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Web Advertising Essay Research Paper Web advertising (стр. 2 из 3)

billboards. This method can be irrit ating to the browser because the

advertisements appear while subscribers are using the service even though

they did not request an ad (Kotler, 1997).

A fourth option is to hire an advertising agency to create and place an

advertisement at a popular site on the Web, similar to buying timeslots on

a television channel. Advertising on search engines such as Lycos and

Yahoo also proves to be effective although very expensive (J. Matthee,

personal communication, 20 April 1998).

Using E-mail A company can encourage prospects and customers to send

questions, suggestions, and even complaints to the company, using the

company using the companies E-mail address. Customer service

representatives can respond to the customers in a short time via E-m ail

(Kotler, 1997).

5) WEB ADVERTISING DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTH AFRICA

In South Africa, the Internet is still restricted to very niched market

providing companies with the chance to exploit this opportunity and build

a database of visitors to their site. This situation is quite obviously

attributable to the economics of Sout h Africa’s social class structure.

This is an advantage because marketers can use this information to create

accurate profiles of the visitors to their site and develop personalised

advertising efforts, which are especially crucial in the sphere of Web ad

vertising. Currently, in South Africa, Computicket

(http://www.computicket.com) has taken the lead in online bookings

although services that are provided by Computicket naturally lean towards

the use of the Internet as a medium (Douvos, 1996). David Frankel of

Internet Solutions summed up the South African situation neatly by saying

that ‘…. People are still getting their hands around it [the Internet]

and working out how to make money out of it. I don’t think that anyone is

doing so at prese nt in South Africa, although a lot of people are

trying.’ IS-Commercial a division Internet Solutions scored a South

African first in 1996 in the development of a software engine that

searched only South African Web resources. This introduced a new aspect to

Web advertising in South Africa as it means that local

Web users no longer have to sift through a colossal amount of topical

hypertext links from around the globe. Advertising on the South African

Web has surely benefited from this development which makes South African

relevant material far more accessible a nd therefore implies increases Web

site hit rates. The search engine that was developed is called Ananzi and

is currently the second most hit Web site in the country. Advertisers now

have the opportunity of placing an icon on this page which immediately g

ives them a formidable brand prescience (Williams, 1997). A host of Web

page advertising companies have sprung up in South Africa, including an

upstart from Port Elizabeth, called Web Advertising, which have succeeded

in forming a technology and capability sharing association with the United

States advertising a gency Web advertising (Perlman, 1996). After

unprecedented growth in the Internet in 1996, The Loerie awards included a

new category in 1997 dedicated to Web creativity and corporate use of the

Internet.

6) WEB ADVERTISING AND THE BUSINESS

6.1) Introduction

Companies are increasingly recognising the importance of applying a

full-systems perspective in using their communication tools. The aim is to

set the overall communication budget and the right allocation of funds to

each communication tool. Web advertis ing is becoming a more and more

vital component of a firm’s advertising budget and therefore demands

sensible and rational consideration and planning. The dynamics and

relative novelty of Web advertising makes it crucial that the progressive

business, which is proposing a Web advertising campaign, draw up a

comprehensive advertising program.

It is vital for organisations that are considering an Internet marketing

strategy to effectively coordinate each component. The bottomline is that

organisations are putting themselves into the global marketplace. It is

thus important for people to be crit ical of what works well and what

meets their need with an Internet marketing strategy (Perlman, 1996). By

using the standard advertising program process (Kotler, 1997) as a base,

it is simple to outline the characteristics of the Internet which a

business must take into consideration when planning a Web advertising

campaign. The various steps involved in t he process of planning an

advertising program are depicted in section 5.2.1 below and the specific

characteristics of the Internet are superimposed into this framework in

section 5.2.2 through section 5.2.7.

6.2) Developing and Managing an Advertising Program

6.2.1) Introduction to the Advertising Program Process In developing an

advertising program, marketing managers must always start by identifying

the target market and buyer motives. This applies, perhaps even more so,

to the new advertising alternative represented by the Internet. The next

step is to make fiv e major decisions in developing an advertising

campaign, known as the five Ms: * Mission: What are the advertising

objectives? * Money: How much can be spent? * Message: What message should

be sent? * Media: What media should be used? * Measurement: How should the

results be evaluated?

6.2.2) SWOT Analysis This step is a necessity when studying the

feasibility of any intended business proposition and when the planning of

that operation takes place. It involves a study of the firm’s internal

strengths and weaknesses as well as the external opportunities and threats

presented by circumstances in the environment. Web advertising provides a

special challenge to marketers and planners due to its relative infancy,

which brings previously un-encountered circumstances to the fore. In

terms of internal strengths and weaknesses, it is common practice at this

stage in Web advertising for businesses to approach Internet service

providers such as Adept Internet to manage the intricacies of advertising

on the Internet. Therefore, issues concerning ability to actually place an

effective advertisement on the Internet are shifted to specialised

companies. According to Trafex managing director David Pegg ‘ …few

organisations have the technical skills and financial resources to

establish a nd manage a sophisticated private trading network. It makes

sense for companies to focus on their core business and let experts look

after their trading partner connections.’ The study of external threats

and opportunities in Web advertising largely involves market analysis and

the attempt to identify the company’s typical customer, how they can be

enticed to visit the company’s web site and how they can convinced to keep

on v isiting the web site. Web site design companies and dedicated tracing

companies who try to check the demographics of a visitor to site are

coming to the fore, creating an entirely new industries in the process

(Perlman, 1996). Research in South Africa cla ssifies the Web user base as

a niche, particularly from the point of view that the users tend to share

characteristics that make them a targetable segment. Profile of the model

Web user: Internet surfers would certainly be considered technologically

progr essive, innovators and early-adopters. In terms of demographic

profiles, the mean age of users worldwide is around 35 years, with

approximately 50% having tertiary education and mostly earning A incomes.

Male users have outnumbered female users in the pas t but gender parity

has recently been reached (Rath, 1997).

6.2.3) Advertising objectives It is not uncommon with the advent of the

Internet and the advertising possibilities that it provides that many

companies become rash in their plans for Web advertising. This can be

disastrous without first analysing the objectives of a promotion via the

web. The essence of the medium is still to be assessed in relation to the

way business can be conducted.

6.2.4) How much can be spent? The direct set up costs to the marketer are

likely to be in excess of R100 000 for an above-average site but, further

to this cost, are costs if site maintenance, enhancements and server

storage. The direct and indirect costs of Web site development are t

herefore not insignificant, requiring considerable capital, time and

energy to establish and to keep it alive (Rath, 1997). Smaller scale

businesses, for example a coffee shop such as Fandango in Stellenbosch,

which wishes to utilise Web advertising, can expect to pay from R1000 for

web site design. A site such as this could be linked to four other sites

and also requires cons tant maintenance which often entails higher costs

than the development of the Web site (J. Matthee, personal communication,

20 April 1998).

6.2.5) Message It should be stressed that Internet site development is

part of the marketing function and does not fall within the realm of the

Information Technology Department. Management is often tempted to allow

the IT department to create a Web site because it woul d seem to offer the

most cost-effective solution. However, the sites that have been designed

by programmers are notable for their lack of creativity and generally do

not entice the viewer. This, in essence, revolves around the question of

the Web sites me ssage (Rath, 1997). The principles that apply to media

such as television and radio are generally applicable to message

formulation on a Web site although valuable information that is dynamic

seems to be the key (J. Matthee, personal communication, 20 April 1998).

6.2.6) Medium The Internet as an advertising medium has a number of

inherent advantages and disadvantages which are discussed in section 7.

6.2.7) Measure and Evaluate Performance To quantify a Web sites

contribution to revenue is often quite difficult. Where sales are

generated more-or-less directly off the Net, the company’s return on

investment is a matter of simple arithmetic. However, where the company

provides an added value service via the Net, the site’s contribution to

the bottom line is far less easy to quantify (Rath, 1997). In terms of

actual Web site design effectiveness, processes are still largely

undefined. Many online organisations do exist, however, that monitor and

provide Web site statistics, namely number of hits and how for how long

visitors stayed at the site, for

a fee (J. Matthee, personal communication, 20 April 1998). Furthermore,

information can be obtained detailing the demographics of visitors to a

Web sit although this is more difficult. This can enable a company to

measure the Web site’s effectiveness in terms of reaching the company’s

target market. It is quite c ommon now for the Web itself to be used for

research purposes with companies asking Web users for personal responses

to products, sites and messages. This also provides feedback on the sites

effectiveness and facilitates corrective action.

6.3) The Web site Itself

6.3.1) Web site Design Web site design is very much a grey area in terms

of the fact that Web advertising is a relatively new addition to a

business choice of promotional alternatives. However, guidelines do exist

which can increase the chance of web site effectiveness. These i nclude

questions such as: Who would use our service or product; how likely is our

target market to be on the Net and who understands the culture of this new

medium to create a site that encapsulates the brand, the culture and the

practicality of web adver tising. Other aspects are the understanding of

the need to employ the expertise of a company that specializes in design

for an interactive medium. Incorporating a wealth of useful information,

interactive games and an ease of navigation through the site have also

proved to increase Web site effectiveness (Joseph, 1997).

Experience and creativity are most definitely necessary characteristics

of a Web site designer who is usually employed by an Internet service

provider such as Adept Internet. Feedback via methods that are mentioned

in section 5.2.7 above could provide in dications of responses to Web site

design. Once again, the principles applied in the television, radio and

print media all apply to the design of a Web site. Fundamentals of

consumer behaviour and psychology should be understood by anybody

attempting to u ndertake commercial Web site design (J. Matthee, personal

communication, 20 April 1998).

6.3.2) Web Site Maintenance As with any medium of advertising, an inferior

display can be detrimental to a firm’s image. However, Web site

maintenance due to its reliance on a newly developed technology must

receive special attention. This explains why a company may induce greater

expenditure in the maintenance of a Web site than in the actual design and

creation of the sit e. Maintenance of a Web site has two implications:

Firstly, information supplied by the site must be dynamic, that is, it

must be updated regularly in order to draw browsers on the Net to revisit

the site; secondly, the site must be checked regularly to e nsure that no

errors have occurred in the content as a result of any damage to data for

instance (J. Matthee, personal communication, 20 April 1998). An example

of the second problem is clearly demonstrated by the printout of the

coffee shop Fandango’s We b site in which the main picture failed to load.

See figure 1 in section 5.4 below.

(Take note: John Matthee, who originally designed the site and who, as an employee of Adept Internet, is hired to handle the maintenance of the site, has since rectified the problem.)

6.4) Profiles of Examples

Example1: Fandango The Fandango Web site provides an example of the

importance of site maintenance. See figure 1.

Example2: SAA This provides a successful example of advertising by means

of putting up an entire site which serves a brand building exercise. The

airline’s site took all-important factors outlined above in section 5.3.1

into consideration and the result is self-evident. The site won the

prestigious Magellan award which is contested for by two million sites.

7.) THE INTERNET AS AN ADVERTISING MEDIUM

7.1) Advantages . The demographics of the average Internet surfer are

attractive enough to warrant their inclusion as an important niche market

(Rath, 1997). The Web can be transformed into a research tool, a brand

builder and an advertising medium in one swoop, something not offered by

other media (Joseph, 1996). Furthermore, unlike other media where the

advertising agency is the only link between the client and the media

owner, the Web allows the client to become the media owner. From the

company’s point of view, by buying into the technology itself, a company

ha s the ability to enter the world of cyber marketing without the

intervention of any intermediaries. Yet another competitive advantage of

this medium is that it provides advertisers with reassuringly detailed

demographics about who actually saw their advertisement, turning it into a

marketing research as well as an advertising medium (Williams, 1996).

Interactive media can operate in territories not covered by a vendor’s

sales force. It can bring the showroom and the sales pitch to the buyers

remote locations simply by dropping it in the post.

7.2) Disadvantages

Lack of Intrusiveness The persuasive elements of the Internet

advertisement usually lie at least one click away from the user’s current

location and this requires the user to be sufficiently interested in the

product or intrigued by the advertisement banner to click the to the

advert.

Limitations of Banners The Web has primarily been used for the

presentation of text and graphics onto fairly small computer screens. This

size limitation restricts the conventional Web ad to a banner asking the

user to click ‘here’ for more information. This in turn provides en dless

creative restrictions (McDonald, 1997).

Radical Fragmentation It is very difficult for any given site to draw

enough attention to itself to attract an audience large enough to matter

to an advertiser.

8) WEB ADVERTISING SCENARIOS FOR THE NEAR – TERM FUTURE

Scenario #1: Web site Shakeout There are good reasons to question whether

the Web advertising pie will prove large enough to support the numerous

commercial Web sites that are counting on it for sustenance. Recent