The Research: Many media – billboards, TV, newspapers, skywriters, etc – can promote your brand. Each has different impacts. And different costs. Here’s a look at the research that compares expense and results. (This is information you will want to keep for reference.)
The Key Yardstick: Of three basic metrics, number of impressions is the most important: the number of times your brand elements (logo, positioning statement, etc.) are exposed to individual observers through print, broadcast or other media. (The other two metrics are Frequency and Reach. You can find the definitions in our Glossary.)
The Generalities: A quick peek at the results, from low to high.
- The lowest average Cost Per Impression is $00.002 (two hundredths of a penny) for a billboard advertisement and $00.003 for an ad on a webpage.
- A bit more expensive are syndicated daily TV programs, prime time cable TV programs and promotional products. Each has an average cost of $00.005 per impression (five hundredths of a penny).
- At the top of the scale you can pay an average of $00.058 (over half a penny) for one impression delivered by a radio spot.
The Data: Let’s convert data to real-world examples you can use to make wise marketing investments. We’ll spend an imaginary dime. Then we’ll do some math to compare apples to apples – and find out how many impressions that ten cent investment will buy for your brand.
- Average Billboard Ad – 10¢ will buy an average of 5,000 impressions.
- Average Webpage Ad – 10¢ will buy an average of 3,333 impressions.
- Average Daytime syndicated TV Spot – 10¢ will buy an average of 2,000 impressions.
- Average Prime Time cable TV Spot – 10¢ will buy an average of 2,000 impressions.
- Average Logo-imprinted Branding Product – 10¢ will buy an average of 2,000 impressions.
- Average Prime Time network TV Spot – 10¢ will buy an average of 555 impressions.
- Average Newspaper Ad – 10¢ will buy an average of 345 impressions.
- Average Magazine Ad – 10¢ will buy an average of 222 impressions.
- Average Radio Spot – 10¢ will buy an average of 172 impressions.
The Distortion: The research reflects the cost of an average promotional product. Most VisABILITY clients select high quality products that are priced lower than the national average for their category. So, the results for them are even better!
Your Strategy: In view of the above,we suggest you read this blog’s injunctions about the impact of product quality here and here. Guided by an understanding that product quality plays a more important role in our world than it does in the commercial world, ask your vendor to help you find high quality branding products at a reasonable price. With products at lower prices than the averages used in the market research, you will drive your own cost per impression even lower than the impressive results shown by the national survey data.
The Duration Bonus: We discussed the relationship between product cost and public impact here. Now consider the difference between transitory and lasting impressions.
A broadcast or print ad is noticed for mere seconds. An imprinted branding product does not have this limitation. As long as it is useful and attractive, it will create impressions for months rather than seconds, constantly spotlighting your brand to the public long after a commercial or advertisement is forgotten. (Check out “frequency” in our Glossary. It is another important marketing concept.)
The Personal Affinity Bonus: Moreover, displaying an affinity-product with your logo is a personal statement by the owner.
The product becomes a form of self-branding – a way to say “this is an organization I care about.” In addition, repeated exposure to your brand actually strengthens the owner’s affinity. So, while a product with your logo is generating impressions within the general public, it is also enhancing the owner’s personal bond with your mission.
The Conclusion: Nothing puts your mission in front of more people, more often, more positively, and with less cost per impression, than high-quality products imprinted with your logo.
Imprinted branding products have enormous bang for the buck. Compared with commercial media, they can be the most cost-effective way to apply a persuasive and lasting spotlight to a nonprofit brand. Stated again: nothing puts your mission in front of more people, more often, more positively, and with less cost per impression, than high-quality products imprinted with your logo.
SOURCES AND RAW DATA: The 2010 information cited in this blog post was produced by the Nielsen broadcast ratings service, the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, the Advertising Specialty Institute and AdAge Online.
Following are the cost per impression for various media based on the assumptions of average cost per unit of media purchased.
- Average Billboard Ad – $00.002
- Average Webpage Ad – $00.003
- Average Syndicated Daytime TV Spot – $00.005
- Average Cable Prime Time TV Spot –$00.005
- Average Promotional Product – $00.005
- Average Prime Time TV Spot -$00.018
- Average Newspaper Ad – $00.029
- Average Magazine Ad – $00.045
- Average Radio Spot – $00.058