Web Advertising Essay Research Paper Web advertising (стр. 1 из 3)

Web Advertising Essay, Research Paper

Web advertising, not to mention the Internet itself, finds itself in a

stage of relative infancy and therefore provides marketers with novel

challenges and situations which need to be dealt with caution . The realm

of Web advertising is unchartered terri tory! In terms of South Africa,

the country finds itsef somewhat behind technologically. However, this may

not prove to be a disadvantage as the uncertain nature of Web advertising

may make a policy of ‘watching and learning’ most viable. What

implications will this new technology have for marketing? What is the

nature of Web advertising? How can a business use the medium effectively ?

Where is all this going ? These questions appear to be most pertinent in

the process of understanding interact ive marketing on the Internet.

The qualified opinion of John Matthee, a Web site designer employed by

Adept Internet (an Internet service provider), was sought in accumulation

of a large sum of the following data. This seems appropriate as the

novelty of Web advertising at this stage h as led to generral lack of

academic data in the practicalities of advertising via this medium.


2.1) Original development of the Internet What was originally created by

the US military to provide a secure means of communication in case of

nuclear war, which has now become known as the Internet, has metamorphosed

into the strategic global communications tool of our era. The end of the

cold w ar left this massive installed structure – initially dubbed

ARPANET- without much of a purpose. Soon universities, major corporations

and governments began to piggyback on to the global framework, extending

its reach and commercialising it. Known as the N et to aficionados, the

Availability of cheap, accessible and easy-to-use Net access points

throughout the world has seen the number of global Internet users increase

dramatically each month. While the convenience of electronic mail was

initial catalyst for Internet growth world wide, it’s the emergence of the

World Wide Web (WWW) multimedia interface that has captured the attention

of prospective users across the globe. The resources available on the WWW

are as varied as they are extensive. There hundreds of thousands of sites

which can be broadly categorised under topics such as sport,

entertainment, finance and many more (Perlman, 1996).

2.2) Development of Internet in South Africa Perlman (1996, p 29) ventured

that ‘South Africa is major global Internet player. It currently rates in

the top 15 in the world terms of Internet growth rates.’ Local user

numbers are certainly fueled by universities, companies and schools. The

genesis of South Africa’s rapid Internet growth seems to stem from UniNet,

the Internet service offered to the countries major tertiary institutions

and steered from Rhod es University. This explains the phenomenon whereby

the majority of local Internet entrepreneurs – many of them are under

thirty and already multi-millionaires – come from tertiary education

backgrounds where they were weaned on readily available Internet

access. Popular ‘browser’ client software for navigating the multimedia

WWW includes Netscape and Microsoft Internet Explorer. On the other end,

there exist approximately 30 local companies which call themselves ISP’s

(Internet Service Providers), which operate in similar fashion to a

cellular company such as Vodacom, providing either dial-up connections to

the Internet and/or leased line connectivity to companies. This has led to

the explosion of a number of related ventures, such as companies who speci

alise in producing multimedia web pages (such as Adept Internet), Internet

commerce, cable companies and modem suppliers (Perlman, 1996).

2.3) Technological Implications for Marketing Joseph (1996, p. 29)

concisely described the situation as such: ‘ Marketing, like most business

disciplines, is undergoing a period of change as a direct result of the

information revolution. The rapidly declining costs of and increasing

power of information processing technology is altering the in which

customers and businesses relate to each other. Marketers, however should

be cautious not to attempt a quantum leap from more traditional meth ods

as this is sure to bring issues such as lack expertise to the fore which

could prove disastrous (Steyn, 1996). Essentially, the point is that as a

marketing drive, the additional services supplied by technology provides

the marketer with the opportunity to gain an edge in the race to win the

consumer. More and more, new technology appears to be focusing on the add

ition of value. On an individual level, for example, the marketer may use

the technology to make himself more accessible to the consumer thus adding

to his service levels. A company may realise added value by investing in

expensive multimedia kiosks which

introduce the subject of interactive marketing (Joseph, 1996). The

emergence of new and revolutionary technology forms a double-bladed sword,

as it can represent both an opportunity and a threat to the business. In

particular, this technology places an interesting and novel challenge on

the shoulders of the modern da y marketer. The failure to utilise these

developments can put the business at a great competitive disadvantage

while even the practical application of the technology can provide major

problems caused simply by the novelty of the options, a general lack of

expertise and the difficulty of accurate prediction (David, 1997). The

process must begin with the individual himself. A marketer who is not

pushing the bounds of personal technological progression is most likely

not inclined to do the same for the company (Joseph, 1996). Joseph (1996,

p.29) concluded that ‘The Internet, multi-faceted appliances and even the

creation of new applications for old technology are all the domain of the

marketing visionary.’


Internationally, the Internet medium is successfully selling everything

from nuts and bolts to motorcars, property and traditional mail order

products. A pertinent question that arises is: ‘What forces led to either

the accidental emergence of interactive

marketing on the internet or the realisation of a need for the

development of an alternative marketing medium that satisfied specific

consumer or marketer needs?’ Steyn (1996, p.13) introduces the concept of

interactive marketing through the words:’Interactive marketing uses new

technologies to overcome practical database and direct marketing problems

whilst building more rewarding customer relationships’.

From the marketers’ point of view, interactivity, is the convergence of

three main advertising functions or activities: direct marketing, sales

promotion and conventional above the line advertising. The developments

allowed by interactive marketing throug h the Internet focus mainly on how

profitable market segments were identified and how these segments were

reached. Interactivity allows the opportunity to track individual

customers one at a time and to build individual relationships with each.

This indic ates the vast benefits that Internet interactivity supply in

terms of database formulation, management and utilisation. However, the

main challenge that does and will continue to plague advertisers in the

future will be persuading the viewer to try the se rvice. Interactivity

has three core characteristics: * Offer much more information than a

television advertisement. * Requires the conventional copywriting skills

combined with those of the direct marketer to turn the browsing viewers

into sales prospects. * The emphasis, simply due the nature of the medium,

is more likely to be on sales promotion type tools to entice the viewers

to visit an ad and then on constantly refreshing the content and creative

treatment, to ensure that they revisit it (Steyn, 1996) . The issues of

the nature of the Internet as an advertising medium and the creation and

maintenance of an Internet web site are addressed fully in sections 7) and

6.3) respectively. CD-ROM technology is unique in its ability to combine

vital parts of promotion, that is: print, audio and visual messages in a

package that can be distributed according to a random access database.

(Steyn, 1996).

Clever marketers are using the medium to draw buyers closer to their

companies as a whole and not just closer to the products or services they

provide. This emphasises the advantages interactive marketing provides in

terms of creating stronger, more unde rstanding relationships with


The introduction of interactive marketing and specifically interactive

advertising heralds the beginning of an era where customers will choose

the advertising they wish to see, when they want to see it. This proves to

be a hallmark of the contemporary con sumer who is far more informed than

his blindly accepting predecessors have been. Consumers of today are

evermore demanding personalised attention from businesses that wish to

serve them. Furthermore, the very fact that the modern consumer is better

infor med fuels his need for informed transactions with businesses. The

modern consumer wants to know what product he is buying, what its detailed

characteristics are, how he can expect it to perform, what alternatives he

is faced with and why he should pay the

offered price for it. The nature of interactive marketing on the Internet

provides an ideal medium for the satisfaction of the demanding modern day

consumer. It is obviously of critical importance that a marketer

recognises these needs and develops syste ms for satisfying them, hence,

interactive marketing on the Internet.

Steyn (1996, p.13) boldly concludes that ‘There is therefore no doubt

that interactive marketing is helping to overcome practical database and

direct marketing problems while building more rewarding customer


Online shopping Online shopping is an element of interactive marketing

that has found itself under the spotlight since its recent inception.

Virtual retail sites on the Web continue to grow. Some sites are purely

promotional while on the other extreme consumers are promised the lowest

prices as the product is drop-shipped directly from the manufacturer

(Swart, 1996). Anyhow, the Internet as a shopping mall has not enjoyed a

favourable reputation as it is seen as a golden opportunity for

sophisticated thieves to obtain credit card numbers from the cable. As a

result businesses have shied from any Net-based commerce. As

a result the Web has been trapped in a form of time warp, usable only as

an information medium and not as a transaction medium. Of the thousands of

South African companies on the Web, few offer anything more than highly

informative web sites which still leave the consumer wondering: ‘I wish

the Internet could take me that one step further, SAFELY’. However, the

tide is swiftly changing due to bold technology and business moves. The

improved security and growth if the electronic-commerce infrastructure ha

s prompted optimistic projections for the future of interactive online

sales. Furthermore, South Africa suffers from an intolerable postal

problem and an effective home delivery system would have to be developed

for home shopping to be viable (Rath, 1997). However, thoughts of an

unrivalled ability to compare products, to be provid ed with product

information and to be shown product demonstrations and alternative views

will spur the quest for a workable online shopping system with great

urgency. Recently a groundbreaking development in online shopping was made

by M-Web in collaboration with over a thousand tenants ranging from large

corporations such as ABSA to small retailers and service providers. Bruce

Cohen, general manager of M-Web interact ive, claims that ‘The M-Web mall

is designed to accelerate interest in online shopping by providing a

one-stop shopping environment under on virtual roof.’


4.1) The Nature of Web advertising

It is estimated that there is more than five million commercial pages on

the Web, more than 100 companies are going online daily and that

‘net-watching’ has become a dedicated function within more progressive

firms. Furthermore, companies that are online are more inclined to use

this facility as a means for communicating new product developments (Rath,

1997). In practice, great achievements are being made in the sphere of

Web advertising as the initial novelty of the concept wears off and

experts in the field become more accustomed to the characteristics and

dynamics of the Internet as an advertising tool (J. Matthee, personal

communication, 20 April 1998). Nevertheless, the Internet is not yet a

proven advertising medium and as such is untested, unregulated and

unrefined (Swart.1996). This very situation often results in wise

businesses approaching Internet advertising companies that possess the

necessary expertise to advertise effectively on the Internet. The

Internet’s lack of intrusiveness as a medium (see Section 7) implies that

direct marketing requires action by the consumer. In order to induce this

required action, an advertiser needs to know his audience intensely in

order to be able to entice brows ers to enter the site. Therefore, it is

the responsibility of the advertising agency not only to incorporate

above-the-line strategies but also to include the below-the-line

strategies in all their Internet clients’ campaigns

4.2) Web advertising Channels

The origins of Web advertising are ironically rooted in what many consider

as a frustrating method called ’spamming’ whereby messages concerning

products or business information were sent at random to Internet users

e-mail addresses. This crude form of ad vertising can be likened to common

junkmail found in a postbox among things of relevance such as personal

mail and bills. Things have progresses somewhat and a number of channels

have become available to the business interested in Web advertising and

rega rdless of which channel is decided upon it is common practice to

approach an online agency for aide (J. Matthee, pesonal communication, 20

April 1998).

Creating an Electrical Storefront Thousands of businesses have established

a home page on the Internet which offer a wide variety of information such

as: descriptions of the company and its products; a company catalogue

describing product’s features, availability and prices, company news,

opportunities to speak with staff members and the ability to place an

order before leaving the site. The main objective of these sites is brand

building. Another aim may be to support an event and in this case the page

may be temporary. When a company decides to open an electronic storefront

it has two choices: 1) The company can open its own store on the Internet

through a Web server or; 2) The company can buy a location on commercial

online service. The online service will typically design the electronic

storefront for the company and advertise its addition to the shopping mall

for a limited period of time (Kotler, 1997).

Participating in Forums, Newsgroups and Bulletin Boards These groups are

not designed for commercial purposes especially but participation may

improve a company’s visibility and credibility. Bulletin boards are

specialised online services that centre on a specific topic or group.

Forums are discussion groups l ocated on commercial online services and

may operate a library, a conference room for real time chatting, and even

a classified advertisement directory. Finally, newsgroups are the

Internets version of forums, but are limited to people posting and message

s on a particular topic, rather than managing libraries or conferencing

(Kotler, 1997).

Placing Advertisements Online A number of ways exist for companies or

individuals or companies who wish to place advertisements on commercial

online services. Firstly, major commercial online services offer an

advertisement section for listing classified advertisements whereby the


are listed according to when they arrived with the most recent arrivals

topping the list. Secondly, ads can be placed in certain newsgroups that

are set up for commercial purposes. Thirdly, ads can be placed on online