Data Cleaning

In media and market research, the process of detecting, correcting or removing inaccurate records from a dataset. This is one step in the research process which occurs after data has been collected, but before data is analyzed. Data cleaning can involve a series of procedures to identify and eliminate “bad” data from one or more data files, including but not limited to–out of range or outlying variables, logical inconsistencies, and skip pattern errors.

Data Management Platform (DMP)

A technology platform that pulls in and stores disparate 1st, 2nd, and 3rd party data, and uses common data identifiers to match cases across sources and provide an aggregated data view. Used in conjunction with other “ad tech” to allow marketers to build custom audience segments, and to monitor marketing activity and performance across segments.

Deadpan (creative genre)

A type of creative tonality used in advertising that is characterized by the use of humor in a manner that is deliberately without expression or serious.


In media and market research, a discussion between the researcher(s) and study sponsors or clients following the conclusion of an experiment, focus group, survey or interview(s). This exchange helps to provide the researcher(s) with insights necessary to revise or refine the study procedure and/or improve participant experience.

Deductive Research

A form of media and market research that involves developing a research hypothesis based on one or more existing theories, and then designing a market research strategy to test the proposed hypothesis. See also “Inductive Research.”

Demand-Side Platform (DSP)

A technology platform that allows marketers to purchase digital media across various publisher sites, often by way of ad exchanges or networks (i.e., organizations that gather great amounts of 3rd party data). Allows marketers to target custom audience segments, using 1st, 2nd, and 3rd party data sources.

Descriptive Research

A form of media and market research that aims to describe characteristics of a consumer, population or phenomenon in order to identify associations among variables. This type of research seeks to answer the ‘what’ question, rather than the ‘how, when or why’ questions.

Diagnostic research

A broad category of advertising and market research conducted for understanding the characteristics of consumers and importantly, gaining insight into the drivers of their motivations and responses to advertising, brand, product or marketing stimuli. The term is often used in contrast to “evaluative research” which is conducted to assess behavioral probabilities, such as purchase intent and anticipated usage. (See “Evaluative Research).”

Differentiated Advantage

An advantage, or set of advantages, that a given product/brand has relative to the competition. See “Unique Selling Proposition.”