“We didn’t spend anything on marketing”

This is a common flex among rising startups.

It’s also a lie.

#1 Marketing and Advertising are different things Not paying for advertising is not the same as not doing marketing.

Doing bartered or unpaid advertising is not the same as not doing marketing.

There’s more to marketing than writing checks.

#2 Time, effort and care were spent Understanding the customer takes time and care.

Learning what they need to hear from you takes time and care.

Expressing that message effectively takes time and care.

#3 Even the stage they’re flexing from is Marketing Being quoted from a publication, interview or event is marketing.

Being in the publication, on the interview or at the event is marketing.

Exploring ways to be in that media is marketing.

If a company genuinely “didn’t spend anything on marketing”, you probably won’t have heard of them.

Don’t feel bad about spending time, effort, care, and money on your marketing.

And don’t feel bad if half of it doesn’t work.

We only hear about the half that does.