Several things spring to mind, starting with my gym membership (although oddly having it actually makes me feel a bit better about not going), the monthly direct debit that covers my household appliances in the event of a breakdown (a necessary evil), and the numerous subscriptions for goodness knows what that I've brainwashed myself into believing I need (the last one being Rodney Yee's Season 1 of Yoga at Home, which I had every intention of getting up and doing every morning at 6am - I'll let you guess the outcome of that).
So why do we do it? Why aren't we fastidious in getting bang for our buck? I think it boils down to 2 things:
1 - We are busy and we can't be bothered to spend what precious time we have trying to remember passwords to log in to online accounts, or calling 0800 (or if we're lucky 0330) numbers in an attempt to cancel/amend/postpone payments. Note to self: there is an App that remembers all your passwords, yet again time has meant I haven't researched this, but I need to.
2 - We like the reassurance of having those comfort blankets that we can refer to as "stuff we feel we should have/do because we are adults"
And so, as I did actually attempt episode 1 of Rodney Yee today, it got me thinking about this in a marketing context;
Businesses are paying for marketing that they aren't getting any benefit from, because they think they should be doing it
When I started my CIM Certificate in Marketing (many moons ago now) I distinctly remember my first module - Marketing Fundamentals. We were asked what we thought the purpose of Marketing was. The tutor was met with a room full of blank faces, and so she told us:
"Marketing is about satisfying your customer's needs - profitably"
This has stuck with me ever since. Mainly because throughout my marketing career I've faced several misconceptions about the role of a marketer, the main one being that they act as the 'colouring in department' for a business.
But back to the all important headline of this article. It seems that we've found ourselves in this digital age of acceptance, which has produced a desire for businesses to try and adopt the latest trends, platforms and social channels without further thought to the value and benefit that they'll deliver. All too eager to jump on the bandwagon, businesses later realise that they aren't seeing any return for their investment.
I hang on the word "profitably", because if your marketing isn't making things happen, then it's time to stop and have a rethink. A business cannot try and be all things to everyone, and at the same time, there will be new and shiny marketing tools that just aren't fundamentally right for your business.
So the next time you pay for social advertising or sign off that monthly 4 figure PPC campaign, make sure that you can measure the results and have set objectives and KPI's for what you want to achieve.
I hope that I've provided you with some thought-provoking points in my latest blog, and if in doubt about how to deliver greater ROI from your marketing activity, get in touch.
For now though, I'm off to the gym :)