Be An Internet Marketing Jedi
Ian Lurie Jan 12 2009
The ideal internet marketer would be a Jedi Knight. Not because she could lop off the heads of hapless competitors (although that would be cool), but because she could move through the complexities of an internet marketing campaign with zen-like effectiveness.
She could also fight off the Dark Side, which schemes to destroy all internet marketing campaigns with fear and uncertainty. The Dark Side tries to stop your campaign with a clone army that bleats “We need a detailed marketing plan for the next 2 years” and claims the highest level of training, all while forming a line and marching straight into a hail of incoming blaster fire because dammit, that’s how they’ve always done it.
I’ve yet to meet a marketer who could levitate objects or handle a lightsaber. Sniff. But you can come close to enlightenment, my young padawan:
- Let go. If you spend more than, oh, a day or so planning a campaign, then your plan will be obsolete before you enact it. You’ll be saying “There they are” in a silly, robotic voice about 30 seconds after the bad guys strike.
- Flow with the campaign. Plan the first Adwords ads, pick a few keywords. Map out possible next steps. Then get started. Select the best next step based on the results of your first moves. And so on.
- Trust your instincts. All the data is great, and it’s useful. But don’t rely on it so much that you lose sight of your goal. Use your own judgment, and never hide behind numbers or tools. Otherwise, you’ll end up Vader food.
- Be an island of calm in a sea of lunatics. When your clients are all screaming like Wookies, you need to be the one who brings serenity. If you don’t, they’ll yell something like “There’s TOO MANY OF THEM” and then crash into the surface of the marketplace, leaving only a small, black smudge.
- Delegate carefully. You’ve got serious expertise. Don’t expect that others can just pick up where you leave off. If you delegate to, say, a moronic amphibian, he’ll end up giving all your power away to the CEO Emperor.
- Don’t cheat. Hiring 5,000 people for $.30 each to Digg your site may seem like an easy win. But it’s bound to catch up with you. Sooner or later your clone army ends up ripped to shreds by irritating little muppets who can’t even read.
- Befriend the natives. The audience will make or break your campaign. Ignore them at your peril. The Emperor CEO may insist the audience wants tiny little 8-point type throughout the web site or 4-level fly-out menus or a blinking button that reads “buy now”. If he’s wrong, though, you and your troops will be pummeled to death by irritating little muppets who can’t even read. See above.
- Listen to the Council. Make sure you study the masters who came before you. Don’t scoff at their teachings. Unless you want to get stabbed, of course.
Luke Skywalker may be one whiny bugger, but he still would’ve made a fine internet marketer. Be an internet marketing Jedi, and join us in our struggle against the Dark Side.
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More