How to Set Your 2019 Digital Marketing Budget with Metrics & Data?

It’s the end of 2018 and we are having a number of discussions with potential prospects and customers to plan for the New Year. What we are noticing is many of our customers & prospects don’t have high levels strategies, goals, objectives, and metrics for 2019. A few prospects don’t have projected budgets for 2019 but have big goals for the New Year. Of course, that’s why they came to us for help. Below are a few ideas to help move you towards the desired marketing budget with metrics to back them up.

Set Achievable Goals with a Budget to Fit

The recommends that small businesses with revenues of less than $5 million should allocate 7-8 percent of their revenues to marketing. This percentage is based on a margin range of 10-12 percent. For small businesses, I would use 7-8 percent to start with this recommendation for your 2019 marketing budget.  I use the marketing budget by industry from as a reference for businesses with revenues greater than $5 million.

I would also recommend that you look at your historical performance such as cost per acquisition, total conversions and conversion rate. With 7% of your revenues allocated to marketing, let’s say that your cost per acquisition is $100, with 100 total conversions, and a conversion rate of 3% has been the historical performance for the past 3 years. Unless revenues have increased significantly, you can set the expectation that 8% of revenues allocated to marketing is not going to generate 300 conversions next year!

Create a Realistic Digital Marketing Strategy

A digital marketing strategy is the series of actions that help to achieve a company’s goals through online marketing channels. These channels include paid search, organic search, media buying, email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, etc. to support a common campaign. According to , half of the businesses surveyed (49%) are doing digital marketing and don’t have a strategy. Begin the New Year with a digital marketing strategy to set the direction for the business.

Align the Marketing Tactics to Achieve Goals & Objectives

The tactics are the specific actions taken to accomplish the digital marketing strategy. The tactics must align with the strategy, target audience, research, and the user experience. The objectives must be specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and within a time period. For example, banner advertising and podcast ads could be used to accomplish the strategy of brand awareness among millennials within the next 12 months. The research will help to identify where to place the banner and podcast ads. Focusing on the user experience can concentrate the efforts on devices, apps, and podcast stations that are most likely to resonate with millennials.

Select Your Metrics Gauge Tactical Success Wisely

You have successfully gotten potential customers to subscribe to blogs, receive discounts and promotions of your products or services. It’s time to activate your customer database with drip email campaigns or marketing automation. Segment your audience to improve the effectiveness of the email marketing campaign. For example, you can target local customers with in-store sales to increase your total revenues.

Report on the Performance, Obtain Feedback, and Recommendations

You’ve heard the saying, “what gets measured gets done!” I would recommend regular reporting (bi-weekly) to keep everyone focused and to use that information to make decisions to improve your results. Get the reporting into the inboxes of the individuals that can drive results. Schedule a standing meeting (15 minutes) to review the results, obtain feedback, and make recommendations to improve the results.

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that helps you to prioritize your strategies, how you will accomplish those strategies, what specific tactics, metrics, goals and the anticipated results to be able to measure performance.