Marketers Seek More Transparency in Online Ad Pricing

Yesterday, I highlighted an analysis about what marketers are paying to reach consumers online. While marketers contractsigncontinue to increase their spending, on a nominal and total basis, it turns out that many folks, even ad industry pros, aren’t certain which online categories are commanding the higher average cost per thousand (CPM) rate. SQAD is calling on publishers to provide more transparency about how online display ads are being priced.

It turns out the financial, insurance and investment industry has the most expensive CPM display ad rate at an average of $22 across all sites in the category. Keep in mind that this sector includes sites such as the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg​.com, which attract a highly-​educated, wealthy audience that is often interested in investment.

Only 25% of advertising and marketing professionals knew the answer to this question, however; 58% knew that that in prime-​time TV, the most expensive 30-​second ad price is commanded by American Idol, for which advertisers pay about $275,000, on average. About 30% of surveyed industry pros guessed that the entertainment sector sites would have the highest CPMs but that industry only sells at about $9.50 on average per CPM.

We are finding that many ad buyers are still in the dark about how much they should be paying for display ads, despite the proliferation of online advertising over the past decade,” says Neil Klar, CEO of SQAD.

Not only are publishers under scrutiny to make their CPMs more transparent, marketers are also demanding more accountability with respect to proven traffic and whether ads are appearing above the fold. If you're buying online display ads, do you sometimes find yourself wishing you had better information about rates and traffic statistics?

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.