In my neighborhood there is a Radio Shack. Try not to laugh. Since all the Radio Shacks are closing this particular store has had a sign hanging in front of it the last few weeks.
The sign says: STORE CLOSING, 60% OFF ALL MERCHANDISE.
It turns out that the sign is the best marketing this store has every executed. The store has been packed and stuff is flying off the shelf.
Of course you see the irony in this. If people would have been that loyal to the company in the first place they wouldn't need to close.
But I want you to think about that sign, that sign that screams GOING OUT OF BUSINESS. I called it effective marketing and in one way it was. The goal was to get merchandise out the door and that is what happened.
What I want you to consider is that marketing can "work" and "not work" at the same time. Marketing can achieve a short term goal, but have no real benefit to the long term.
An artist can try to sell his or her work at a low amount or try to push it to an unwilling audience. It may work in the short run, but in the long term it will not.
A freelancer may take on any client who is willing to pay just for the money. In the short term it may work. In the long term it will not.
The point here is that you can't really focus on the short term. All your efforts from marketing to artistic need to have the long run in mind.
Which means that, in the short term, they may not be effective. But sometimes the worst thing you can be is effective.
The worst thing you can do is execute marketing that draws an audience that is there for the deal, or the cheap thrill, but they will not remain. They will not sustain your work.
In the arts few words are more important then slow and steady.
Anything else may become the equivalent of a going out of business sign.