By Juli Durante
The marketing budget. You have it in hand, you look at it, and you think one of a few things.
If you’re lucky, you might be saying, “WOW! I have so much extra budget this year – what can I do with it?”
If you’re not, you might be saying “HOW can I deliver results like this year’s if I don’t have as much money to spend?”
Either way, you’re looking at a challenge: how can you make sure you split up that marketing budget so that you – and your company – wins in 2020? Here’s how to set up a successful marketing budget:
- Look back at historical data
- Evaluate your current state
- Confirm your goals and objectives
- Chart your course
Let’s unpack that.
1. Look Back at Historical Data
Can you really understand where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been?
Before you think about all of the big exciting ideas you’ll embrace in 2020, spend some time to analyze what went well over the last year – and what didn’t. When I analyze data, I have a three-question formula that almost always keeps me honest. I ask myself “What happened?” then “Why did that happen?” and finally, “What should I do about that?”
Reporting on “What happened?” is usually easy. I can see in a chart that organic traffic increased 20 percent year over year. From there, the digging started. “What caused organic search traffic to increase 20 percent year over year?”
I’ll need a variety of reports to get that information, but my end goal is to understand what keywords may be driving that traffic, what pages that traffic is landing on, and if that traffic generated high quality leads.
Finally, I must ask, “What should I do about that?”
Let’s say I found that three blog posts drove a huge volume of our organic traffic – that’s great! Continued blogging should be part of my 2020 game plan. But did that traffic turn into any leads or customers? If not, some conversion rate optimization should also be factored into my plans.
Ready to get started? I recommend starting by looking at:
- Traffic by source or medium: What grew? What didn’t? What efforts did you undertake in 2019 that would have contributed to that growth? Do you need to repeat those efforts in 2020?
- Leads by source or medium: Ask yourself the same questions as with traffic. Also inquire about the overall quality of those leads. Were they marketing qualified? Sales qualified? Opportunities? Customers?
- Customers by source or medium: Yes, the same questions apply here. Also take a look at the average deal size for these customers. Are you generating high-value customers from paid search but small deals from organic? Why might that be?
- Campaign analytics: For your traffic, leads, and customers, which of your marketing campaigns are driving volume and quality? Should you consider additional campaigns like this in the new year?