We see it splashed across our favourite websites. It’s all over your Facebook mobile feed, and sometimes in the bottom third of some of your favourite free apps (Candy Crush Saga, anyone?). What is it, you might ask? Programmatic display advertising.

In the US alone, the world’s largest programmatic market, programmatic ad spend has accounted for more than $15 billion this year, which is well over half of the country’s digital display advertising spend. In the UK, programmatic advertising and marketing automation tools are forecast to reach a similar clip, with eMarketer predicting programmatic display ad growth will maintain its double-digit growth of overall online advertising in 2015 (66.2 per cent to hit £1.8bn) into 2016 when it’s projected to rise to £2.46bn.

Even as a seasoned marketer and business professional, you might find yourself scratching your head when you read the latest headlines across ad tech news sites. Programmatic direct? Viewability? Preferred Deal? Impressions? What it all boils down to is a brave new world of programmatic—buying, messaging and creatives—within digital marketing’s fast-paced, ever-evolving ecosystem.

For anyone new to the world of online advertising and baffled by the acronyms -- CTR? CLV? CPA? -- allow us to introduce you to the Programmatic Jargon Buster, our version of London’s A-Z for opaque and unwieldy buzzwords.

If you’re keen to optimise your digital marketing plans to include programmatic, here’s what we feel are the top 10 most useful ad tech terminology to add to your marketing lexicon now:

Programmatic advertising: digital advertising that is automatically triggered by any type of event and deployed according to a set of rules applied by software and algorithms. Human intervention is still needed in programmatic campaigns as the campaigns are pre-planned and executed by marketers.

Ad fraud: Any type of illegal activity of online advertising including non-human traffic, malware that redirects users to third party websites, or having multiple ads placed on top of each other so that advertisers are charged for ad placements that are never even visible to website visitors. Ad fraud is a growing problem in the online advertising industry and organisations like the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) are working hard to reduce the amount of ad fraud prevalent in the industry.

First-Party data: This is the information that is collected by an advertiser about its audience or customers based on a direct relationship. This type of data is often collected using browser cookies to measure on-website behaviours, but it can also be combined with other types of online and offline data, such as website analytics, CRM profiles, business analytics, loyalty programme data, yield or revenue management data and more.

Streaming CRM: A dynamic display advertising technology that allows advertisers to combine real-time user data streamed from their websites combined with historical user data from CRM systems, to drive personalised online advertising with programmatic buying and messaging solutions.

Cross-device recognition: Identifying a single user across multiple devices such as desktops, tablets, mobile devices, and even wearables.

Frequency capping: this is where providers restrict a given number of times that browsers will see an advertisement. A ‘universal frequency cap’ refers to where a demand-side platform, or DSP, is able to offer a comprehensive frequency cap number for its entire inventory, rather than on a per-publisher or per-network basis. Some examples of prominent DSP’s? AppNexus, DoubleClick, OpenX, and

Native advertising: For brand retailers, this refers to creative that matches the look and feel of a publisher’s content, in order to create advertising that is less disruptive to the overall content experience. The most prominent example? Facebook’s Newsfeed advertising.

Return-on-ad spend (ROAS): A measure of the ratio of revenues generated by a particular marketing campaign relative to advertising costs spent, e.g. (Revenue / Ad Spend) x 100

Real-time bidding: This refers to the means by which ad inventory is bought and sold on a per-impressions basis, via a programmatic instantaneous auction, similar to financial markets. With real-time bidding, advertising buyers bid on an impression.

Viewability: A metric that refers to whether ad impressions are actually in view of the user. According to IAB standards, at least 50% of the ad has to be displayed on the screen for at least one second for it to be “viewed”.

As European marketers continue to hone their digital advertising strategy for the next year, programmatic advertising solutions can radically change the way online campaigns are run, with the right message being displayed at the right time, personalised for their intended customer.

By Adam Baker, Managing Director, Sociomantic Labs