Definition of Pricing Model

A pricing model in digital marketing refers to the structure or method used to determine the cost of advertising campaigns. It dictates how advertisers are charged for their advertisement placements on digital platforms such as websites, apps, or social media. Common pricing models include cost per click (CPC), cost per thousand impressions (CPM), and cost per action (CPA).


The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “Pricing Model” is:Pricing: ˈpraɪsɪŋModel: ˈmɒdəl

Key Takeaways

  1. Pricing models offer businesses an organized approach to determine the most suitable price for their products or services by considering factors such as costs, customer willingness to pay, and competitor pricing.
  2. Various pricing models exist such as cost-based pricing, value-based pricing, and competitive-based pricing, allowing companies to select a strategy that aligns with their specific goals and market conditions.
  3. An effective pricing model should be flexible, scalable, and periodically reviewed and adjusted to adapt to changing market trends and to ensure optimal price-performance for the business and its customers.

Importance of Pricing Model

The Pricing Model is a crucial term in digital marketing because it defines how businesses generate revenue from their marketing strategies and online services.

It reflects the overall cost structure designed to maximize profits while ensuring customer satisfaction and retention.

Different pricing models, like cost per click (CPC), cost per impression (CPM), cost per acquisition (CPA), or subscription-based pricing models, offer various advantages and levels of effectiveness based on specific marketing goals, target audiences, and types of products or services.

By understanding and tailoring a suitable pricing model, businesses can optimize ad spend, identify the most efficient marketing channels, and boost return on investment (ROI), making it an essential component of a successful digital marketing strategy.


The primary purpose of a pricing model within the realm of digital marketing is to establish a systematic and scalable approach to charging for products or services. Pricing models have a significant impact on the overall performance of a business in the digital marketplace, as they influence consumer choices, determine the competitive landscape, and ultimately dictate the profitability and sustainability of a company.

A well-structured pricing model can help attract and retain customers, optimize revenues, and foster growth by encouraging the right behaviors, whether that be stimulating higher consumption, creating customer loyalty, or positioning a product or service as a premium offering. In order to achieve these strategic objectives, digital marketing professionals utilize various types of pricing models to accommodate different customer preferences, needs, and price sensitivities.

For example, cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-impression (CPM) models are often used in online advertising, where advertisers pay based on the number of clicks or impressions generated by their ads, respectively. Another common approach is the freemium model, in which basic services are provided for free with the option to upgrade to a premium version for additional features.

Subscription-based models, where customers pay a recurring fee for ongoing access to content, services, or products, have become increasingly popular in recent years, as they engender customer loyalty and reliable revenue streams. By leveraging the right pricing model, digital marketing professionals can effectively incentivize customer behavior, drive sales, and ensure the continued success of their businesses in a competitive and constantly evolving online environment.

Examples of Pricing Model

Cost Per Click (CPC): In this pricing model, the advertiser pays the publisher or digital marketing platform every time a user clicks on their advertisement. One real-world example is Google Ads, where businesses create ad campaigns and are charged based on the number of clicks their ads generate. This model is popular because it directly connects the marketing expense to customer engagement.

Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM): In the CPM pricing model, advertisers pay for every 1,000 times their ad is displayed to potential customers, regardless of whether the users interact with the ad or not. This model is commonly used for brand awareness campaigns. A real-world example is Facebook Ads, where advertisers can choose to pay based on the number of impressions their ads receive. This pricing model is suitable for businesses looking to increase visibility and reach.

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA): Also known as the cost per action model, the CPA pricing model charges advertisers only when a specific action, such as a sale, lead generation, or newsletter subscription, is completed. A real-world example can be seen on the affiliate marketing platform, like Commission Junction, where advertisers pay affiliates based on the number of successful conversions resulting from their ads. This approach helps businesses to only pay for marketing actions that directly benefit their bottom line.

Pricing Model

What is a pricing model?

A pricing model is a strategy a business uses to determine the best price for its products or services. This model considers various factors, including market conditions, competitor pricing, production costs, and the perceived value of the product to customers.

What are the main types of pricing models?

There are several common pricing models businesses can choose from, including cost-based pricing, value-based pricing, competitive pricing, and demand-based pricing. Each of these models considers different factors to determine the optimal price for a product or service.

How do I choose the right pricing model for my business?

Choosing the right pricing model depends on your business objectives, target audience, and product or service. You should consider factors such as your production costs, competitors’ pricing, and your customers’ willingness to pay. Testing different pricing models and regularly evaluating their effectiveness can help you identify the best approach for your business.

Do pricing models change over time?

Yes, pricing models can and often do change over time. Market conditions, customer preferences, and competitive landscapes can shift, necessitating adjustments to your pricing model. Regularly reviewing and adjusting your pricing strategy is crucial for maintaining profitability and adapting to changes in your industry.

What are some potential risks of using the wrong pricing model?

Using the wrong pricing model can have several negative consequences for your business. If you price your products or services too high, you may lose potential customers to competitors with more affordable offerings. On the other hand, if you price too low, you may struggle to generate sufficient revenue to cover your costs, which could lead to financial difficulties or failure. It is essential to find the right balance to optimize both your customer base and profit margins.

Related Digital Marketing Terms

  • Cost-per-click (CPC)
  • Cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM)
  • Cost-per-acquisition (CPA)
  • Return on ad spend (ROAS)
  • Flat-rate pricing

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