I feel ambivalent about quite a few things; that's life, I suppose. But there's one thing that I can't make up my mind on: marketing.
On the one hand, I hate ads. I use powerful adblocking software on every device I use, I prefer to pay for services/apps/content to be delivered ad-free. I consider ads unnecessary noise that distracts me from what's important in this world. If an app has ads, but you can pay extra to remove them (as it happens often on Android), I will happily pay that fee. If a service has a no-ads version, I'll most probably upgrade to it. Ads are not worth my time, and if I can't afford it, I probably shouldn't be using it.
On the other hand, I know, as a maker of various internet things, how much good marketing can support a thing's growth. For example, one time I bought a Facebook/Instagram ad for two weeks. It wasn't expensive, five dollars at most. To my surprise, the Instagram post managed to score 757 likes (while previous not-sponsored posts reached 10, 20), which then resulted in hundreds of unique visits to my website. During those two weeks, 70% of total visitors came from either of the two ads. I call that impressive. Just for five bucks.
Is it possible to grow and build a sustainable business without marketing? Yes. Does the absolute majority of businesses and creators in every industry use marketing to grow? Yes.
How can you win a marathon when everybody else uses doping? I don't know.
I have yet to find out.