For early-stage startups, marketing is crucial for success — whether that’s winning over investors or attracting loyal customers. But most startups are making do with limited time, resources, and budget. That means hiring a CMO or working with a full-service marketing agency simply isn’t feasible. That’s where fractional marketing comes in.

Fractional marketing is a model in which startups partner with a part-time marketing expert (and in many cases, freelance strategists and creatives to execute on objectives), agreeing on a distinct scope of work to meet their needs — and a budget to match. This allows startups to access the expertise they need without the expense or commitment of a more permanent or involved situation.

What is fractional marketing, exactly?

Think of fractional marketing as outsourcing your marketing efforts to an experienced marketer who works with you on a part-time basis. This can include services such as branding, social media, email marketing, content creation, customer acquisition, and more.

Why is fractional marketing a good option for early-stage startups?

Fractional marketing can be particularly useful for early stage startups, as they may not yet have the resources to build out a full in-house marketing team. By working with a fractional marketing expert, startups can get the guidance and support they need to launch and grow their business.

Let’s get more specific…

It’s Cost-Effective

Startups may not have the budget to hire a full-time marketing team, but that doesn’t mean they should skimp on marketing altogether. Fractional marketing allows businesses to work with an expert marketer without breaking the bank, allowing them to pay only for the services they need, when they need them.

It Offers Flexibility

As a startup grows, its marketing needs will evolve. Fractional marketing allows startups to scale up or down as needed, adding or removing services as their budgets or goals change.

It Grants Access To Marketing Expertise

Fractional marketers are experts in their field. They have worked with a variety of clients and industries and know what works and what doesn’t. They can provide valuable go-to market strategies.

It Gives Founders A New Perspective

No judgment: We know it’s easy for founders to get tunnel vision when it comes to their startup. They’re so close to their business that it can be hard to see it from an outsider’s perspective. Fractional marketers bring an objective viewpoint to the table — one that can provide unbiased feedback on messaging, branding, and overall strategy.

See How We Can Scale-up Your Startup

Fractional Marketing Team: Access fractional CMOs + freelancers specializing in startups

Startup Marketing Audit: Uncover gaps and opportunities to smash your goals

Minimum Viable Brand: Get a fast-tracked cohesive brand built from the ground up

Branding & Messaging Packages: Dial in your look and feel to tell your brand’s authentic story

What does fractional marketing entail?

A fractional marketing team can work within a defined budget to identify gaps, set goals, and execute on initiatives to meet a startup’s specific needs. Check out some of the most impactful areas where fractional marketing can be an absolute game-changer in the early startup space:

Brand Strategy

Building brand recognition is vital for startups, and it’s essential to ensure the brand strategy aligns with the overall business goals. A fractional marketing team can help early-stage startups identify their unique selling proposition and target audience, develop a voice and visual identity, and drive messaging at every touchpoint.

Digital Strategy

A strong digital strategy is a non-negotiable for any startup emerging in modern times. Working with a fractional marketing team can help orgs leverage digital channels including social media, content marketing, and email campaigns to reach and engage their target audience. Even working with digital experts for a limited time to put strategy in place can set startups up to have a memorable online presence, increased brand recognition, and strong sales.

Buyer Journey

Fractional marketing experts work with founders of early-stage startups to map out their ideal buyer journey, identify key touchpoints, and create campaigns that cater to each stage of the journey. This helps startups build relationships with potential customers and increase the likelihood of conversion.

Sales Funnel Development

For early stage startups, it’s crucial to have a strong sales funnel that converts leads into customers. A fractional marketing team can help startups develop an optimized sales funnel that leads customers to the conversion point while maintaining the integrity of the brand, and help to reduce the burn rate by creating a more efficient and cost-effective process overall.

Building An Effective MarTech Stack

A fractional marketing team can help identify the right tools and technologies needed to streamline marketing efforts while keeping costs low, automate processes to preserve your team’s bandwidth, and optimize customer relationship management platforms to help reduce the current CPA and allow for a better ROI.

The bottom line on fractional marketing:

By working with a fractional marketer, startups are empowered to focus on building their product while an expert takes care of their marketing. This can save time and money while helping the startup make a great impression on potential customers and investors.

Ready to learn more? Contact us to see how fractional marketing can fit into the equation of your early-stage startup.

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About the Author: Jenny Farias

Meet Jenny — the founder and brand-alchemist-at-large here at BxH. She's an award-winning marketer and speaker dedicated to helping founders turn their unicorn dreams into reality. When she's not crushing it at work, you can find her jet-setting across the globe, supporting fellow female founders (hello, gWen!), or hitting up Charlotte's vibrant entrepreneurial scene with her boyfriend, Ben (#BenTheGem). Wherever she goes, Jenny brings her infectious energy and can-do attitude to the table — preferably alongside a spicy margarita.

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