Never depend on social media and search ads to save you...

Published by Alex Bugeja on December 9th, 2019 4:09pm. 738 views.

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If your answer to how your startup will get distribution is to say that you'll just advertise on Google and Facebook, the sad truth is that you've probably failed out of the gates.

This would have been an acceptable answer a few years' ago, when you would even have been ahead of your time. But no longer. Especially if you're in consumer, where the competition is now brutal, and where auction prices for Facebook and Google ads have reached the stratosphere in many cases.

Another sad example in the news today:

I think the cost of Facebook and Google ads blindsides many founders who take them for granted as a distribution channel when planning their startups, particularly founders who have no experience with them, or (even worse) founders who used them several years ago when they far cheaper and are unaware of how the landscape has since changed.

You should assume they will simply not be available to you for planning purposes. Occasionally you might stumble across an untapped niche where it is still possible to run ads at a cost permitting reasonable ROI but in my experience that is now the exception rather than the rule. If you do find such a niche it is more likely to be on Google, since their keyword-based model permits such niches to theoretically exist, whereas Facebook is an all-out competition between all advertisers for the same newsfeed slots.