2020 Digital Marketing Budget Planning

Planning for next year’s digital marketing budget can be a daunting task. There are a lot of elements to consider and a number of questions to ask yourself, for example:

  • How much should I budget for in 2020?

  • What are the biggest trends my company should focus our marketing efforts on?

  • What are the most effective inbound drivers of new business?

At REQ we ask these questions each year on behalf of our clients. The questions typically remain the same, however the way we respond may vary based on the industry, the previous year’s performance, target demographics, the individual demands of each business, and most importantly, the latest marketing trends.  

So how much should I budget for in 2020?

According to a 2019 Gartner survey of over 340 CMO’s nationwide and in the UK, the average allocation of marketing budget came in at 10.5% of the company’s overall revenue, with that number expected to grow in 2020. While this may be a good starting point for most, it may not suit every business’s needs. There would certainly need to be some additional considerations around allocations of the budget.

In particular, how much of that budget should be focused on digital?

Based on the same survey, it was determined that the digital component was about 16% of the overall marketing budget, with that number also expected to grow in 2020. With Millennials surpassing Baby Boomers this year as the biggest consumers of online media, and with Gen Z following close behind, it is important that companies keep these generations in mind. While putting together this plan, ask yourself the question: how much digital marketing have we done in the past? If the answer is little to none, you may need to be more aggressive in 2020 depending on your particular business or industry. See our blog on “Adapting to the Digital Era”.

What are some of the biggest digital advertising trends in 2020 to focus on?

Now that we have established some general guidelines on how much money to budget, the follow up question is: “where do I spend it most efficiently?” There is no easy answer. Marketing has changed more in the past five to six years than ever before. Just when you think you’ve figured the digital world out, another algorithm is updated, a new trend emerges, or another regulation is implemented, and you need to pivot your strategy. Here are a couple Important channels to consider:

Digital Video:

Digital video continues to be a focal point for a number of marketers. Approximately 86% of marketers are using video content in their campaign outreach efforts. This includes video content on YouTube and social platforms like Instagram stories and Snapchat stories. Video content is easily digestible and captures short attention spans in a brief amount of time. If you are advertising in social media already and haven’t leveraged video as a tactic, 2020 is the time to consider it.

Interactive Content:

“Content is King” is very much still relevant going into 2020 as search engines demand quality content from company websites. In the past few years, content has evolved and the latest focus on interactive content provides a better way to educate, entertain, and engage your audience by having them actively participate in your content versus just passively reading it. Adding engaging content such as quizzes, calculators and tools, interactive visuals, and interactive landing pages are just a few examples of how to engage your audience in a more effective way.

Responsible Data Monetization & Analytics:

Determining the success of your online efforts is heavily reliant on the data that you’re collecting and what you do with it. Anyone can collect their own data, but building that data into a well-oiled, digestible system can allow you, as a marketer, to understand your audience’s behavior better and formulate strategies and tactics that actually work. Both performance data and consumer data are essential in telling the full story.

Allocating an appropriate marketing budget for your business is a challenge. As I outlined above, there are a number of considerations to keep in mind when embarking on this journey. If you find yourself needing a set of fresh eyes on your current tactics and need recommendations on how best to proceed, reach out to us and we can dig into what’s working and what needs improvement.