The cost per mille (CPM) or in other words the cost per thousand impressions is a way  of displaying the amount spent to gain thousand impressions within your paid digital marketing activities. The word “Mille” comes from latin and basically means thousand. 

Another term which is used sometimes, is the Thousand Ad Impression (TAI) which is a synonym. 

This metric can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Google Analytics and many other platforms.

It is calculated by:

Cost per Thousand Impressions Formula

Reasons to track CPM

Tracking your CPM is important for two reasons, one from a budget standpoint. As the cost per mile gives an insight into how efficient your advertising budget is being spent. The cost per mille, as other KPIs, is an indicator for the effectiveness of the advertisement and whether or not the set target group is reached as intended. 

CPM is mostly tracked within advertising campaigns with brand awareness or exposure goals. 

Common variations of CPM

NameDescriptionPlatform
Average CPMThe average cost per thousand gained impressions.Google Ads
vCPMThe Viewable CPM, tells how the cost per thousand was for the actual viewed ads (not just loaded).Various platforms

How can CPM help you to become more data-driven?

First and foremost tracking the CPM is a good step in the direction of being more data-driven. Within the marketing funnel the CPM is located in  the awareness stage. Compare the CPM over the span of the year across your different campaigns, to gain an understanding of which awareness campaigns or content worked better for your brand for the future.

Important: Impressions tell you how many times your ad was basically “loaded” but not if it was loaded twice or if it was seen after all. There are additional metrics such as Reach (telling you how many physical users saw your ad) or Viewable Impressions (telling you how many users really saw your ad/it was displayed on screen, Viewable impression is also a defined standard of the International Advertising Bureau (IAB) defining that an ad needs to appear at least 50% for more than one second).

Additional information about CPM

  1. A more in depth explanation of CPM
  2. Insights into the google ads billing and payments
  3. The three different types of CPM you need to know

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