Students of social media marketing must have a solid understanding of integrated marketing communications because a social media campaign is typically part of a larger effort to inform, persuade or remind. Marketers must also provide evidence that a particular strategy in digital media is more efficient in terms of cost. These days as digital media become more desirable as part of a communications strategy, they also become more expensive. The new reality requires marketers to examine the bang for the buck they get from digital over other options. It is possible that television, cable, radio or outdoor can deliver more impressions with stronger response than an organic social media campaign on Facebook that few people actually see.
That is why professors who teach social media should include traditional media measurement as part of the curriculum. The definitions for traditional media terms such as reach, frequency and impressions are important for students. Digital terms such as cost per click and conversion rate show how social media are purchased by companies seeking to reach targets.
One important method for equating media is cost per thousand (CPM). CPM (M represents 1,000) tells marketers the cost to obtain 1,000 impressions or views of a particular message. It is calculated as:
The formula is only part of the picture. Students must also know how much it costs on a CPM basis to advertise in various forms of media. For example, compare the traditional media costs to the digital media costs in the two slides below. A smart marketer would consider traditional as part of a good media mix. As you can see the cable CPM is looking pretty good relative to the internet video CPM.
Students of social media marketing think that social is the answer to everything. Though social media may be a good strategy, a smart marketer will evaluate all the potential tools in the box to maximize media efficiency.