A New Way of Thinking About CPMs in Marketing - BrandMuscle

A New Way of Thinking About CPMs in Marketing

Seeking higher-quality traffic with a higher CPM

When it comes to improving spends on media, one popular tactic is to lower the CPMs.

CPM stands for “cost per mille,” which is the Latin word for “thousand.” In business, CPMs measure the cost an advertiser pays for one thousand advertisement impressions on a web page. A lower CPM means that a company can save money and still hit their campaign’s initial impression goal, and it means that a company can afford more impressions. That’s attractive at first blush! However, those lower CPMs often mean that a company is buying lower-quality impressions that are less relevant to their performance. Much like automobile shopping, you get what you pay for when it comes to impressions. Unless the goal is to have any-and-all eyeballs on the brand, casting the wider net with a low CPM isn’t in your business’s best interest.

Together with our partner Vericast, BrandMuscle has updated its philosophy on CPM goals. Instead of driving more impressions by lowering the CPM and welcoming lower-quality traffic, we’ve decided to seek higher-quality traffic with a higher CPM.

CPMs at BrandMuscle

BrandMuscle’s Performance Marketing team is comprised of nine groups led by subject matter experts who pride themselves on delivering performance that is a great value for the money spent. We know that each dollar might mean the difference between a local business owner’s ability to support their growing business with marketing or not, and that can mean the difference between them taking a family vacation or not, so we work hard to create value for those individual partners.

Seeking higher-quality traffic with a higher CPM instead of lowering the CPM for lower-quality traffic might be an initial shock to readers, since impressions initially decrease, but we are confident that our client-partners will feel the effect of the increased quality of traffic they receive from slightly higher CPMs. Especially for those partners using top-of-funnel brand awareness tactics to attract traffic, such as display and streaming audio, attracting the right focused audience is going to lead to more conversions down-funnel.

What’s Next?

As you review your first reports that result from our partnership with Vericast, we’ll speak about this change in philosophy and the long-term goal of capturing more intent down-funnel. If you’ve chosen a top-of-funnel tactic that’s not paired with a lower-funnel tactic, such as paid search, remarketing, paid social, or lead gen campaigns, we’d highly recommend sharing your sales data so that we can tell the data story of your improved results as an outcome of this improved impression inventory. If you have paired your top-of-funnel brand-awareness tactic with a lower-funnel one, you’ll begin to feel more intent and see more conversions as this approach optimizes.

Ready to Drive Higher Quality Impressions?

Contact BrandMuscle and let our team improve your spends on media and generate higher-quality traffic with a higher CPM.

About the Author

Erin Strong

VP of Performance Marketing at BrandMuscle


Erin is the VP of Performance Marketing at BrandMuscle. She has 15 years of progressive leadership experience with hands-on skills as a copywriter, ad designer, social media and digital advertising SME, creative director, brand strategist, and customer research analyst both on the agency and client-side of strategic development. Erin has industry experience in CPG, telecommunications, automotive, retail, F&B, hospitality, gaming, convenience, manufacturing, and wine, spirits, and beer. She's passionate about finding new audiences, carrying best practices across industries, and developing omnichannel strategies that drive results.