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I work with dealers coast to coast and was alarmed when one of my dealers send me this text chat in reference to a pitch they were given by a major automotive classified provider.
Shortly after assuring this dealer that a 10% click through rate (ctr) would be an extraordinarily, highly, unbelievably successful campaign and that the 10% ctr was probably an error in his recall of the pitch, I received a phone call from another dealer asking me about the same claim. Later that afternoon I reached out to some of my other clients and they also verified that they were given the same "tall tale". Three of the dealers I spoke with also said that a rep from a major search engine was also in tow.
Below are the stats from one of my online properties the content and banner relationship are in sync, as would be expected with a banner that is behavioral and geographically targeted, all traffic comes from the search engines.
Over one half of a million impressions I am personally happy with the .7 of 1% ctr of this offer. The content also contains a strong call to action to encourage a click through, not found on classified portals and search engine banner advertising. The chances that a dealer will even experience a 1% ctr is a highly unlikely, an optimistic expectation would be .5 of 1% with reality coming in at .1 of 1% and anything greater than that being a bonus.
The average CPM (Cost per 1,000 impressions) for large sites, over 100,000,000 page views per month, a search engine, in 4th quarter 2008 was $0.17 CPM and the CPM for medium sized sites, between 1 million and 100 million page, classified portal, views per month was $0.30 according the the 4th quarter 2008 Ad Price Index.
Those numbers do not take into geo targeting or a tightly defined niche site such as an automotive classified web property. I was told that that the banners would also appear on the search engine network as well. The highest CPM was given to Business and Finance at $0.83 and the lowest social networking sites $0.10.
The quotes dealers were given on this new push was $25.00 cpm. While a higher rate should be expected on the smaller buys being offered to dealers and due to enhanced targeting, I could not find a way to recommend this type of spend based on current economic conditions, market pricing and anticipated ROI.
Using the numbers given by the rep at the unfathomable 10% ctr that would equate to a $0.25 cpc (cost per click) for what would be considered a content network display ad is still out of round based on the current state of the click. Using an overly optimistic ctr of 1% it drives that cost up to $2.50 cpc for a banner ad, an unrealistic cost value proposition.
I hope that I have miscalled this offering and several dealers are wrong in their recollection of what they were pitched both in cost of the offer and results claimed.
If not there are better opportunities out there for their marketing dollars.