You get to choose

That’s the cool thing about marketing. Unlike most other functions in the organization, you get to choose where and how you do what you do.

If you don’t have the money to do a full-scale TV campaign that’s going to work, you shouldn’t choose TV.
If you don’t have the organizational support to engage in a long-term grassroots strategy, don’t do it.

I was talking to a journalist about bootstrapping the other day and he wanted me to share some examples of big, capital-intensive companies that got their start by bootstrapping. My answer was pretty simple, "If you don’t have a lot of capital, don’t choose a business that requires it."

If you have an organization that is slow and deliberative, don’t enter a market that rewards the fleet of foot.
If you have colleagues that love to discuss everything out loud, don’t choose a campaign that will fail if the market senses internal discussion and disagreement…

Don’t raise VC money for a business that can’t possibly pay off for the investors. Don’t promote a lunch menu in a neighborhood where no one goes out for lunch. It seems terribly obvious, but bad choices, choices where you’re going against the wind instead of with it, are the easiest mistakes to avoid.