(Named after my Dad's favorite Allman Brother's Band song.)
Let me clarify: marketing works, but it shouldn't be so complicated. There are people out there who are interested in what you offer...you've just got to find them. This doesn't have to require a big team or budget. Marketing is actually way more simple than that.
I'm from New England, obsessed with the ocean, love red wine, and I'm a big people person. I grew up in a small fishing town in midcoast Maine where the best marketing is still word-of-mouth.
Midcoast Maine holds a near and dear place to my heart. I learned a lot of important lessons working at local restaurants that served the same drinks to the local fishermen that they served to the well-off tourists eating their catch. Everyone would enjoy the same exact friendly service, but what that looked like varied from customer to customer.
Making a true connection with people depends entirely on building trust. Trust comes from communicating with people how they want to be talked to. That's the secret to marketing.
While I've learned (and continue to learn) a whole lot about the current state of marketing, a trusted connection is still the most powerful marketing tool. People are more likely to buy when they know, like, and trust you.