When it comes to advertising goods and services online, there’s no room to rest on your laurels. It truly does pay to keep moving, thinking, testing, and creating in the dynamic and ever-evolving world of marketing, and it’s pivotal that budgets are invested wisely. There are five itchy reasons why you’re blowing your advertising budget.

Advertising is an age-old profession, yet countless businesses can regularly be seen blowing their budgets.

These budgets can be blown on unfocused or unengaging campaigns. There are plenty of reasons for going over budget. But, in an era of unprecedented interconnectivity, there should be no excuses for allowing an advertising campaign to fall flat. Consider the fact that businesses spent $283 billion in 2018 on digital ads alone.

Digital Ad Spending Worldwide

Image Source: eMarketer

Here, we take a look at the five most common reasons why advertising campaigns fail.

1. You didn’t commit enough time to initial market research.

Advertising is a dynamic and fast-evolving behemoth of an industry. You must find a platform that compliments your target audience. But firstly, who is your target audience? A worryingly common pitfall in the world of advertising stems from decision-makers acting as their focus group.

Advertising is a job that’s heavily focused on providing audiences with visuals and messages. It can be easy to assume that you know best. But fashions and trends change with alarming frequency, and failure to understand who will be buying your product can lead to disastrously underwhelming sales figures.

Before you strategize a campaign, make sure you conduct a well-scaled process of gathering the thoughts and opinions of prospective customers. These potential customers can take the form of surveys or focus groups, depending on the size of your ambitions. Social networking platforms like Twitter and Instagram have also become great spaces for businesses to interact. You’ll find your customers interacting here directly and cost-effectively.

2. You’re failing to monitor your performance.

The fundamental reason why businesses have no excuses when it comes to throwing money into a failing advertising campaign is that it’s never been easier to measure their progress.

The internet is awash with useful tools that provide expert insights into how your campaign is performing. From following the click-through-rates of your call-to-actions to checking out where your traffic’s coming from – there are plenty of approaches that help you to understand which particular investments are paying off, and where you’re potentially over-spending.

There’re numerous tools that not only monitor the sources of your traffic but also recognize the quality of it too. There’s no chance of being fooled by the visits of bots when studying your highest value referrals.

Tools you may want to check out:

  • WordStream – helps analyze, optimize and cut costs of your paid ads
  • Google Analytics – a free, comprehensive tool for analyzing your site’s visitors and their behavior
  • Ahrefs – allows you to keep a finger on a pulse when it comes to organic rankings and backlinks
  • Finteza – evaluate traffic quality, detect bots and keep track of conversions
  • Hotjar – easy-to-understand heatmaps that show exactly what your visitors do when on your website


3. Superficial usage of SEO.

There are few better forms of building brand awareness and attracting conversions than through the use of SEO. SEO makes for one of the best ROIs in advertising. An inbound marketing technique that unintrusively materializes under the noses of your target market at a time when they’ve expressed an interest in your product by conducting a search engine query.

The problem with SEO is that it only reaches the right audiences when utilized correctly. Yes, keywording is a significant part of SEO, but that doesn’t mean that you can stuff a marketing piece with a dozen half-relevant phrases and expect results. To drive traffic through SEO, it’s essential to identify valuable keywords that users are searching for that other businesses haven’t yet exploited. Spending a little time experimenting with MOZ’s Keyword Explorer can work wonders for your SEO insights and can even help in generating those perfect taglines that can make your campaign much more visible to prospective customers.

Another tool you may want to utilize is Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer. Its massive database is capable of showing the difficulty, potential traffic volume, and estimated CPC of pretty much any keyword/key phrase.


SEO is also great for providing insights into your customer base. Factors like how they search, how they browse, the language they use, the technology the company utilizes, and the region in which they live can all be discovered via effective planning.

4. You’re angling for instant gratification.

You must remember that your advertising campaign is a process that won’t be completed if it’s not allowed a credible amount of time to develop.

We, as a society, are consumed by instant gratification, but successful campaigns that live longer in the memory focus on creating six to 12 impressions for target audiences over a more extended period.

Be sure to remember that your campaign will take time, and it’s important to practice patience while working on appealing to prospective customers. Resist the temptation of blowing your budget on a short term campaign filled with expensive, aggressive adverts that might carry a ‘wow’ factor in the short term before ultimately becoming forgotten further down the line.

5. You haven’t built an appealing offer or landing page.

Fundamentally your advertising campaign is designed to raise awareness of the quality of your brand and its products. It could be that you’ve constructed an excellent and nuanced campaign that perfectly draws the right audiences onto your website. But then what? You’ve spent your money on advertising, and prospective customers are clicking onto a terrible landing page.

Take some time to consider the bigger picture when generating an advertising campaign. If you promise browsers that your business is the best option they have, be sure to back it up with a website that’s fit for purpose.

Tools like Leadpages and Instapage specialize in helping website owners build active landing pages.

Primarily, the best campaign will understand that a company’s website will be continuing the message being broadcast to target markets. Make sure that your landing page continues to assert why your business is the best: impressive factors like customer reviews and awards can do your landing page a world of good here.

It’s also advantageous to review the type of offers that you’re presenting to prospective customers too. Remember to identify who exactly your target audience is before constructing an offer to solidify their interest.

Dmytro Spilka

Dmytro Spilka

Dmytro is a CEO at Solvid, a creative content creation agency based in London. He's also the founder of Pridicto, a web analytics startup. His work has been featured in various publications, including Entrepreneur.com, TechRadar, Hackernoon, TNW, Huff Post, and ReadWrite.