What to Do if Your Ads Aren't Working

Posted by David Murton on Sun, Aug 12, 2012 @ 07:00 AM

advertisementWhether you're using traditional marketing methods or newer, digital methods, there are always going to be those moments when your ads simply will not work.

This can be for any number of reasons. Advertising will always be a trial and error process. Sometimes you'll get it right, sometimes you won't.


What can cause poor ad performance

It doesn't matter if you're advertising on TV, radio, in print or online, all ads are susceptible to potential failures. Some may be unique to the medium you're using while others may be because something about your ad isn't resonating with your audience. There's also the issue of implementing features into your ads that don't work.

As an example of incorrect advertising features, incorporating a QR code into a TV advertisement that runs for no more than 10 seconds does not give people enough time to register there's a code, grab their phone and scan it.

But beyond incorrect implementation there are greater factors that could hurt an ad's perfomance such as:

  • Targeting your ad at the wrong audience
  • Your ad playing at the wrong time
  • Poor ad copy/design
  • Excessive ad exposure
  • Wrong keyword implementation (online)
  • Contemporary factors

When I say contemporary factors, I'm referring to events that occur in the world that render an ad's content inappropriate. For example, the Commonwealth Bank recently uploaded an ad for it's "Can" campaign onto YouTube that showed the "C", "A" and "N" characters telling a London official that the "T" character looked suspicious - a potential terrorism threat. It was a play on the terrorism fears that have surrounded large world events ever since September 11.

Less than 24 hours later, CBA removed the ad due to criticism of it being in poor taste. While it wasn't up for long, the ad still hurt CBA's campaign efforts and left a number of people with a bad impression. So if between the development of your ad and the intended release of it an incident occurs that people could interpret your ad as being insensitive towards, you'll find yourself in a situation where the ad will have to be pulled before ever showing.


How to address poor performance (TV, print, radio)

As far as addressing poor performing ads, there's not much you can do until the ad goes live and you have a chance to monitor its success. You can measure success through a number of means, such as tying a specific 1300 number or website address to a particular ad.

If your TV, radio or print ads aren't getting many responses then it most likely means your ad isn't performing to the level you'd like. Identifying which key element of your ad isn't working can be fairly difficult with ads such as these, but it's a smart idea to keep your eye on any feedback someone offers about your ads.

Luckily, however, you can address whether or not your TV ad is playing at the right time by checking out viewerships for certain timeslots that you applied your ads to. With print, consider which newspapers, editorials and magazines you're having your ads placed in. A fashion magazine lover probably isn't going to care too much about your fast food restaurant. The same consideration must be made for all mediums.


How to address poor performance (online)

google-adwordsFor online marketing, you will typically have access to a host of useful metrics from how many people have seen your ad, how many have clicked on it, how much each click is costing you, which keywords are working and which are not, etc.

Services like Google AdWords and Facebook Ads give you up-to-date metrics that you can assess on a frequented basis. It's one of the clear advantages of online advertising - the immediacy of it. If you notice a certain ad is not performing well, then you can revise its copy and keywords and change them immediately.

If your ads are performing well but you're earning no conversions, that could mean your landing page needs some refinement. It's all about looking at each element and targeting where the clear issue resides. From there you can address the issue straight away and have your newly-designed ad up and running immediately.


In the end, both the traditional and digital realms of advertising require close attention and the occasional refinements. With traditional ads you will have to account for greater costs and more time to change your ads, whereas online advertising is cheaper and changes can be made immediately.

For more information regarding online advertising and how to fix your poor performing ads, contact us online or call us on 1300 798 848.

Click me

* Image source: ponsulak / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Topics: Guide to Content Marketing

Recent Posts