Mobile app marketing is different from many other forms of marketing, and much of the terminology used is unique to the field. We developed this glossary to help those in the space have an easy way to quickly understand new topics and terms. Note: We’ve hyperlinked to many web pages that are not part of apsalar.com in this glossary. We reviewed each site before identifying it here, but Apsalar is not responsible for the content on those sites.
Shortly we will publish this in downloadable form. If you want a copy, just email Jim at Apsalar.com and he’ll send it to you when it is available.
2G: Second generation, 2G describes the second generation of technology in the mobile space. The primary benefit of 2G versus preceding technology was a far more efficient use of spectrum for transmitting voice calls. Read the Wikipedia page on 2G for more information.
3G: Short for the third generation, 3G describes the so-called third wave of technology in the mobile phone industry. 3G systems support a far faster transmission of data – at least 200 kilobits per second. Read the Wikipedia entry on 3G for more specifics.
4G: Fourth generation, 4G relates to the quality of service a device receives. 4G promises far greater data speeds than previous generations of mobile service. 4G is also sometimes appended with the term, Long Term Evolution or LTE. What LTE refers to is a process through which carriers are gradually achieving 4G speeds. According to Digital Trends, “The regulating body decided that LTE, the name given to the technology used in pursuit of those standards, could be labeled as 4G if it provided a substantial improvement over the 3G technology. Immediately, networks began advertising their connections as 4G LTE, a marketing technique that allowed them to claim next-gen connectivity without having to reach the actual required number first.” Read Techspot’s informative guide to 4G here.
A/B Testing: A term for a test that pits one message or creative against another, such as comparing the results from two different ads or landing pages. One ad unit or page (A) gets pitted against another (B).
Acquisition: When an app acquires a new install. A user is acquired
Acquisition Program: A marketing program designed specifically to drive installs.
Acquisition Rate: The percentage of individuals in a sample who download and install an app as a result of a marketing tactic.
Ad Exchange: An auction-based online clearinghouse for advertising units. Publishers offer their inventory, typically through a Supply-Side Platform (SSP) on the exchange, and Brands/Agencies bid on inventory, usually using Demand-Side Platforms (DSP). The winning bidder is awarded the ad and the platform manages the transaction. Read Digiday’s informative article about ad exchanges here.
Ad Extensions: These are added features in search results that are designed to enhance your presence and impact of a search result. Examples include additional links to specific types of site content, location, or phone numbers. Read about Search Extensions in Google Search here.
Ad Impression: Each individual ad exposure. Whether in-app, on the mobile web or online, each exposure of the ad creative counts as an impression. Cost-per-impression (CPM) is a common way of purchasing mobile media.
Ad Inventory: The supply of ads that a publisher or network has available for purchase by advertisers.
Ad Networks: Media companies that enable app publishers to more easily buy advertising from large numbers of website or apps. Ad networks simplify ad buying because they aggregate inventory from many sources and sell it with a single insertion order or “source” on an exchange. Some networks also make their advertising available to a set of advertisers through a private exchange. Typically ad network media is purchased by audience-specs versus context/content type. That means that a user with certain characteristics is the desired viewer, not someone who gravitates to a specific kind of content.
Ad Server: A platform that manages the trafficking, delivery, and often the measurement of ad campaigns. Using an ad server simplifies campaign management because it enables you to upload creative, define business rules, and optimize in one platform instead of manually via each network’s own trafficking mechanism. The most commonly used ad server is DoubleClick by Google, often referred to as DFA (Dart for Advertisers) or DFP (Dart for Publishers.) Read MarketingLand’s article about why ad servers are important here.
Ad Tag: A code snippet or script that enables the right ad to appear in an ad placement, or the precise tracking of the ad unit.
Ad Unit: A sponsored message that can appear on the PC web, mobile web or inside a mobile app.
Affiliate Marketing: A marketing program that offers a bounty to site and app publishers for every individual that takes an action as a result of their marketing efforts on behalf of an advertiser. For example, an affiliate program might pay $2 for every install driven by a publisher. Usually, third party tracking tools are used to verify the transactions.
Agency Trading Desk or ATD: Services provided by agencies to manage the buying and selling of programmatic or exchange-based media on behalf of clients. By leveraging a trading desk, clients can participate in exchange-based or programmatic media buying without hiring an internal team to manage the process. Some trading desks are transparent with clients, communicating the true cost of media and then adding a flat fee to cover their service. Other desks don’t tell clients the true cost of the media, contracting instead to deliver a specific result. AdExchanger’s excellent guide to ATD is available here.
Alerts: A message triggered by some event that appears on a mobile device. Often in the form of a “push” text message.
Analytics: The process of examining and drawing conclusions from data, including marketing performance data, to determine the impact and drivers of marketing or other activity. It can be helpful to think about the world of data and quantitative information in the context of four buckets. There’s data, the specific signals. Then measurement, the cleaning, counting and organizing of signals. Then analytics, the process of interpreting the information. And intelligence, the product of the analysis.
Anchor Link: The actual text of a hyperlink on a mobile web or mobile app page.
AIFA: See Android Advertising ID.
ANDI: See Android ID
Android: The open source operating system created by Google and used by the majority of smart mobile devices worldwide.
Android Advertising ID or AIFA: Every Android device has a number that enables advertisers to associate activity on that phone to that specific device. In the Android universe, the name for this number is an Android Identifier for Advertisers (AIFA), Android Advertising ID (AIFA) or the Google Advertising ID(GAID). It is different from an Android ID, which is also a number unique to the device, but which cannot be used for ad tracking. Android Advertising IDs can be reset by the device user, for a greater degree of privacy and choice. In the Apple/iOS universe, the resettable advertising ID is called the Identifier for Advertisers, or IDFA.
Android ID or ANDI: A unique identifying number for every device that uses the Android operating system, like a Kindle Fire or a Samsung Galaxy 7. It’s analogous to a serial number. The Apple/iOS counterpart for Android IDis the Unique Device Identifier (UDID.) Android IDs are permanent and cannot be changed by the user, whereas Android Advertising IDs and Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) CAN be reset by the user. In the past, ad campaigns were tracked by Android IDs and iOS UDIDs. But Apple and Android subsequently introduced and then required use of Android Advertising ID and IDFA for ad campaign measurement because a resettable system offers consumers a greater degree of privacy and choice.
Android Publishing Kit or APK: The file format for installing an app on Android.
AOV: See Average Order Value
APK: See Android Publishing Kit
API: See Application Program Interface
APK Downloads: In the Android universe, you do not have to obtain all apps through Google Play, like iOS users have to do with the App Store. Instead, the open source Android offering allows other venues to offer apps by making the APK files portable. As a result, a large number of sites now offer Android apps for download. APK Downloads are something that has positives and negatives. Having an app available in many venues can add to its distribution and awareness levels. But some APK files for apps are pirated or adulterated to contain malware. App marketers should use their mobile measurement data to identify the good and bad from this form of distribution so they can ensure that people using their apps are safe and can be fully monetized.
Application: Programs that define a set of actions or capabilities. An “app” is an application.
Application Program Interface or API: An API defines the way that different software packages can share data. How data from one platform can be delivered and leveraged by another platform. API is often used as a noun to describe a feed of data from one platform to another. For example, you have the option of leveraging an API to deliver data from the Apsalar platform to your internal BI platform.
App Developer: The company that MAKES an app. Developers are often also publishers of apps, but not all developers are publishers.
App Extensions: App extensions allow you to link to your mobile or tablet app from your text ads. Clicking on this link can either lead to your app’s description in the app store (Google Play or the Apple App Store) or to begin the download.
App Monetization: The form(s) and process(es) by which an app developer or publisher earns money from their app.
App Provider: The publisher or issuer of an app. Sometimes different from an app’s developer – the individual or team that built the app.
App Publisher: The company that makes an app available to users. Sometimes different from an app’s developer – the individual or team that built the app.
App Review Process: Both Android (Google) and iOS (Apple) have a process by which they review any new app before it appears in their stores. The reviews are designed to ensure that an app performs well, does what it says it does and conforms to their data and other policies.
App Stores: Venues from which apps can be download. The Apple App Store, Android Google Play Store and Amazon App Store are all examples.
App Store Optimization or ASO: The process of optimizing the content and structure of an app store page to maximize conversion rates. Adding a video or changing copy are two examples of app store optimization.
App Store Ranking: The popularity of an app as measured by its sales rank within the app store or its category within the app store.
App Store Rating: The average score given to an app by users who choose to rate it.
App Version: The edition of an app, like 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, etc.
ARPPU: See Average Revenue per Paying User
ARPU: See Average Revenue per User
ASO: See App Store Optimization
ATD: See Agency Trading Desk
Attribution: The act of awarding credit for a marketing action to a particular campaign, vendor or source. For example, an install usually gets attributed to the network whose ad unit resulted in the final click before install.
Attribution Tracking Tags: Attribution tags are used to enable a mobile measurement platform to measure and report on desired user action based on preset business rules.
Audience Targeting: Using the characteristics of a viewer and their past behaviors as the basis for deciding whether or not to advertise to them. Compare to contextual targeting.
Autostart: Refers to a video that automatically starts to play, without user interaction (e.g., pressing the play arrow.) An autostart ad appears on a page and starts playing immediately. They typically increase reach, but are disliked by many consumers, especially when they autoplay with sound on.
Average Order Value or AOV: The average total revenue for a purchase occasion. To calculate AOV, a marketer takes total revenue for a period and divides by the total number of purchases made. Changes in AOV are instructive for marketers as a way of determining if they are driving larger purchases over time.
Average Revenue per Paying User or ARPPU: The average revenue generated for every individual that actually pays for something. If 10% of your users are buyers or payers, then you would calculate ARPPU by dividing total revenue for a period divided by 10% of the total number of users. Most companies use ARPU (see below) as a standard. Sometimes gaming companies use AP
Average Revenue per User or ARPU: Total revenue divided by the number of users, whether or not they have ever purchased anything.
Bandwidth: The carrying capacity of the signal delivering data or voice to a device. More bandwidth enables faster and higher quality data exchange. The term width is used because the literal meaning here is the range of frequency available for information transfer. More frequency range means faster transmission.
Banner Ads: Visual ads embedded in the content of an app or web page.
Banner Messages: Small messages that deliver information to app users. They often take the same dimensions and shape as banner ads.
Banner Size or Banner Dimensions: Refers to the dimensions of a Display ad, usually described in pixels long by pixels deep. For example, a typical small banner size in a mobile app is 320×50. Get a copy of the complete set of IAB standard unit dimensions and the other specs here.
Behavioral Targeting: A form of selecting an audience for an ad campaign based on the behavior of a user, such as whether they searched for a particular type of item, read content related to a type of item, or made a previous purchase. Read Wikipedia’s in-depth discussion of the topic here.
BI: See Business Intelligence
Big Data: There are lots of definitions out there. Gartner says it’s “High-volume, high-velocity and/or high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing that enable enhanced insight, decision making, and process automation.” Other definitions focus on the need to store and process the data across multiple machines or the need for massive processing speed before data is declared big. Still other sources focus on the need for statisticians to analyze a data set before they call it big. From a marketing perspective, big data and analytics are used to uncover insights into consumer wants, needs and behaviors. These in turn are analyzed and leveraged to improve the effectiveness and accuracy of marketing. Read Forbes’ in plain English discussion of big data here.
Binary Testing: Another name for A/B testing. A term for a test that pits one message or creative against another, such as comparing the results from two different ads or landing pages. One ad unit or page (A) is pitted against another (B).
Blacklist: In the context of apps, a black list is a set of user advertising IDs to which a brand does NOT wish to advertise. For example, some brands have install campaigns that blacklist all the IDs of their current user base. Another way the term is used is to describe a set of websites or apps that are off limits for an ad campaign.
Bluetooth: A technology that enables devices to send and receive data over short distances. Sometimes used in location-based marketing.
Bot: Short for robot, a bot mimics the actions of a human web or app user. For example, search bots simulate a web user visiting the pages of a website so that they can catalog and categorize the content for search results. We usually think of bots in two classes, good and bad. Good bots serve a constructive purpose, like indexing content to make it easier to discover. Bad bots do a host of things, from artificially simulating human page views of content and ads, to placing malicious files and malware in your content. Read Recode’s in-depth piece on bots here.
Bot Impressions: Usually refers to ad impressions that are spawned by nonhuman visits to web pages or apps. Bot impressions increase the count of impressions used in a campaign but are never seen by a human. When you hear the term Viewable Impressions, it means total impressions minus bot impressions.
Business Intelligence or BI: This term gets used in two ways. The most common usage is to describe the tools or software that are used to analyze a brand’s data, organize it, and draw conclusions and insights from it. Sometimes it is also used to describe the findings alone.
Business Intelligence Platform or BI Platform: The software that a brand uses to analyze its raw marketing data.
Carrier: A company that provides voice and data services to mobile devices.
CDMA: We’ll spare you the full name, but CDMA is one of the leading mobile network types in the US. In the U.S., Sprint, Verizon and U.S. Cellular use CDMA. AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM. Around the world, most carriers use GSM.
Click-Through Rate or CTR: The percentage of people who click through from an ad, divided by the number of people exposed to the ad.
Closed Source: Closed source refers to computer code that is not available to everyone. The source code is not shared with the public for anyone to look at or change. It is the opposite of open source. IOS is closed source, whereas Android is open source. A comparison of open- and closed-source software is available here.
Cohort: A segment of your app’s audience whose members share at least one common characteristic.
Cohort Reporting: Analysis of the characteristics of a cohort or group of app users who share at least one common characteristic or behavior.
Companion App: Applications whose primary purpose is not to entertain or drive a transaction, but rather to enhance a brand experience. For example, many hotel apps focus on making access to services easier, not for driving incremental transactions.
Contextual Targeting: Using the characteristics of what the audience is viewing or reading to determine whether or not to advertise to them. For example, offering a person browsing travel content a travel app ad. Compare to audience targeting.
Conversion: When a person takes a desired action in your app.
Conversion Rate: The share of people who take a desired action. That goal could be an install, registration, purchase, etc.
Cost per Acquisition or CPA: The cost of acquiring one user who completes an action, like a post-install registration. In most cases, the marketer divides the total amount spent on an advertising campaign by the number of customers who completed the action as a result of that campaign. Apsalar has a crib sheet on media buying models available here.
Cost per Click or CPC: How much an advertiser pays, on average, for each ad click. CPC divides the total amount spent on a campaign by the number of clicks generated. Sometimes brands buy app media via CPC, though it is not common. But some networks buy media from their publisher networks via CPC, even if they sell it to advertisers by CPI. Apsalar has a crib sheet on media buying models available here.
Cost Per Install or CPI: The cost of acquiring one app user. To calculate CPI, you divide the total amount spent on an advertising campaign by the number of installs acquired via the campaign. Apsalar has a crib sheet on media buying models available here. Much app install media is purchased via the CPI model.
Cost per Lead or CPL: How much an advertiser pays, on average, for each ad click that results in a lead. CPL is calculated by dividing the total campaign spend by the number of leads that are attributed to it generated. Apsalar has a crib sheet on media buying models available here.
Cost per Thousand or CPM: Metric that shows how much it costs to serve 1,000 ad impressions. M is Latin for 1,000. Also used as a standard measure for buying display ads on PC and the Mobile Web. Apsalar has a crib sheet on media buying models available here.
Cost to Acquire a Customer or CAC: How much money a brand spends in order to drive a purchase transaction.
CPA: See Cost Per Acquisition
CPC: See Cost Per Click
CPL: See Cost Per Lead
CPM: See Cost Per Thousand
Crash: What takes place when an app fails to perform as developed and intended. In many crashes, the app must be restarted/relaunched to restore function.
CRM: See Customer Relationship Management
Cross-Device: Describes something related to multiple device types/screens. For example, an ad campaign that delivers display units on PC and mobile would be a cross-device campaign.
Cross-Device Data: Refers to user information collected from behaviors that occur on multiple screens/devices that is then aggregated into a single set or profile. Cross-device data is increasingly popular because users spread their connected time across multiple devices and screens throughout the day. Ad Exchanger’s guide to Cross-Device Data is available here.
CTR: See Click Through Rate
Customers: People who pay for a subscription, virtual goods or real goods. Often this term is used as a synonym for a user, but users are not necessarily customers.
Customer Relationship Management or CRM: Literally Customer Relationship Management, CRM is the discipline of architecting and delivering a set of communications with users or customers. CRM can encompass email, push notifications, alerts, banner messages, or any other type of message that can reach a user or customer.
Daily Active Users or DAUs: The average number of people who use a particular app in a 24-hour period. High numbers of DAUs are a reliable indicator of the strength of an app business.
Dart or Dart for Advertisers (DFA) or Dart for Publishers (DFP): Old but still very commonly used names for the Google Ad Server offering.
Data Management Platform or DMP: Literally a data warehouse, a DMP is a centralized platform for storing, processing and analyzing data. The term DMP is relevant in many industries, not just marketing or app marketing. But for marketers, a DMP usually refers to a repository of data that associates consumer actions with a unique, anonymized identifier like a cookie ID or a device advertising ID. In mobile apps, DMPs associate user actions with the device advertising ID (“IDFA” for iOS, “Android Advertising ID” (AIFA) for Android.) By associating all events with an ID, the DMP can build profiles of users, and then enable marketers to create and export audiences of users for targeted marketing. Read more about DMPs on our blog here.
Data Retention Period: How long your measurement company stores marketing event and in-app user data before discarding it.
Data Sharing Controls: These govern how, when and which data you share with a partner.
Data Sharing Rules: These govern how, when and which data you share with a partner.
DAU: See Daily Active Users
Debugging: The process of eliminating code errors that affect app performance.
Deduplication: The process of eliminating double-counting in data. Most commonly used to describe the process of determining which media company or company deserves credit for an install.
Deep Link: A link to a specific page within an app. A deep link enables you to navigate a user to specific content in an app without making them go through several steps like searching in order to navigate to that specific content.
Deferred Deep Link: A deferred deep link is an increasingly popular marketing tactic that enables a brand to deliver a user to specific content even if they have not yet installed an app. The redirect to the content is deferred until the user downloads and launches an app. Then it loads the desired deep link content. An example marketing use case for deferred deep links might be to advertise a special price on an item in an ad. When an existing app user clicks the ad, they are redirected to content about the offer. If the clicker does not have the app, they will be directed to the appropriate app store to download it. When they then launch the app, they will be redirected to specific content about the ad offer rather than the app’s home page. Read more about Deferred Deep Linking on Wikipedia here.
Demand Side Platform or DSP: A demand-side platform is a tool used by “buy side” marketers like brands or agencies to bid on advertising inventory on the media exchanges. The DSP simplifies and standardizes the process, and can be integrated with a DMP and third party data sources to enable it to identify the right users and impressions to bid on, and how much the brand should bid. DSPs are used by brands who buy media directly, and by agencies and agency trading desks, who buy on behalf of clients. Digiday’s WTF? On DSPs is available here.
Destination: The location in an app that corresponds to a link or deep link.
Device: The type of computing device in question. For example, PC, smartphone, tablet.
Device (Specific Device): The brand name and model identifier for a specific mobile device (e.g, HTC Incredible, Nokia 6600.)
Device Fingerprinting: This is a technique used to associate ad activity to an install when the device advertising ID is not available, for example for ad impressions shown on the mobile web versus in an app. Non-PII data are collected at the time of an ad event, then matched to data about an install if the ad is deemed responsible for the install. While “fingerprinting” implies a perfect match, it is actually a fallback, probabilistic technology for use when a device advertising ID is not available.
DFA: See Dart
DFP: See Dart
Dimensions: Dimensions are groups or types of data. For example, a type of location data, like country, might be a dimension, dimension. Similarly, gender, age or whether and the number of purchases a user has made.
Display Ads: Visual ad units that do not have the characteristics of a video. Banner ads are the most common example of Display, but interstitials and other full-screen messages are also examples of Display.
DMP: See Data Management Platform
DNT: See Do Not Track
DSP: See Demand Side Platform
Do Not Track or DNT: A setting on a device that indicates the consumer’s preference not to have their interests recorded for the purpose of delivering interest-based advertising. Read more about DNT on Wikipedia here.
Email Service Provider or ESP: A company that offers email distribution services.
Events: Any action that a user takes that can be measured. Usually referred to in the context of in-app events, or actions that consumers take within an app.
Event Attributes: More specific information about an event. Within the context of mobile app measurement, event attributes are often paired with event signals so that the marketers and analysts can know more about the specifics of an action. For example, an attribute for a purchase might be a SKU number, color, or a size.
Event Parameters: Another phrase for Event Attributes. More specific information about an event. Within the context of mobile app measurement, event attributes are often paired with event signals so that the marketers and analysts can know more about the specifics of an action. For example, an attribute for a purchase might be an SKU number, color, or a size.
First-Time User: Someone who has launched an app for the first time.
Frequency Capping: A provision in the specs of an ad campaign that limits the number of ad exposures to an individual. A frequency cap of three, for example, means that we will stop showing ads to a user after they have seen it three times.
Geofencing: The use of GPS to define the limits of a geographical area. In the context of app marketing, geofencing would define the exact area where a specific local experience would take place. For example, a brand might use geofencing to ensure its ads appear only when users are within two miles of one of the brand’s stores. Read TechTarget’s summary on geofencing here.
Geotargeting: Selecting users for marketing and messaging efforts based on their geographic location. As distinct from “geofencing,” which refers to the border of such a region.
Goals: Goals are measurable and quantifiable performance targets for your objectives.
Google Advertising ID or GAID: Another name for Android Advertising ID or Android ID for Advertisers (AIFA).
Google Partners: Companies that have qualified for status as Google Partners and have earned Partner or Premier Partner designation
HTML5: The markup language used to display much content in the mobile and PC environments.
Hybrid Apps: Apps that are coded so that they will perform on multiple platforms.
Hyperlocal: Location-based information at the neighborhood level.
IAB: See Interactive Advertising Bureau
Identifier for Advertisers or IDFA: Every Apple iOS device has a unique number that enables advertisers to associate activity on that phone to that specific device. In the iOS universe, the name for this number is an Identifier for Advertisers or IDFA. It is different from a UDID or Unique Device ID, which is also a number unique to the device, but which cannot be used for ad tracking. IDFA can be reset by the device user, for a greater degree of privacy and choice. In the Android universe, the resettable advertising ID is called the Android Identifier for Advertisers (AIFA), Android Advertising ID (AIFA) or Google Advertising ID (GAID.)
IDFA: See Identifier for Advertisers
IMEI: See International Mobile Equipment Identity
Impression: This refers to the point in which an ad is made available for view by a web or app user. When an ad appears on a site or your phone, then that is called an impression. An ad impression is considered viewable if it appears within the field of vision of a person. Impressions that are erroneously exposed to bots or via fraud are called bot impressions or nonviewable impressions.
In-app events: Any action taken by a user inside an app.
Insertion Order or IO: A contract with a media company that specifies the size and components of an ad buy.
Install-to-Action Ratio or ITA: The number of people who take an action (like making a purchase) divided by the total number of installs.
Interactive Advertising Bureau or IAB: A lead industry trade association, one of whose functions is to set specifications for advertising units and standards.
International Mobile Equipment Identity or IMEI is a unique identifier or ID for a mobile device. It is different from an advertising ID because it is permanent – can never be changed by the user. Thus is usually cannot be used for ad tracking.
Interstitial ads: Full screen ads, often in animated or video formats, that appear prior to the display of app or web content.
ITA: See Install-to-Action Ratio
Jailbreaking (usually iOS jailbreaking): Deliberately removing software restrictions on a device, so that it can perform tasks unauthorized by the manufacturer (e.g., Apple.)
K Factor: In marketing, the measure of the viral spread of something. K is defined as the average number of individuals that a person shares to, times the average conversion rate.
Last Click Attribution: Last click attribution is an approach to awarding credit for an action to the vendor or program that drove the last ad click prior to the action. For example, if a user clicks on three different ads before installing, from vendors A, B and C respectively, then last click attribution awards credit for the install to vendor C, the company that drove the last click.
Launch: The action of activating an app by clicking on its icon. When the app loads, we call it a launch.
Lifetime Value or LTV: The average revenue (or profit, it is used both ways) from an app user.
Limit Ad Tracking: This setting in iOS devices enables the user to limit the amount of information advertisers can collect and store about their user behavior. In Android, the toggle is called “opt out of interest-based advertising.”
Location-Based Marketing: Marketing programs that are activated when a user enters a specific geography. For instance, displaying an offer in an app when the user is within 5 miles of a retail outlet.
Look-Back Window: In the process of app install attribution, credit for an install is typically given to the company or campaign that delivered the last click prior to an install. A look-back window limits the amount of time that an attribution solution looks back for the last click. If the look-back window for a campaign is 30 days, then the attribution provider looks back up to 30 days to identify the last click. If the last click did not occur in the past 30 days, for example 31 days ago, then the click occurred outside the lookback window, and the install will be listed as an organic install, not a paid install.
Marketing Events: Any action taken by a user as a result of marketing activity.
MAU: See Monthly Active Users
Metrics or Campaign Metrics: The units by which we measure something. Impressions, clicks, launches and purchases are examples of popular metrics in app marketing.
Mobile Measurement Partner or MMP: Literally a member of the Facebook Mobile Measurement Program. The MMP program was created by Facebook to provide app advertisers with advanced attribution analytics for Facebook campaigns while ensuring that data collection associated with Facebook mobile campaign measurement adheres to strict privacy guidelines. MMPs are granted the highest degree of data access and are regularly audited to ensure compliance with the terms of the program. MMPs are capable of collecting more granular data on marketing events driven by the Facebook platform and afford their clients an understanding of how those marketing events relate to events driven by other partners. Read about Facebook’s MMP program here.
Note, though, many people use the term and acronym to refer to all mobile app measurement providers, even though most are NOT Facebook MMPs.
Mobile Commerce or Mcommerce: Purchases made using a mobile device. Sources differ as to whether tablets are included in mcommerce figures – usually they are.
Mobile CRM: Literally Mobile Customer Relationship Management, Mobile CRM is the discipline of architecting and delivering a set of communications to users or customers via mobile devices. Mobile CRM can encompass email, push notifications, alerts, banner messages, or any other type of mobile-delivered message that can reach a user or customer.
Mobile Fraud: A broad category referring to any tactic or strategy designed to cheat advertising, users, or media companies out of value. Four major classes of mobile fraud include:
- Incentivized Install Fraud: Refers to when a media provider or publisher uses incentivized install tactics to drive app installs, without informing the brand that an incentive was used.
- Falsified Install Fraud: When a fraudster deliberately fakes an install using an illegal or undisclosed means. Some common approaches include mimicking installs on simulated devices, piggyback installs that are paired with other apps so that users unknowingly install an app without their knowledge or permission, and background installs when apps are installed behind the scenes in a manner invisible to users.
- Purchase Fraud: Deliberate actions designed to steal virtual goods or real world goods without payment.
- Ad Fraud: The airing or simulated airing of mobile ads that have no possibility of being seen by a human. Often this occurs in the background of adulterated apps and is invisible to the device user. In other cases, simulated mobile apps make ad calls in order to cheat advertisers of revenue and value.
Mobile Shopping: This term refers to pre-transaction behaviors that occur on a mobile device. Browsing, add to cart, searches, find a store, etc. are all examples of mobile commerce.
Mobile Subscriber: A person who has contracted to use the mobile voice/data services of a specific carrier.
Monthly Active Users or MAUs: The average number of individuals who use a particular app in a 30-day period.
Multiscreen: Typically refers to content and apps that can be used on a variety of screen types, like TV, PC, and smartphone.
Multivariate Testing: Describes a process by which different creative executions or other consumer communications are tested against one another in order to identify the best messages for driving specific actions/goals. In multivariate (as opposed to A/B) testing, changes to multiple dimensions of an execution are tested.
Native Ads: Sponsored messages that have at least some of the characteristics of editorial, or which appear in the news feed of a user.
Native App: An app developed for a specific type of device and operating systems. Opposite of a hybrid app, which is designed for use on multiple OS and device types.
Near Field Communication or NFC: Radio-based communications enabled by putting two devices in proximity to one another.
Network SDKs: SDKs that are provided by a media company to track the results of marketing programs, and provide the information necessary to drive campaign optimization.
NFC: See Near Field Communications
Offer Wall: A page or area in your app that lists all of the offers available to the user.
Open Source: Open source refers to computer code that is available to everyone. The source code is shared with the public for anyone to look at or change. It is the opposite of closed source. IOS is closed source, whereas Android is open source. A comparison of open- and closed-source software is available here.
Opt-In: Refers to individuals who have made a choice to accept something. For example, an app user is said to opt-in to push messaging when they consent to receive push notifications from an app.
Opt-In Rate: The percent of people who opt-in to something. If 50% of people choose not to receive push notifications from your app, for example, you have an opt-out rate of push notifications rate of 50%
Opt-Out: Refers to individuals who have made a choice NOT to accept something. For example, an opt-out rate for interest-based advertising refers to the percentage of people who have turned off the ability for marketers to track user behavior for the purpose of delivering interest-targeted ads in the future.
Opt-Out of Interest-Based Advertising: This setting in Android enables the user to limit a number of information advertisers can collect and store about their user behavior. In iOS, the toggle is called “Limit Ad Tracking.”
Opt-Out Rate: The percent of people who opt-out of something. If 50% of people choose not to receive push notifications from your app, for example, you have an opt-out of push notifications rate of 50%
Parameters: In the context of app marketing measurement, a parameter is a piece of data passed from the app to the analysis platform along with an event. For example, a purchase event could be communicated with parameters like SKU, price, size, color, etc.
Passthrough Parameters: These are characteristics of an event that get passed to the measurement solution along with the notice of the event.
Postbacks: Messages from mobile measurement companies to publishers that occur when the desired event takes place. For example, a Postback could be sent whenever a user installs an app. Postbacks enable media companies to understand “what works” in a campaign and optimize efforts for greater marketing effectiveness.
Postback Macros: Special postback scripts that replace pieces of the postback code with accurate information about the event.
Post-Click Tracking or PCT: Measurement of whether a user performs an action after clicking on a banner, such as completing a registration or purchasing an item.
Pre-Loaded App: An app that is installed on a device before it is delivered to the consumer. Usually, the manufacturer is paid compensation for each preloaded app.
Push Notifications: Messages and content that are delivered to mobile devices at times other than when specifically requested by a user. These often come in text pop-ups on the device, but emails, delivered videos and photo messages also fall into this category.
Raw Data: Unprocessed and unfiltered data from a source.
Raw Data Feed: A stream of raw data delivered as it is collected.
Real-Time Bidding or RTB: Analogous to a stock exchange transaction, real-time bidding is a process through which ads are purchased and sold on a per-impression basis, via a real-time, instantaneous electronic transaction. Wikipedia offers an excellent summary on RTB here.
Remarketing: Delivering marketing messages to a specific set of individuals, like app users or heavy buyers Remarketing lets you target ads based on past user behaviors. Examples include advertising to cart abandoners to get them to return and finish their purchase. Other examples include relaunching an app, completing registration, or any other action that might bring value to an app business.
Retargeting: Delivering ads to a specific set of individuals, like app users or heavy buyers Retargeting lets you target ads based on past user behaviors. Examples include advertising to cart abandoners to get them to return and finish their purchase. Other examples include relaunching an app, completing registration, or any other action that might bring value to an app business.
Re-Engagement: Delivering marketing messages to a specific set of individuals, like app users or heavy buyers. Re-Engagement lets you target ads based on past user behaviors. Example: advertising to cart abandoners to get them to return and finish their purchase. Other examples include relaunching an app, completing registration, or any other action that might bring value to an app business.
Reset Advertising Identifier: In order to give consumers privacy and choice in mobile, both Apple and Android devices give users the option to change the number that identifies their device to advertisers. They can change the number and thereby break the connection between a device and its past activity stored in a DMP under the old device ID. Reset advertising identifier is executed in the settings area of a device.
Retention: Retention refers to whether the users of an app return and relaunch it during a given people of time. “Was a user retained in the first month?” would mean did the user relaunch the app at some point during the 30-day period.
Retention Rate: The percentage of the user base – or defined segment of the user base – that relaunch an app within a given time period. 30-day retention rate refers, for example, to the percentage of users who relaunch an app within the time window.
Return on Investment or ROI: Usually used to describe the profit from a marketing effort.
Return (or Repeat) User: Someone who has launched an app more than once. As distinct from a first-time user.
Revenue Models: Descriptions of how an app or business makes money. Examples of revenue models in the mobile app space include:
- Driving incentivized Installs by displaying promotional videos or other content, with the goal of driving users of your app to download another,
- In-app purchases of virtual goods like gold for a game
- Real-world purchase of good and services
- Subscriptions, like a monthly service charge for the content in a newspaper app
- Premium app payment, or charging money to install and use an app
These days, many apps have multiple revenue models. For example, using advertising for a free version of an app, but eliminating apps if users pay a fee. Or a combination of advertising and in-app purchases of virtual goods.
Return on Ad Spend or ROAS: ROAS refers to the ratio of revenue generated by an amount of advertising investment. Campaign Revenue/Media Cost x100
Return on Investment or ROI: In the context of apps, ROI usually refers to the rate of return on a marketing investment. Profit/Cost x100.
ROAS: See Return on Ad Spend
ROI: See Return on Investment
RTB: See Real-Time Bidding
SDK or Software Development Kit: A set of tools required for the development of applications for a particular operating system. In app marketing, SDK is typically used to describe the tracking software used by media companies and third-party measurement and optimization companies to measure consumer behavior in an app. In order to track an app, SDK software from the tracker must be inserted into the app. Such software is a substitute for third-party-cookie-based tracking, which is ineffective for most mobile environments.
Server to Server or S2S Integration: In the context of mobile apps, S2S refers to a direct connection between a measurement company’s servers and those of an app publisher, often instead of a connection between the measurement company and the end user via an SDK. S2S tends to operate more slowly than SDK integrations. That’s because messages must flow from device to publisher and then to measurement company, versus directly from device to measurement company. S2S integrations are far less common, and are usually chosen only by companies with corporate policies against SDKs in their apps.
Session: Describes each occasion that a user opens and interacts with an app.
Session Length: The duration, in minutes and seconds, of an app user occasion.
Session Interval: The amount of time between a user’s sessions.
Short Code: Short codes often replace full phone numbers in mobile marketing campaigns. A short code is often a 5 digit number that can be used by a consumer to communicate with a company.
Sideloaded Apps: This refers to Android app installs that occur from locations other than the Google Play store. APK installs are sideloaded apps.
Smart Tags: A single ad tag that can redirect a user to different destinations based on whether or not they have an app installed and which operating system they are using.
SoLoMo: An acronym for Social, Local and Mobile.
Supply Side Platform or SSP: A supply side platform is a tool used by “sell side” publishers and ad networks make advertising available on the media exchanges. The SSP simplifies and standardizes the process, and helps manage the execution of a purchase and creative trafficking.
Time to Acquire or TTA: The amount of time it takes for a user to make a purchase, after they install an app.
TOP: See Twitter Official Partner
Twitter Official Partner: Twitter Official Partners have been recognized by Twitter because of their exceptional products or expert-level services and proven success on Twitter. Visit the Twitter Partner Marketplace here.
UDID: See Unique Device Identifier
UI: See User Interface
Uninstall Rates: The percentage of people who uninstall an app in a given period of time. A 32% 4-week uninstall rate, for example, means that 32% of people have completed the act of uninstalling an app in that period.
Unique Device Identifier or UDID: A unique identifying number for every Apple iOS device, like an iPhone or an iPad. It’s analogous to a serial number. The Android counterpart for UDID is the Android ID. UDIDs are permanent and cannot be changed by the user, whereas Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) and the Android Advertising ID (AIFA) CAN be reset by the user. In the past, ad campaigns were tracked by UDID and Android IDs. But Apple and Android subsequently introduced and then required use of IDFA and Android Advertising ID for ad campaign measurement because a resettable system offers consumers the option of a greater degree of privacy and choice in whether marketers can analyze their behaviors in order to deliver interest-based ads to them.
Unique Identifiers: Another way to refer to device IDs or device advertising IDs.
Unique User: Each distinct individual user of an app. But unique users are usually measured by the number of device advertising IDs there are with an app present.. So a person with two phones can sometimes be counted as two unique users, for example
Universal Ad Campaigns: A Google product that enables a brand to contract with Google once for a variety of ad types, types. With UACs, Google can read results across Google properties and optimize spend by creative and vehicle to maximize results.
Unlocked Device or Unlocked Phone: An unlocked phone or device means that a user need not be restricted to a single carrier. By inserting a new SIM card, they can change carriers/service providers.
User Actions: The actions that a person takes within the confines of the app.
Users: People who have installed and launched an app. As distinct from customers, who have installed, used, and made a purchase in the app.
User Interface or UI: The specific elements of an app that enable a user to interact and control it. Navigation buttons are an example of UI.
User Experience or UX: The aggregated experience of using an app. Good UX means that users have a overall positive experience using an app. That can encompass how efficiently they can use it, how well it performs, and the overall results or actions that it delivers.
User Segments: Groups of an app’s users that share at least one common characteristic. User segments are often used to determine who should receive re-engagement marketing.
UX: See User Experience
Viewability: Usually used in the context of ad campaigns, an impression is said to be viewable if it can be seen by a human. Bot impressions are not viewable. Nor are impressions that are outside the field of vision displayed for the user on the device screen. Thus, in order to calculate viewable impressions, you must subtract bot impressions and ad impressions that do not appear on a user’s screen from the total impressions figure.
When some of an ad can be seen – for example, if an ad is only partly on screen, or if the person only watches a few seconds of an ad, or if the player is quite small, the industry uses a set of standards to define whether such an impression is officially viewable. Different organizations promulgate different standards of viewability. To learn more about viewability standards, click here for a document outlining the most widely used criteria.
View-Through Attribution: With view-through attribution, credit for an install can be awarded to the vendor that delivered the last ad viewed by an installer, if there has been no ad click in the attribution window before the install.
Whales: Brands that spend lots of money in the app marketing arena, or which have huge user bases.
Whitelist: In the context of apps, a black list is a set of user advertising IDs that a brand wants to advertise to. Another way the term is used is to describe a set of websites or apps that are acceptable venues to run an ad campaign.
Windows 10: The latest version of the Windows operating system from Microsoft
Windows Phone: Operating system from Microsoft that competes with iOS and Android.