Marketing companies along with TV and Radio stations have trained Automotive dealers to drink a brand of Kool-Aid that we all have to live with.
They are there to take credit for good months
They cite market conditions as reasons for bad months
Both of these are reasonable stands except for one thing, there is nothing in most advertising methods that actually identify the customers one by one who received the marketing and actually bought.
Think of a company that has to rely absolutely on quantified results. The only kind that comes to mind would be a mail order house where all purchasing is a result of a catalog in a person’s hand. Each of these catalogs has a code on it and when the order is taken over the phone, the code is asked for. Each customer is completely tracked.
Ok, that, in the purist sense, is a most quantifiable form of marketing.
Auto Dealers have locations, signs, mail, radio, Newspapers and TV (among other things). It’s not practical to quantify where a customer came from as a result of the multitude of ways people are made familiar with an auto dealership.
So, why would an intelligent person like an owner of a dealership try to single out each customer and determine which marketing source produced them? They shouldn’t, but they do.
There is a way of approaching this more intelligently. Only market to those who are in their buying cycle. Your marketing may not be the reason they buy from you in all cases, but at least you’re not wasting your money by marketing to those who are not in the market.