Calculating the personal CPM and extending the idea of personal CPM beyond the Web to IMS

In a previous blog, I discussed how Long tail social network analysis could be a business model for Web 2.0

The key insights are

a) The Web has a higher CPM since the search is tied to the intent

b) For various reasons as indicated in the above blog, we cannot get the same synergies between advertising and social networks

c) New metrics are needed in the social network space if we are to get advertisers to support social networking sites

The question is – which metrics do we need?

I ended that article saying that: but mapping a rich, dynamic profile to a segmented long tail may lead to advertisements that may reflect the user’s social intent (just like Google captures the transactional intent) .. and hence provide higher revenues – and consequently a business model for Web 2.0 by making the advertisement model profitable

One of the most interesting metrics I can see is the idea of personal CPM.

First put forward by Marian Salzman , and later picked up in a blog by Charlene Li, the idea of personal CPM can be explained as per below from Rodger Roeser’s blog

Personal” takes a real person. Marketers have always known that personal recommendations are the most powerful form of brand advocacy. And thanks to interactive technologies, personal recommendations are no longer limited by physical constraints; consumers can forge wide networks of kindred spirits and virtual friends. As more and more people participate in these networks, they will come to rival traditional media-born advertising in terms of influence.

Watch for millions of influential individuals to develop their equivalent of a personal CPM rate card. A personal CPM assumes that people are their own media properties and, as such, should be applied some worth by the brands they advocate. The larger and more influential their social networks, the more valuable these individuals are and the higher the CPM they will be able to command. But as their influence grows, they will need to remain truly objective—consumers are too savvy to trust those who recommend the brands that pay them the most.

This is interesting .. but how to calculate the Personal CPM?

The personal CPM can be tied to a richer personal profile. Many of the elements the rich profile already exist. The three dimensions of a rich profile include Social(relationship/network/social graph), Behavioural(incorporating roles) and Demographic profiling(traditional segmentation)

A lot can be derived from a profile as this paper from MIT called Social Network Profiles as Taste Performances by Hugo Liu shows


This study examines how a social network profile’s lists of interests—music, books, movies, television shows, etc.—can function as an expressive arena for taste performance. By composing interest tokens around a theme, profile users craft their “taste statements.” First, socioeconomic and aesthetic influences on taste are considered, and the expressivity of interest tokens is analyzed using a semiotic framework. Then, a grounded theory approach is taken to identify four types of taste statements—those that convey prestige, differentiation, authenticity, and theatrical persona. The semantics of taste and taste statements are further investigated through a statistical analysis of 127,477 profiles collected from the MySpace social network site between November 2006 and January 2007. The major findings of the analysis include statistical evidence for prestige and differentiation taste statements and an interpretation of the taste semantics underlying the MySpace community—its motifs, paradigms, and demographic structures.

Thus, the ‘rich’ profile (by that I mean a multidimensional profile which reflects reputation, the long tail segmentation and other factors – not just the personal attributes ) now becomes a measure of the personal CPM. Perhaps the CPM to be similar to a page rank i.e. a ranking from one to ten.

However, this gets more interesting if we extend the idea of the personal CPM to a converged environment. Specifically, with the telecoms/mobile(and increasingly fixed and cable) industries as well .. we are seeing the deployment of IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) IMS has a feature called HSS – which maintains a rich profile including user attributes, location and many other elements

Thus, I think Personal CPM may also be a unique business model for IMS and telecoms and within a social network, advertisers will compete to ‘advertise on’ the profiles of the people with the highest personal CPMs/reputations.

I am still exploring these ideas – so all comments welcome both from the advertising /social media side and from the HSS side