Debullshified #7: Worst Hood Ever / CMP / Are Your Emotions Truly Yours

Hello and welcome to this week’s debullshifying session!

I have a task for you, and you’ll find it in the “Life Hack of The Week” section. It’s quite a funky one, but I bet you haven’t considered that this is what might have been making you crazy.

On another topic – this week’s MEME just hits hard. Is it only me, or is being an adult really an experience that we could all happily do without?

MEME of the week

Author’s Note: ’nuff said…

In the first episode of the Debullshified podcast, I spoke about the 6 audiences that all businesses have to communicate with.

CPM is the metric that refers to audience 1, which is in essence, everyone.

See, if you are developing a brand, any brand, you must talk to anyone who’d listen. Just spread the word. You never know who might take interest in what you’re saying.

And, as the digital world would have it: you can’t know who you’re speaking to when you’re speaking to everyone. This is why in campaigns that aim to bring awareness, we’re not fussed about measuring the actions on people – all we want to do is get a reasonable cost to place our message in front of as many people as we can.

This is where CPM comes handy. If you are running an advertising campaign, CPM will define your cost per 1000 impressions. In simpler words – when your ad is shown to 1000 people, there will be a cost associated with that, and this is your CPM.

I know what you’re thinking – why is it CPM and not Cost Per Thousand (CPT)? Apparently, CPM and CPT are interchangeable because CPM comes from Cost Per Mille, which in Latin would be cost per thousand. Confusing, right… 

Anyway, here’s how it would be calculated, but don’t worry – you’ll never really need to do the math (advertising systems will do it for you).

What’s the average CPM, you ask?

When it comes to measures like this one, the most important thing is to know the average and in the best case – to have a cost below industry average.

Why? Because that means that somehow the algorithm loves you and doesn’t feel that need to charge you as much so you can get eyeballs on your ads.

Please note that averages will vary significantly based on industry, ad type, platform, time of the year (more expensive around holidays when everyone is advertising), and other factors.

Here are some general averages just for guidance:

  • Google Display Ads: $3.12 per thousand impressions
  • Google Search Ads: $28.40 per thousand impressions
  • Meta Ads (Facebook, Insta): $8.60 per thousand impressions

Use it backwards

The only way to use this metric, really, is backwards. If you have a set budget and you want to get in front of as many people as possible, use CPM to decide which platform to display ads on, and which to avoid.

Google Search Ads are always going to have higher cost because for people to see your ads they generally need to search for a relevant term, which means that there’s intention. On all the rest of the platforms your ads are effectively disrupting someone’s happy scrolling, but we already know that, don’t we…

And as a marketer, I would like to take a moment and extend my apologies to everyone for being a part of the problem, not the solution. I promise that we, marketers, would rather do just about anything else but deal with ads. It’s not us, it’s corporate greed that dictates it, so please don’t hate us.

Are we, perhaps, all overreacting a little bit?

Before you turn defensive mode on, hear me out – I have to make a point.

When the art of theatre and film first came about, it wasn’t available to many, nor was it easily accessible. Some people who are still active members of today’s society have grown up without television…

But this isn’t about whether or not TV is ruining our brains. It’s about whether WE might be ruining the TV experience.

See, back in the day the only entertainment was books. In a book, the author has practically an unlimited space to describe the full range of emotions that a protagonist might be experiencing in any given situation.

On the screen, however, things are not quite as easy. Often books that take days or weeks to read are shown in a 90-minute long film.

So, if the director wants to elicit the same level of emotion a book would, then the actors better turn up the heating when showing emotions. That’s fine – it’s film art. It’s how it’s supposed to be.

What’s not supposed to happen, however, is for humans to copy actors’ reactions and start exaggerating their emotions as if they’re praying to win an Oscar…

Creator economy made this even worse. When everyone is armed with a camera and dedicating to hitting the numbers on likes and follows, ridiculously exaggerated emotions are flying all over the place.

No, it doesn’t look normal.

Yes, it looks fake
Because it is. It’s a copied, not a genuine reaction.

Grown people are expressing emotion louder than naughty teenagers…

And if you don’t believe that humans copy emotional expressions from others, I urge you to read / listen to “Emotion – A Very Short Introduction” by Dylan Evans. This fantastic little book is a 3h Audible listen (if you have a subscription) and is more than eye-opening.

In the book, you’ll learn about the “wild pig” emotion, experienced exclusively by middle-aged men in ONE tribe only.

Back to my point and today’s life hack.

Do you remember how YOU express emotions? Pay some attention to how you cheer, how you express sadness, distress. Are these YOUR methods, or are they someone else’s?

The better you become at copying others, the farther away you move from yourself.

Personalising your emotional expression might be a fine place to start on your quest back to your authentic self.

This is a hilarious yet horrific story that makes a remarkably strong point:

Just because someone’s in power, doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing. 

Case in point: Mao Zedong’s anti-sparrow campaign in late 1950s China.

With the slogan “Eliminate the Four Pests,” Mao declared war on sparrows, believing they were eating too much grain. Citizens were mobilised, rewarded for their kills, and soon, the sparrow population plummeted.

But, plot twist: without sparrows to keep them in check, locust populations exploded, ravaging crops far more than the sparrows ever did. The result? A catastrophic famine that led to the deaths of millions. Nature, it turns out, doesn’t take kindly to meddling.

So, next time you hear grand slogans from those in power, remember Mao and his sparrows. Their “brilliant” plans might just lead to disaster…

P.S. Yes, this is just as valid in corporate environment as in anything else…

Nina Alexander
Nina Alexander

Nina Alexander is a Marketer with 20+ years of experience and focus on digitalisation, automation, and AI.

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