Guides and Templates

Online customer acquisition budget spreadsheet

Create a zero-based budget to allocate media spend across digital channels month-on-month

How will this online customer acquisition budget spreadsheet help me and my business?

This spreadsheet was created to help marketers build their direct-sell digital marketing plan and supporting channel budgets.

It has been designed to help you work back from an overall, annual online acquisition revenue target, in order to define the monthly traffic volume and conversion percentages required across digital channels to meet your objective. Using past performance data, (or if you don't have the data, your assumptions), you can then model various combinations of digital channel activity to determine the best mix to meet your target ROI and acquisition volumes. You can use this to put together your digital acquisition budget, relating your spend allocation to the best performing channel mix model.

You can then put together your digital acquisition budget, relating your spend allocation to the best performing channel mix model. This budget is a starting point and a useful way to justify your marketing investment plans to other stakeholders - but do track actual performance against ROI and volume targets to ensure that budget is allocated fluidly to the best performing channels through the year. You can also add the resource required to manage each channel (expressed in "man" days) to help your planning/budgeting.

This spreadsheet is designed for use alongside our online acquisition strategy guide, in particular, Step 5, on budgeting and modelling for your acquisition budget.

How does the budget spreadsheet work?

We recommend 4 stages in creating your acquisition budget:

  • Stage 1. Enter revenue targets to calculate traffic and conversion targets using a simple conversion model (Sheet 2)
  • Stage 2. Build an online marketing plan. Allocate to individual channels and apportion seasonality across each month and human resource requirements (Sheet 3)
  • Stage 3. Build your budget. Allocate your marketing pounds effectively to support the activity to achieve defined channel targets (Sheet 3)
  • Stage 4. Map channel targets against last year’s month by month performance (Sheet 2)

How is this spreadsheet structured?

The spreadsheet has been created in Microsoft Excel, so it is easy to edit for your business. It contains:

  • A ‘Read me’ tab with advice on how to use the spreadsheet and following worksheets
  • STAGE 1 – Calculate Targets worksheet
  • STAGE 2 – Online Marketing plan worksheet
  • STAGE 3 – Budget Allocation worksheet

Resource Details

  • Author: Rob Laurens, keynote speaker and founder of Kaisen Digital
  • Format: Microsoft Excel spreadsheet with three editable worksheets
  • Related resource:

About the author

Rob Laurens

Rob Laurens - Digital transformation consultant and coachRob Laurens is the author of Get Fit for Digital Business (Routledge 2019), a keynote speaker and the founder of Kaisen Digital, a digital transformation consultancy.

Over the last two decades, Rob has been helping organizations successfully transition to digital-first business models. He has held board roles in several mid-market companies, set up and led a digital agency in London and spent 7 years leading digital transformation across 104 SMEs worldwide as eCommerce Director at TUI Travel, the world’s leading travel brand. He has also worked as a consultant for a number of clients in the charity and heritage sectors, including the National Gallery. You can connect on LinkedIn.

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