2020 Marketing: Carving Up the Budget Pie to Win

Yes, we know your budget pie is probably not the size you need and it has to work really hard to do its job. We hear you and offer up some tips to help:


If the foundation of a house is not well built, the rest of the house will be weak. The foundational work in digital marketing is to understand, gain insight, and apply what worked in 2019 and ideally, 2018. There are clues in the data that can be used directionally to inform your budget.

Here’s the homework:

  • What ROAS/CPA did you get from each channel?
  • Do some industry research (eMarketer, Mary Meeker, whatever favorite go-to resource) and make sure you have a sense of what the appropriate ROAS is for the channels you use. If you’re not hitting it and it’s an important channel for you, you’ll want to allocate more of the pie to that channel.
  • Peer groups: what channels do your peers play in and what type of ROAS do they get?

Bottom line, make sure you’ve got a solid understanding of ROAS by channel, both industry and how your business performs, historically.

But it’s not just all about ROAS, make sure you’re up to date on channel changes. For example, Google search engine results pages (SERPs) don’t look like they used to.

  • For an ever-increasing variety of searches, the results page shows all sorts of things that aren’t paid results and aren’t organic webpage listings.
  • What are these things?
  • How do they impact search behavior overall?
  • And what should businesses do to protect and grow traffic from search?

Based on how the channel shifts, you’ll need to factor in that it may cost you more than it did in 2019. (Here’s our perspective on SERP changes in case you need to explain to your CFO why marketing might cost more in 2020.)

“Marketers need to balance investment in channels that support near-term investment with channels that support sustainable long-term ROI. It’s key to know your data and be fluent.” Kris Skavish, Co-Founder, Principal, Two Octobers

Thinking Beyond Acquisition

So what does this mean for you, me, and the brands that we market? Our opinion is that your digital marketing strategy should evolve beyond just acquisition. We think that it is prudent to look at customer retention, customer loyalty programs, and customer experience. Dig deep. Because if the purchases are small and the costs to acquire are high, it’s time to look at other ways to grow your business. And yeah, we can help with this too. We offer daylong roundtable trainings. You bring your data, we bring the outside perspective, analytical fanaticism, and firepower to bust through barriers that are holding your business back.

Jumpstarting 2020

We offer some simple ‘jumpstarts’ to get you and your team pointed in the right direction, and training too!

  • Scroll Tracking Jumpstart: This tells us how far down users view pages on your website, providing valuable insight on individual pages and across your website as a whole. It will help you with your CRO.
  • Trainings: We will be teaching an in-person Advanced Analytics class in partnership with General Assemb.ly on February 6th. Registration signup is coming soon. To keep it focused and robust, we will be limiting the number of students. If you’re interested, email [email protected].

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