Web Advertising

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