What if today you learned that your entire advertising budget had been slashed? Would it be ‘game over’ for your marketing efforts?

It doesn’t have to be.

As Victor Hugo wrote; “Armies cannot stop an idea whose time has come”.

2023 could be the year that you use deep customer insights to formulate a big idea – a living, breathing articulation of your unique value proposition. E.g:

**Hubspot – you know their CRM, but early on they came up with two words: inbound marketing. When done well, inbound marketing consists of creating in-depth content about topics that matter a lot to your audience – such as ‘how-to’ guides, insights on important trends and news events. As a result of making great content available, leads find you, not the other way around. As anyone paying a Hubspot subscription can attest, inbound marketing as an idea was a brilliant move.

**Trader Joe’s does not participate in traditional advertising, has no sales team, and is known for frustrating product shortages (remember the rationing of cookie butter?) Yet they are one of the most beloved brands in America, because they create an amazing customer experience (shopping carts for children = genius). The implication for companies in software and professional services is clear – what if you made customer success central to your mission and went above and beyond to ensure customers were satisfied? 

**Andy Rachleff, CEO of Wealthfront didn’t spend a dollar on advertising for years – instead, seeking to appeal to younger, emerging investors, his team wrote the annual guide to “Career launching companies” which proved to be an invaluable resource to silicon-valley hopefuls.

**For years Tupperware maintained its hold on America’s kitchens with a hostess-party system. Their success back then stemmed from keen insight into the target market (home makers) combined with a willingness to forego the distraction of glitzy ads.

I’ll wager that if you really scrutinized your customer – what pains them? What makes them feel good? What could your product or service represent to them? You could win customers with a  compelling idea activated through basic organic marketing channels;  

***As a LinkedIn Live, Facebook story, or Webinar

***An email campaign 

***A short video on your website

***A downloadable guide…the list goes on. 

Yes, you can always pay your way to brand awareness, but the weaker the idea the more expensive that ‘spray-and-pray’ advertising strategy will be. Don’t let ad dollars be a crutch that holds you back – great marketing is always within your reach.