Posted: Friday 6th September 2019 in Paid Media, Thought Leadership.

Budget management for paid search… the industry standard for splitting budgets

When we ask our clients how they split their budgets between accounts and marketing categories for paid search, the responses vary between “that’s just what we decided” and “the trading team gave us the splits”, with some optimisation mixed in. Often when looking at the performance these splits would yield, small adjustments could generate far better results.

You could be losing out on key revenue if your budget splits are produced from any of:

  • Having a flat budget for each day of the month
  • Using the same day of week splits every week without review
  • Keeping a similar pay day up-weight each month
  • Keeping the same proportions of budget across multiple categories

We recognised that to consistently review every factor that contributes to an efficient budget split takes time and involves using more data than can fit into your favourite spreadsheet software, which led us to develop Budget Explorer into our proprietary marketing technology, Forecaster.

Planning and forecasting with Budget Explorer

Whether you split your budget yourself as an account manager, or it is dictated to you by another department, Budget Explorer can improve your workflow and performance by predicting what will happen, identifying opportunity, and utilising Forecaster optimisation, executing your campaigns. And you can even include margin data!

Budget Explorer reviews the past performance across all marketing categories in order to produce accurate predictions for the upcoming month at various spend levels. From this, it can split your single monthly budget between days of the month and each category, to provide the optimal spend levels.

How much more opportunity do I have left on the table?

When planning paid search budgets, a common question marketeers receive from their trading teams is along the lines of “if we gave you another £100 for Category X this week, how much revenue could you make?”. And, as a marketeer, the answer is some vague estimate that resembles an amount that could be achievable and is appealing enough to secure the budget.

Using Budget Explorer’s opportunity tool, we can see the exact answer. Combining recent performance and future predictions, Budget Explorer simulates your account’s behaviour at a range of spend options to give you full visibility of what could happen if you spend that extra funding. The view below shows how spending an extra £100 in a week where the initial plan was to spend £880 would result in £201 additional revenue meaning £101 extra profit. This can be applied over a full week or select days to optimally find when is best to spend.

Budget Explorer chart

Reallocate budget with confidence

One of the first tasks any marketeer will do on any given day will be to review what happened yesterday and adjust accordingly. The work involved in adjusting ranges anywhere from waiting to see what happens, which can end in running out of budget at the end of the week, to realigning the remaining budget in proportion with the daily splits already produced. The most efficient way is not always by keeping the same percentage splits throughout categories when reallocating. Budget Explorer will automatically reallocate your budget to account for any spend variation on previous days, in order to continue to give the most optimal splits.

Final thoughts

As an account manager, you should be looking to split your budgets to be as profitable as possible. Forecaster’s Budget Explorer module finds the most efficient way to split the budget and enables you to execute your paid media campaigns quickly and effectively. Budget Explorer can identify when and where to spend additional funding to get the greatest return, and when you don’t spend exactly as you first intended, can reallocate your remaining spend for the remainder of the week or month.

If you would like to find out more about how Forecaster can improve your paid search performance contact our Forecaster team on +44 (0)20 3948 4696 or email [email protected]