15 Principles of Internet Marketing

Ian Lurie

In no particular order:

  1. No one’s lives depend on what we do.
  2. But people’s livelihoods do. So take your work seriously, and take pride in it.
  3. 75% of your audience uses a search engine to find you. Get used to it. All the banners and ‘viral’ marketing on earth won’t come close to results produced by a top 5 ranking for a relevant phrase.
  4. But, a broad base is better. Don’t rely on just one marketing vehicle. Build a complete internet marketing strategy that includes, at a minimum, paid search, organic search, e-mail and online PR.
  5. Never underestimate the power of an angry customer.
  6. Never underestimate the power of a happy customer.
  7. Pretty is great. Easy is better.
  8. You’re not the customer.
  9. Karma exists. Treat customers and prospective customers with respect, and they’ll reciprocate. Spam them, annoy them, and lie to them, and they’ll retaliate.
  10. Risk is necessary.
  11. Risk without measurement is suicide. Analytics are a must.
  12. IT is not marketing. Don’t make them run the web site. It’s not fair to anyone.
  13. A web site does not equal an internet marketing strategy.
  14. Plan, but adapt. Don’t be stubborn. Listen to what your customers tell you in their response.
  15. All marketing has a message. What’s yours?
The 10 Commandments
Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is the founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (that's more than 25 years, if you're counting). Ian'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. 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 www.ianlurie.com

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  1. Really useful and interesting post. In particular (i thought) points: 3,4,5,6,10,11,14 and 15(and the others, but in particular, these).

  2. #3 — I think this applies largely in many cases, but can one really make such a blanket statement? You could reason that Coca-Cola has less of a need for SEO than they do branding. And my corner deli, what use is search engine rankings when their entire clientele comes from a 2 block radius and knows full well that they exist?

  3. Hi Paul,
    Many internet users don’t even use their browser’s address bar to find a site. They go to Google/Yahoo/MSN and type the address or company name right into the search engine, and use that as a navigation device.
    While Coca-Cola may not need search when folks search for ‘soft drink’, what about when they search for Coca-Cola’s involvement in third world countries? Good SEO, for Coke, means they can manage their image. Bad SEO means they lose all control.
    For the corner deli, well, you’re right. But I wouldn’t recommend using internet marketing for them, either.

  4. Great article. Very clearly written and held my attention. Enjoyed it and will definately be back to see what you have. Keep up the good work

  5. Everyone who comes in here wants three things:
    (1) They want it quick.
    (2) They want it good.
    (3) They want it cheap.
    I tell ’em to pick two and call me back.
    — sign on the back wall of a small printing company

  6. Nice list!
    But do you agree that marketing is really a balance between a lie and fact? I mean to get the effect, sometimes a certain amount of lie is necessary. It won’t be a harmful lie but it is still a lie. May be some people call it a boost up?

  7. @Lunar absolutely, but I prefer ‘story telling’ ala Seth Godin in All Marketers are Liars. In marketing, an outright lie is created to fool someone into doing something they’ll later regret. Storytelling puts the product in a context that helps the customer decide whether it’s right for them or not.

  8. Found this via StumbleUpon – good list!

    #7. Pretty is great. Easy is better.

    The definition of ‘pretty’ in nowadays somehow is the synonyms of easy nowadays. User friendly will always be the top priority in good web designs.

  9. Lol.. I really liked that list. An angry customer is very true, could do lots of harm to you in a relatively short time. Recommendations from consumers about your site is also awesome.

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