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

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 ([email protected])

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