Advertising Metrics

This page discusses seven popular advertising metrics that measure what you did – where and how you spent your budget.

Media planners use these seven metrics before a campaign. They also use them after a campaign, for analytical purposes. The metrics remain part of the permanent record of the campaign.

They are navigational metrics. That is to say, they can help you steer your program toward higher profitability but they can't help you measure your profitability (for that, you need evaluative metrics). 

Here are the seven metrics I mentioned:

Reach is a measurement of the size of the audience to whom you will communicate. Frequency is the average number of times your ads will be shown to an individual or household. 

Gross Rating Points (GRPs) equal Reach times Frequency. Target Rating Points (TRPs) equal Gross Rating Points times the ratio of the specifically targeted audience to the total audience. 

Impressions equal the number of exposures of an ad or commercial to people or households in your audience. Cost per Thousand (CPM) is the cost to reach 1,000 people or households. Cost per Point (CPP) is the cost to reach one percent of the audience. 

See the List of Metrics and Tools for a complete list of metrics discussed on this site. The list indicates which ones are navigational metrics and which ones are evaluative metrics.

For a brief description of the difference between institutional and direct-response advertising, go to Types of Advertising. 

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