I had a good conversation today with a customer. He provided a great example of a lesson we should all remember.
This gentleman (who is both intelligent and educated, no shortage of brain-power here) ran a local ad that worked very well. His return was fantastic so he decided to ramp up his advertising substantially by expanding to other similar media.
The problem was he changed the ad. And, unfortunately, the new campaign underperformed dramatically. I wouldn’t say it was a bust but his overall ROI was a fraction of the campaign he had used as a test.
In retrospect it’s obvious that he should have kept the ad the same. And, as an outsider looking in it also seems clear that the constant was the ad and the variables were the additional media channels.
But, these things happen a lot more than we realize. Why? I think it’s because we get busy. Our attention or focus is not always 100%. We make mistakes. It happens.
The important thing is to learn from it and remember the simple yet important lesson: If you test an ad and it works well then don’t change it as you expand its use in similar media.
If we’re smart we’ll learn from this person’s experience so we can avoid a similar one of our own. And we’ll thank him for sharing this lesson for our benefit.