A Brief History of Internet Marketing: Part 2

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This is part two. See part one

Online sponsorships and banner ads were some of the first avenues for advertisers to reach Web site visitors with HotWired introducing graphical banner advertisements to the Web in 1994 (Fain, Penderson, 2005). These banners quickly became so pervasive that as early as 1998 the term “banner blindness” was coined.

Several studies “noted that a participant in a usability test overlooked an animated banner containing the information she was looking for. It may be that people searching for specific information on the web tend to ignore large, colorful items that are clearly distinguished from other items on the page. Ironically, they miss the very items the page designers want them to see and that would in fact help them reach their goal. We have dubbed this phenomenon “banner blindness” (Feist, 2002).

One year after the development of web banners, JavaScript was officially released by Netscape in 1995 (Champeon 2001), Internet marketers quickly found ways to manipulate JavaScript to produce pop-up windows and pop-under windows. There have even been lawsuits in connection with receiving these advertisements, “Miami attorney Andrew Tramont said AOL blocks customers’ access to its services during the time that the pop-up advertisements are on the screen. About 2.5 million AOL hourly plan subscribers since 1994” (CNN, 2000).
As the Flash player became more ubiquitous and approached a 99% installed base Flash ads entered the marketplace and Web site visitors and advertiser were given new options serve audio and video for the first time inside of advertisements.

“Sponsored search has evolved to satisfy users’ need for relevant search results and advertisers’ desire for qualified traffic to their websites, and it is now considered to be among the most effective marketing vehicles available. … In 1998, GoTo, later Overture Services, was the first to combine these elements. Yahoo! acquired Overture in 2003, re-branding it to Yahoo! Search Marketing in 2005. BeFirst – now MIVA – followed with a similar product in 1999. Google adopted the model and modified it to incorporate click feedback in 2002. In 2005, Ask Jeeves adopted it, and MSN Search extended it to support behavioral targeting.” (Fain, Penderson, 2005)

The latest forms of Internet communication involve Social media , the interactions between people and like minded groups of customers. Social media involve blogs and social sites like MySpace and Facebook. In the case of MySpace and Facebook brands often create profiles via these services to attract fans and as a method of informing and influencing. Along with these developments in Internet Marketing company’s of all sizes are reallocating their budgets to accommodate these new media into the traditional marketing mix of print, directmail, TV, radio, outdoor and event marketing.

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As the traditional marketing mix expands, marketing budgets reallocate to incorporate the new mix of opportunities. Reports this year from the UK indicated that as much as half of marketing budgets will be moved into Internet marketing for 2008 (Leggatt, 2008). In the U.S. the hospitality industry reported that for 2007 “a remarkable 68% of hoteliers … shift(ed) their budgets from offline to online marketing activities, representing a huge shift from traditional methods” (HeBS Team, 2007) .
From very humble beginnings Internet marketing has quickly come to the center of the marketing mix for many organizations both small and large.

(c) 2008, Rob Ainbinder

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