Forget First Impressions, Pick the Right Impression

What is the most cost-effective way to reach your consumer in today’s digital world? In the ever-shifting landscape of print and digital marketing, it’s important to know where you get the most bang for your buck. At the same time, price isn’t everything; impressions can be actual or potential, and some have more weight with consumers than others. So, it’s important to consider both price and impression type when designing a marketing program. Below, we compare the cost of impressions between four major marketing strategies used for one of our clients, a large U.S. winery.

Key Definitions
Actual Impressions: The number of people who see the content can be quantitatively measured
Potential Impressions: The number of people who see the content is an educated guess
Impression Weight: The quality and “stickiness” (i.e. likelihood of an impression “sticking” with a consumer) of an impression
Targetability: Ability to reach a precise and definable target audience
CPM: cost per mille (1,000) impressions

Facebook: $8 CPM (the average cost of a Facebook Page Promotion ad being served to a Facebook user. Data pulled from Facebook Billing Reports, Jan 2014- 2015.)
Impression Type: Actual
Impression Weight: Medium
Targetability: High
Key Advantage: Cost-effective way to reach a highly targeted audience

Public Relations: $10 CPM (web and print impressions calculated against agency PR fee using Benson PR project averages)
Impression Type: Potential
Impression Weight: Medium to high (depending on type of story placement)
Targetability: Medium
Key Advantage: PR impressions generate brand credibility

Email: $12 CPM (cost of sending an email to a consumer using Vertical Response’s 2015 pricing structure)
Impression Type: Actual
Impression Weight: Medium to high (increases significantly with a high open rate. 10% is an average open rate for consumer emails)
Targetability: High
Key Advantage: Provides opportunity to share more information and leads to further engagement

Advertising: $15 CPM (average cost of a targeted print and web ad campaign using Benson media buy averages)
Impression Type: Potential
Impression Weight: Low to medium (varies depending on type of ad. E.g. full page print ad in wine magazine vs. small digital ad on news site)

Targetability: Medium
Key Advantage: Creates general brand awareness with broad reach

While Facebook and PR are more cost-effective than email and advertising, the impressions for each strategy carry different weight and can be targeted to different degrees. An email is a “stickier” impression than a mention in a magazine article because it can target a consumer more effectively and can provide more information at one time by using text, images and links. In today’s marketing world, each communication strategy is valuable in a well-rounded marketing campaign.

Facebook ads are one of the most cost-effective ways to reach consumers.
Image Caption: Facebook ads are one of the most cost-effective ways to reach consumers.