The short an­swer is to the ques­tion, “How neg­a­tive can you get with your neg­a­tive mar­ket­ing on the in­ter­net?” is.… very.

In very broad terms: the low­er you go, the more like­ly you are to win in the short-term. But there’s a trade-off: the low­er you go, the more peo­ple will dis­like you and thus the hard­er it will be to build healthy re­la­tion­ships.

You can think of this as a prac­ti­cal ap­pli­ca­tion of Machi­avel­li’s old ques­tion: is it bet­ter to be loved or re­spect­ed? Our an­swer is, re­spect­ed. They prob­a­bly don’t love you any­way, so there’s no point in pre­tend­ing they do or try­ing to get them to. You won’t.

Our rule of thumb is to do every­thing pos­si­ble on­line to com­plete­ly and ut­ter­ly crush your op­po­nen­t’s rep­u­ta­tion on­line — while still fol­low­ing the moral im­per­a­tive of hon­esty.

In oth­er words, we don’t make up stuff. We don’t lie. That will cause prob­lems on many levels–who wants to work with a liar? Plus, if we lied, it caus­es many prac­ti­cal prob­lems: they could dis­pute our claims, say­ing they’re false (which they would be, if we lied!).

But if we se­lec­tive­ly har­ness the truth… then the world is at our dis­pos­al.

So, the trick is the fol­low­ing: use very cre­ative and sub­tle means to find every­one who is un­hap­py with your en­e­my. Talk to them, one on one. Use the learn­ings to find out why they hate him: what are his weak­ness­es?

Then, ex­ploit those weak­ness­es.

Does this sound like a com­pelling strat­e­gy to you? Send us an email and we’ll crush your en­e­mies on­line.

It would be a lie if I did­n’t ad­mit that I love do­ing this. Here at Team NOM (Neg­a­tive On­line Mar­ket­ing), we get plea­sure out of this. It’s our masochis­tic side com­ing out! The chal­lenge is to do this, all the way, while re­tain­ing our com­plete in­tegri­ty. This is the line we try to fol­low.