online marketing

Online Marketing explained …


With the growing advancements in technology traditional marketing strategies have been pushed aside, and taken over by new innovative ones. Online marketing is the new norm. But what exactly is online marketing?

Online marketing is the promotion and sale of products and services over the internet. It is also known as “online advertising”, “internet marketing” or “e-marketing”.

One major benefit of online marketing is the immediate publishing of information and content that is not limited by geography or time.

Examples of online marketing include contextual ads on search engine result pages, banner ads, blogs, rich media ads, social network advertising, interstitial ads and even e-mail marketing, including e-mail spam.

Online advertising has taken the world by storm, since its introduction in the 1990s.

It is a huge part of our life as it impacts us every day, whether we realize it or not. Therefore it is useful to understand it. I came across an article, “The Rise and Fall of Online Advertising” by Rachel Arandilla and in her article Rachel runs us through the various forms of Online Advertising. She starts off by introducing us to the earliest form of Online Advertising and then talks us through its evolution into what it is today.

“Spamming – Earliest Form of Online Advertising”

”The internet was intentionally created as a military and educational tool, and never intended for what it is now: a huge networking, communications and moneymaking machine.”

The word spam was first introduced through a 1970’s British comedy by the name of Monty Python.

In the 1990s online marketers began to over post and flood internet groups and emails with junk mail – spam.

“Over 90 million spam emails are sent every day. 85% of our emails are actually spammed. But its level of effectiveness in promoting or selling a product is very low—it now barely exists as a nuisance to all.”

Thanks to advancements in technology most of the spam mail is directly sent to the junk mail section of our accounts, however this has still not prevented spam senders from being a nuisance to all internet users.

“The Era of Banner Ads”

”The first online advertisement appeared on the web in 1994, prompting the beginning of the online advertising world. The first part was the period of experimentation by the advertisers and publishers, pioneering in ad formats and technology. In 1995, DoubleClick was launched, one of the first ad-serving technologies.”

In the late 1990s online advertising was at its peak. The internet was the new playing field and investors loved the novelty factor of it. No one wanted to be left behind this money making machine.

These ads were, however, not that effective. They were expensive and had a very low return. Soon advertisers too realized that these online banner ads failed in contrast to the 30-second TV commercials and full page print ads.

 “Dot Com Bubble Burst”

By mid-2000 the huge influx of money that created the online advertising bubble started to dry up. Companies were no longer interested in online advertising and thus the online advertising bubble burst. As a result of this stock markets collapsed. The dot com ‘bubble’ lasted roughly four years, between 1997 and 2000.

“Enter Google: The Era of Google Ads”

Despite the bubble burst and thus the decline of advertising on the internet, search engine technology was becoming increasingly popular.

 At first Google had been just a search engine. But at the start of the millennium, Google AdWords was born. Google revolutionized online advertising by selling text ads which are based on search engines and are kept disjointed from the main results.

Google’s text ads succeeded where the banner ads failed. This is because Google knew the weight of relevancy. They introduced the click-through rate, creating a ranking algorithm to measure the advertisements’ relevance. Google only requires payment when the people click on them. It also introduced Page Rank.

”Although these models are open to abuse through click fraud, Google and others have devised automated systems against corrupt advertisers or competitors.”

“Advertising through Social Media”

In lay man’s terms, social media is a social tool for communications and networking. The website doesn’t just provide information anymore. They are more interactive now; providing you the means to share your likes, dislikes and opinions with the world.

“There are four types of Social Media:

1. Social Networking Tools – Facebook, Twitter, Hi-5

2. Social News – Reddit, Digg Propeller

3. Social Photo & Video Sharing – Photobucket, Flickr, YouTube

4. Social Bookmarking –, Simpy”

The biggest advantage of social media advertising is target marketing, by utilizing the user’s demographic information.

Due to the popularity of the internet, it is no surprise that Social media is more effective than traditional advertising. Nearly all businesses have a page or an account on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Social media is the best thing online advertising could get: it’s free, it’s far and wide-reaching (500 million users) and it’s viral. The disadvantage is probably measuring effectiveness of social media advertising, whether or not the number of ‘likes’, ‘friends’ or ‘follows’ could convert to actual sales.

“Online Advertising as of Today”

Online advertising has recovered since 2004. Advertisers have finally understood the importance of online advertisements. Due to the large number of hours spent by users on the internet, it has become essential that companies adapt and introduce new and innovative, catchy campaigns to grab the user’s attention. Today, companies make use of Flash and JavaScript to improve graphics and interactivity. There are now online blogs, social media, SEO marketing, and more.

Viral marketing has also become increasingly popular. Companies now make use of video ads to market a product or service. One popular example is the Old Spice video. To date, it has over 45 million views and counting. Other examples include Levi’s, Guitar Hero and The Super Bowl.

This does not mean that Online Advertising has now been perfected. Annoying pop up and pop under ads still persist. For example, the pre-roll ads that now appear on YouTube.

What now?

The question that now arises is what will happen next? What is the future of online advertising? Some fear another “Internet Bubble” burst. Let us hope that it doesn’t. Nowadays millions of people rely on the internet as a means of employment.

What do you believe will be the next big thing to come along and compete with social media marketing? Please add your comments below.

Online Marketing history source