Your 2020 vision? You want to see decent growth, you want to achieve new heights and you want to be successful as a business and provide excellence service for your customers… but where do you start?

OK, let’s think about what’s important to your business. Where do you want to be this time next year? How are you going to achieve that? With so many questions to answer and factors to consider, planning your 2020 strategy can seem like an overwhelming task but not to fear, we’ve broken down some of the most important thinking points for re-strategizing.

Realistic goals & objectives

  • What do you want to achieve?
    • This is the foundation for the rest of your planning, and therefore needs to be clearly defined and easily measurable. Whether you’ve got new product launches, want to drive a higher yearly profit or gain stronger brand awareness, the plan needs to be thorough in order to take next steps to develop it.
  • Where/who are you going to target?
    • You’ll already have a good knowledge of your target audience, but should you be thinking outside the box a little more? With millions of customers and placements at your fingertips and hundreds of marketing tools and programs available, mass reach is more achievable than it ever has been, so definitely make use of what you can to unlock the door to potential new customers.

Budgets

  • Have you got a specific marketing budget for the year?
    • As a data-driven marketer, you may face the challenging task of reviewing historical figures and calculating new budgets. Analysing how the distributed budgets performed and which areas are more profitable for your business are vital for getting the best return from your investment. This is where your objectives come back in to play; if your objective is increasing brand awareness and you’re consistently seeing strong brand uplift from running online ads, you should be thinking about increasing that budget split.

Peak times/seasonality

  • Have you thought about upweighting around seasonality/peak times?
    • During the budget planning process you may be creating projections for spend month on month, or by quarter, etc., which will have to incorporate uplift/downturn based on seasonality. If your business performs better during a certain month, a well-thought-out plan will capitalise on this, ensuring you’re providing fruitful results.
  • How are you preparing for the low times?
    • Similarly to when you’re pushing the peak times, you need to consider strategy for the quieter periods. Many marketers will tend to pull back around these times, but it could also be an opportunity to keep your brand name out there so when peak times come around you’ve generated an enlarged audience list.

Offers & promotions

  • Promotions tend to go hand in hand with seasonality. We see most of our ecommerce clients run a sale around peak times (e.g. Black Friday, Boxing Day sales) when intent-to-buy is high and competition fierce. However, one of our other clients runs discounts all year round but they have to think about which of their products sells best at which times of the year and be more aggressive with those offerings.
  • Last year £23.6b was spent on online advertising, making it 57% of the market’s ad spend. Online ads in 2020 is forecast to make up to 62% of all UK ad spend, meaning there’s increasing competition. Have you thought about how you want your brand to appear against your competitors? Customers are more likely to invest in your business if there is a real reason; USPs, promotions, etc.
  • If you’re interested in reading more about how to prepare for peak times, read our previous blogs for hints and tips.

Cohesive marketing strategy

  • Which channels are you looking in to?
    • It’s easy to think of all channels individually, but this isn’t necessarily the best way to get the most out of them. We’ve always seen our clients benefit from drawing up a full digital marketing strategy that takes all channels into consideration. Again, this loops back to what your end goal is; different channels can achieve different results, but they’ll all play a part in providing a smooth journey for the customer, whenever they are exposed to your brand
  • How are you going to align all your marketing activity?
    • Things like your content, product releases/promotions and brand representation should all be aligned, no matter the channel. Stories and messaging should be marketed using a range of media to best capture the right audience at the right time for the unified image that your brand requires.

Expected platform updates

  • Have you considered what these changes might have on your business?
    • As we rely more and more on software, search engines and machine learning, it can be easy to look past how the platform updates may directly affect you. 2020 marketing trends are set to incorporate more personalization, smart bidding, increased video advertising and interactive media so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for more platform updates surrounding these.
    • Whilst it’s near impossible to predict the exact changes, we do have a general understanding of what’s to come, particularly with PPC:
      • Audience list expansion
        • Continuous work on increasing list size and improving quality
        • More options for niche audience targeting
      • Keyword match type changes
        • These have been changing a lot over the last year, with keyword match types becoming more unified for search queries
        • Can affect PPC strategy as keyword choice is more limited
      • Automation
        • This affects forecasting, and manual strategy based on seasonality e.g. no CPC estimates available for automated bidding strategies, so can’t base spend projections on these

2020 planning is going to be a substantial operation, but it doesn’t have to be a painful one. Taking time to allocate budgets and create projections for your unified marketing strategy should help you on your way to becoming a 2020 visionary. We can’t tell you what your strategy will be as that’s entirely unique to you, but we can help you implement your new PPC strategy. Get in touch today for a friendly chat or free audit of your account.

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