When it comes to advertising campaigns, there are two schools of thought. The first is that every ad should be set up as a direct response mechanism, and that an unsuccessful first run should lead to changes in the campaign, if not scrapping it and starting over. The second philosophy, on the other hand, is that most ads take time and repeated exposure to really make an effect, and so you should commit to running them for a while before you declare success or defeat.
Which one is right… and how long should it take for a new advertising campaign to pay off?
As usual, neither approach is really “correct,” but one or the other might be more appropriate for your company, depending on who your customers are, the price and complexity involved, and the length of the actual sales cycle. In other words, a campaign that drives people to your landing page for T-shirts should probably be expected to pay off fairly quickly; another that promotes your expertise as an injury law firm would be expected to be ongoing.
The best thing you can do the beginning of an ad campaign to manage these expectations is work with the right team, start with appropriate goals, and then tweak things as you go along. That might not give you a definite answer to the question of how long ads should take to show profits, but it does give you an accurate one.