Nathan Tripolone, who runs a marketing advisory practice called Realtime Results, has an insight into marketing that takes a lot of people by surprise.

Nathan, the 348th person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers, regularly encounters clients that assume the only way to generate more leads is to spend more money. But as he tells them, you can often generate more bang from the same buck just by doing some basic things.

For example, a lot of companies don’t send email newsletters – even though a simple monthly newsletter can generate a high return from a low spend. So this is something Nathan initiates with clients.

Another tactic Nathan uses is to publish endorsements – statements that explain how his client can help their customers solve specific problems. It’s simple, but it works.

Nathan also likes to run referral campaigns. As he explains, if you tell your customers what sort of referrals you want and why it’s in their interest to send you those referrals, they will. 

Once a business has plucked all that low-hanging fruit, Nathan says, it can then use the increased revenue to fund even more marketing, such as digital ads. However, you don’t have to start by spending more money.

Nathan works as a strategic adviser to small businesses that want to do better marketing but aren’t sure how to start. Clearly, he knows his stuff.