As we work on more and more campaigns with viral content, we constantly have to balance the need for great coverage and associations with the assets against cold, hard, measurable data on who interacts with it so that we can tell clients how the campaign has done.
In this week’s NMA there is an interesting article entitled CPA vs CPM that explores the rise in demand for CPA (Cost Per Action) over CPM (Cost Per Mille or Thousand) for content publishers in order to clearly show this return on investment for online campaigns. The article gives views on both sides of the argument-
“Scott Gallacher, Sky’s director of online says, “We’ve been pushing towards this model for over a year and we believe that’s where the future buying model lies. It’s truly performance media. Any organisation’s desire is to look for media that performs against business targets.”
“Brand advertisers use CPA selectively. For them the key is to appear in the right environment and associate with strong content. There’s no obvious acquisition target for them.” (Richard Martin, Account Director, MEC Interaction)
It’s well worth a read to see the opinions of those interviewed as well as case studies of a couple of recent campaigns that have worked on both models.
In my opinion this is a horses-for-courses situation. We operate a CPA system with our Viral Ad Network publishers because it is a fair way to pay for their work as well as an incentive to give good content prominence, but we will also work with CPM publishers to ensure good coverage/association on campaigns where that is appropriate and within the clients stated aims. There is no doubt that CPA is on the up and that clients are demanding greater accountability for how and where their money is being spent- how this model might be applied to mailing list responses will be an interesting debate in the future….