The year’s end is upon us, and marketing leaders have already set their sights on 2024. With only a few weeks until the new year, budget planning isn’t a luxury that can be left to the last minute.
As CEOs and CMOs navigate the complexities of the upcoming year, several key challenges will impact the budgeting process, including:
Economic Pressures and Shrinking Headcounts:
Rising inflation and economic concerns are leading to tighter budgets and reduced headcounts, forcing teams to “do more with less”. The need to leverage AI and other technologies for productivity amplifies this pressure.
Data Disruption and Measurement Uncertainty:
The demise of third-party cookies is creating a fragmented data landscape, making it difficult to accurately measure campaign performance. Despite projected global ad spend growth of 8.2% in 2024, reaching a staggering $1 trillion, budget cuts remain prevalent across industries.
Fierce Competition and Rising Costs:
Intense competition for ad space is driving up CPCs, making efficiency more crucial than ever. CMOs should strategise to avoid unnecessary cuts and capitalise on opportunities where their ads can shine through the noise.
Aligning Budget with Goals:
The foundation of a successful PPC budget lies in clearly defined goals and objectives. CMOs must ensure their budget allocation aligns directly with these goals, maximising ROI and driving measurable success.
To conquer these challenges, it’s crucial to capitalise on the opportunities they present. The ideal PPC budget starts with clearly defined goals. By effectively leveraging data and focusing on strategic optimisation, CMOs can navigate the 2024 PPC landscape with confidence and achieve their desired outcomes.
PPC Trends To Look Out For in 2024
2024 brings a wave of PPC trends and strategies. Here’s a look at the top trends, including AI, automation, new ad channels, and advanced audience targeting.
AI In PPC
- AI-powered bidding: Machine learning algorithms are taking over bidding, with 80% of advertisers expected to use automated bidding strategies in 2024.
- Automated campaign management: AI tools are automating tasks like keyword research, ad creation, and budget allocation, freeing up time to strategise.
- Personalised ad experiences: AI can personalise ad content and delivery based on individual user data, leading to 30% higher conversion rates.
- Cost-per-click (CPC) is expected to rise by 10-15% in 2024 due to increased competition and shrinking ad inventory.
- With more efficiency, you can optimise campaigns for maximum ROI and exploring alternative ad channels with lower CPCs.
Attribution Based Decisions
- Advanced analytics tools are enabling deeper insights into user behaviour and campaign effectiveness, leading to 25% higher ROI.
- Invest in data analytics skills and tools to make informed decisions based on real-time data.
- Emerging platforms: Explore new ad platforms like TikTok and Reddit to reach niche audiences and test innovative ad formats.
- Omnichannel integration: Integrate your PPC campaigns across different channels such as search, social and display to create a seamless and unified customer experience, reinforcing brand messaging and maximising reach.
Advanced Audience Targeting
- Contextual targeting: Target users based on the content they are consuming, leading to more relevant and engaging ads.
- Customer journey mapping: Use customer journey maps to understand user behaviour across different touchpoints and personalise their ad experiences.
- Dynamic creative optimisation: Craft ad creatives using real-time optimisation on user data, leading to 20% higher click-through rates.
The key is to leverage AI and automation, prioritise data-driven decision-making, explore new engagement channels, and refine your audience targeting strategies.
Tips To Plan & Secure Your Budget In 2024
As the marketing landscape evolves in 2024, creating a secure and effective budget is crucial for success. Here’s a detailed breakdown of each tip, along with relevant statistics to support and guide your planning for the coming year:
Set achievable goals
Start with the big picture. Define your overarching objectives – revenue growth, brand awareness, or customer retention? Then, break down those aims into achievable, channel-specific goals. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Start with SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
- Unleash Channel Synergy: Think beyond individual platforms. How can they collaborate and amplify each other’s impact? Imagine social media driving traffic, email nurturing leads, and paid ads closing the deal.
- Leverage Platform Strengths: Harness the unique capabilities of each platform. Social media thrives on engagement, SEO builds organic reach, and paid advertising targets specific demographics.
- Map Your Journey: Visualise the buyer journey across all channels. Identify touch points, optimise conversion opportunities, and guide users seamlessly towards their desired action.
- Collaborate and Track: Involve your platform managers in brainstorming sessions. Their expertise is invaluable. Develop a clear roadmap outlining objectives, tactics, and platform-specific success metrics.
Remember, every touchpoint matters. By strategically aligning your channels and leveraging their strengths, you can turbocharge your marketing engine and drive exponential growth.
Estimate what’s possible
So, you’ve carved out your goals, ambitious and clear. Now, it’s time to delve into tools like Google Performance Planner to get to the next step. Think of Google Performance Planner as a powerful slider: slide it across the budget spectrum, and watch the predicted results come alive. Compare these projections to your past and current spending to gain a deeper understanding of what’s possible.
Platforms like display, social, and YouTube equip you with their own forecasting tools, offering rough estimates of what you can expect in return for your investment. But, don’t be blinded by pure numbers.
Ask yourself: how much are you willing to pay for each result? Pushing the efficiency envelope too far can lead to diminishing returns.
By wielding the power of these forecasting tools and understanding the nuances of each channel, you can confidently navigate the marketing landscape, maximise your potential and propel your brand towards its goals.
- Analyse historical data: Past performance provides valuable insights into current spending and potential returns.
- Consider industry benchmarks: Utilise industry averages and trends to assess realistic expectations.
- Factor in economic conditions: Account for potential economic fluctuations and their impact on budget allocation.
Assess cross-channel media mix
When budgets tighten, it’s often time to scrutinise past performance. Dig deeper, and you’ll uncover hidden gems of value.
Take LinkedIn, for instance. Its cost per lead might appear higher compared to other platforms. But true value lies beyond mere numbers.
Is there brand value in targeting the right B2B audience, even if they’re not ready to buy? Does LinkedIn accelerate the sales cycle, bringing opportunities closer to closure? Does it drive higher-value sales than other channels?
Multi-touch attribution is the holy grail, but it’s elusive. Invest in it to gain clarity on channel performance and unlock optimization opportunities. Remember, a marketing team is only as good as its data.
Ensure your team uses the right tracking measures: platform conversion tracking, UTMs, proper CRM routing, and accurate attribution.
- By understanding what clicked and what fizzled in the past, you can confidently navigate the future.
- Craft a cross-channel media mix for the coming year, making adjustments as needed to achieve your ROAS goals.
- Cut underperformers and reinvest those resources where they’ll yield maximum impact.
Allocate budget for testing
Set aside at least 10-15% of your resources to explore new possibilities and unlock hidden potential.
Plan your testing initiatives upfront, avoiding the frantic scramble that often plagues last-minute efforts. Think strategically about audience sizes when allocating your testing budget:
- Hold-out tests: Smaller sample sizes require less funding, making them budget-friendly options.
- Broader audience tests: Reaching a larger pool of users necessitates a higher financial investment to achieve statistical significance.
- Time and budget are intertwined: Allocate sufficient resources to ensure your tests run long enough to unveil the true incremental value of any changes you implement.
By prioritising testing and remaining adaptable, you’ll equip yourself to navigate the ever-shifting tides of the PPC landscape. Embrace the unknown, explore new possibilities, and watch your campaigns soar to new heights.
Past performance data provides valuable insights into what’s worked and what hasn’t. Analyse historical metrics to establish a solid foundation for your forecast.
Costs can climb over time, so factor in potential increases.
Launching a new campaign? While forecasting can be challenging, most platforms offer dedicated tools to assist you. Leverage these tools, incorporating historical KPIs from similar campaigns and channels for further guidance.
- Seek wisdom from the experts: Tap into the collective knowledge of your network. Reach out to channel representatives for industry and competitor benchmarks, and poll your colleagues for insights into current trends and KPIs.
- Partner with the pros: If you work with an advertising agency, utilise their expertise. Their industry knowledge and forecasting capabilities can add invaluable depth to your predictions.
Get more funding
Budget season is approaching, and with it comes the crucial task of securing the resources you need to fuel your marketing engine. But simply asking for more money won’t suffice. To truly capture the attention of decision-makers and win their support, you need to master the art of the compelling budget request.
- Don’t just spit numbers. Craft a captivating story that showcases your vision, your goals, and the impact you aim to achieve.
- Let historical data be your voice of reason. Delve into past performance to demonstrate the effectiveness of your current efforts and the potential.
- Don’t leave the future to chance. Utilise forecasting tools and industry trends to provide a clear vision of the expected return on investment, painting a compelling picture of the value you bring to the table.
- Analyse your competitors and identify their strengths and weaknesses. Position your request as a strategic investment that will give your company the edge it needs to stay ahead.
Remember, securing funding is not just about numbers. It’s about inspiring confidence and demonstrating the transformative power of your vision.
By using the power of a compelling narrative, leveraging data, and anticipating the future, you can captivate your audience, secure the resources you need, and drive your marketing engine to new heights.
Here are some additional tips that you can use to plan your budget in 2024:
- Embrace automation: Automate repetitive tasks like budgeting and reporting to save time and resources.
- Collaborate across departments: Foster communication and collaboration between marketing, finance, and other departments to align budgets.
- Be flexible and adaptable: The marketing landscape is dynamic, so be prepared to adjust your budget based on changing conditions and performance data.
By following these tips and leveraging relevant data, you can effectively plan and secure your budget in 2024, ensuring your marketing efforts are successful and contribute significantly to your business goals.
Need a fresh perspective? Let’s talk.
At 360 OM, we specialise in helping businesses take their marketing efforts to the next level. Our team stays on top of industry trends, uses data-informed decisions to maximise your ROI, and provides full transparency through comprehensive reports.