Direct marketing · Marketing

What was your most successful low-budget marketing campaign?

Ashu Kumar ISTQB AND NCFM Certified

May 18th, 2017

I see a lot of questions here about successful marketing tactics and I think it could help a lot of the founders here (myself included) if we heard briefly about easy-to-implement, successful marketing campaigns directly from the people who executed them. What did you do and what was the outcome? What was the key to nailing it?

Aurangzeb (Zabe) Agha Entrepreneur come techie and product manager

May 18th, 2017

My understanding is that content marketing has the highest bang for the buck.

Megija Naudiša Portrait artist

May 19th, 2017

I talked with people on social media. Used a lot # and did a lot content marketing which is -> your FIRST few words should get client attention.

I wasn't focusing much on feedback which I got. I knew that I could get a negative feedback, as well - positive.

Feedback is feedback.

It's a interaction between both sides which is already a great point where to start.


What happened?

I got a lot of responses, because, already, my content, got attention, so, first of all, client wasn't bored. Of course, he got automatic message but it was unusual which is important nowadays, right?

"to be unusual"

Rob Hirsch Traveler, nature lover, & entrepreneur

May 21st, 2017

Laptop sticker and t-shirt, hands down. The sticker advertises without imposing yourself on people, so they're more receptive. T-shirts do the same and are great icebreakers for other people to talk to you. If anyone does, they're interested in your product. If you're creating the design, the logo has to look good and the text has to be short yet compelling. Here's mine.

Feel free to message me if you want more info.

Paul Garcia marketing exec & business advisor

May 21st, 2017

These kinds of questions always make me nervous. They tend to indicate that the company is underfunded and is gambling with its future by trying to cut corners. I totally understand a shoestring budget, but having founded four companies and participated in many others, not budgeting an appropriate dollar figure for marketing (by which you likely mean advertising, only one of 8 branches of marketing), is a big mistake.

One of the reasons they call this approach 'growth hacking' is because you're trying to break in or cheat the system. Sometimes it works, but more often you get caught with your pants down and nowhere to retreat.

At a high level, when you look at an advertising budget for an established product, the sweet spot lays somewhere around 7% of the gross sales you want to generate. That figure may actually be higher if any of three things applies to you: 1) your target market is large, 2) your product is new, 3) your product requires an educated buyer. The larger the marketplace, the more 'noise' you have to break through. A typical direct to consumer product can easily require a sustained $500,000 per SKU to break across the threshold of noise to get noticed, become familiar, and eventually persuade potential users to make a purchase.

For every story of good luck you get as an answer here, I would gamble real money to say there were fifty companies who tried the same thing and failed. Pulling a rabbit out of a hat once in a while is a skill, but more likely it's going to be more like demanding flying monkeys out of your marketing person's butt to expect significant results from inexpensive or overly simple advertising efforts. You'll burn out your 'growth hacker' very quickly because they won't be able to sit down with such a sore butt.

So unless your "nailing it" means being pinned down and unable to move due to underfunding such a critical part of the business, don't think you can easy-simple-cheap your way through growing your business, ever. You could get lucky, but you could also get lucky buying a lottery ticket. Even a lottery ticket wins $600 once in a while, but that doesn't mean it's a good source of financial support for your business. Don't gamble all you've invested in the rest of your business by short changing the advertising elements.

Joe Cronley Multiple small business owner in pre-launch

May 23rd, 2017

Google AdWords can be started with a ridiculously small budget, can start getting actionable leads the same day, and is highly controllable.

I'm in the midst of a validation campaign - seeking expressions of interest in both providers and users of the b to b gig/peer service I'm starting - and I'm getting daily signups based on a very small AdWords budget. My ads bring people to one of two simple splash pages with a brief teaser for the service and a signup form. User results are slower - I changed some word bids today in an effort to see more traffic. It takes monitoring and attention. I can turn it off with no notice to stop spending or to pause for changing words.

This fits my needs almost perfectly. Every other method will take more effort, will have buildup time, and in general results will lag. For the test I'm doing, this is a great method.