10 Great Internet Marketing Excuses, and What They Really Mean

Ian Lurie Dec 10 2007

We’ve all used ’em. I certainly have. Here are the 10 top excuses/lines you’ll likely hear from your internet marketer, and what they really mean.


With understanding comes peace. None of these are making fun of anyone except myself, I promise.

These are in no particular order:
Yes, I was just looking at those numbers.
Translation: That’s the 50th spreadsheet you’ve sent me this week. I am printing them for use as a blotter.

Why don’t we test that home page change?
Translation: I am 99% sure that this is a horrible idea. But I know you’re going to ram this change down my throat, or elsewhere if I refuse to cooperate. Later, when we’ve made this change to your home page, I’d like to be able to point to the testing to explain why your sales fell by 50%.

The publisher lost the insertion order.
Translation: I forgot to sign the insertion order. No one can prove it, though, so I’ll just blame the publisher. Everyone hates the publisher, anyway.

The clickthu rates were the best [insert publisher name here] has ever seen!
Translation: Our conversion rate sucked. We didn’t sell a thing. But the publisher wants you to spend more money, and I want to increase my ad fees. Want to try again?

We didn’t get many clicks, but we grew your brand.
Translation: I promised you great sales. I blew it. So I’m throwing something totally unquantified at you to try to save my leathery hide. Note that if the marketer promised a branding campaign, this line is totally OK.

Let’s sleep on that idea.
Translation: If I have to critique this goddawful idea right now I’m going to throw something.

We should prepare a 1-year media plan.
Translation: I have no idea what to do right now. But I am going to suck every cent out of your pocket. Note: In internet marketing, you might get away with a 3-month plan. A 1-year media plan? C’mon. Things change too quickly – there’s likely to be at least 5 new media outlets in the next six months.

Our dev team said it’s not possible.
Translation: Our development team is being a pain, and I’m ready to kill them. Just about anything is possible. But they don’t want to do it. I’m working on it, plying them with Mt. Dew and other revolting beverages to win their good graces.

The designer is working on it now.
Translation: I am trying to bribe/threaten/force the designer to make the changes you’ve requested. Hopefully, there won’t be bloodshed. I’m on your side in this and will keep at it.

That’s not best practices mumble mumble…
Translation: I have never heard of the site/technique/tool you just suggested. In an effort to remain credible, I am trying to avoid eye contact.
Remember, internetcitus marketerus is a rare breed. We’re not evil – we’re just doing what nature designed us to do. If you can understand these signals, it’ll make for a much better relationship.

tags : conversation marketing


  1. 10 Great Internet Marketing Excuses, and What They Really Mean

    10 of the lines you’ll get from marketers, translated by a marketer.

  2. Ian N

    Ian N

    Being fairly new to the industry I haven’d had much of a chance to use these……yet! ;)

  3. Best Line Ever:
    “Don’t you worry about _______, let me worry about _______.”
    (Shamelessly stolen from a Futurama episode.)

  4. What about “That split test was corrupted, so we’re starting it over.”
    ..means “I set it up wrong, and sent 20k visitors to your website privacy policy, so I need to start over.”

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