Online marketing has become an integral part of people’s lives, especially the ones living in urbanised surroundings. Everyday, we, as customers, are exposed to several publicity gimmicks, thrown at us in varied forms on the World Wide Web. Buying and selling of products and services on the Internet are the ‘in-thing’ in today’s business world.
When Internet was first introduced, very few businessmen actually realised its potential as a marketing tool. About 12 years go, the biggest of entrepreneurs declared it unfit for commercial purposes. Back then, it was just used for simpler tasks like emailing and data transfer.
One of the very first Internet service providers, Netscape, brought the online world into prominence by exploring its commercial potentiality. The company wanted the Web to be more accessible to people willing to buy and sell things online. In August, 1995, Netscape went public with its shares. Within weeks, public interest swelled up and advertisers lapped up at this golden opportunity. The wide reach, easy accessibility and cost-effectiveness of Internet made online marketing a highly sought-after service.
Netscape’s phenomenal success gave birth to the Internet boom that has gone on to affect global businesses in a major way. With time, this medium has gained prominence in the lives of entrepreneurs who wish to promote their business using this inexpensive and global platform. In fact, statistics also point to the immense success that this mass medium has sparked off. Americans and Europeans get the top honours in terms of marketing transactions held online. In fact, according to sources, more than one-third of Web users are into Online Marketing. This trend is predicted to dominate marketing circles, as reach of the Web threatens to overpower the impact of print and electronic forms of media.
Terms like search engine marketing, viral marketing, email marketing and affiliate marketing have been integrated into the wide sphere of the ‘virtual’ marketplace. Ideal for almost all types of products and services, irrespective of the size of the business, online marketing promises to reign the world of trade with its simple and effective guidelines.