Specialization of the specialists: Growth among the sea digital media acronyms

How does online ad spend surge to $50 billion in 2015 when there are so many acronyms?

9 months ago I transitioned from marketing a SaaS BtoB company in the digital advertising ecosystem, to marketing the leading online BtoB data engine. I was exposed to acronyms completely foreign to me. SSP, DSP, PII, RTB, JSON, ATD- I was swimming in the alphabet soup of innovations that continue to propel the digital media space. After compiling a revised list of acronyms (see below) and incorporating them into my already expansive vocabulary of industry-specific lexicons, I quickly observed the following: We are an industry obsessed with ‘platforms’. Maybe it stems from the fragmentation of online technology solutions or our utopian idea of streamlining the complexity in executing a digital advertising campaign, but we continue to embrace the concept of specialty platforms that ‘bring it all together.’

At some point there needs to be some consolidation within these specialties. As innovators, we need to develop solutions that extend beyond a simple point solution for a specific audience. True value will come from the systems that fuse buying with the selling, and provide increased speed to market, improved customer relationships and revenue lift for both sides. For example, what if you could target a specific audience across the 3 categories of the purchase funnel (demographic, purchase and intent) while packaging-in branded data from a trusted provider like Nielsen… all without having to log into multiple platforms. That simple capability would weed out some of the acronyms you currently work with.

In addition to consolidation, we need to think about reducing costs. While innovation continues to inspire the digital landscape, we must remember that when more technologies, more people, and more complicated processes are introduced- the cost of doing business goes up. What if a data owner could sell their data across multiple industry-leading media buying platforms by implementing one system… as opposed to integrating with each and every stand alone media buyer. Would that help preserve IT budget? Would overhead and workload decrease? It seems to me that encouraging handshakes between specialists or, even better, have specialists own more of their ‘specialty’, will ‘bring it all together’, keep costs down and lure offline advertisers.

What will happen when the specialists are eradicated? Will the ever-growing list of digital acronyms whittle away, or will consolidation lead to more and sexier acronyms we haven’t yet dreamed of? Getting from $31.30 billion to $50 billion in 4 years doesn’t seem that daunting if we remain laser-focused on building utopia and innovate beyond the simple ‘specialty’.

Glossary of Digital Advertising Acronyms

*email me if you have more to add to this list (meghanb@exelate.com)
API– Application program interface
ASP– Application service provider
ATD- Agency trading desk
B2B– Business to business
B2C– Business to consumer
CPA– Cost per acquisition
CPC– Cost per click
CPL- Cost per lead
CPM- Cost per thousand
CRM– Customer relationship management
CTR– Click-through rate
dCPM– Dynamic CPM
DFA– DART for Advertisers
DFP– DART for Publishers
DMP– Data management platform
DNS– Domain name system
DSP– Demand-side platform
eCPM– Effective CPM
ESP- Email service provider
FTP– File transfer protocol
GRP– Gross rating point
HTML– HyperText markup language
ISP- Internet service provider
JSON- Java script object notation
OEM– Original equipment Manufacturer
PII- Personally identifiable information
PPC– Pay per click
PV– Page views
RFI- Request for information
RFP– Request for proposal
RMX– RightMedia Ad Exchange
ROI– Return on investment
RON– Run of network
ROS– Run of site
RTB– Real time bidding
RTD- Real time data
S2S- Server to server
SaaS– Software as a service
SAM- Social affinity marketing
SEM- Search engine marketing
SEO– Search engine optimization
SLA– Service level agreement
SMP– Social media platform
SMS– Short message service
SOAP- Simple object access protocol
SOV– Share of voice
SOW– Statement of work
SSP– Supply-side platform
UV– Unique visitor

One Response to Specialization of the specialists: Growth among the sea digital media acronyms

  1. David says:

    Great article, Meghan. I particularly liked this one part…

    “What if a data owner could sell their data across multiple industry-leading media buying platforms by implementing one system… as opposed to integrating with each and every stand alone media buyer.”

    This is similar to the value proposition of a SSP (definition above!). As industry budgets shift away from ad networks and towards the programmatic efficiency of a Real Time Buying environment, more sellers will see a bigger slice of their revenue pie coming from SSP’s. However, a current roadblock right now (especially in the nascent mobile space), is the sellers inability to get consumable data out on the exchange for buyers. Once the industry evolves enough for sellers to provide this data (at a low cost), then we’ll see the ecosystem shift.This is when we will begin to see a greater need for the various platforms to “bring it all together”

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