By Sangeet Choudary and Patrick Vlaskovits.
Welcome to the age of the zero-dollar marketing startup. WhatsApp, and earlier Instagram, have officially become a permanent part of startup lore for having built multi-billion dollar businesses without (reportedly) spending a dime on marketing.
Meanwhile, Airbnb has grown from a hipster community of mattress-renters to the world’s largest provider of accommodations without spending even a fraction of what traditional hotel chains spend in marketing.
Marketing is dead! Or that’s what many would have you believe. A great product sells itself, of course! Fire the marketing team!
Well… not quite!