But when is a company truly in startup territory? The true definition is unclear. According to the Business Dictionary a startup is defined as the “early stage in the life cycle of an enterprise where the entrepreneur moves from the idea stage to securing financing, laying down the basic structure of the business, and initiating operations or trading.” Forbes wealth writer Natalie Robehmed declares that the typical life-span of a company to still be considered a startup is approximately under three years. “This often coincides with other factors that indicate a graduation from startup-dom: acquisition by a larger company, more than one office, revenues greater than $20 million, more than 80 employees, over five people on the board, and founders who have personally sold shares,” writes Robehmed.
As to be expected, startup companies are typically swimming (or drowning) in an ocean of problems, the majority of these issues relating to money. So where does this leave marketers when it comes to using paid search to gain traction for their startups? Should they just ignore AdWords all together or blindly throw a chunk of their budget at it while crossing their fingers and hoping for return? I would argue that if PPC is ignored all together, these startup companies are going to lose a huge chunk of their potential business, and their growth rate and future hope of graduating from startup territory (rather than plummeting to the bottom of the failure backlog) will become even smaller specks on the horizon.
Now that ignoring PPC is no longer an option, where in the world do startup marketers start in the competitive and complicated world of pay-per-click advertising? I have a few tips up my sleeve, but to get an even sharper idea I spoke directly with some local Google-Glass wearing startup marketers to get a sense of their unique challenges and the tactics they used to perfect their paid search efforts.