Marketing on a shoestring

To do something “on a shoestring” is a well known expression for operating on a very tight budget. The fanciful origin of this expression is that debtors in British prisons would lower a shoe by its laces from a window so as to collect funds from visitors or passers-by. There are other less creative legends, but I like this one!

So what is marketing on a shoestring and how can it be used by businesses? You could try lowering a show by its laces from a window, for customers to place money in. If only it were that simple!

Marketing on a Shoestring Budget - Landon Marketing and Design SalisburyGet creative

A good place to start when thinking about budget marketing, is to get creative. You may be surprised how many ideas you can come up with, and how one idea can lead to another. Get imaginative and write down every idea – you can think about how practical it is later.


Measure all your marketing. Ask your staff to find out how a customer found out about you, add codes to any promotions you do, set up different phone lines or web addresses for different channels. This way you can learn from everything you do, and you’ll never spend a penny wondering whether it will work.

Free marketing

There are many free ways to market your business. Here are just a few. Get listed on online directory listings such as Google Places, Yell and Qype. This will also help your Google search ranking. Get active on facebook and twitter – it’s great brand awareness. In fact some businesses do all their marketing on social media and get great results.

Online marketing works, but it doesn’t replace real life. Network with other business owners – visit one of the many business networking events and pop along to trade events. If you’re a business to business company, pick up the phone and introduce yourself, there’s nothing more simple than that, and it’s amazing how receptive other business owners will be when they receive your call!

I hope this gives you a few ideas to promote your business.

For a free consultation, give me a call and I’d be more than happy to chat about how this and other marketing ideas can be applied to your business.

Steve Landon, Landon Marketing and Design.