It is good to be back on the Cofounderlab forums. I'm looking forward to getting stuck in to helping with some questions again. I have been away for 3 months while I buried my head in the keyboard to build my latest tech startup (launched this week).

During that time I contacted many marketing & pr agencies with a view to them doing the marketing for me. (I'm talking small ones as I'm not ready for BBDO just yet!).

What was interesting was that only 1 out of a large handful actually said "well before we begin we need to go through a 2 week deep-dive to understand the business, goals, etc and to work out what is actually the best type of marketing for you".

All the other agencies just wanted to push whatever particular form of marketing they happen to think they're best at. No other type mattered to them. Whether it was social, SEO, adwords, PR or whatever.

I am sure if you go to one of the big marketing houses and open up the cheque-book then this is all done the right way. But for us entrepreneurs launching on a shoe-string in a crowdfunding-style way, it seems to be hard to find good marketing agencies or individuals.

So firstly, my top tip is don't just take someone who says they are really good at "XYZ" [seo, adwords, pr, etc]. Find someone who wants to sit down and understand the business and discover what form of marketing, pr, social, etc may actually work best for you.

But secondly, when my agency comes back in 2 weeks and says "we think we need to do x, y and z" I am keen to have a benchmark before I agree. So as a rough guide, what forms of marketing have other b2b tech businesses generally found are the best (and worse) approaches for early stage startups working on a budget?