15 Principles of Internet Marketing

Ian Lurie Feb 1 2008

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
tags : conversation marketing


  1. That was very clever and funny!:)
    This is obviously one great post. The information are very insightful and helpful. Thanks for sharing all of these.

  2. Nice list. I really like point 5! Those people can really distort your online business.

  3. Brilliant. Your insight into risk being necessary, but stupid without facts, is dead on. Thanks for the inspiration – and motivation – Ian.

  4. Eamon


    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).

  5. #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?

  6. Ian


    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.

  7. Megan


    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

  8. Great article. Thank you for sharing ! Keep it coming.

  9. Kidino


    Excellent list. I like #8 – You are not the customer. Right on the money.

  10. flispessy


    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

  11. I like the bit about testing. Analytic data is vital if you really want to succeed online. That’s where I spend most of my time.

  12. 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?

  13. Ian


    @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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. “pretty is great, easy is better” thats damn funny! Great post.

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