I’ve had several clients over the years ask what the average CPM should be for a B2B banner ad. Here is my standard reply …
The answer is truly “it depends.” Here are the factors that influence CPM:
- How big is the ad? A really large 300×600 super rectangle ad is going to command a much higher CPM than a little 125×125 badge ad.
- Where is it placed on the site? An ad that is high up on the page, prominent, “above the fold” and next to content will command a much higher CPM than an ad that is at the bottom of the page in the footer.
- How many other ads does it compete with? An ad that is exclusive and doesn’t compete with any other ads will command a much higher CPM than an ad that has to compete with 20 other ads in a “NASCAR-like” environment.
- What are the market dynamics and buying power of an individual reader? An ad on a B2B site that caters to Electronic Engineers who have purchasing power in the millions of dollars each year will command a much higher CPM than the exact same ad position on a B2B web site that caters to lawn mowing professionals who might only spend a few thousand dollars a year.
Thus, I have seen B2B web ads that run the gamut from $5 CPM to $400 CPM. This is why I always like to look at something I call “comparative value.” Use the CPM of a print ad in our magazine as the basis and then ask, “What is the value of this particular online ad position as compared to a print ad?” That will usually be a good reality check.
So what do you think? Too wishy-washy? Do you have a better answer?