Marketers Navigate an Uncertain Fourth Quarter Mired by Ad Softness

Lower CPMs meant brands struggled to reach sales goals

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During the fourth quarter of this year, advertisers had to act more flexibly, as the uncertain macroeconomic environment made reaching revenue goals more challenging, according to post-mortem conversations with several ad buyers.

Reflecting this cautious landscape, ad prices were down this year on Meta and Google, after already dipping in 2022.

CPMs (cost per thousand impressions)—which can vary widely based on season, demand, device and targeting criteria—on Meta were down by 26% and 30% in November year-over-year, according to estimates from two different ad buyers.

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