Here are 9 fast and dirty questions that you can answer so you can head into 2020 with crystal clear vision. 


1. What worked for me in 2019?

What worked in 2019? Honestly reflect on 2019 and think about the best marketing, campaigns, products or promotion you ran. If you have this feedback, did you let your staff and stakeholders speak freely? Before you head into 2020, you need to know what really worked in 2019 and what didn’t. Most importantly, you need to understand why.  

2. What’s my CPA/CPC?

Cost Per Acquisition/Action, that is. In digital it’s really easy to track. So what was your CPA in 2019 and was it low enough to meet your revenue goals for 2020? Is it time to adjust your marketing mix? Do you need to refresh your business strategy? I like to track my CPA per channel and per campaign so I can determine where to invest in next. Cost Per Click, for those playing at home. Similar to the one above, but a little more specific. You should know what your cost per click was across all digital campaigns. And you should be trying to figure out what the variables were that delivered different results. This will be different for all platforms and creative and I like to look back on my lowest/best CPCs of the past year to help inform my new content strategy for 2020. Just a reminder that clicks do not necessarily result in acquisitions but they are a great learning tool for new content paths. 

3. Am I my ideal customer?

I’m sure you use your own product or service, however (hopefully), you are not the only person who does so. This means that there are people out there you think completely differently to you and still buy what you’re offering. Employing a deep level of empathy to truly understand their motivations, needs, desires is required to create messages that resonate with them. ‘I would never do/read/click/buy that’ is a very dangerous phrase in marketing. If there are customers out there unlike you, it means you shouldn’t necessarily like all of the messages you put out there. This can be very confronting but as more segmentation and personalised messages hit our screens, we need to create more diverse and unique content for our different customer personas. Amateur marketers can create ads for people similar to them but professionals can advertise to anyone.

4. What’s my customer journey? 

When was the last time you put yourself in the customer’s shoes? What do they read, eat, watch? Do you know how your customer behaves, or do you assume? Make sure your insights are up-to-date too for 2020. The average smartphone user spends 84% of their time on just 5 apps. Over 73% of millennials check a hotel’s social media feed before booking, but older folks still rely on their children to Google it for them. Map your customer’s journey, get real about how they interact with you and what their pain points are. This will also help lower your CPA/CPC and help inform your content strategy. Just a reminder, your customer journey is different from your ideal customer’s journey. The way we might imagine a customer behaving may be very different from what they actually do, you can use data from 2019 to help with this.

5. Who is my customer this year?

Same as above. Use your data. All businesses are positively drowning in it (or they should be). And, more importantly, they should be looking at it with a clear and open mind. It’s OK if your current customers and your target customers don’t match up, but you should be honest about whether your target customers are using your product or service and you should be honest about why. Yeah, we know this sounds like telling you to suck eggs. But everyone has a boss to please, and there are heaps of businesses out there that would prefer not to know for fear of the answer.  

6. Does my 2020 strategy match the 2020 market? 

When was the last time you reviewed your business strategy and does yours really belong in 2020? Have you considered the effects of TikTok on content marketing? Are you investigating chatbots? Are you still advertising on Twitter? Do you need to be aware of more niche apps and services to find your high-value customers? 2020 is going to be one of the most dynamic years for marketing so set a date in the calendar now for regulars strategy/market checks. 

7. Am I letting the experts do their jobs? 

If you’re running a business, managing a busy venue, managing a marketing team or working in an agency yourself, you know what it’s like to be busy. In 2020, have a think about who you’re working with, what their role is and how you can save time. We’ve found the best results are achieved when clear goals are set, this means that any agency or third-party you’re using knows how to get a move on. The greatest agency in the world won’t deliver great work unless the client trusts them. We know, trust is hard. And there are no shortcuts, you just have to spend the time building it. So if you don’t trust your agency (or your IT person, or your GP, or your receptionist), talk to them. Hash out your reservations. The more communication, the better. 

8. Am I measuring the right stuff? 

Are your metrics leading to meaningful action, or are you looking at them once a month and moving on? And are you leaving time for analysis? The flip side of #2 is businesses tracking absolutely everything and creating truly stunning graphs and tables and talking fast in acronyms and nobody, not soul, knows what any of it really means. Sometimes, less is more. It’s better to track three steps in your funnel with great data and careful analysis than 12 steps with patchy analysis. Can one metric piggyback on another? For example, do you really need to obsess over Cost Per Reach if you’re already obsessing over Cost Per Engagement? The golden question is this: what does this metric change and how does it affect my bottom line? You’d be surprised at how many you could trim from your reports, and there are probably some others you should be considering. 

9. If I did what I did in 2019 again, would I be happy?

Now that you’re armed with some hard truths, go through 2019 again with fresh eyes and a well-tuned filter. Looking at your results and budget, you will be able to predict how many new customers you will get in 2020, is that enough? If not, what are you going to do about it?