Welcome to the latest edition of our current weekly blog series, How to Ruin an Ad. As is most obvious from the title of this series, each week we’ll be identifying a key element of an ad that, when missing, is sure to reduce its effectiveness.

Last week’s ad was ruined by not proofreading.

Today’s ad is ruined by: Not Measuring Performance

An ad is an ad is an ad. It doesn’t matter that one looks prettier than the other, that one has a shorter headline, or a stronger call to action. What matters is whether or not an ad works.

What do I mean works? Every ad that a company runs has a goal attached to it. If you are a direct marketing company, that goal is usually a certain number of sales or leads, or a target cost per conversion. If you are branding, that goal is probably a measurable lift in brand recognition and positive association.

So the most important thing about your ad is whether or not it works. So did it? Did your ad work?

Too many companies can’t answer that question. The problem is, they start advertising before they have a mechanism in place to measure the effectiveness of their advertising. That’s a surefire way to blow through a lot of hard-earned money.

Marketers need to be able to measure the performance of every ad that they run. Whether you are using a free tool like Google Analytics, an expensive CRM like Salesforce, a custom-built database, or something else entirely, you must be able to state with confidence whether an ad worked or not.

That’s the only way you’ll know what ads drive your business and pay for themselves. It’s how you will optimize your advertising plan for growth and stop wasting money you can’t afford to be without.

Did you enjoy this post? Do you have a surefire way to ruin an ad you think we should cover in an upcoming post?