How to Predict If A New Advertising Campaign Will Work

Let's talk about how to predict if a new advertising campaign will work or not...

People keep sending us their marketing campaigns and their marketing ideas… and the one question they have that is common across the board is, “will it work?”

“This is my idea. Can you tell me whether or not this will work?”

And today I want to address that question for some of the most commonly presented campaigns that I see across my desk.

But first…

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Okay, the most common question that I get asked all the time is, “hey this is the video that I am working on right now… or this is the article that I'm writing right now… this is the ad campaign I'm working on right now… What do you think about it? Will it work or not?”

And most commonly, these are the people who are probably dabbling into a new sort of media.

You should be trying out new media all the time... just like you should be testing your messages.

If you are trying out new forms of media, all power to you. You're on the right track.

But here's what I’ve found... People who are getting into trying out new sorts of media… who are trying to go on a new platform and trying to work it out… and trying to find out if it can be a viable platform for them to reach their audiences… or to reach new audiences… and to widen their customer base… well, they tend to be very skeptical and very afraid.

How to predict if a new advertising campaign will work?


And I have the perfect answer for you and it's the same answer everybody who asks me this question receives. It's this…


Now, I'm not trying to be cute but really that's all there is to it. I cannot tell you if a particular marketing platform or a message or a particular audience targeting is going to work for you.

That's the triangle of marketing. Market, message, & media.

I don't know if a particular combination is going to work for you. I cannot predict that.

How to predict if an advertising campaign will work for you

And if anybody in this world could predict that they would probably be richer than Warren Buffett.

For our own clients our go-to methodology is that we take their existing advertising that's working well on some other media platform. And we take the targeting that we know is right for them because we know who their customers are, who their existing clients are.

We take all of what we already know and we bring it to the new platform and try to test the new platform with the best performing ads that we've already got.

If it works… if it even comes close to breaking even, we're good.

We try out more new ads and more new formats. If it doesn't, we move on to another media platform after having spent a set amount of money on testing that platform.

So that's all there is to it.

If you want to find out if a new marketing idea or angle that you have works, spend a little bit of money. And today you don't have to spend a lot of money because you can get started with as little as five to ten dollars a day on each advertising campaign.

And if you want to find out whether or not it's going to work for you well go ahead and test it out.

That's the only way of finding that answer out.

The world's most brilliant advertiser or copywriter does not have the answer to that. The world's most brilliant advertiser or copywriter will tell you the exact same thing that I'm telling you right now.

They're not going to try to make a prediction and come out looking like an expert because they know that it's equally likely that a campaign that worked on one media platform might just not work on another media platform for your particular business.

And just because one of their clients has had success with one platform, doesn't mean all of their clients are going to have success with the very same platform. So keep that in
mind when you're testing. Test small, test quickly.

And you know what? You're gonna fail a lot more than you're gonna succeed.

80/20 Compounded: An infographic by Westernston

In fact abide by the 80/20 compounded rule.

80 percent of all your successes come from 20% of your tests but you can compound that.

So you apply square to both sides of the equation and the square of 80% is 64% and the square of 20% is 4%.

64 percent of all your successes come from just 4% of your tests.

Take it even further. Instead of applying a power of two, apply a power of three and now what you have is this equation…

51% of all your successes come from 0.8 (that's 0.8%) of all your tests. in other words, more than half of all your big wins are going to come from less than 1% of the tests.

So if you perform only 3 tests and then give up, then really you're shooting yourself in the foot.

Because what you ought to be doing is testing 2 to 3 new campaigns every single day.

And when you do that, sooner or later you're going to stumble upon a campaign that works for you.

80/20 always works

And by campaign, once again, I mean a combination of market (which is WHOM you're targeting), message (which is WHAT you're saying to them) and media (which is the platform or the method of message delivery.)

Yours truly
Lakshay Behl


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Article written by Lakshay Behl
Lakshay Behl is the world's leading business systems architect. He engineers and deploys business systems that automatically operate, manage and grow companies. While he typically works with established companies in certain sectors, his strategies are universally applicable.

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