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Welcome to our second segment of “What the heck is my ad agency talking about?” If you missed our first post, check it out here. This time we’re diving deeper into digital, defining terms like conversion, responsive web design, video pre-roll, geo-fencing and geo-targeting.


In the digital realm, conversion pertains to the percentage of users who complete a desired action. For example, when you are shopping on, a conversion would be making a purchase. Subscribing to a newsletter, downloading an item or registering for membership are examples of potential conversions.

Conversion rates depend on a number of variables – value proposition, the user’s interest level, ease of use. How many times have you visited a website but given up because it was slow to load or confusing to navigate?

Responsive Web Design

Isn’t it aggravating when you visit a site on your smartphone but can’t find what you’re looking for because you’re lost in a never-ending scroll? Or worse, for iPhone owners at least – you can’t view any of the content because it was designed in Flash (which isn’t compatible with iPhones or iPads).

Mobile optimization is crucial, and responsive web designs speak to that, providing optimal viewing no matter what device you’re on. Navigation is easy, with little scrolling or resizing required, and the website layout adapts to your screen size.

Web Video Pre-roll

You may think you’ve never seen video pre-roll, but chances are, you have. You know those :10 to :15 second advertisements that play on YouTube before your selected video? That’s web video pre-roll. One of the great things about pre-roll is it targets engaged users – the user clicked a video link he or she wanted to view. Now they have to watch your ad before they can watch the video they selected.

Sometimes pre-roll offers an interactive component, customizing the experience for the user. Kate Spade shows a great example of an interactive video in their holiday ad, starring Anna Kendrick. The ad allows users to purchase items Anna wears in the ad simply by clicking on the screen. Check it out here.


Geo-fencing is location-based marketing. It allows an advertiser to target an audience within a certain geographical area by putting up a virtual barrier and delivering ads to an audience within that radius of interest. Have you ever set a reminder on your iPhone to remind you of something when you arrived at work? Your iPhone detects your proximity to your designated location and sends you a notification once you reach that location. That’s geo-fencing.

Retailers often use geo-fencing as a way to pull you away from the competition. Shopping centers also use it to monitor your movements and behavior within the center.

Sometimes geo-fencing is used for legislative purposes. TV shows you can watch on Hulu in the US might not be available to view in New Zealand due to digital rights laws, and Facebook usage was banned for those in countries such as China and Iran. This method of preventing access based on a user’s location is called geo-blocking.


Like geo-fencing, geo-targeting is also location-based. Geo-targeting serves content specific to the location from which the visitor is searching. This can mean a variety of things – targeting users in certain locations, offering websites in a different language based on the user’s location, serving local offers, running different campaigns in different regions, etc.

Geo-targeting allows the customization of advertising for a specific market and provides a higher lever of measurement and personalization than traditional media can provide. Pay-per-click or organic search are widely used forms of geo-targeting.

Are there terms you hear a lot but don’t quite understand? Let us know, and we’ll debunk them for you.