A study analyzed the average CPMs paid by various vertical categories of advertisers. The travel industry, which as reported in our Twitter stream, generates 8.5 Billion image-based ad impressions per year (!!), is both a highly competitive category and reliable source of ad dollars for ad networks and major publishers. No surprise travel ad rates were the highest, with an avg. CPM paid of $19.89.
The study’s data set was pooled from roughly 12,000 medium-traffic sites (receiving roughly less than 1M impressions monthly) served by Adify, making the data less indicative of average CPMs paid for full-scale campaigns, which generally incorporate higher-traffic – and higher-ticket – online media sources. Still, the findings seem sound. Categories with high-ticket items that sell to a more qualified audiences are expected to pay a premium for advertising, particularly in competitive sectors like auto, tech, and, of course travel.
The study underscores the benefit of working with a media buying agency that represents clients across various sectors (as Criterion Global does!), whose negotiations would be informed by a category-neutral assessment of what one should pay for a given placement.
In another study, MyCube compiled CPMs paid on Facebook, segmented by demographic, and CPMs paid on YouTube, parsed by video subject. On YouTube, travel videos command the highest CPMs, and on Facebook, individuals who are single or married command the highest CPMs – those who are “in a relationship” may be too new to travel together, or looking to stay put to see that relationship blossom.
Who wins in this equation? Facebook and YouTube, who are aggressively looking to monetize users’ content. Who loses? Most likely, travel advertisers, who are paying enormous CPMs for the privilege of advertising adjacent to home videos of an Alaskan cruise, or a Facebook announcement that “It’s Friday, I’m bored” from a married male.
Without strategy to capture user attention, and strategic targeting, travel advertisers fall prey to platforms whose self-service systems are designed to spend their budget as quickly as possible.
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In the Ink: Criterion Global on Integrated Marketing