Tom Cintorino
Senior Vice President Digital Media

An overriding theme for anything Internet related is: test, measure, adjust, and repeat.
CPM or Monthly Fixed Price Real Estate model?
by Tom Cintorino
May 30th, 2008
This post is filed under the following categories:
Advertising, Metrics, Websites
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A good question! I am not in a marketing role and would hate to have to choose between the two. How would I make a decision? Let’s ask Ben! The Ben Franklin method for decision making weighs-out both sides - pros and cons.

CPM pros - Pay for the number of impressions delivered. You get what you pay for.
CPM cons - Limited control over where your impressions are targeted.

Fixed Price pros - Easy to budget. Specific position that meets your campaign criteria.
Fixed Price cons - Buying website real estate isn’t flexible with performance variations.

Thankfully, even those of you in media decision roles don’t have to make this decision. It is, in fact, the wrong question; therefore, the choice does not have to be made.

PennWell has dozens-upon-dozens of media sales professionals combing the globe consulting with marketing professionals like you. While there is no guarantee, I remain hopeful that each of them is asking the powerful question, “What are your media advertising goals?”, and then listening intently.

Is it: Branding? Leads? Company website traffic? Product sales?
Are you: Looking for impressions? (media) Brand association? Exclusivity? Share-of-voice?
Do you: Measure Awareness lift? Impressions? Clicks? Budget? A/B or multivariate testing?

An overriding theme for anything Internet related is: test, measure, adjust, and repeat. This is so critical, it is worth restating: test, measure, adjust, repeat. I believe this to be a perfect foundation for any digital media marketing campaign.

The critical ingredients to measurement are first to have a media goal that can be measured and second, to measure the performance of your media buy against goal. The selling model of the website is least important. However, where you place your advertisement is very important, as different placements can accomplish different goals.

The more intrusive the advertisement (think large format and/or rich media) the higher the content relevance must be, otherwise you risk an increase in negative brand awareness. If you want to associate yourself with specific content, look for topic or section relevance. If you want to buy share-of-voice, look for exclusivity.

What about “above the fold” (ad visible on the computer screen without scrolling)? Overrated! Above the fold is definitely good, but a below-the-fold ad or long ad (think: Skyscraper) can be just as impactful since scrolling is a proxy for the reader being engaged in the content on the page.

By now you may be wondering why I have strayed far afield from the topic. Well, actually, I haven’t. Point being, every website will offer inventory. Evaluate which inventory will provide you with ad impressions most likely to accomplish your goal. Then measure that ads performance. And, any Internet display ad has a calculable CPM (cost per thousand). Just divide the price paid by the impressions received divided by 1,000.

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