Has CPA Become an Outdated Search Measure?

The world of paid search based marketing has undergone a lot of change over a relatively short period of time due to an increasing number of factors popping up everywhere. As video consumption, mobile based searches, people based marketing, and social media channels are becoming increasingly popular marketing tools, marketers are having a much harder time following their audience around.

Digital ad spend has been on an upward trend for the past 8 years, this year it went up by 14.3% and according to the data that we have so far, we can expect to see this growing trend continue for another 2 years. Online retailers who have been actively spending on their digital marketing have also enjoyed insane growths over the past couple of years. With the online market becoming so lucrative, everyone is jumping onto the bandwagon and as a result, older marketing techniques are quickly becoming saturated.

If you take a look at how the top online brands are functioning, you can tell that in order to make a strong brand and keep it strong, you must ensure that your influence is present on every step of the sales funnel, this maximizes the chances of you roping in a customer and puts you ahead of your competition as well.

When it comes to setting up your funnel, you need to give extra attention to upper funnel activity, however, the problem with upper funnel management is that clients often start asking about their ROI or their CPA on any investments they make on the upper funnel. This leads us to the question that is CPA even relevant now? The answer to this question is yes and no, CPA is a great way of determining your overall success in terms of marketing, however, it is not capable of giving you an in-depth look at what your marketing efforts are capable of achieving for you.

Applying CPA to your entire funnel is a good idea as it will show you how much are you spending and what are you getting in return, however, applying it separately on every step of your tunnel is not recommended. This is due to the fact that your approach to marketing is going to be different on every stage of your funnel as every stage hopes to accomplish something different. Applying the same CPA on marketing methods that try to accomplish something different from one another simply will not be fair and will also provide you with incorrect data.

Most companies continue to place their trust in CPA when it comes to marketing, however, you as a marketer needs to realise that the digital marketing landscape has changed a lot and CPA is no longer an effective means of telling how much you should spend on a campaign and what should you expect in return. Nowadays, in order for marketing to be truly effective, it needs to be qualitative, holistic, and dynamic, meaning that you must continually be open to new forms of marketing.