Company & Industry News


A Glossary of Geotargeting Terms

July 8, 2019 by Reveal Mobile

Whether a new agency or an experienced brand, marketers can easily stay up to date on the industry’s vernacular, acronyms and what location-based marketing is all about. Here is a quick refresher on the terms we frequently use when discussing geotargeting strategies:


Industry Specific Terms

Digital Out of Home (DOOH)

One of the oddest acronyms in today’s advertising landscape is DOOH, short for Digital Out Of Home. DOOH refers to digital media used for marketing on screens outside of the home. Traditionally this meant billboard advertising and does not include TV advertising and radio advertising. 

The “digital” aspect means that the screens today can be found almost anywhere, and includes digital signage. Examples include electronic billboards or screens on gas pumps, in airports or in malls. Advertisers that market campaigns for digital out-of-home frequently use location data to understand the audiences near their screens. They also measure foot traffic at their advertiser’s locations to attribute new visits to their campaigns.

Learn more about our digital out-of-home solution.

Digital Out of Home


Foot Traffic Attribution

Foot traffic attribution refers to marketers analyzing the effectiveness of campaigns by measuring increases and decreases in foot traffic at the locations they care about.  VISIT Local’s attribution solution shows foot traffic conversion, return or new visits, before, during and after campaigns are run. Proving true attribution is complex and difficult to achieve.

Use the VISIT platform to create location data for reports


Geoconquesting is when marketers create audiences from visitors of competitive locations with the intention of converting those customers into their own. 


Geofencing is both a tactic for building mobile audiences as well as a campaign strategy. As a tactic, geofencing refers to drawing a perimeter around a location or a point of interest, either as an exact polygon or a radius from the center point of the location. As a campaign strategy, mobile geofencing means taking the devices that visit this area and converting them into an audience, in order to serve them real-time ads and content. This is also known as geofencing advertising or mobile geofencing. 


Geotargeting refers to creating audiences based upon matched historical visits to real-world locations and points-of-interest with mobile location data. Marketers create audiences andUsing geotargeting in marketing campaigns deliver ads and content based upon the locations most relevant to their campaigns. Here’s another great take on explaining geotargeting.

The backbone of the VISIT product suite is our proprietary POI database.  We use polygons that digitally outline a building’s footprint and/or parking areas for over 12 million businesses in the US and Canada. Using polygons rather then simple radii creates more accurate and representative audiences for geotargeted advertising.

Location-Based Marketing

Location-Based Marketing is the overarching digital marketing strategy that serves advertising and content to audiences based upon their current or previous location. This allows marketers to make meaningful contact with their intended customers and to improve the customers’ experience.

Proximity Marketing

Proximity marketing is a more granular form of location-based marketing. While location-based marketing mainly deals with geofenced points of interest, proximity marketing is for highly targeted zones, usually through the use of beacons or NFC technology that triggers ad delivery.

Point of Interest (POI)

A Point of Interest refers to the footprint of a building or a location and may include the parking lot when relevant. This includes businesses, venues, stadiums, parks, etc.

reveal mobile foot traffic attribution polygon


In the context of location marketing and foot traffic attribution, polygons signify the outlines of physical structures that interest advertisers. They form the foundation for building location-based audiences. These polygons are built to encapsulate the entire footprint of the business and are more specific and accurate than radii.

Retail Foot Traffic

For geofencing companies, retail foot traffic is the measurement of visitors to a store, retail, or business location. There are a variety of technologies to capture retail foot traffic, in addition to using privacy compliant location data. 

The ability to measure retail foot traffic allows advertisers to better understand the audiences visiting their own locations, as well as competitive locations. Marketers also use foot traffic data as another mechanism for measuring the effectiveness of their campaigns, or foot traffic attribution.


Technical Terms

AdID – ADvertising IDentifier

An AdID is Google’s acronym for the tracking number assigned to devices that advertisers can use, instead of the actual device ID assigned by the manufacturer. The AdID is the industry standard for identifying advertising assets across all media platforms for devices running the Android operating system.

Amazon S3 Bucket

The Amazon S3 Bucket is a tool inside the Amazon Web Services cloud to send, receive and store industrial-sized files of data. Data scientists and engineering teams at geotargeting companies frequently use S3 to share aggregated and anonymized location data.

Audience Extension

Audience extension is when marketers push an audience they’ve already created to other sites or publishers that are not their own, in order to deliver that audience ads on those other sites. Marketers sometimes also say “audience extension” to mean finding similar audience segments to expand the target audience, also known as “lookalike audiences”. Marketers use this technique when the audience they’ve built is not big enough to fulfill the campaign on its own.


CPM means “Cost per Thousand”, where the “M” refers to the Roman numeral for 1,000. Here’s a handy CPM calculator. This typically means the cost per thousand ad impressions or the cost per thousand devices reached.

Daily Active User (DAU)

Daily Active Users is the metric for how many unique devices are seen in a given day. 

Data Management Platform (DMP)

A Data Management Platform aggregates data from a variety of first, second and third-party data sources. The DMP makes the data available to other platforms such as demand-side platforms, supply side platforms, and ad exchanges to be used for different types of advertising including geotargeting. This Prezi gives an overview of the adtech ecosystem and where DMPs, DSPs, and SSPs all fit in.

Device Identifiable Information (DII)

Device Identifiable Information (DII) is data that is linked to a browser, device or group of devices but is not and will not be used to directly identify an individual. This definition is provided by the National Advertising Initiative. Reveal Mobile only uses DII and not personally identifiable data.  

Demand Side Platform (DSP)

A Demand Side Platform is the technology system that allows advertisers and agencies to easily buy ad inventory. A DSP allows marketers to manage multiple ad exchanges and data exchange accounts through one platform, simplifying their process of ad buying.


Smartphones use GPS, or Global Positioning Systems, to determine location. When an app on a smartphone requests location, it’s using GPS to deliver back the current latitude and longitude coordinates of the phone. Geotargeting companies like Reveal Mobile use the latitude and longitude data from GPS to match that data to geofenced point of interest. This enables us to build anonymized audiences for the locations our customers care about.

Identifier For Advertising (IDFA)

IDFA is Apple’s acronym for the tracking number assigned to devices that advertisers can use, instead of the device ID.


A single impression means an ad loaded and may have appeared on a web page or mobile app, but it was not necessarily seen by the targeted individual. 

Phone Screen

Mobile Advertising ID (MAID)

A Mobile Advertising ID encompasses both Google’s AdID and Apple’s IDFA, and is the number that identifies smartphones and tablets from one another for advertising purposes.  This is different from the manufacturer’s device ID which cannot be reset. A user can reset their mobile ad ID at anytime in their phone’s settings. 

Monthly Active Users (MAU)

Monthly Active Users is how many unique devices were seen over a month-long period.

Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

Personally-Identifiable Information is data that is used or intended to be used to directly identify a particular individual. This definition is from the Network Advertising Initiative. Reveal Mobile does not use PII in our analytics and audiences, instead relying upon device identified information (DII), which refers to the mobile advertising ID.

Supply Side Platform (SSP)

A Supply Side Platform is a technology platform that groups together publishers to make their ad inventory easily available to advertisers to bid on or buy. Here’s how SSPs fit in the advertising landscape.


Industry Groups

We’ve pulled the following definitions directly from the organizations themselves.

Future of Privacy Forum (FPF)

Future of Privacy Forum is a nonprofit organization that serves as a catalyst for privacy leadership and scholarship, advancing principled data practices in support of emerging technologies.

Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA)

The Digital Advertising Alliance establishes and enforces responsible privacy practices across the advertising industry for relevant digital advertising, providing consumers with enhanced transparency and control through multifaceted principles that apply to multi-site data and cross-app data gathered in either desktop, mobile web, or mobile app environments.

Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)

The Interactive Advertising Bureau empowers the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy. This trade group fields critical research on interactive advertising, while also educating brands, agencies, and the wider business community on the importance of digital marketing.

Location-Based Marketing Association (LBMA)

The Location Based Marketing Association is an international group dedicated to fostering research, education and collaborative innovation at the intersection of people, places and media. Their goal is to educate, share best practices, establish guidelines for growth and to promote the services of member companies to brands and other content-related providers.

Mobile Marketing Association (MMA)

The Mobile Marketing Association helps marketers commit to the proven and peer-driven best practices, without compromise. The MMA is the only mobile trade association that brings together the full ecosystem of marketers, tech providers and sellers working collaboratively to shape the future.

Network Advertising Initiative (NAI)

The Network Advertising Initiative is a self-regulatory association comprised of third-party digital advertising companies. As a non-profit organization, the NAI promotes the health of the online ecosystem by maintaining and enforcing high standards for data collection and use for advertising online and in mobile.


TrustArc has been a leader in privacy compliance and data protection for over two decades. They offer an unmatched combination of innovative technology, expert consulting and TRUSTe certification solutions, that together address all phases of privacy program management.


Privacy and Regulation

California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

On June 28, 2018, California Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 375, now known as the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, which grants consumers new rights with respect to the collection of their personal information, transparency about data collection, and more control over how companies share that data. This law is scheduled to go into effect in January 2020.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The European Union’s GDPR reshapes the way in which industry sectors manage data, as well as redefines the roles for key leaders in businesses, from CIOs to CMOs. At the heart of the GDPR are new rights for consumers with transparency about what data is collected about them and how, as well as more control over how that data is shared.


To find out more about location-based marketing and how you can capitalize on it, contact us today.