Marketing Hacks: 
How to maximize a minimal budget  

This June, we're going to be celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Argentum! Since our inception in 2006, we've helped over 70 clients of all shapes and sizes and different stages of growth add marketing expertise to their teams without adding headcount. 
During that time, we've also mentored dozens of startups that we've met through places like the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center/1871 and the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. And, this year, we are also thrilled to be on board as the marketing coach for the Booth School's New Venture Challenge
We love the passion, curiosity and even the extremely limited budgets of start-ups. Working with early stage entrepreneurs keeps us energized, on our toes and constantly in search of clever marketing hacks to help them be as efficient as possible with the marketing budgets they have. 
In keeping with this spirit, we've focused this issue on being scrappy when your resources are limited. We've included an article about some of our favorite marketing hacks in addition to a video and an article about how to conduct useful research for free. Hopefully it will provide fodder for some marketing hacks of your own, even if you are working with a significantly larger budget than a startup.
Favorite Marketing Hacks

There's no greater marketing challenge for a startup than a budget that is almost non-existent. Whenever we work with entrepreneurs who are in a low to no-budget situation, one of the first things we ask them is: How much skin are you willing to put in the game?

This is because in the entrepreneurial world, passion and scrappiness are going to be their keys to success. Even if that means possibly embarrassing themselves by wrapping their cars or handing out flyers on a street corner in order to move their company forward.  
Read on to get inspired by these real marketing hacks! »
Video: How to Conduct Free Client Research 

During a recent Research for Entrepreneurs workshop at Chicago's  1871  Tech Incubator, we used lead tracking as one example of how companies can gather useful customer insights for free.

No-Budget Customer Research

I had coffee a few weeks ago with an investor. One of his portfolio companies is having some growth problems and he's been thinking that maybe they need to spend money on marketing help. The company is a farm-to-market retail store in a somewhat obscure location without much customer foot traffic.

Because the company is small, can't rely on foot traffic, and has limited resources, the investor and I talked about some easy, inexpensive ways that the company could learn about their customers for free before investing in marketing.

Thank you!

We appreciate your continued referrals and are always excited to meet new businesses that might need our supplemental marketing strategy services.

To learn more about Argentum, visit our website, and feel free to pass our information along! 


Photo credit: hojusaram (Flickr)