If you haven’t heard of Blue Apron, it is a food delivery service that ships recipes and the needed ingredients to its customers packed in dry ice. It also has a few problems. The biggest one is that there is no difference between it and its competitors, one of which is Amazon. Additionally, the market for the company and its competitors is more limited than it originally thought. Faced with increased competition and a shrinking market, Blue Apron made the decision that it had to cut costs, and the first thing it cut was its marketing budget.

What Blue Apron found out was that cutting its marketing also cut its sales. New customers dropped and when Blue Apron announced its earnings, so did its stock price. Blue Apron found that cutting its marketing was the biggest mistake it could make because it’s competitors didn’t. Since there was no differentiation between the companies, customers went to the one in front of them. They went to the company they saw in commercials and showed up on websites they looked at.

Marketing is not a luxury. Marketing is how customers learn about your company. Without marketing, your customers won’t find you. If they don’t find you, they don’t buy from you.