not the 30 second "super bowl" ad makes the difference any more. nor the top down political marketing campaign. bottom up is the "new" blue! but did not start.ups alway to do that - somehow?
back to the start. in seth godin´s book "permission marketing" he describes how he had the opportunity to spend $6 million in old style marketing ways. putting up big adds, tv commercials, big sponsorships. only to realize that the return on business was negligible. his conclusion he wrote down in his book in typical american business book style.
he finds out, that it is necessary for marketers to shift from attention to permission marketing. establish a customer relation in steps from light involvement to heavy. and always give back to the customer one every deepening of relationship.
this is nothing new for start.ups. let aside the internet bubble this is how start.ups are forced, limited by financial constraints, to approach their customers. it is called "bootstrapping". keep costs low, focus on your most likely target. approach it in the most cost effective way, such that a long term relationship can be established.
this might not please the egos of the big marketing spenders in the big corporations. their pr/marketing agencies will promise them to establish also permission marketing campaigns for them. "big" surely in money terms.
what start.ups can take from the ideas of godin is, how they can structure and monitor their way to approach their customers. to find out what is behind godin´s five steps is worth reading therefore for start.ups.