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Small Marketing Budget-Big Results

March 7, 2014 by Ed Becker

Mark Twain said, “Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.”

Marketing ideas on a very small budget. Tips for marketing free or inexpensively.

When budgets get tight it seems that marketing is where cuts are made. This is a really big mistake. When the economy is tough you want your brand in front of consumers even more often, so when they do spend money they remember you.

The right kind of advertising does not have to be expensive.

There are many marketing ideas you can do in your community that are inexpensive or free. You may already be doing some of these things, or they may spark your creativeness for other ideas as well.

Get Out!

Into the community and talk to people. Come up with an ice breaker or “elevator pitch” that grabs their attention; you have a few seconds to pique their interest and many a minute to finish talking. So make those seconds count! Have business cards to hand out to those that are willing to listen and take one.
Look for places in the community that you can offer something of value that would be of little expense to you. Print bookmarks to leave at the library, small flyers with your information, a coupon and a grocery store name for baggers to stuff. Be creative and look for new places where you could leave branded items that will get into consumers hands.


Get together with other local small businesses that are non-competitive and cross promote. Bundled promotions, coupons, flyers, reciprocal web links, guest posts on each other’s blogs, and promoting each other on social media are best teamwork practices. Everyone’s customer base iand reputations increase with each new referral.


Join and be active in small business groups in the community. Volunteer and donate to causes that you believe are worthy. Sponsor a local sports team and have your name be put on their uniforms. If you have the proper location, host fund raisers at your business.

Use Your Network

Seek out local up and coming reporters to feature a public relations story on your company. You can even try http://helpareporterout.com to find someone with story ideas who need resources you may be able to provide. Use the contacts you foster while networking to come up with other ideas and cross promotions.


Offer to speak at group meetings or events as a subject matter expert. Think about the skills and talents you have that could benefit others.


Always ask for referrals from existing customers, new customers, and everyone that you speak to about your brand. Then make sure you follow up!


Coupons are huge business incentives in today’s economy. You can group it together with a freebie offer such as a key tag that has a coupon printed that does not expire. Print a “$’s Off” on the back of your business card. People are more likely to keep it if there is a discount or coupon. Offer a free gift with a conditional purchase or something similar.

Foster Relationships & Trust

Relationships and trust from your customers is a must. The best advertisement and marketing is word of mouth. Make sure your customers are talking about you and your brand. Use social media and email lists to keep your brand in their mind and on their tongues. Send thank you emails and post Happy Birthday announcements on social media. Consumers buy from places they trust and know personally.


Write your own and comment on others regularly. Use your website address in blogs, emails and comments.

Social Media

The perfect online networking sites. Learn how to find leads. Create a LinkedIn business page. Build relationships with your customers.

Marketing does not have to cut deeply into the budget. It will take your time and effort to be effective in free or inexpensive marketing schemes. But who knows your brand better than you?

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