Demystifying Data Powered Marketing

Here’s the thing with tech. It gives really, really great jargon. And it gives a lot of it. And it changes all the time.

AND there’s always something brand new to describe.

Even experienced marketers can feel confused meeting with statisticians, data scientists, analysts and operational researchers. We get it. Some of the stuff they say does sound like a foreign language!

But that’s where we can help. Even though we’re marketers, data and tech is our natural space – it’s where we work and play.

So here’s a list of key data powered marketing phrases, gathered by subject area, that we think every marketer should know, translated into plain marketing English.

Data collection and processing - the technical stuff


Big Data

Big data is an all encompassing phrase for huge amounts of data. Usually so large it can’t be stored, measured or analysed through traditional tech (and may even sit in discrete sets).

1st/2nd/3rd Party Data

1st party data is gold for marketers. It’s data generated through your own touchpoints, owned, stored and managed by you. 2nd party data comes from another company and is shared with the contact’s permission. Finally, 3rd party data is data coming from… a 3rd party! It’s generally used to help target large demographic or behavioural segments.


Extract, transform, load… the three steps involved in taking data from a source, putting it into a standardised format, and then loading it into your final (usually data warehouse) system.

Cookie Tracking

Cookies are the private eyes of marketing, tracking the breadcrumbs your activity scatters across the net, and using them to help publishers serve targeted ads.

Tags and Tag Management

Tags are pieces of code you place on your site to measure visitors and their actions. Tag management software keeps these up to date and working across the multiple platforms your site needs to be integrated with.

Online Data

This is data collected (usually via cookies) in digital marketing platforms (such as ad servers, DMPs and DSPs).

Offline Data

Data collected through digital touch points outside of advertising platforms (such as CRM, POS, or email marketing platforms). A potential goldmine, it’s traditionally been hard to integrate this with online data – an issue solved by…

Data Onboarding

The process of blending online and offline data. A consumer’s offline data is anonymised for privacy purposes, and then blended with their online data, usually by way of connected devices – this gives a fuller picture of consumer activity to programmatic services.

Closed Loop Analysis

A good example of data onboarding, closed loop analysis lets you track campaign effectiveness all the way to purchase (closing the measurement loop). This is done by adding anonymised purchasing data to your campaign data, allowing you to track your conversion rate.

Data Matching

Customer data oftens exists in multiple data sets (even within one business – CRM and customer service systems may be discrete). Data matching connects customers across datasets using a consistent identifying code.

Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

Any data (or blends of data) that can be used to identify someone. Incredibly useful for creating more personalised experiences, this data is usually anonymised to protect privacy.

Social Data

What it says on the tin… data taken from social media behaviour. Social is often a more pure and less intermediated form of consumer data, and usually more recent than historical on or offline data.

Data Powered Marketing



The building block of customer targeting. Data on customer behaviours, preferences, demographics, and psychographics can help split your target market audience into individual segments, increasing effectiveness by tailoring your offer to each segment.

Control Group

A statistically significant group extracted from your larger target audience, a control group is excluded from your campaign. Measuring their behaviour against the target audience helps disqualify false results – you can identify actions your customers would have exhibited anyway.

Lift Modelling

Lift modelling targets customers outside of your standard base. Lift modelling delivers incremental impact by achieving uplift from the edges of your traditional customer base.

Look-A-Like Modelling

The process of expanding your audience by marketing products and services to customer sets exhibiting behaviours similar to your key target market.

Regression Analysis

Regression analysis illuminates relationships between an independent and a dependent variable. A simple example would be the impact of advertising or pricing (independent variables) on sales (a dependent variable). Regression analysis identifies the variables most likely to impact your outcome, and measures their relative strengths.

Attribution Modeling

Data can track a consumer’s journey to a particular action. Attribution modelling measures the influences along this journey, build a picture of what compels a purchase or action.


A marketers best friend! Representing stats, numbers, and data visually helps communicate your findings in ways everyone can understand. The best way to get buy-in from data shy colleagues and clients… after all, a picture is worth a thousand words.

CRM Retargeting

Information in your CRM can extend your campaign reach across the web. A good example would be presenting a Facebook ad to a consumer who has abandoned a cart for that product on your own site.

1:1 Marketing (One to One Marketing)

So… now you’ve got all this data, fully onboarded, across both on and offline… what are you going to do with it? One to one marketing, is what. The natural evolution of data powered marketing, 1:1 marketing involves marketing direct to a customer, rather than relying on segments. You might also hear about it as the Segment of One.

Automated and Programmatic Advertising



Owned by Google, DoubleClick is a suite of products to help agencies, marketers and publishers manage online ads. The services range from measuring traffic and ad effectiveness all the way through to programmatic buying (with Bid Manager).

Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising uses data (including cookie tracking) to automate the buying, positioning, and timing of online ads. By only displaying to customers matching your profile, programmatic is more cost effective than pre-paid generic slots.

Programmatic Buying

Programmatic buying platforms are the tools used to set your rules and purchase slots.

Ad Server

An ad server is a piece of software that lets publishers or third party buyers serve ads into online slots. They hold your creative and are the pipes through which it travels to appear on a site. They also track and measure your impressions, and can manage ads to maximise revenue for a publisher.

Demand Side Platforms (DSPs)

Like a wholesaler of available digital ad slots, demand side platforms work across multiple ad and data exchanges to collate available inventory, making it easier for buyers of digital advertising to control and maximise the impact of their spend across publishers.

Data Management Platforms (DMPs)

DMPs are the database that holds all your online marketing data in one place. They help you to build segments from your audience by tracking your contacts’ interactions with your campaigns (largely through our old friend the cookie).

Websites and Content



The art of optimising site content to align with search engine algorithms. The closer the alignment, the higher you’ll come in search results. SEO can be impacted by a number of variables – keywords, the number of value of links to your site from others, use of images, videos, blogs. Bringing them in line with search algorithms is a 101 of online marketing.

Landing Page

This is where you send inbound leads to. Usually it’s a web page created specifically for your campaign, and functions to either nurture a lead further through the conversion funnel or to capture a lead’s data.

Commercial Models for Online Advertising



A commercial charging mechanic for online publishers. Cost per mille (or thousand) means if a thousand people click on your ad, and the publisher is charging you $5.00 CPM you will pay them $5 for every thousand clicks they generate for your ad. Not to be confused with…


Similar to CPM, but this time a charge for each click received. It’s more commonly used in search engines like Google, where advertisers can bid to place ads against commonly used search keywords.

Not to be confused with…


Click through rate measures success in a campaign by showing people who clicked on your ad as a percentage of total page viewers. If one hundred people view a page and five click your link, that’s a 5% CTR. Many marketers see conversion rate as a more effective measurement – how many of those that clicked actually signed up for a product or service.

So there you have it. Everything you need to talk data powered marketing just like a pro. And do make sure you check back on this list – it’s a fast moving field and we’ll keep it updated with anything we think may help you keep on top of the game.

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