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Internet marketing forces you to confront reality

My dad once told me that he believes that stale cake has no calories. (I think that he has a similar rule for ice cream scraped from the inside lid of the container.) He’s kidding, of course, but when he talks this way, he’s really speaking to a desire in all of us to get what we want with no costs. In this case, we’d like to be able to eat cake and ice cream while not gaining any weight. And while we might accept that eating delicious desserts would pack on the pounds, we’d like to think that some food wouldn’t have those costs. We do the same thing in Internet marketing.


One of the best things about Internet marketing is that much of it is free. Traditional advertising is quite expensive, so you’d spend a great deal of time poring over the benefits of a potential ad campaign. You’d ask lots of questions. You’d really have to convince yourself that it is worth doing.
Because Internet marketing is free, we sometimes skip the step of asking if we ought to do something at all. Our biggest competitor just launched a Facebook profile, so we should, too. A new social network just came out, so let’s get all of our consultants to build profiles there. One of our customers asked us why we don’t have a blog for our customer service, so let’s assign someone to that.
In a sense, this is better than what you hear at companies too afraid to do much of anything, but it might amount to so much stale cake. It costs you something—people’s time and attention—and maybe it doesn’t taste very good.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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