Smart marketers already know that marketing is more than advertising. Here's one tactic that might be overlooked: time.
Domino's rode this for a while with 30 minute delivery. Fedex still does. But using time as part of your story can be a lot more subtle than that.
At a conference I recently attended, the group was 50 minutes behind schedule after only 2 hours of the program. For the speakers, the message was, "I'm important, as important as the last guy, so since he went over ten minutes, I will too." For the audience, the message was, "this is a conference about the guys on the stage, not about us."
When a doctor overbooks her schedule and it's typical to wait ten or thirty minutes for an appointment, then the story is made really clear to the patient. Who's more important? And doesn't this marketing effort affect the way the patient and the doctor communicate?
A contractor that prides himself on finishing every single job on the day it's due, regardless of what it takes, is telling a powerful story, doing marketing that's actually cheaper and more effective than advertising ever could be.