The right metric for digital campaigns.


It depends. Let me explain.

There are broadly 2 kinds of advertisers.

  1. Brands that close the sales loop online
  2. Brands that doesn’t

For brands #2, the key parameters revolve around efficiency and top-line metrics like eCPM, CPC etc. Since the action takes places offline, its harder to do direct co-relation of performance uplift to the creative level. Hence the right metrics for these brands are lower CPMs, higher CTR, and lesser CPC. However, its crucial for them to consolidate their buying via a single platform to be efficient and enable cross-media frequency capping. It’s time these brands look at getting real incremental cross-media reach with the help of technology (a unified DSP to buy TV, Search, Display / Video, Social) and arrive at real cross-media eCPM OR its equivalent metric.

But what about brands #1? While its crucial for any brands to optimize towards efficiency, personally I learned that the ultimate metrics that matter to these brands is Cost Per Action/Aquisition (CPA). It doesn’t mean it’s the ONLY metrics that matter and we should start working only with affiliates from now.


In the world of programmatic and walled gardens, which gives superpowers to marketers, one needs to use it to their advantages. It’s slowly becoming an art form to run programmatic campaigns where there are so many parameters that need to work together towards the campaign goal. Each parameter/filter will influence the entry cost (CPM) and exit costs (CPA).

One needs to focus right from data strategy to fraud blocking to viewability to creative effectiveness during the entire course of the campaign duration. It’s getting more complicated to value an impression, but for the first time, we have sophisticated tools to help us evaluate the value of an impression based on historical data!

Most brands are not comfortable with higher top-line numbers (like 3X eCPM and 2X CPC). These brands need to ask themselves: What’s the point if the CPA is 2X higher despite having all-time low CPM / CPC? OR Is it better to have 500 leads with bad quality or 175 qualified leads? 

The devil is in the details.

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