Early in my book, I talk about a television program called What Not To Wear. It runs on the TLC network. The program deals with fashion and each episode features a man or, most often, a woman who could improve their outward appearance. The hosts of the show go into the closet and throw out what doesn’t work.

The marketing inventory is much the same. However, we don’t throw away things haphazardly. In the marketing inventory, it’s important to identify every marketing activity. We want to know what marketing is working and what isn’t, and then to quantify the value or return on investment of every marketing activity.

Many businesses are committed to marketing and advertising activities that they have long forgotten about or that are no longer effective. If a marketing activity isn’t pulling its weight, out it goes. But the first step––the inventory––tells us what’s there.