested from an ad server and displayed to a viewer.

Price Floor

The lowest CPM price a publisher is willing to sell their impressions for programmatically.

Private Marketplace (PMP)

A Private Marketplace or PMP is a closed media buying and selling environment that enables publishers to control the demand partners that they work. PMPs function on an invite-only basis, they also allow advertisers to customize deals to fit their needs by pre-setting targeting parameters, floor rates, and content, and more. Buyers are also given the opportunity of first-hand access on premium inventory that isn’t available in public exchanges. ClearPier is a Private Marketplace offering premium inventory.

Private Auction

A private auction is similar to an Open Exchange but as the name suggests, is private and only select buyers are permitted to bid against a pre-agreed minimum floor price. The difference between Private Auction and PMPs is singularity versus plurality – PMPs generally have a network of publishers and private auctions can happen in one-offs.

Programmatic Ad Buying

Programmatic Ad Buying or Media Buying is an umbrella term that refers to the use of data (behavioural, contextual) and software to buy or sell ad inventory in-real-time to serve ads efficiently and instantaneously, rather than through an RFP (Request for Proposal) and manual IOs (Insertion Orders).

Programmatic is really just using technology to serve ads and while this seems to be a given for digital media, the same cannot be said for OOH or TV yet. Times are changing, however, and vendors are attempting to apply programmatic technology to other marketing streams.

Watch this video for a primer on Programmatic and RTB.

Premium Programmatic

Historically – and this is why originally programmatic advertising received a not-so-great reputation among big brand advertisers – programmatic buying/selling was reserved for lower quality, remnant (unsold) inventory.

Programmatic today no longer necessitates remnant inventory, particularly if purchased on a premium programmatic basis. Over time, buyers and sellers have really benefited from the scale and efficiency of buying programmatic and now also offer “higher quality” or “premium” placements, which demand higher sale prices, programmatically as well.

Programmatic Buy, Guaranteed

Inventory bought programmatically rather than through manual RFPs and IOs, that nonetheless have specified flight times and for specific placements, conducted directly with a publisher. Guaranteed programmatic buys do not necessarily follow the normative auction model.

Programmatic Buy, Non-Guaranteed

On the other hand, Programmatic Guaranteed Buys often refers to the sale of remnant inventory, through a third party, usually ad networks and ad exchanges, rather than directly with the publisher.


The total number of different people that have been exposed to an ad or piece of content, at least once, over a specific period of time. Reach also refers to how far wide an awareness or branding campaign impacts consumers.

Real-Time Bidding

Real-time bidding refers to the buying and selling of ad inventory on a per-impression basis through live-time auctions that take place in the hundredths of milliseconds that it takes before a webpage loads. It’s likened to the stock market and how auctions work on Wall Street. Real-time bidding is facilitated by ad exchanges and SSPs (supply side platforms).

Remnant Inventory

Remnant inventory refers to ad supply from publishers that have not been sold. Remnant inventory is often seen as lower quality ad placements, requiring more and deeper clicks into a publisher’s website. Remnant inventory is generally sold at a discounted rate and historically have been packaged and sold wholesale to ad networks.


Even if you haven’t looked up the definition of “Retargeting” just by being a participant of the interwebs, you’ve somehow experienced and understand that retargeting are the ads that follow you around the web after you’ve visited a site or completed a certain action.

Retargeting advertising is cookie based ads that target viewers based on your previous browser based internet activities and behaviour. Retargeting is an attempt to drive users back into the purchasing tunnel to complete a specific action like a purchase or sign up.

Rich Media

Rich Media ads or content refers to creatives that have an interactive element which is an added advantage over basic text or display ads, encouraging more engagement from viewers. For example, units like full page overlays, peel downs, expandables, or pops are all rich media formats.

Supply Side Platform

Just as on the buy side, the SSP or supply side platform is the equivalent technology on the seller side of programmatic buying that facilitates the sale of publisher ad inventory. The purpose of SSPs is to ensure efficient selling and maximize revenue.

If you didn’t know, now you know.

Stay tuned for more in our next and final post in this series where we take a look at the T’s to Z’s of Programmatic.

Want to learn more? Connect with our team at