ROI Genome

Are All Impressions Created Equal?

If you want to reach a large number of customers or potential customers, you may think that reaching the most people for the least cost is an intelligent goal. If an impression is getting your ad in front of a person, then surely more of them is better - especially if reach is a part of your marketing strategy. But, as we cover in the latest report,"ROI Genome Report: The Value of an Impression", it turns out that not all impressions are created equal. Even if a tactic can get your message and product in front of more consumers at a cheaper CPM (cost per thousand), it is important to consider the effectiveness of your various touchpoints. It is important to take a larger view of your advertising metrics.


A good example of this is covered in our report: digital display vs online video impressions. When looking at more than a thousand cases we see that US digital display ads typically yield on average an impact of $1.50 per thousand impressions, while online video ads typically yield impact closer to $4 per thousand impressions. That's a big difference! And while there are significant differences across types and sizes of businesses, we find that it is generally true that an online video impression is almost three times more effective in driving sales than a digital display impression.


Display vs online video impression impact


But the impact of an ad impression is just one part of the equation. Effectiveness measures the incremental response generated from marketing and it is clear from the results above that online video is on average more effective than digital display. But is it more efficient? Efficiency is the financial return per dollar spent on a marketing activity. In order to understand the efficiency you factor in costs, and since online video is often more expensive than display, it may not be more efficient depending on the cost.   


Something that can make a major difference in the performance of an ad is its context. When people talk about "delivering the right message to the right person at the right time," context is "the right time." Whether that is literal time or connecting with someone in a situation where they are most open to your message. You can read more about the role context plays in this new report including four real-life case studies.


ROI Genome - Value of an Impression

And while the focus of this report is on impressions and context, allocation decisions should weigh many factors, including:

  • Diminishing returns
  • Scalability
  • Long-term impacts
  • Synergies with other channels
  • Competitive forces
  • Business constraints
  • Strategic goals


Stay tuned for future reports where we may dig in deeper into those topics. In the meantime, download ROI Genome Report: The Value of an Impression and learn how to make the most of your advertising.

-  Joe LaSala, VP Marketing