Performance Marketing Industry Terms

To some, especially newcomers, it can feel like the Performance Marketing industry has a language of its own. Even common terms or abbreviations (like CPA) have unique meanings in this space compared to their more generally known definitions.

The terminology itself can make it difficult for marketers and partners as they enter the space and attempt to build their own performance strategies.  In addition to the other resources on our site, we hope that this Performance Marketing Glossary helps get you on your way!

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  • Ad Exchange:

    A digital marketplace where marketers and partners can buy and sell ad inventory directly.
  • Ad Network:

    A company that connects marketers (brands) with partners (publishers) to promote the brand’s goods or services to consumers or customers on a pay-per-results model.
  • Ad Tech:

    An abbreviation for advertising technology, broadly referring to the different types of analytics and digital tools used in advertising.
  • Adperio:

    The former mobile network, now known as Perform[cb].
  • Adware:

    Also referred to as “spyware”, these are usually unwanted programs users unknowingly download that track the user’s behavior and place unwanted ads in their workspace.
  • A unique linking code that tracks activity of a partner and that partner’s visitors for a brand. This code is embedded into a text or picture link and helps attribute visitors to the partners who sent the traffic.
  • Affiliate Marketing:

    A form of performance marketing in which marketers run campaigns with partners on a commission basis, only paying when a new user converts on a sale or signup.
  • An agency that manages affiliate promotions, signups, payouts and partner relationships on behalf of a marketer.
  • Affiliate Marketing Programs:

    Digital marketing programs built out for marketers on an individual basis, used to drive brand awareness and recruit partners to run a marketer’s promotions.
  • Affiliate Network:

    A company that connects marketers (brands or their agency representatives) with affiliates to promote the brand’s goods or services to consumers or customers on a pay-per-results model.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI):

    Within marketing, AI describes the process of utilizing data models, mathematics and algorithms to generate insights to be used by marketers.
  • API:

    Also known as an Application Program Interface, an API is a set of routines, protocols, and tools used for building software applications.
  • Average Order Value (AVO):

    AVO is a measurement of the average revenue per order typically used by retailers or e-commerce brands as a KPI (Key Performance Indicator,
  • B2B:

    The exchange of products or services between two businesses.
  • B2C:

    The exchange of products or services between a business and an end-consumer.
  • Brand Protection:

    The enforcement of compliance practices and standards to prevent illegal, incorrect, or unwanted messaging of a marketer’s products or services.
  • Click Flooding:

    Also known as click spamming, this is a type of mobile fraud in which fraudsters send large amounts of clicks to attempt to steal the last click prior to an install.
  • Click Injection:

    A sophisticated form of click spamming, specific to Android devices, where fraudsters utilizes malware to steal installs.
  • Click Spam:

    A form of fraud in which a fraudster executes clicks in the background of real user engagement within an app, which is often invisible to the user.
  • Clickbooth:

    The former CPA network, now known as Perform[cb].
  • Commission:

    The referral fee or income the publisher receives for referring a lead to the advertiser’s website.
  • Content Marketing:

    A form of performance marketing in which editorial teams create assets, typically written content, promoting a marketer’s brand offerings, services, or products.
  • Contextual Ads:

    Targeted advertisements that appear on websites or other media, such as content displayed in mobile browsers, selected based on the identity of the user and the content displayed. Push notification is the most common form of contextual advertising. Pop-ups, pop-unders and in-text ads are also examples of contextual advertising.
  • A text link placed within your website or blog content versus a link that is placed in the sidebar as a more traditional advertisement.
  • Conversion Rate:

    The number of times an affiliate link has led to a sale, shown as a percentage. The amount of sales an ad has generated is divided by the number of impressions, and multiplied by 100 to get the conversion rate.
  • A type of affiliate marketing fraud in which a site visitor receives a third-party cookie unbeknownst to him or her.
  • Cookies:

    Information that your computer stores in your web browser when you visit a website or click on a link that allows websites to keep track of your visits and activity, as well as attribute referrals to the appropriate partners.
  • Cost per Acquisition (CPA):

    A pricing model in which marketers only pay partners once a new user is acquired.
  • Cost per Click (CPC):

    A pricing model in which marketers pay partners whenever their ad is clicked.
  • Cost per Engagement (CPE):

    A pricing model in which marketers pay partners whenever their ad is engaged with. An engagement can be anything from pausing a video placement to submitting a contact form.
  • Cost per Install (CPI):

    A pricing model in which marketers pay partners per mobile app install.
  • Cost per One Thousand Impressions (CPM):

    A pricing model in which marketers pay partners per one thousand views or clicks on their ad.
  • Cost per Sale (CPS):

    A pricing model in which partners pay per conversion, or sale, generated by their ad.
  • CPA Marketing:

    A form of marketing known as both Cost Per Action and Cost Per Acquisition, wherein partners are paid based on new users converting on a marketer’s offer.
  • CPA Network:

    A company that connects marketers (brands) with partners (publishers) to promote the brand’s goods or services to consumers or customers using any combination of the CPA pricing models as a means of payment for an action.
  • CPE Marketing:

    A type of marketing in which marketers only pay when users engage with their campaigns.
  • CPI Marketing:

    A form of marketing known as Cost Per Install, wherein partners are paid based on installs driven to mobile marketers’ apps.
  • Creative:

    Promotional tools that advertisers and marketers create with the end goal of converting visitors into customers. Examples include landing pages, banners, pop-ups, email copy, text links, badges, etc
  • Customer Acquisition:

    A marketing term to define new user generation.
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV):

    A metric that measures the total net profit a company makes from any given customer.
  • Dayparting:

    A tactic by which marketers and/or partners schedule ads for certain times of day or certain days of the week in order to more effectively target audiences.
  • Display Advertising:

    A form of advertising in which a marketer’s offer is conveyed to consumers using visual banners, animations, and videos, among other graphics.
  • Email Marketing:

    A form of marketing in which partners will send emails out to a group of consumers, typically subscribed to their newsletter, with the intention of selling the marketer’s services or products.
  • Fraud Prevention:

    A set of actions and processes taken to monitor for and protect marketers against digital marketing fraud.
  • Form Stuffing:

    A form of marketing fraud in which fraudsters will falsely submit contact forms using fraudulent consumer information to simulate signups or engagements.
  • Fraud Bots:

    A bot is a code that is programmed to mimic human behavior including installs and post-install engagements.
  • GEO Targeting:

    Allows marketers to target customers in a specific country or location.
  • Impression:

    The number of times an advertisement is viewed by website visitors.
  • Incent Traffic:

    A type of traffic in which users are paid money, a prize, or some kind of reward to interact with an ad.
  • Incrementality:

    The measure of the lift that marketing spend provides to the conversion rate
  • Influencer:

    A partner with a large follower base who promotes brands through social media platforms.
  • KPI (Key Performance Indicator):

    A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a measurable value, or metric, that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives.
  • Lead Generation Marketing:

    A form of marketing that aims to drive new prospective leads to a marketer’s product or service offering.
  • Marketer:

    Also known as an advertiser, a brand or company that is promoting a product or service.
  • Marketing Compliance:

    The act of enforcing and complying with a brand’s standards and marketing guidelines.
  • Marketing Partner:

    Also known as an affiliate or publisher, an individual or company that drives traffic to a marketer’s promotion or campaign, and is paid per authentic conversion.
  • Mobile App:

    Short for mobile application, a mobile software application designed to run on a device such as a mobile phone, tablet, or watch.
  • Mobile Marketing:

    A form of digital marketing that solely focuses on mobile app distribution and user acquisition.
  • Niche Marketing:

    Targeting advertisements to a specific market segment.
  • Offer:

    Products or services that are intended to target a customer's needs and wants.
  • Partner Marketing:

    A form of performance marketing, wherein marketers work with partners (also known as publishers) to promote their offers using a variety of traffic channels.
  • Perform[cb]:

    Formerly Clickbooth, Adperio, and Ignite OPM, Perform[cb] is the #1 CPA network and performance marketplace that allows marketers to promote their offers on a cost per acquisition basis.
  • Perform[cb] Agency:

    Formerly Ignite OPM, Perform[cb] Agency is a premier affiliate marketing agency specializing in affiliate, mobile, and content marketing.
  • Perform[cb] Network:

    Formerly Clickbooth and Adperio, Perform[cb] Network is the ultimate solution for multi-device user acquisition on a pay-for-results pricing model.
  • Performance Marketing:

    A type of digital marketing wherein marketers only pay once a conversion has been made.
  • Performance Marketplace:

    A digital conglomerate wherein marketers can connect with partners on a performance, or pay-for-results, basis.
  • Performance Partnerships:

    The relationship between partners and marketers who are running on a cost per acquisition basis.
  • Pixel:

    Pieces of code that allow marketers to gather information about website visitors, typically consumers, and the actions they took. Pixels are often used to create targeted, relevant content to retarget consumers.
  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS):

    The total amount of revenue generated by a marketing channel divided by the total amount spent on that channel.
  • Return on Investment (ROI):

    A ratio between net profit and cost of investment that measures the return a company sees on the amount they spent on a campaign or placement.
  • SDK Spoofing:

    A form of bot-based fraud that employs malware hidden within an app used to steal attribution.
  • Split-Testing:

    Also referred to as “A/B testing”, a form of testing several different versions of creative or written content in order to understand which performs best with a target audience.
  • Traffic Channels:

    In the world of performance marketing, this could include native, mobile, social, email, contextual, SMS, and search.
  • A link generated and attached to a specific marketing campaign used to track the success of that campaign, channel, or activity.
  • Tracking Platform:

    Marketing software used to track a marketer’s campaign progress.
  • Unique Click:

    A click that comes from an individual consumer who has not clicked the link previously.
  • Vertical:

    A section of the market in which vendors offer goods and services specific to an industry, trade, profession, or other group of consumers with specialized needs or wants.