When Should You Change Your Ad Campaign? Here’s How to Tell

The medical practice director was bored with her ad campaign, and wanted to start something new.

radio advertising sales training tip: leave it alone if it works

photo by Karin & Uwe Annas/dpc

She told me she had stumbled onto an ad for a particular procedure that worked better than anything else she had ever tried. Her television station salesperson measured click-throughs from the station website to the clinic’s site. The practice director measured response response by phone traffic, appointments, and revenue.

By any measure, this ad pulled better than anything else she’d ever run. She’d been running it steadily for the past three months.

I asked her if there’d been any drop-off in calls, appointments, or patient count. No, she said — response and sales were all as strong as they’d ever been. She was just “feeling like it was time to change it up.”

“Leave it alone,” I said. “Your patients will tell you when it’s time to change — when they stop coming in.”

Today’s Advertising Sales Tip:
Clients Will Get Bored Long Before The Public Will

The advertiser will be watching or listening closer than anyone in the general public — it’s their business, their campaign, their money.

The public? They’re doing this:

radio sellers: let it run

photo by Vladimir Jovanovic/dpc


[bctt tweet=”Advertising Reality 101 for Salespeople: The target isn’t paying attention.”]

Advertisers will get bored much faster than the target. The best advice you can give your clients is to leave the campaign alone as long as it’s working.

A ringing cash register is never boring.


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2 thoughts on “When Should You Change Your Ad Campaign? Here’s How to Tell

  1. Phil, undoubtedly you’re familiar with Ogilvy’s words of wisdom on this subject: “If you are lucky enough to write a good advertisement, repeat it until it stops pulling. … You aren’t advertising to a standing army; you are advertising to a moving parade. Three million consumers get married every year. The advertisement which sold a refrigerator to those who got married last year will probably be just as successful with those who get married next year.” I put together a campaign for an eye doctor that involved running the same message (his answer to an eye care question) several times a day for two weeks before changing it. Once, when he was unable to record a replacement in time, the message ran a third week. He noticed that he was getting more feedback in the third week than during the previous two. So, his messages now air for at least three weeks before changing them. He’s been airing this campaign (same format, same music) every week since we started it 20 years ago and it’s still pulling for him.

    • Great story, Rod. Here’s another one to go with it:

      In 2007, a consultant with my company gave a Wisconsin furniture store owner a creative idea for a TV commercial. The store ran the same commercial — featuring the owner wearing a yellow shirt — on the same station in the same shows for five straight years.

      In 2010 (Year 3) I met with the owner, I asked him if he ever thought of changing the ad. He replied that he thought about changing it every single day — “I’m sick to death of it… but every time it runs somebody comes in and buys a recliner.”

      In 2012 he put on a red shirt, raised the price of a featured recliner by $100, and recorded the same ad again.