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Online Advertising Primers

The inspiration for most of these came to me when I saw a post about a retargeting campaign that didn’t have a daily or frequency cap in place. This had a bombarding impact on some users. They saw the same ads all over the web – for days. Someone out there needed to be educated on campaign controls. I didn’t end up tracking down the specific person responsible for the campaign; online advertising is a small world only if you’re at a conference. Otherwise it takes quite awhile to find out who flipped the switch on an ad that just happened to be on some site one might be browsing. But if you’re out there, oh intrepid campaign scheduler who forgot their frequency cap, please read these. They’ll help you do a better job.

Frequency Cap

Frequency capping is the act of placing a restriction on an advertising campaign that mandates that are particular user only see an ad a fixed number of times over a given period. This usually takes the form of impressions/day/user (or impressions/hour/user)… read on

Daily and Global Cap

The Daily Cap is the limit of the number times an ad is shown throughout the day. With branded campaigns these are usually in the 10s or 100s of thousands. When used on a performance campaign it can vary based on the confidence in performance for the given targeting parameters. When the cap is achieved the ad stops serving… read on

Day Parting

Day parting a campaign restricts the campaign to serving only during certain times of the day. Day parting typically takes the form of a serving window between particular hours; a setting may have a starting hour and a stopping hour. The campaign serves normally between the hours, but doesn’t serve at all outside of them… read on


Retargeting means showing a user advertising for a product that they’ve looked at in the recent past. Retargeting, from a users perspective, is broken down into two stages: In the first stage they’re looking at a product or service at the product’s web site. In the second stage they see ads on (possibly unrelated) web properties for the product or service they were looking at previously… read on


The market explains RTB as sales channel where advertisers bid on their desired ad impressions, with the targeted impression going to the highest bidder. RTB ad serving is made possible through APIs shared among networks, exchanges and optimization platforms that dictate detailed transaction conditions… read on


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