7 Categories That Make The Biggest Digital Marketing Budget Impact in 2020


When it comes to your business-to-business (B2B) digital marketing budget strategy, there are always more places to spend than there are dollars. It can be difficult to know that your bases are covered and that your business decisions well position your team and your company to both build on marketing strategy achievements made and explore new opportunities.

Our marketing budget template for 2020 includes seven areas you should focus your B2B marketing goals in 2020 (and perhaps beyond):

1. Nurture Your Prospects Throughout Their Journey with a Robust Technology Stack

Your marketing technology stack is the engine fueled by your digital strategy, and making sure the engine has the power and efficiency to carry your organization forward effectively is key going into 2020.

Consider beefing up what you’re already doing while looking for opportunities to build your stack – both vertically and horizontally – to take things to the next level.

Investing in review, analysis, updates, and upgrades to your customer relationship management (CRM), marketing automation, email automation, analytics systems, and configuration will help you keep up. Going deeper into personalization, A/B testing, and social media scheduling will drive a richer connection with prospective customers and can be a distinguishing factor in B2B. With that foundation, make sure that you’re leveraging newer techniques, such as progressive profiling and predictive content.

2020 Marketing Technology Stack Watch List

These are the marketing stack players worth keeping an eye on as we transition to 2020:


Marketing Automation

Email Automation

A/B Testing & Personalization

Social Media Automation


Competitive analysis

2. Meaningful and Relevant Content Remains King in Digital Marketing

More and better content has always been an improvement, but as we transition into 2020 that momentum continues and remains a key focus area for your digital marketing budget and strategy. Investing in content creation including articles, blogs, white papers, and other website marketing campaigns remains an important part of digital marketing strategy, and there are no shortcuts to getting there.

Meaningful media marketing content should connect with and relate to your customers at various points in their buying cycle, revealing deep understanding of the problems they face and how the solutions you provide solve those problems.

Be sure you have a smart content strategy that includes personas for your target audience as well as a plan including specifics for how to engage them in coordinated campaigns. Consider putting your best content behind a gate to capture additional leads.

In addition, make sure you extend your content marketing campaigns beyond your initial website launch. A common mistake is to start strong but neglect to plan for continued content creation, updating, and removal of out-of-date material.

Content marketing done right won’t just draw in your target audience and advance them on the buying journey, it will also provide SEO benefits to your website.

3. Interactive Calculators Help Generate Leads

Interactive calculators — either standalone or woven in as part of a larger content group — have become important elements in helping B2B prospects move along the purchase path. When supported by quality interaction design and good content, they can bring you a great return and thus are a key focus area for 2020.

Interactive calculators provide heightened engagement, build trust with users and can be powerful lead generators.

Common B2B calculator subjects include the following:

  • Return on investment (ROI)
  • Industry metrics
  • Product effectiveness
  • Projected savings

Whether on your homepage, integrated into your product or service sections, on landing pages or elsewhere, interactive calculators can be a way to increase lead generation without having to execute a broader website redesign. They also provide myriad promotion opportunities, including via paid search, banner advertising, newsletters and other content campaigns.

4. Social Media Marketing Remains Highly Effective

Not only can B2B digital marketers realize gains from social media, but it may also be their most effective marketing channel. Given this, it makes sense to remain a key focus as we flip our calendars to 2020.

Consider the following use cases in your 2020 B2B social media approach:

  • Employee advocacy: Celebrate your employees and their accomplishments while putting faces behind your brand can make your company more relatable
  • Multimedia posts: Using audio and video improves engagement and helps bring your content and brand to life
  • Partner showcasing: Honoring partners and highlighting your achievements together is a great opportunity for cross-promotion
  • Content marketing promotion: Invite deeper engagement with prospects and customers by building conversations around the content you’ve created
  • Commentary on industry developments: Reach beyond the content you’ve created by sharing your company view of what’s happening in industry and exchange thoughts and ideas with your target audience.

Apply these considerations across social media platforms – particularly with the more-established players such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and so on. Make sure your social media marketing campaigns fully support continued engagement with your existing audiences.

As platform fatigue among users becomes more of an issue, B2B digital marketers should consider integration with newer platforms, including TikTok. The video-editing and sharing platform skews younger, though as it continues its explosive growth, it is expected to gain traction with older audiences as well. While it’s still clearly in its early days, it is already catching on with some major brands.

5. SEO a Notable Area of Focus in Digital Marketing Budget

While it’s been a key part of B2B digital marketing strategy for some time, SEO has remained relevant and will continue to do so in 2020 and beyond. While the number of searches has flattened, there is still a large target audience out there with questions you can help answer.

Make sure your budget continues to cover the basics and that you continue to analyze performance and adjust your SEO strategy accordingly. If you’re just starting out, there are some good guides to help you start with a foundation accessibility and good content.

Going into 2020, a few areas are increasing in importance and helping B2B prospects connect with solutions. Evaluate your performance in the following marketing channels to help identify SEO improvement opportunities:

  • Google featured snippets: Optimized content sometimes gets special prominent placement on Google results called featured snippets. They are often seen in response to questions, including those from voice searches from Google Home. Capturing this position helps your company become recognized as an expert and be better positioned to provide answers to long-tail search questions more commonly seen with B2B prospects.
  • Voice search: Google is weighting voice search factors more heavily as it improves cross-device integration opportunities and also improves accessibility.
  • Mobile UX: Your website experience for the mobile user is more important than ever in SEO as Google adds weight to higher performers.

6. Video Opens Opportunities Across Key Platforms

Online video continues to expand and has some exciting new trends that make it a smart place to spend your B2B digital marketing dollars going into 2020.

As audiences grow and consume more video than ever, your organization should focus on delivering the right video content on the right platform at the right time. Trends driving deeper engagement include “stories” in social media, 360-degree videos delivered by virtual reality, and personalized videos.

One of the strengths of video is not only that it’s highly engaging, but it is easily distributed across social media networks as well as on your own website.

7. Website Redesign Breathes New Life into Brand

Your website remains the foundation of your B2B digital marketing and should be updated, enhanced, refreshed, and perhaps redesigned as part of your 2020 plan. It is your best online lead generation tool, so you want to make sure that it’s secure and effective for your digital marketing team and your audience.

The following are some important signs that your website needs more attention in 2020 than it received in 2019:

  • Messaging, brand doesn’t resonate with the audience: If your prospect flow isn’t what you’d expect, it may be your website messaging and brand are out of sync with your customers.
  • Content is out of date: Stale content can damage your reputation and signal to your customers and competition that you can’t keep up.
  • The design feels dated: An underwhelming site design dampens internal and external enthusiasm and helps your competition look better.
  • Site performance is an issue: Even the best content and design suffer if load times fall below what users expect.
  • Site is difficult to update: Extra time and expertise needed to update a difficult site takes a toll on your resources, team morale, and prolongs the time it takes to get your most important message in front of your customers and prospects.

A full website redesign can address all of these issues and bring modern features such as AI-generated and personalized content to your B2B digital marketing portfolio. A new website can also modernize your website security and reduce the likelihood of successful intrusion and data loss.

If your design problems are less severe (ie., you’ve accounted for most of the B2B website must-haves), you may find that a refresh is enough to address your most pressing issues.

Making Sure Your 2020 Digital Marketing Budget is Effective

Being smart and efficient with your B2B digital marketing budget isn’t easy. You have to know what’s working, what’s not, and have a good sense of where things are going.

Make sure your marketing technology stack and website are effective and easy to use, that you are investing in the right content for the right audience and that you’re structuring and distributing that content in digital channels that make it easy for your customers to find. And, throughout the year, keep an eye out for ways to make things better.

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