Calculating the Dollar Value of Experiential Marketing Impressions (S1-E000-04)

Written by Chris Clegg

Calculating the Dollar Value of Experiential Marketing Impressions (S1-E000-04)

How do I translate impression counts into a legitimate dollar value? All of those impression categories (i.e., Mobile, Onsite, and Word-of-Mouth) counted methodically and reliably added up, gives me one lump sum. How do I put dollar value behind that?

This is Part 4 in a 4-part series detailing the contents of Podcast OOO – Pilot: Defining the Dollar Value of Impressions. (Go to Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4)


There is an industry-standard called add value equivalency or AVE. Basically the idea of AVE modeling is that the dollar value of an impression is what it would have cost to have bought that impression otherwise.

(You can listen to the full podcast episode below.)

Using Rate Cards for Ad Value Equivalent Baselines

The value per impression is going to come from the average based on the relative rate cards for how you (or the brand) buy media. Considering an online media buy for a banner ad, you might pay anywhere from a dollar to $10, depending on who you’re targeting. If you’re looking at a freestanding insert in a newspaper, it’s more likely to be between $5 and $7. Depending on the market you’re in. If you’re looking at floor graphics at Walmart or shelf-talkers, you might be talking between a $22 to $25 per thousand. Direct mail tends to average anywhere from $12 to $17 per thousand.


A $12 CPM means is if you generated 5,000 impressions, those 5,000 impressions generated five CPM buying units and at a value of $12 each or $60 in value.


Media is purchased in units of a thousand (i.e., CPMs). Different media channels have different CPM costs. Your goal as a starting point is to take the average of all the channels that are relevant for you and/ or the brand. All else being equal, it’s fair to start at around $12 CPM.

A $12 CPM means is if you generated 5,000 impressions, those 5,000 impressions generated five CPM buying units and at a value of $12 each or $60 in value.

With this modeling in mind, you add up all your impressions, divide by a thousand, and multiplied by $12 reach a rough starting point for the value of your impressions.