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Strategic Startup Marketing Budgeting: Five Key Marketing Spends for Startups

Updated: Mar 12

Did you know that 14% of startups fail due to ineffective marketing? Make sure your business doesn't fall into that category by strategically allocating your marketing budgets and efforts. This blog will break down the essential marketing categories that your startup should be investing in, along with definitions, examples, objectives, and tips.

A breakdown of the most common budget allocations for marketing efforts in startups.
Startup Marketing Budget Allocations

Essential Marketing Spends for Startups

In a recent strategic initiative, Kasm has defined five key buckets of marketing spending, each serving a distinct purpose in driving growth and establishing a robust online presence. Let's delve into these buckets and explore how they contribute to the overall success of a startup's marketing endeavors.

1. Demand Generation Marketing: Fueling Short-Term Revenue Surge

  • Definition: Marketing activities geared towards driving revenues in a relatively short time frame.

  • Examples: Sales promotions, discount coupons, and event marketing.

  • Objective: Rapidly boost sales and create a sense of urgency among potential customers.

  • Tip: Focus on creating a sense of urgency (typically driven by emotional messaging) among your potential consumers.

2. Branding and Awareness: Building Recognition Beyond the Sale

  • Definition: Marketing initiatives focused on building brand awareness, extending beyond immediate sales promotion.

  • Examples: Sports sponsorships, naming rights to events, and awareness-centric advertising across various channels.

  • Objective: Establish a lasting presence in the minds of the target audience, fostering recognition and credibility.

  • Tip: When crafting your brand, establish avenues in which you can engage multiple senses and evoke emotions in a highly sharable format.

3. Customer Relationships: Crafting Personal Links for Loyalty and Engagement

  • Definition: Marketing strategies aimed at creating personal connections with customers to drive loyalty and engagement.

  • Examples: Personalized thank-you notes post-purchase, loyalty programs, and exclusive services.

  • Objective: Foster long-term relationships, turning customers into loyal advocates for the brand.

  • Tip: Segmentation is key. Divide your customer base into segments based on demographics, preferences, or purchasing behavior. This allows you to tailor your messages and offerings to specific groups, making your communication more relevant.

4. Shaping Markets: Influencing Perceptions Through Strategic Marketing

  • Definition: Activities designed to make the market more receptive to products or services, often leveraging third-party endorsements.

  • Examples: Analyst relationships in B2B, and social media blogging for perception influence.

  • Objective: Shape market perceptions and cultivate a favorable environment for your offerings.

  • Tip: Start with the messaging that’s already in people’s heads and work backward to the product to shape your messaging.

5. Infrastructure: Empowering Marketing Teams with Technology and Training

  • Definition: Investments in technology and training to bolster the capabilities of the marketing team.

  • Examples: Enterprise Data Warehousing (EDW), analytics tools, and marketing resource management software.

  • Objective: Equip the marketing team with the tools and knowledge for data-driven decision-making and efficient campaign execution.

  • Tip: Recognize that technology is only as effective as the team using it. You may want to invest in training or expert consultants to help establish the integration of the technology.


By strategically balancing short-term revenue goals, brand building, customer relationships, market shaping, and team empowerment, startups can lay a solid foundation for sustainable growth and long-term success in the competitive online landscape. The key lies in understanding the unique role each bucket plays and crafting a cohesive marketing strategy that aligns with the overarching goals of the business.


Kasm specializes in marketing for startups. If you are interested in working with Kasm, please fill out the contact form below for a free consultation.


Need more proof before getting started with Kasm? Check out our Case Studies Page.


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