We are often asked by our clients to look at their overall media spend and help determine where their dollars are being spent most efficiently. This can be difficult to do when some media is less tangible than others, for example, how do you compare Radio to Facebook advertising? How do you compare direct mail to display advertising? Or an even more popular one, how to compare TV advertising efficacies to Google Adwords (PPC). There are three main ways that you can easily compare one media to another to ensure that your media buys are as efficient as possible:

  1. Compare CPM
  2. Compare Reach
  3. Compare Frequency

Comparing CPM

First off, is comparing CPM or Cost per Thousand individuals reached. This is probably the most “apples to apples” comparison out there as it at least gives you a common denominator to compare to. For example, TV advertising is often focused on total GRPs or Gross Rating Points but that doesn’t give you an accurate comparison as Facebook Ads do not focus on ratings at all but rather on clicks and traffic. So how do you compare the two? Find the Cost per Thousand for each and now you have a way to compare them. Keep in mind all CPMs are not created equal, it is more expensive to reach a more targeted audience, so to do this accurately you need your audience targeting to be relatively similar. This goes for the other two types of comparisons as well.

Comparing Reach

Next is comparing Reach or Total Amount of Views of your Advertisement. Reach is a great way to compare two different media but what I am referring to isn’t the total reach as much as the total reach of your target audience. What makes for an ideal campaign is where you can reach at least 50% of the target demographic on a given media with a frequency of at least 3 times your ad is viewed/listened to. For example, if you are trying to reach females 25-54 who have school age children with Facebook, you’d want to narrow down your target to ensure that you can reach at least 50% of the women 25-54 on Facebook with your buy to help keep out competition.

Comparing Frequency

Last on this list is comparing frequency, this is a trickier one as most people tend to think the higher the frequency the better, however this is not true. You want to have good repetition of your ad campaign in front of your target but you don’t want to over-saturate a given audience. Here’s a great example, on TV you might want a frequency of 3-7 times a particular ad is viewed whereas on Facebook that number could be a little higher in the 5-10 range without over-saturating your audience. They key is to find the right balance and use multiple types of media whenever possible to hit your target audience from different angles and perspectives.

So there you have it, three ways you can compare traditional advertising to digital. I hope this helps you find more media efficiencies and helps your dollar go further in accomplishing your brand goals. Happy comparing!