Internet marketing for startups: The presentation

Ian Lurie

This is the somewhat annotated version of a talk I gave at this fantastic incubator here in Seattle called SURF.

My main point: Marketing isn’t about interruption, trickery, SEO spam, etc. Marketing is about communicating true value and significance to your audience. Period.

Anything else is just annoying.

A brief expository interlude

In 1992, I was in law school at UCLA. I was NOT enjoying myself: I was about ready to feed my head into a wood chipper. Given an opportunity, I probably would’ve fled the hallowed halls of the law library in a heartbeat.

Right then, Bicycling Magazine announced a contest: Write them a letter about why you’d be a good addition to their staff, and you might get a job there.

Writing about bicycles for a living?!! Hell yes! So I wrote a letter.

Later, they announced the winner. I wasn’t the lucky person. They did, however, publish a snippet of my letter in the magazine as a sample of the lamest stuff they got.

How is this relevant? Well, first, I mercilessly harass Bicycling in this presentation. Second, Bicycling, how ya like me now?!!!

Back to our show

Have a look:

Check out Portent's Free Digital Marketing Training Library

Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at

Start call to action

See how Portent can help you own your piece of the web.

End call to action


  1. Fantastic slide deck Ian. Favorite slide – Marketing is about communicating true value and significance to your audience. Can’t say it much better than that.

  2. I think the title speaks for itself. Marketing is about communicating something, not dumping a boatload of content and hoping someone bumps into it at some point.

Comments are closed.

Close search overlay