An Internet Marketing Manifesto

Ian Lurie


  1. Internet marketing is a discipline, not a piece of software.
  2. Internet marketing is not website design. That’s part of it. But it’s not all of it.
  3. As a discipline, it’s comprised of several crafts. Just a few include:
    • Application and database development are the gears and levers that make it work.
    • Design provides the connection between the audience and the gears and levers.
    • Search is still the primary way folks find what they want. That’s not going to change any time soon.
    • Direct marketing – RSS, e-mail and mobile – form the framework for an immediate connection to an interested audience.
    • Analytics allow us to converse with everyone we reach, by observing how they respond to our efforts, and then adjusting what we do to provide the best possible user experience. Analytics also allow us to use our client’s resources wisely, by applying time and money to the things that work best for them.
  4. Internet marketing is the act of tying all of these things together in a way that helps our clients grow.
  5. It’s is no longer confined purely to the internet. Print direct mail and other forms of traditional marketing are part of an equation that ends online.
  6. As internet marketers, we need to behave ethically, and treat our clients, and their customers, with respect. They’re not stupid, and unethical behavior will only hurt us in the long run.
  7. Internet marketing requires risks. But smart internet marketing never fails – it simply reveals what doesn’t work and helps you learn from it.
  8. Guarantee effort and communication, not results. The former builds a great relationship with your client. The latter is irresponsible – internet marketing is an environment with far too many variables to support big promises.
  9. We must record everything about a client’s campaigns: A historical view of data supports future decision making.
  10. We must also maintain a strategic approach. Never sacrifice one facet of internet marketing for another.
  11. And, we must never get hung up on a particular technology. Video, blogs, social marketing, Flash and Podcasts are all nifty tools. But someday there will be something else. To stay relevant, and provide good advice to our clients, we must distinguish the tools from the clients’ goals.
  12. Internet marketing can’t save the world. But it just might help those who can. So take what you do seriously.
  13. Our ultimate responsibility is to provide sound advice to our clients. Nothing else may trump that responsibility.

What else would you add?

Update: Eric has set up a Diigo Group for this discussion. Join here.

Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is the 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

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