If you are interested in learning some new ways to think differently, especially in the marketing realm, then I highly recommend Buzzmarketing by Mark Hughes.
It is full of creative ideas and real-life examples that capture what Hughes and others have done to stir the public's imagination--and generate business for clients--without spending a ton of money.
To paraphrase a principle that Hughes hammers home repeatedly: Are you in a position to out-spend your competition, or to out-think them? (To check out his website, go to Buzzmarketing.com.)
The easy, seemingly safe thing to do is to buy a bunch of TV time, or radio spots, or a series of newspaper ads. And into the 1980s, those were your major options. But times, you may have noticed, have changed drastically.
When someone approaches me to discuss placing an ad in a newspaper, for example, I check my calendar to make sure it reads 2008, not 1978. Does this mean all TV, radio and print ads are fruitless?
By no means---I'm just leery of viewing them as the first line of promotional thinking, particularly when working with companies or organizations that have modest budgets.