Facebook CPC and CPM among ASEAN countries

Some weeks ago I got one of these non-common campaign requests that pushed me to write a new post: A Spanish perfume manufacturing client based in Indonesia requested a Global  Facebook Marketing campaign across 13 countries,  7 of them in the ASEAN region, for a brand new product launch . The campaign should kick off at the same time and there was no previous data to use as a reference

As it was a brand new product for a new brand, we agreed to go for a testing campaign to see whether the Facebook “estimations” were good or not. In this research there are other non ASEAN countries like Sri. Lanka, Taiwan or Korea are ASEAN but I keep them as it may be a good reference for other readers 😉

As a branding campaign, the main objectives were clear, get a first reference of each country for:

First step: find some third parties benchmarks. After some research, lots of  Facebook official partners samples and some extremely funny reports (the Sales Force one  that allocates Vietnam in Korea) it is easy to realize that most of the available data was not very trustworthy.

Sales Force Benchmark.png
Salesforce Report: nice chart, nicer bug 😀

Overall,  some minutes after doing this brief research I decided to make my own and write this post 🙂

Second step: Facebook estimation. Afterwards, its recommended to compare the Facebook estimations you get on the Advert Set configuration (this info is showed only in Manual configurations) .

Estimations are shown in local currencies. In this case, our account is based in Vietnam Dongs – VND


After doing the set-up for all these countries, here it is the ‘Facebook CPM suggestion’ for this pool of countries:

Facebook CPM estimation
As you can imagine, we decided to quit Japan

Third step: testing phase.  Now we are ready to make some real estimations to our client to manage their expectations. In order to be a real test we ensured the following items:

  • Same set-up: All the campaigns were optimized to obtain a low cost-engagement. Recommended approach for branding purposes.
  • Same visuals.
  • Same audience indicators (simple audience  set-ups are recommended in testing campaigns, once you get experience in that market, you can use this numbers as a reference to optimize)
  • Same wordings: content. To be a 100% accurate benchmark we should have used local languages, however our time limitation forced us to do everything in English. The campaign was purely B2B – target audience were fragrance distributors with capacity to import and/or distribute large amounts of perfume- and these profiles tend to have a medium/high level of English.
Target Audience
Audience set-up for Malaysia

So, after 6 days and $600 among the 8 countries, here we have the results:



Overall, the Cost per engagement was much lower than expected, which was good news in terms of branding. The CPC performance was obviously bad due to the engagement-optimized set up, however I recognized that I expected better values at Vietnam and Myanmar. Taiwan surprisingly high and Malaysia very high too considering how English friendly this country is and our previous campaigns experience.

NOTE: This campaign was done with one single post. The post was exactly the same for every country (image and content). Text was typed in English which should carry out lower costs for English friendly countries like Malaysia, Sri Lanka or Philippines

The campaign belongs to Chemarome, a multinational fragrance producer that operates in Europe, Asia, Middle east and Central Africa.




CPC VS CPM – How to pass from one to the other?

Most ocpc-vs-cpmf publishers and PPC services based their pricing rates on CPM,  for example, the New York Times banner services starts at an $8.00 plus additional targeting layers. However, our digital marketing plans are mostly CPC (or CPA) oriented… given that, a common question is how do I pass from CPM to CPC?
Let’s see an easy example of how to compare CPC and CPM services using Facebook Ads:
1. First of all, lets set the CPM ads option at some of our ads: Open (or create) any Facebook campaign you have already active on your Facebook ads panel

2. Move into (or create a new) advert set. Once there, click edit (pencil logo – first of the top right corner logos).3. Afterwards, click on “Show advanced options”

4. Then, change the pricing option to “Optimized per impressions” (usually this field is set as “optimized per clicks” as default)
5. After this, you will see a proposed price, in my case CPM – 0.69 USD. Which means that I will have to pay 0.69 USD per 1,000 impressions
CPM Example
CPM Example
5. Considering that my CTR on this campaign goes from 0.5% to 2%, it means:
CTR 0.5% -> 1,000 impressions X 0.5 / 100 = 5 clicks
CPM = 0.69 USD, it means I will have 5 clicks per 0.69 USD, in other words, a CPC of 0.69/5 = 0.13 USD
CTR 2% -> 1,000 impressions X 2 / 100 = 2o clicks
CPM=0.69 USD I will get 20 clicks, in other words, a CPC of 0.69/20 = 0.03
On average, I can expect to get clicks from $0.13 to $0.03, which is very good actually.
Given this, you may think… what happens if this is the first time I use this service and I have no reference of my CTR? In that case… just ask  it! Publishers technical teams should have an average CTR of their banners which can make you guess the number of clicks you will have with a certain budget

What does CPC, CPA, CTR or CPI really mean? Digital Marketing Acronyms

abcMost of digital marketing beginners believe they totally understand what CPC, CPA, CTR and other terms mean, but after doing couple of campaigns and after seeing that your results on Google Analytics (or other measurement tools) don’t match with your expectations is when you understand how important is to understand these basics at 100%

Lets review some of the most used acronyms and their importance:

SEM – SEO – SERP – PPC. You may struggle to find 2 webs than agree on the full meaning of these terms. For this post I place myself along with Wikipedia, as these results have been deeply discussed among its publishing community

  • SEM – Search Engine Marketing: includes all the on-line marketing techniques that increase we traffic: SEO, PPC, etc. Most of times though, this term is used to refer PPC activities
  • SERP –  Search Engine Results Pages:  list of websites displayed by a search engine after running a queries.
  • SEO – Search Engine Optimization: SEO is “the quantity and quality of traffic earned from Search Engines”, or in other words, the set of activities needed to increase your rank in Search Engines results. SEO Moz, probably the best SEO portal nowadays, can be a good kick-off point for this area
  • PPC – Pay per click: internet ads that direct traffic to a specific website read more. Banners, Facebook ads and other Social Media ads should be included, however a big part of the web community will refer PPC to Search Engines Paid ads (Google Adwords for example) only like WordStream. Some blogs and communities even compare both approaches: Facebook vs PPC ads
  1. CPI – Cost per Impression. How much do I have to pay to make a digital (or offline) impression of my brand. Directly liked to the CPM below
  2. Cost per Reach. How much I have to pay to reach a user. Reach and Impressions  are usually confused as Reach makes reference to the number of unique users I score. The absolute number of a campaign or banner impressions number will always be higher that its reach as I many of my users may receive more than 1 impression
  3. CPC – Cost per click. Key term in digital marketing. The CPC is a dangerous term. Measurement tools like analytics usually measure “sessions”, not clicks, and these numbers are hardly ever the same which may make clients suspicious about what he buys (clicks) and what he gets (sessions).
  4. CPA – cost per acquisition. Acquisition means a goal, depending of the industry, it can be a user-registration, a purchase, an app download or a Video view. If your campaign has a clear goal, you need to monitor both CPC and CPA and compare it for each channel of your mix
    • CPA’s can have different names like CPL – cost per lead, CPI – Cost per install or CPV – cost per view, depending on you ultimate business goals.
  5. CR – conversion rate. Number of units or % needed of the previous level of the marketing funnel to get a conversion. Example: In terms of Leads generation, the CR can be shown in two ways:
    • Number of clicks  needed to get a lead (conversion)
    • The % of clicks that become leads
  6. CTR – Click through rate. It’s usually a % and it measures the amount of people that see your banner and click on it. Web Banners (like GDN, Admicro or other banner networks) usually offer low CTR’s (0.05%  to 0.1%). Good banners on Facebook or Instagram on the other hand can achieve higher numbers (1.5% to 5%). Anything over 3% is considered as a very good number.
    • CTR values depend not only on the platform we place the banner (Facebook, GDN, On-line Newspapers) but on the quality of banners.
    • To refine CTR marketers need to apply A/B testing. CTR improvements can bring a huge performance difference. If you manage to pass from CTR 0.5% to 2% it means you have 4 times more users for example, a huge difference in PPC plans where you are paying per booking time instead of clicks rate
  7.  CPM – cost per thousand impressions.