One of the questions clients ask from time to time is: “Should we keep our campaigns up when _____”. The end of that sentence changes, but here are a few examples:

“Should we keep our campaigns up when we’re in the off season?”

“Should we keep our campaigns up when we’re launching the new website?”

“Should we keep our campaigns up when conversions have been slow all quarter?”

These are all great questions, but what we’re going to address today is the logic the goes into answering this type of question. Let’s begin by backing up to the point when you chose to engage with your Colorado SEM firm. When you launched your campaigns did your account manager ask questions like,

“Does your industry have busy and slow seasons?”

“How long is your typical buying cycle?”

“If we launch new campaigns, how long can we run a test until we can evaluate success?”

If these points were not covered before launch, you may want to stop and revisit these points. Making emotional decisions rather than data driven decisions is a habit we can all slip into, but it’s also a quick way for businesses to miss opportunities and potentially fail in their online marketing effort.

Second, many companies wonder when they should ask the, ‘should we keep investing’ questions. If you’ve talked about buying cycle patterns and your threshold for risk, that will inform the timeline with which you revisit your campaigns. Asking ‘should we keep investing’ at random intervals will probably lead to confusion and miscommunication more than a productive conversation about your conversion rates. Also, your SEM company should be asking that question as well, so if it’s not being addresses regularly, bring it up as something that should be discussed.

Lastly, we should mention the Fallacy of Prior Investment. This is a term economists use to talk about our tendency (as humans) to insist that we’ve invested too much in the past to give up now. Sticking with your guns a little longer can pay off, but unless you have a reason to argue that a longer timeline will bring different results, you may be wandering into the thought pattern that Las Vegas was built on: “I’ll play one more hand of poker because surely I’ll get some back this hand”.

To sum: setting goals, tracking your results and reconvening at regular intervals to discuss the success or failure of your strategy is smart business practice. Investing in a losing strategy or continuing to follow past investments without data to support their success is a bit like playing one more hand of blackjack because you’re, ‘due to win’.