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Indigo Business SolutionsBlog Why Does A Campaign Fail Miserably When I Repeat It?

Why Does A Campaign Fail Miserably When I Repeat It?

As a marketing advisor I often run into clients who have been frustrated by the inconsistent results that they see from their advertising.  They often tell me stories of ad campaigns they ran that gave them terrific results that failed to repeat their past success. They then decide to try a different strategy or a different medium and find random successes again and again.

Some clients have bookshelves with binders from industry specific marketing professionals that guarantee results if you follow their programs. Yet these expensive binders provide the same frustration of limited random success.

What is happening here? Why is it that the exact campaign that worked perfectly once is a complete failure the next time out?

Markets Change. So Should Your Message.

The simple answer is that marketing is a lot like hitting a moving target. The goal of marketing is to understand where the target is situated before you launch your campaign. If you know where the target has moved to,  you have a better chance of hitting a bulls eye with your next investment.

This is why a campaign might be good in January and miss in July. The target moved. But what moves the target? Consumer confidence, competitive landscape, consumer changing needs, economic conditions, and more.  To make matters even more complicated, no two markets are the same. So it would be all but impossible for a binder on your bookshelf to be just as successful in Nashville Tennessee as it would be in Smithtown, New York. These two markets are inherently different, so how could the same program work equally in both markets?



How Do You Know What Your Message Should Be?

The answer to the problem of inconsistent marketing results is research. The more data you have on where the target is prior to launching your next campaign, the more successful your campaign will be.

Most business owners think they would be wasting money on research because they believe they already know the answers they would get. But if that were the case, they would always have successful campaigns. Most of the time business owners believe that the research will tell them customers want it quicker, cheaper, and better. But these somewhat obvious answers are not the holy grail of data we are looking for.

Let’s say our research tells us that people are afraid of the economy because their 401K has dropped. Our research tells us that this has lead them to consider putting off major purchases. In response we run a campaign focusing on 0% financing for 12 months. It works great.

1 year from now this campaign may bomb because the same target market has seen their 401K recover and they would be more responsive to a product with luxurious accessories they can now afford.

Research Is The Small Investment That Your Competitor Is Not Making


Research doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Most campaigns can invest 5-10% of the overall dollars dedicated to the campaign and get valuable information to make the campaign more effective. So instead of investing $5,000 in your next campaign with no research, put $500 into research and invest the $4,500 more wisely. Over time, you will see more consistent results and improved revenue and profits.  Start off with this strategy and eventually budget monthly for continued research so you can stay ahead of the trends.

Aim first and shoot later. It’s that simple. But most folks miss the value and importance of continued research. While we may not have the budget of worldwide companies like McDonald’s or Coke, we can learn from them by doing constant research and applying this valuable knowledge to our next campaign.

Now, let’s get started while our blindfolded competitor launches their next campaign.

Written For You By: Anthony Parenti– President


  • Trey

    This is absolutely on-point – research is critical to an advertising campaign. In my experience, when planning a campaign it’s natural that we place ourselves in the position of the potential customer.. This is most easily seen I think with keyword planning… when one comes up with a keyword set the initial inclination is to think about what the potential customers might search for. But, this is ‘projecting’… for example, MY initial keyword set assumes my frame of reference, e.g. familiarity with the internet, age, and cultural experience, and as noted – even location-specific parameters. The result is often: I have this great keyword set…. why is no one searching for these phrases – why am I not on page one for these keywords, etc. One reason may be because MY keyword set is only a subset based on my frame of reference. To expand beyond this requires research — specifically research backed by real concrete data! Sometimes we hear no one is finding me for this keyword / phrase – but they have assumed, explicitly or implicitly, that phrase is most applicable to their business BUT after research we find out that people who are searching for their services may not be using that keyword phrase at all! A one-off campaign might be successful by some standards, but long term rate of return on ad investment MUST include data backed research and fine-grained adjustment based on that research. Not only must a marketing plan contain a portion for research budget, but to be successful over the long haul it must do so consistently over time – always gathering data and analyzing and adjusting / experimenting accordingly.

    Reply March 14, 2018 at 5:43 am

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