Terms Every Data Expert Should Know

Eddy Widerker
June 15, 2022

Let's be honest, the AdTech and MarTech world is very confusion and complicated. You have probably heard terms such as Match Rates, PII, Data Enrichment, Segmentation, Suppressions or Segment Recency and Frequency.

The below overview goes into the most common terms used when you work with targeting data on platforms such as, Data Management Platforms (DMP), Customer Data Platforms (CDP), Demand Side Platforms (DSP) or other technologies that allow you to target individuals at scale.

Audience Suppression

Refers to the method of excluding a list of people (Audience) from receiving a certain ad / being part of a campaign.

Match Rates

Refers to the number of records in one data set (CRM File) that were matched up with the records of another data set (DMP/ DSP etc.). For instance, we are sharing 100 users from our offline CRM system to an activation partner, the activation partner could match 50 out of the 100 people, this would mean we have a match rate of 50%.

Offline Data

Data that is stored in an “offline” system like a CRM, POS System or  email marketing platform. In most cases it contains PII.

PII (Personal Identifiable Information)

Personally Identifiable Information is data that can be used to identify a single individual e.g. First and Last name, email, address etc. Depending where you are located different jurisdictions may consider other attributes such as your IP address as Personally Identifiable Information as well (See CCPA or GDPR).

Data Enrichment

This process refers to enriching or adding additional attributes to a user file or associate ID. Most common use cases are enriching your CRM data base with attributes that you purchase from an Enrichment Partner such as Axciom or Oracle. Most commonly used are attributes such as: Age, Gender, Location, or Interest. Most enrichment partners offer between 50-150 attributes for advertisers and brands.

Audience Segmentation

A group of people (site visitor, app users, etc.) That have been openly or anonymously identified as sharing a wide range of attributes (demo, techno etc.) Attributes can be selected across multiple data sources and assembled using to different approaches.

There are two main approaches on how audience segments being compiled.

  • Boolean Rules, which refers to manually selecting and creating segments with AND or OR statements e.g. Female AND Age 18-35 AND Household income of $250+.
  • Algorithmic, which refers to the automatic selection of attributes and characteristics. Usually done via a model such as a Lookalike, Spendalike or Actalike Model.

Audience Segmentation Examples

Audience Analysis

Inmost cases this is part of the audience segmentation process. The evaluation criteria vary based on the segmentation approach(Boolean vs. Algorithmic lookalikes). Yet, media specific variables such as total targetable audience size, region and audience cost via a CPM (Cost Per Mille), need to be considered when conducting an analysis on a given audience.


Refers to "how long ago" a given event occurred. In the context of data buying and activation.  Data providers have a recency of 1 day up to 1 year. Knowing the recency plays a large role in optimizing your segments.


Defines how often a given event must have occurred for the data to be subject of a given category.

Example: Segment A includes users that viewed at least 5 product pages (frequency) in the past 30 days (recency) on our website.

Ad Exchange

A marketplace where advertisers and publishers buy and sell ad inventory using automated processes like real-time bidding

Demand-Side Platform (DSP)

A software solution that automates the buying of ad inventory such as display, video, mobile and search ads.

1 to 1 Marketing

Delivering a customized experience that caters to the preferences of a single customer, rather than a broader user group or segment.

Attribution Modeling

Identifying what marketing actions and channels that led a individual to make a purchase.

MarketingStack aka “Stack”

Refers to all technology that is being used to manage and operate a companies marketing activates.

People-Based Marketing

The philosophy of targeting real people – not devices, channels or browsers. Sounds obvious but can be challenging without the right stack.

Programmatic Advertising

The automation of buying, positioning and mix optimizing of media inventory by making real-time decisions about price, placement and timing.

Real-Time Bidding (RTB)

Refers to the automated system of auctioning media inventory between publishers and advertisers.


An “Application Programming Interface” is a list of commands as well as the format of those commands that one system can send to another.


The feeling that most marketers encounter when onboarding a larger marketing stack across multiple datasets, teams and/or organizations.

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