Planning and budgeting against baseline performance

Key time frames aren't always all about testing new channels, it’s just as much about ensuring you’re maximizing your existing channels and running those at scale.

The way to do this is by doubling down on tactics that are working and cutting under-performers. All to make sure you’re able to manage against diminishing returns when you’re at max budgets.

And by extension, determine the maximum spend per channel, through both a bottoms-up and top-down budgeting process.


Please see below for steps on how to accomplish:


  1. Establishing baseline performance on the channel + tactic level
  2. Scaling and cutting budget based on baseline performance
  3. Determining optimal budgets per funnel position (top vs bottom of funnel)

1. Establish baseline performance:


  • Set a baseline CPA or ROAS on the channel or tactic level
  • Ex: Brand vs non-brand paid search, prospecting vs retargeting paid social

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Choosing a control period

Before you begin any analysis you need to first choose your control period.

This is the time period you will compare performance during the sales/heavy-up period against.

Consider the following when choosing your control period:

  • Choose a time period without any significant changes to your marketing mix (heavy-ups, new channel launched)
  • For sales with a longer ramp time (i.e. BFCM) - you may want to choose two control time periods (one pre-marketing heavy up and one during heavy up)

How to establish baseline performance in Rockerbox:

  • Using the UI: in Analytics > Reports, filter for the relevant channels and drill down to the tier you will use for your benchmark. For example, if you are benchmarking on the tactic level and have tactic on your third tier in Rockerbox, filter for tiers 1-3.

The below example shows benchmark performance across Facebook tactics for a given date range


  • Using Rockerbox Reporting: exports a Buckets Breakdown report for a given date range and pivot out by the desired level of granularity for calculating CPA and ROAS.

2. Optimize and budget against baseline performance:


  • For under-performing channels, tactics, or campaigns: cut spend by decreasing bids or budgets against placements or channel that perform below benchmark.
  • For strong-performing channels, tactics, or campaigns: scale spend by increasing bids or budgets against placements or channels that perform above benchmark.

How to do this in Rockerbox:


  • Using the UI: within a given channel or tactic, filter down to more granular details to reveal placements that are over or underperforming compared to your benchmark. Across channels, filter for multiple channels and increase the budget on high performers, or decrease budget on low performers

In the below example, you might cut spend from the top campaign which is performing lower than your Facebook remarketing benchmark and move that spend into the bottom campaign which is performing higher than your Facebook remarketing benchmark.



  • Using Rockerbox Reporting: compare baseline performance both within and across channels by pivoting the data, filtering for desired channels, and comparing performance against a benchmark.

3. Determining Optimal Budgets per Funnel Position (Top vs Bottom of Funnel):


Optimal budgets by funnel position will be directly contingent on if your goals are focused on top-line volume and revenue vs efficiency.


When To Use

How to Approach

Bottoms Up Budgeting

When you are focused on efficiency (with hard CPA/ROAS goals)

Following steps 1 and 2 above, determine the optimal budgets per vendor and channel based on tactic level performance.

Compare the change in performance across 2 different spend levels, and use that as the multiplier to determine how much you can increase spend without seeing diminishing returns on performance.

Top Down Budgeting

When you are focused on top-line volume (aka revenue and scale)

1- Break out spend by channel across top funnel and the rest of the funnel.

For example-
Top of Funnel = OTT, DM, Linear TV, Audio, Podcasts.
Other = Paid Search, Paid Social, Organic, Email, Affiliate

(You can separate out by tactic within each channel for a more detailed analysis. For ex- Brand Search vs Nonbrand Search)

2- Identify equal time frames when had lower vs higher spend to top funnel channels

3- Calculate the % of touchpoints and conversions that came from all other channels during each time framel, AND the % of conversions from all other funnel channels when there was a top funnel channel touchpoint (for ex- % of conversions with Branded Search as a touchpoint that also had OTT)

4- Derive a ratio between that % increase in spend to top funnel and % of touchpoints or conversions going to all bottom funnel channel

5- Apply that ratio as a multiplier to determine how much you can increase top funnel spend and the resulting halo impact to bottom funnel channels and how much you'll need to also increase bottom funnel spend



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