Creating The Most INEFFECTIVE Marketing Campaign, in 5 steps

Will Song
By Will Song ·

Many will tell you how to make good and effective marketing campaigns but maybe you're not after that. Maybe you are looking for the opposite, the worst marketing campaign. You want to send your ad budget into a labyrinth to never come out the other side. You want to make sure to take every wrong turn, double back on your bread crumbs, and keep your hands off any walls. There are the 7 steps you need to make sure your marketing campaign is as ineffective as possible.

1. Spray-and-Pray

Picture this: You're standing on a hill, armed with a megaphone, shouting your brand message into the void. You're not sure who's listening, but hey, at least you're making noise, right? This strategy is a favorite of those who like to fake productivity with intangible results to show for. As marketers, we make this mistake all the time, focusing on the placement of ads based on assumptions and untested theories. Age-old wisdom and gut feelings have died since the internet has taken shape and accelerated the cultural zeitgeist. We've gone through more trends in the last 20 years than we've seen in the last 20,000 years before that.

But in the face of hard-to-validate campaigns (looking at you print ads) leaders are lost on how to validate. A/B testing works in a limited capacity, but not like we can A/B tests lose accuracy as we change geographies.

Instead of shouting aimlessly, try We stop the spray-and-pray strategy by using AI to test ads. We've trained our machine learning models to understand what works for print, so your print ads can keep up with your target audience across ALL channels.

2. The "All-or-Nothing" Split

You're testing two ad variations. Instead of splitting your audience evenly, you decide to go all-in. One group gets Ad A, the other Ad B. It's like playing Russian roulette with your brand reputation. Spoiler alert: The chamber is loaded, and your credibility just took a nosedive.

Balance is key, but many newbies (and even some veterans) make the age-old mistake of misconfiguring their audiences. Suddenly your thousand dollar ad testing campaign is worthless and you'll have to start over.

AI ad testing avoids the pitfall by delivering results cheaply and instantly. Mistakes are recoverable.

3. The "Creative Overload" Catastrophe

You've got 37 ad variations. Each one is a masterpiece—an ode to chaos theory. You gather a focus group, throw all the ads into the ring, and hope one will emerge victorious. It's like hosting a royal rumble with pandas, unicorns, and dancing llamas. Spoiler: Your focus group is bewildered, and your budget weeps.

Simplify. Focus on a few meaningful variations. Quality over quantity. Your audience isn't here for a psychedelic art show; they want answers.

But if your team truly believes in the 37 variations and do not know where to go, turn to AI ad testing. AI is resilient against exhaustion and is able to do exponentially better than focus groups as the ad set we are comparing linearly grows.

4. The "Weekend Warrior" Fallacy

Ah, weekends—the Bermuda Triangle of ad testing. You run your experiment from Friday night to Sunday morning. Why? Because there's a report due Monday and you just got all the ad creatives in. Because nothing screams "scientific rigor" like data collected during hungover brunches. Spoiler: Your results are as reliable as a fortune cookie prediction.

It is important to test across different days and times to avoid the weekend vortex. But when you're in a pinch and need results instantly, can deliver. By using AI Personas to simulate a target audience, delivers results instantly.

5. Confirmation Bias

You secretly root for Ad B. It's your favorite. So, you massage the data, squint at the graphs, and - voilà! - Ad B wins. While there is value in knowing your audience, the common mistake amateur marketers make is not questioning their own understanding of their audience. It's the classic dunning-kruger effect, where those with the least knowledge think they know the most. As a senior, it is your responsibility to embrace neutrality. Let the numbers waltz without interference. And for the truly data-hopeless, is here to deliver test results in one easy to understand number.


Congratulations, my misguided marketers! You've now mastered the art of designing bad ad tests. But fear not—every blunder is a stepping stone to enlightenment. So go forth, armed with these cautionary tales, and may your next ad test succeed. To see how can help along the way, book a discovery call today!