Here’s a risky, progressive idea: Take the money you would spend on marketing, and spend it on extraordinary customer service. Works for Lawrence Construction, a Bay Area remodeler, and Zappos, a leading online retailer.
It’s true that very few companies are willing to risk letting go of traditional models, no matter how badly they’re performing, but I think the only reason is the lack of information regarding any other viable option. There are always options.
(Next post: Southwest lean engineered their customer service and look what happened.)