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Internet Marketing Strategy: A Step-by-Step Diagram

Internet marketing is not SEO. It’s not PPC. It’s not e-mail or web design, or social media. It’s the sum of many parts.

Here’s how I see it all fitting together:

conversation marketing method

You can also download a PDF version here.

Some Explanation

If this is gibberish, you may want to skim through my book, which you can buy or read online for free.

While I number the steps, this is not a linear process. It’s a cycle that involves much random hopping around between ‘Observe and Adjust’, ‘Know the Room’, ‘Sound Smart’ and the other steps.

If you don’t have analytics, don’t bother. Internet marketing is pointless without it.


Way back during the Internet Marketing Ice Age (2001), I looked at the wild assortment of search engines, e-mail techniques, technologies a snake oil and said:
“Hey, I need a strategy to tie together the wild assortment of search engines, e-mail techniques, technologies a snake oil.”
I’ve never finished.

But the work-in-progress that is Conversation Marketing keeps growing and morphing, and it’s a good high-level picture of how internet marketing really works. So, enjoy, and please send feedback.

Download the Diagram in PDF.

CEO & Founder

Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent and the EVP of Marketing Services at Clearlink. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). He's recorded training for Lynda.com, 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. Follow him on Twitter at portentint, and on LinkedIn at LinkedIn.com/in/ianlurie.

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  1. That’s pretty handy. Thanks. Let me just say the I read your book online about a year ago and enjoyed it so much that I had to buy it a read it again. Thanks for the great resources.

  2. Thanks Bermon.
    If you can get 300 of your closest friends to order the book, too, I can get rid of all the copies I’ve got before I publish the 2nd edition.

  3. Nicely done! I think way too many marketers focus way too much on “target” and not enough on “audience”. In other words, it makes sense to treat all marketing as developing relationships – even with web marketing.

  4. Great diagram. I have been what I call a vibrational marketer for years. It seems very similar as your conversational marketing. It is based on forming relationships with people, giving more than you take, and helping people achieve their goals.
    Your diagram was very helpful in helping me solidify the pieces of my marketing puzzle!
    Jackie Lee

  5. Internet marketing is not SEO; it’s not PPC; it’s not e-mail or web design, or social media–just as conventional marketing was not advertising, direct marketing, or public relations. Nevertheless, as a B2B marketing consultant, my take is that the challenges remain the same.
    As a graph on my website that depicts the buying process shows, we still need to help prospects recognize that they need what we have to offer, make them aware of our company and how we can help them, create an urgency for our solutions, and stay high on their radar until it’s time to buy.
    If we want to make the most of our marketing resources, we need to concentrate our firepower on those that will pay the most, buy the quickest, and/or attract others to buy from us.
    All this takes an integrated marketing strategy–as it always has. In short, we still need to get decision makers–and those who influence them–the right message at the right time. The difference is in how we do it.
    Today, rather than responding to PR, journalists troll blogs, rather than using a phone book to find services buyer search the internet, rather than viewing catalogs or brochures they respond to email marketing and landing pages.
    They do it because they can. The advent of the web has meant that people can get information where they are anyway (in front of their screens), 24 x7, in the format that they want it (because computers facilitate more sophisticated searches than were possible through its predecessor (indices and yellow pages).
    So, as B2B marketers we need to learn a new set of tactics, but we must be careful not to forget that people remain the same–and understanding–and catering to their information needs remain the same–it’s just the medium that has changed.

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