Advertising and Promotion
from Internet Business
A key factor driving the explosive growth of the Internet has been the very
low cost of self promotion using this new medium. The use of the Net for
promotion, and more recently for straight advertising, reflects a growing
recognition of the Net's ability to reach a narrow target audience, especially
where that audience is not confined to a limited geographical area. The
growth of serious commercial promotion and advertising is similarly starting
to reflect the demographics of the Net user base-high income younger adults
with limited free time.
In one sense, the use of the Net for Advertising and Promotion is very similar
to its general use for Content Production and
Publishing. However, these two areas play quite different economic roles.
The advertiser expects to pay to have her message reach its target audience
whereas the publisher aims to be paid by persons wishing to view/read her
works. While it has long been envisaged that a pay per view mechanism
which handled positive and negative payments might go a long way towards
serving both these needs, some other distinctions have emerged in practice.
The publishing role of the Net has enabled authors to reach an audience
without the constraints of volume, time and peer review normally involved
in print publishing. In meeting that need the Net has become a form of 'vanity
press' from which it is only a small step to more blatant self-promotion
and ultimately commercial advertising. However, the early Net community
idealised the traditions of academic research and deemed straight advertising
to be unacceptable, applying strong social pressures through various technical
mechanisms to keep it 'pure'. The coincident rise of the Web and of commercial
use of the Net has more recently provided an accepted opening for commercial
advertising, but it has certainly not removed the de facto advertising ban
from many other areas.
The use of computers for graphic design has provided the main link from
the advertising industry to the new technologies and it is expected that
progressive graphics design houses will play the primary role in realising
the Net's potential for commercial advertising and promotion. The cost of
acquiring facilities and additional skills needed to enter this market would
be over $100,000 for a small design house, but the potential returns to
those that make that move early and who can manage rapid growth will be
many times the initial capital cost.
 See Financial Transaction Processing