The most recent report by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers, which shows that US Online Advertising spend totalled $16.9 billion last year, is just the latest piece of research extolling the benefits of Internet Marketing.
Definition of Internet Marketing
So, just what does internet marketing entail? It has become an essential part of the wider marketing landscape, but it is sometimes difficult to know exactly what the term encompasses.
In essence, internet marketing is any activity that a company or individual implements in order to attract an audience.
These practices may include search engine marketing (Google, Windows Live search, Yahoo and Ask.com), display advertising, viral campaigns, or any other methods of generating attention from the growing number of online consumers.
As well as this, internet marketing can encompass public relations, sales, and other factors that have a bearing on a business' online commerce.
Key Internet Marketing Benefits
One of the key benefits it offers is levelling the playing field for smaller companies. Traditional wide-reaching methods of advertising such as billboard or TV typically cost huge sums of money and are out of reach for all but the largest firms.
Online marketing campaigns, on the other hand, can be done by any business or individual with a website or a product to sell. Even bloggers can take advantage - provided they have a large enough readership, they can place advertisements on their sites.
For smaller businesses, internet marketing can help them expand from a local market to the wider international marketplace of the web. As well as reducing the need for a sales force (and the associated costs), web marketing can be tracked effectively and further tailored towards a specific audience.
Restrictions to Internet Marketing
Of course, the medium is restricted by factors such as slow internet connections and concerns over security, but these problems are steadily being overcome.
The UK has one of the highest rates of high-speed broadband penetration in the world, and globally around 300 million people have broadband access.
Meanwhile, developments in encryption technology are making online transactions ever-safer - so safe, in fact, that Verdict Research believes the online retail sector in the UK will triple in value within four years to £28.1 billion.
Source: Direct Traffic