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Digital Glossary

In today’s world, the digital transformation is accelerating and with it, new methods and tools emerge, but also a new language that sets certain boundaries and barriers for collaboration.
Hence, the intention of this Glossary is to set a common understanding of certain terms without the claim, that the proposed definitions are universally applicable.

In order to collaborate in a digital world, we need a common understanding and shared terminology to avoid misunderstandings, that potentially undermine the success of any collaborative effort.

The definitions are mostly building on popular websites in the respective field, however, are refined by the publishers for
a corporate setting.

All A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

1st Party Data

is defined as information you yourself have collected about your audience. Examples: cookie-based data, CRM information, website analytics, etc.


Facility established to nurture young (startup) firms during their go- to-market phase to achieve „Proof of market“. Accelerator usually support startups through networks to partners, investors, etc.


Is the action or practice of using a special piece of software to prevent advertisements from appearing on a web page.

Ad Serving

technology companies pro- vide software to Web sites and advertisers to serve ads, count them, choose the ads that will make the Web site or advertiser the most money, and monitor progress of different advertising campaigns.


The term (short for advertising technology) broadly refers to different types of analytics and digital tools used in the context of advertising. Discussions about ad tech often revolve around the extensive and complex systems used to direct advertising to individuals and specific target audiences.


is an unambiguous specification of how to solve a class of problems. Algorithms can perform calculation, data processing and automated  reasoning tasks.


A computer program with an interface, enabling people to use the computer as a tool to accomplish a specific task.

Average Order Value (AOV)

is an ecommerce metric that measures the average total of every order placed with a merchant over a defined period of time.

Average Order Volume

measures the average amount of products of every order placed with a merchant over a defined period of time.

Average Time Spent

is a type of visitor report that provides data on the amount of time (in minutes or seconds) visitors have spent on your website.

Average View Rate

This rate is the number of videos viewed or clicked divided by number of videos displayed in total.

Bank Identification Number (BIN)

works to protect both merchants and consumers in the online marketplace. Every credit or debit card contains a BIN, typically the first four to six numbers on a bank-issued card. These numbers easily identify the type of card being used, the geographic location of the card issuer and which bank or company issued the card.


the measurement and analysis of unique physical or behavioral characteristics (such as fingerprint or voice patterns) especially as a means of verifying personal identity.


is the first cryptocurrency building on blockchain technology and a worldwide payment system. It is a decentralized peer- to-peer network that works without a central bank.


Funding and running a business without any outside capital.

Bounce Rate

is used in web traffic analysis and represents the percentage of visitors who enter the site and then leave („bounce“) rather than continuing to view other pages within the same site.

Business Intelligence (BI)

refers to technologies, applications and practices for the collection, integration, analysis, and presentation of business information. The purpose of Business Intelligence is to support better business decision making.

Business Model Innovation

is about fundamentally rethinking your business around a clear—though not always obvious—customer need, then realigning your resources, processes and profit formula with this new value proposition


(also known as a talkbot, chatterbot, Bot, IM bot, interactive agent, or Artificial Conversational Entity) is a computer program which conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods.

Click and Collect

is a hybrid e-commerce system where customers order goods online and pick them up in a store or at some agreed-upon  location

Click to Buy

also called one-click or one-click buying, is the technique of allowing customers to make online purchases with a single click, with the payment information needed to complete the purchase having been entered by the user previously.

Click to Open Rate (CTO)

Used mainly in email marketing, a CTO is the number of people who clicked on at least one link in an email as of total emails opened in an campaign


or cluster analysis is the task of grouping a set of objects in such a way that objects in the same group (called a cluster) are more similar (in some sense or another) to each other than to those in other groups (clusters).

Company Builder

is an organizational structure (aka startup factory, startup foundry, venture builder) that aims at building several companies in succession. In comparison to incubators, company builder are playing an active (not a supportive role) in scaling startups (e.g. team building, funding, asset
sharing, etc.).


define a specific space for digital content. The container is an interface to other system elements, thereby decreasing interdependencies and complexities. Containers are popular with both developers and operators because they offer a simpler way to achieve deployment and execution consistency.

Content Marketing

is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action


An action that’s counted when someone interacts with your ad (for example, clicks a text ad or views a video ad) and then takes an action that you’ve defined as valuable to your business (e.g. purchase, registration,  etc.)

Conversion Rate (CVR)

is defined as the number of visitors to a website that complete a desired goal (a conversion) out of the total number of visitors.

Cost per Action (CPA)

Payment model where advertisers pay for every „action“ (newsletter subscription, form submission, account creation, etc.) completed as a result of a visitor clicking on an ad.

Cost per Conversion

is the ratio of the number of advertisement views and the number of successful conversions resulting from those ad views.

Cost per Mile (CPM)

Payment model where advertisers pay for every 1000 impressions addressed (e.g. on search queries, websites, etc.)

Cost per View (CPV)

CPV is the price that gets paid when a video ad is played. In general the video doesn’t have to be watched the whole way through to cause a payment – just started.

Cost Turnover Ratio

is calculated as cost of goods sold divided by average inventory during the time period.

Customer Experience (CX)

is the product of an interaction between an organization and a customer over the duration of their relationship. A good customer experience means that the individual’s experience during all points of contact matches the individual’s expectations.

Customer Lifetime (CLV)

is a prediction of the net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer. The CLV differs depending on customer group segmentation.


is the process of detecting and correcting (or removing) corrupt or inaccurate records from a record set, table, or database and refers to identifying incomplete, incorrect or irrelevant parts of the data and then replacing, modifying, or deleting the dirty or coarse data.

Data Management Platform (DMP)

is used by digital advertising buyers and publishers to store and manage audience data, often from multiple sources, and make it available to other platforms to be used for targeted advertising, content customization and beyond. 


is a large store of data used for reporting and data analysis, and is considered a core component of business intelligence.

Decision Tree

is a decision support tool that uses a tree-like graph or model of decisions and their possible consequences.

Demand-Side Platform (DSP)

a system that allows buyers of digital advertising inventory to manage multiple ad exchange and data exchange accounts through one interface. 


(development and operations) is an enterprise software development phrase used to mean a type of agile relationship between development  and IT operations. The goal of DevOps is to change and improve the relationship between these two business units.

Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO)

is a display ad technology that creates personalized ads based on data about the viewer at the moment of ad serving. Because the creative is both more relevant and also tested and optimized, dynamic ads typically outperform their static counterparts

Earned Media

refers to publicity gained through promotional efforts other than paid media Examples: Shares, Likes, Comments, Reposts, Warf of Mouth etc.

Engagement Rate

is a metric that measures the level of engagement that a piece of created content is receiving from an audience. It shows how much people interact
with the content.

Facebook Engagement

Examples: Likes, Comments, Shares, Followers


Offering an entry level product for free and additional features are sold with high margins (i.e. Skype)


is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts (e.g. badges, levels, rewards, status, etc.).

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

is a regulation by which the European Parliament,  the Council of the European Union and  the European Commission intend  to strengthen  and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union.

Growth Hacking

is a process of rapid experimentation across marketing channels and product development to identify the most efficient ways to grow a business.
Growth hacking is particularly prevalent with startups, when the goal is rapid growth at an early-stage launch phase.


Apache Hadoop is an opensource software framework used for distributed storage and processing of dataset of big data using the MapReduce programming model. It consists of computer clusters built from commodity hardware.


refer to visualizations of on-page user behavior on website and apps.


try to seperate the content and the platform, so that the same content can be used in various platforms. This is done basically by creating a container for each platform with the same content. Analogy: Prefabricate houses, They can be build anywhere but have the same content aka room layout).


is a facility established to nur- ture young (startup) firms during their con- cept phase to achieve „Proof of concept“. Incubator support startups through (mostly) non-monetary services (office space, skill training, marketing support, investor relations, etc.)

Instagram Engagement

Examples: Likes, Followers and Comments

Internet of Things (IoT)

is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people, that have the ability to trans-
fer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.


An employee within a company who promotes innovative product development and marketing and builds new business models inside a corporate structure.

Ipaas (Integrated Platform-A-S-A-Service)

Integrated Platform as a Service (iPaaS) is a suite of cloud services enabling development, execution and governance of integration flows connecting any combination of on premises and cloud-based processes, services, applications and data within individual or across multiple organizations.


is another agile method to man- age and improve work for software development teams. This approach aims to manage work by balancing the demands with available capacity, and improving the handling of system level bottlenecks: Work items are visualized from start to finish usually via a Kanban board. Work is pulled as capacity permits, rather than work being pushed into the process when requested.

Lean Startup

Similar to Design Thinking, Lean StartUp is a set of tools that support the development of successful business bodes through inexpensive and continuous user testing.


refers to online streaming media simultaneously recorded and broadcast in real time to the viewer. Live stream services encompass a wide variety of topics, from social media to video games.

Location Based Marketing

is defined as the use of mobile marketing to target mobile users within a certain geographic area

Long Tail

Focusing on a large number of products each with low sales volumes but with the most profitable clients (i.e. Lego, Amazon Self Publishing)


(Machine to Machine) refers to a wireless or wired network setup that allows devices of the same type and ability to communicate freely with each other.

Machine Learning

is an application of artificial intelligence (AI) that provides systems the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed. Machine learning focuses on the development of computer programs that can access data and use it learn for themselves.

Map (Marketing Automation Platform)

Software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and organizations to more effectively market on multiple channels online (such as email, social media, websites, etc.) and automate repetitive  tasks.

Micro Influencers

are influencers with a smaller number of followers  (1,000 - 100,000) who typically build followings around niches (e.g. travel, fashion, beauty, photography, etc.)


is computer software that provides services to software applications beyond those available from the operating system. Middleware makes it easier for software developers to implement communication and input/output, so they can focus on the specific purpose of their application.

Mobile Website

is designed specifically for the smaller screens and touch-screen capabilities of smartphones and tablets. It can be accessed using any mobile device’s Web browser, like Safari on iOS and Chrome on Android

Multi-Sided Platforms

Brings together two or more distinct but interdependent groups of customers (i.e. Google)

Net Traffic

is total amount of sessions minus bounced sessions during a selected date range.

Neural Network

is a system of pro- grams and data patterned on the operation of the human brain that learns from and adapts to initial rules and experience.

New vs Returning Visitors Ratio

is the ratio of first-time users (no website cookies set) against returning users (visitor with existing analytics cookies from a previous visit) during a selected date range.


(Near-field communication) is a set of communication protocols that enable two electronic devices, one of which is usually a portable device such as a smartphone, to establish communication by bringing them within 4 cm (1.6 in) of each other. It’s often used for identification or payment processes.

Number of Followers

number of unqiue users following a particular business on a social media network.

Number of Video Views

Number of times a video has been intentionally viewed.

Number of Video Views by Source

Total video views split up by marketing source of viewer. Examples: Organic, Paid, Viral, etc.

On-Premise Software

is installed and runs on computers on the premises (in the building) of the person or organization using the software, rather than at a remote facility such as a server farm or cloud.

Open Source

Software developed voluntarily by thousands of engineers around the world (i.e. Redhat)

Operational CRM

generally refers to services that allow an organization to take care of their customers. It provides support for various business processes, which can include sales, marketing and service. Contact and call centers, data aggregation systems and web sites are a few examples of operational CRM. 

Organic Search

Interaction made by people with your brand without having to have pay for it (e.g. search queries through Google, etc.).


In statistics and machine learning, overfitting occurs when a model tries to predict a trend in data that is too noisy. Overfitting is the result of an overly complex model with too many parameters.

Owned Media

is defined as communication channels that are within one’s control. Examples: Web / Mobile Sites, Blogs, Social Networks, Email Newsletter, etc.


(Platform as a service) is a category of cloud computing services that provides a platform allowing customers to develop, run, and manage applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure (e.g. for launching an app).

Page Rank

is an algorithm used by the Google search engine to measure the authority of a webpage. While the details of PageRank are proprietary, it is generally
believed that the number and importance of inbound links to that page are a significant factor.


Also called page impression, is a request to load a single HTML file (web page) of an Internet site.

Paid Search

Purchase of keywords to get sponsored links returned in search engine results (e.g. Google Adwords, Facebook Ads)


(also known as customization) consists of tailoring a service or a product to accommodate specific individuals, sometimes tied to groups or segments of individuals.

Pinterest Engagement

Examples: Repins, Comments, Likes, Followers


describes the process of iterating the value proposition of your start up (e.g. product offering or business model as such). A pivot is the activity to search for other business opportunities as the current one does not prove to be sustaining.

Post Impression

conversions are, for a display ad campaign, online conversions produced by individuals who have not clicked the ad through but have converted later.

Predictive Modeling

is the process  of creating, testing and validating a model to best predict the probability of an outcome (e.g. crime detection, spam protection, etc.).


is a pre-version of a prototype, often only testing very limited elements of a product offering or business model with minimal expenses.

Product Information Management (PIM)

means managing the information required to market and sell products through distribution channels. A central set of product data can be used to feed information to media such as web sites, print catalogs, ERP systems, and electronic data feeds to trading partners.

Programmatic Buying

describes online display advertising that is aggregated, booked, flighted, analyzed and optimized via demand side software interfaces and algorithms. While it includes RTB it also includes non RTB methods and buy types such as Facebook Ads API and the Google Display Network.


is an early model or experiment to rapidly create solutions to challenges and problems already defined and discussed by innovators.

Ratings and Reviews

are used on shopping sites to give customers an opportunity to rate and comment on products they have purchased, right on the product page


refers to the total number of different people or households exposed, at least once, to a medium during a given period.


is a basic data structure. A record is a collection of fields, possibly of different data types, typically in fixed number and sequence  (e.g.  personal profile,  purchase transactions,  etc.).

Retweet (RT)

is simply a repost of another Twitter user’s tweet on your own profile to show to your own followers.

Sales Conversion Rate

is the number of successful purchases as of total traffic of a website (e.g. sessions, unique visitors, etc.)


is a framework for managing work with  an  emphasis  on  software  development. It is designed for teams of three to nine developers who  break their work  into actions that can  be completed within timeboxed  iterations,  called  sprints  (typically  two-weeks).

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

is a form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) primarily through paid advertising.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

is the process of affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine's unpaid results.

Share of Engagement (SOE)

Used mainly in the online marketing field, SOE is the total engagements that your brand created divided by the total engagements in your category.

Share or Shelf

describes the number of inches of store shelf space devoted to the display of a given product.

Social Media Monitoring

is a way of computing popularity of a brand or company by extracting information from social media channels (e.g. blogs, wikis, news sites, micro-blogs, social media networks etc.)

Stand-Up Meeting

is a meeting in which attendees typically participate while standing. The discomfort of standing for long periods is intended to keep the meetings short (15min. max).


Youtube users, that subscribe to a specific youtube channel to receive updated about new content publications.

Supply-Side Platform (SSP)

or sell-side platform is a technology platform to enable web publishers to manage their advertising space inventory, fill it with ads, and receive revenue. 

Sustaining Technologies

are technologies that improve product performance

Total Traffic

The amount of visits a Web site receives.

Traffic by Device

Total traffic split up by browsing device. Examples: Desktop, Tablets,     Mobile/Smartphones

Traffic by Source

Total traffic split up by marketing source of visitor. Examples: Direct, Referral, Paid, Display Ads, Social Media, Email campaigns, etc.


associates a name (symbol) with a value or an object. Variables are tightly linked to the programming language and are like placeholderders for processing data (e.g. „customeremail“ can be a variable for „individual customer email addresses“).


refers to advertisements that is integrated into videos and generally occurs before, during and after a video stream.

Video Completion Rate

The percentage of videos that were played to the end of the clip as a % of total views. (incomplete and completed).

Viral Loops

are a type of marketing  campaign used to promote a company or product. Named after viruses, a viral loop is meant to infect a person and cause them to share it with other people.

Voice Commerce

is a form of software application that is often utilized within commercial websites. Voice recognition technology replaces the typical point-and-click online decision-making process by prompting the user to speak into a microphone.

Web Hosting

is in the business of providing server space, Web services and file maintenance for Web sites controlled by individuals or companies that do not have their own Web servers.

Youtube Engagement

Examples: Views, Shares, Dislikes, Likes, Subscriber