On purpose is good, by accident is lousy, but either way, measure the results. See what is working and see what is not working. Either way it is good information. When you have the information you can do more of what is working and less of what is not working. Many would call that progress--if you are keeping track and trying a number of things.
It fascinates me how some business people think about marketing. Running a newspaper ad for $800 is a good chunk to spend. I would expect a specific result from that investment. Many we find wouldn't know the value because they have no method in place with which to measure the results.
If you advertise products and do not keep track of the sale of those products why would you continue to spend the advertising money? Hope is not a strategy. It would be much better to have a plan of action and the advertising be a portion of the strategy--a tool. This is especially true with products. If you were doing institutional advertising, it is much more difficult to measure results, particularly short term results. But, if I am advertising products or services, I want to see some results. I want to plan the ads to fit my strategic plan of moving merchandise in a specific time frame and in a specific quantity.
It is a part of the good plan to measure results from each effort to see what is working and what may not be working according to the plan. Advertising should be targeted for a definite result, not just for the heck of it. When you can see what the results are, you can modify the advertising as necessary to improve the results of it. Ask a few good questions like, what is the specific result I want from this ad or ad campaign? How will I know if I have hit that target? What other things can I try that may get positive results or improve existing results?
Try enough things that you know you have covered the best opportunities. Just because something doesn't work the first time, doesn't necessarily mean it won't work another time. Maybe it just needs a little twist that will cause it to change the results. Work it, measure it, modify it as necessary and try a number of things. Look for your advertising to achieve specific results.