Marketing is a very misunderstood concept.

Everyone today knows that it’s necessary for growing and maintaining a business, but few know how to market effectively, and even fewer even understand how to tell if their marketing is effective or not. Marketing is treated like a rusted hammer, it gets used every once in a while and then thrown back into the toolbox, ready to collect dust again until the next time.

This is true across nearly every avenue of marketing, especially if your marketing is focused on consumers within the automotive industry. Radio ads, television, digital advertising, old-school newspaper ads, direct mail, it’s all treated as the same.

Regardless of whatever style of marketing you prefer, if you aren’t reviewing what you spend your money on, then it is nothing more than wasted distribution.

Wasted distribution is when you spend all of your marketing budget on frivolous marketing ploys that prove to be ineffective. It is an extreme waste of time, money and effort, and it happens all the time.

The problem?

Most people don’t even realize that they’re doing it.

Marketing strategies generally involve a company signing up with a third-party advertising group, paying them X amount of dollars with the promise of Y amount of return, and then never bothering to evaluate the results. They either continue to work with the company or seek others to partner with, ignorant to whether or not the campaign really worked at all. Like a vicious cycle, marketing is used and discarded and never really understood.

The reality of the situation is this: everyone wants to boost their numbers but no one wants to take the time out of their day to acknowledge them.

How can you grow that which you don’t even know? How in touch are you with what is going on with your marketing campaign?
Do you really trust the advertising companies that you work with, or do you view them simply as a means to an end? If you aren’t sure whether your marketing is providing a return, then how can you justify spending thousands of dollars on it?

If you’re paying someone to do a job, you would evaluate how well they did the job, correct? Why is it that marketing is not held to this same standard? On the contrary, if you run the marketing for other companies and you do an exceptional job, wouldn’t you want your client to see what you’ve done for them?

Whether you are a marketer or a consumer who relies on one, you should have the ability to see what’s going on. Consumers, you need to know where your advertising dollars are going in real-time. It is up to you to keep track of what’s going on with your marketing, don’t expect every third-party that you come across to do so.

Before you sign on the dotted line, know what you are getting yourself into. Ensure that you can actively measure whatever marketing campaign that you are considering implementing for your business.

And then, make sure that you do it.

If you can’t, then it may be time to look elsewhere for your advertising needs.