Friday, July 24, 2009

$5 CPMs. Are We Looking At The Future?

We all knew that CPMs were heading south. But we probably didn’t think we’d be seeing $5 CPMS for the New York Times dot com quite this soon, did we?

Is this the future?

If so, publishers will need to quickly start finding additional revenue streams outside of impressions. The problem? Media agencies write their media plans in terms of impressions.

And selling these media plans is how media agencies make their money.

Impressions work quite well for a media agency’s bottom line. But impressions are not working as well for an individual publisher’s bottom line.

So what can be done?

First, stop and think about what impressions actually measure. What they measure is what happens “outside the commercial.” Impressions measure placement, and, to a degree, awareness.

Today, publishers also have data regarding what happens “inside the commercial.” This data tells them the amount of time that viewers spend with the commercial. Where and when they rewind. Pause. Fast-forward.

Where viewers lose interest entirely and leave the commercial.

The data that shows what happens inside the commercial is probably more important to an advertiser than what happens outside the commercial because it’s data that indicates what is happening as the consumer moves down the purchase funnel.

Impressions are about awareness. Awareness sits at the top of the purchase funnel. The data that shows what happens inside the commercial is about interest, and, depending on how well the spot is written, consideration.

Interest and consideration are what develop as we move down the purchase funnel.

That's why it's this information, rather than impressions, that actually offers insights as to a commercial’s effectiveness.

If so, then this data can start to offer publishers a way to deliver a different value proposition — based on a new currency – the currency of effectiveness, rather than impressions.

Back in 2007, we labeled it The Currency of Creative.

And, the fact is, we need it now more than ever.

After all, the current currency, based on impressions, is fragmenting. Like a small crack in your windshield, it’s only a matter of time before it’s completely shattered.

$5 CPMs tell us it’s happening faster than anyone thought.

Which means that if you're a publisher, you should quickly be figuring out the answers to two very important questions.

1. Do you have an "inside the commercial" data strategy?

2. How will you sell your "inside the commercial" data to advertisers if not through your Media Agency?

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