Your Internet Marketing Campaign is Screwed When…

Ian Lurie

You know your internet marketing campaign is screwed when:

  • Your boss refers to the campaign as “a learning experience”.
  • You get fewer visitors than you have percentage points in your bounce rate.
  • Your team looks at you blankly when you say “SEO Copywriting“.
  • You don’t have any analytics tools in place. Just give up.
  • You’re proud of the fact that you grabbed the top organic search position for your own brand name.
  • You think quality score is something given to meat.
  • Frank, the developer down the hall who’s doing your project in between his other priorities, says “Oh, THAT PROJECT” when you check on his progress.
  • You get 15% clickthrough on your PPC ads, and a 10% bounce rate, but you don’t sell anything.
  • Your boss/client keeps forwarding you blogs posts they found from 1999 about SEO and the keywords META tag.
  • “Budget? Oh, we have enough to run for about 3-4 weeks. We have to get a positive ROI by then.”
  • You suddenly understand what makes some folks flee the country.
  • You lie to your family and tell them you’re helping sell diet supplements.
  • A single conversion is cause for celebration.
  • No one at your company knows what a customer is worth.
  • No one at your company likes your customers.
  • No one at your company likes anyone else at your company.
  • You haven’t launched a landing page after 2 weeks, because the art department keeps moving the logo around.
  • The CEO keeps going in and tweaking your Adwords campaign (I’m a CEO. I do this. I’m a horrible person.).
  • Your super-secure login for your e-commerce system is ‘password’.
  • 24 hours after you launch the campaign, your boss is asking you how it’s doing. I’m not talking about a landing page, people. I’m talking about the entire campaign.
  • You’re rereading Atlas Shrugged.
  • You’ve realized this was not a good time to go on a diet.
  • You’re burning through your prescription at twice the normal rate.
  • Someone uses the word ‘synergy’ in a status meeting more than 3 times.
  • You’re spending more time reporting statistics than you are testing new headlines.
  • You haven’t tested any new headlines.
  • You haven’t tested anything.
  • You’ve nodded at every single one of these.



Ian Lurie
CEO & Founder

Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent and the EVP of Marketing Services at Clearlink. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). He'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. Follow him on Twitter at portentint, and on LinkedIn at

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  1. How about: “your boss starts writing up a series of ‘your internet marketing campaign is screwed when…’ jokes”

  2. Sounds just like any Australian government department, regardless of who’s party is in charge – but no one loses their income no matter what sort of screw ups they make.

  3. Yipes. I didn’t nod at all of them. Just most of them. Well, OK, at least half of them. (Which is why I’m not linking to the URL of the site I work on [she said nervously].)

  4. That’s what she said!
    I nodded at a few. What’s worse yet: A CPC over $4 and a CTR of 0.00000000000006211%.
    Don’t let your VP control your PPC campaigns. I’m planning my takeover now.

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