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CPM Based Advertising: Changing Ad Campaigns in Outdoor

Wavy_Tech-15_Single-05One of the most attractive features of social media ads or Internet PPC campaigns is how flexible they are.

We’re specifically referring to the flexibility of ‘Budget’ – something that allows businesses of all shapes and sizes to exploit these advertising channels.

As a brand or advertiser, there are a plethora of ways to run your ad-campaigns:

    • A short campaign to test creatives, followed by longer campaigns with proven creatives
    • Multiple longer or shorter campaigns running simultaneously
    • Campaigns that run for varying periods
    • Campaign that run for specific durations in alignment with other campaigns or events, to name a few

There are myriads of budget-led options when it comes to flexibility of campaign but there is one key benefit that didn’t exist before – Accessibility to ad-channels.

How CPM changed Advertising

When a popular television show runs, there are a fixed number of ad-breaks with a pre-determined number of spots per break.

The Supply (spots available) far outstrips Demand (advertisers waiting in line) – which is why you’d have to sell your house to run the average television advertising campaign.

The more popular the show, the more the ad-spots cost - the same for any ad channel where the supply of advertising spots were limited.

The limitations are real too – all shows/publications are not equally popular, and viewership or readership is a direct indicator of popularity as well as a key factor in determining pricing.

Digital changed that by changing one important factor – increasing supply!

The Internet has millions of websites or platforms (social media) with billions of daily interactions.

Because there are millions of websites with varying levels of popularity, the cost of publishing an ad on an ad-network depends on the size of the ad-network - the bigger the network, the more people your ad can reach.

In addition, the nature of the devices and software used to view these websites (browsers and apps) mean that detailed insights into user behaviour (impressions) are easily measurable.

That led to a new standard for pricing ads – pricing based on desired outcomes, and not inputs.

13251000903_ee7d74ee5f_oThus, Coût pour Mille (CPM) or Cost per Thousand Impressions became the new standard of pricing for Internet and social media ads.

With it came increased accessibility thanks to lowered entry levels in terms of budget.

Now, if you wanted to reach 15,000 people, you could do so by spending $20 a day, $50 a day or $200 a day, depending on which ad-network you chose and how quickly you wanted to reach those 15,000 people.

A Revolution has Begun

The accessibility of CPM-based ads reduced the monopoly that large brands had on advertising.

It leveled the ad-playing field and new companies, smaller companies, could now use advertising’s effectiveness to gain more customers.

For any ad-channel to be a part of that revolution, one very important ability is required – Measurement!

You can only charge on a unit that you can measure, which is why you pay for liquids by volume, solids by weight and social media ads by CPM.

And that is also why you paid for outdoor ads by ‘spots’ – because the only thing measurable was the input, and not the outcome.

Until now!

With some very interesting innovations and the widespread use of mobile phones, it has become easier than ever to determine the potential visibility of an outdoor advertisement based on inputs from various sources.

You can do, in outdoor advertising, what you’ve never been able to do before – measure outdoor ad performance!

And if you have the capability to measure an ad’s performance, why pay for it on the basis of the inputs (spots) instead of outcomes (Impressions)?

Modern outdoor advertising platforms are leaving behind the ways of the old and embracing this effective, transparent way of determining the outcome of an outdoor ad-campaign – and charging for it on that same basis.

How CPM has Changed Outdoor Advertising

The moment you have the freedom to pay for outcomes instead of inputs, you have greater flexibility in choosing how much you’d like to pay.

You want to reach 10,000 people? Then pay for that reach and your ad will run for as long as it takes to get you that reach – which could be once, 15-times or 1,000 times, depending on what the traffic is like, in and around the screen.

40061426203_0ac18d0923_oIt also allows you to forego Media Planning, much like digital ads.

In PPC, you can choose the sites where your ad will be displayed, blacklist sites or just let the ad-network decide where you’d like your ads to run.

The same concept works in outdoor ads – you can pick your sites or screens, choose specific locations, avoid specific locations or screens, or just let the ad-platform decide where to run your ads.

In both cases, your primary interest is hitting a desired number of impressions – not how many times your ad runs or where it runs and so on.

CPM-based outdoor ads have brought about one major attitude change in outdoor advertising – brands and advertisers don’t need to worry about media planning anymore!

After all, does it matter if the person buying your product saw your ad in a mall or on the street or in a subway station?

As a result, the buy-in for outdoor advertising has gone down drastically, making it accessible to every brand of any size or shape!

When it comes to advertising, our priority should be simple – pay for outcomes, not inputs!

And with outdoor ad-tech platforms embracing this revolution, it’s time to rewire your ad campaigns and watch the customers flock to you!

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