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Advertising is a form of communication intended to persuade an audience (viewers, readers or listeners) to purchase or take some action upon products, ideals, or services. It includes the name of a product or service and how that product or service could benefit the consumer, to persuade a target market to purchase or to consume that particular brand. These brands are usually paid for or identified through sponsors and viewed via various media. Advertising can also serve to communicate an idea to a mass amount of people in an attempt to convince them to take a certain action, such as encouraging 'environmentally friendly' behaviors, and even unhealthy behaviors through food consumption, video game and television viewing promotion, and a "lazy man" routine through a loss of exercise. Modern advertising developed with the rise of mass production in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Mass media can be defined as any media meant to reach a mass amount of people. Several types of mass media are television, internet, radio, news programs, and published pictures and articles.
Commercial advertisers often seek to generate increased consumption of their products or services through branding, which involves the repetition of an image or product name in an effort to associate related qualities with the brand in the minds of consumers. Different types of media can be used to deliver these messages, including traditional media such as newspapers, magazines, television, radio, outdoor or direct mail; or new media such as websites and text messages. Advertising may be placed by an advertising agency on behalf of a company or other organization.
Non-commercial advertisers that spend money to advertise items other than a consumer product or service include political parties, interest groups, religious organizations and governmental agencies. Nonprofit organizations may rely on free modes of persuasion, such as a public service announcement.
Egyptians used papyrus to make sales messages and wall posters. Commercial messages and political campaign displays have been found in the ruins of Pompeii and ancient Arabia. Lost and found advertising on papyrus was common in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. Wall or rock painting for commercial advertising is another manifestation of an ancient advertising form, which is present to this day in many parts of Asia, Africa, and South America. The tradition of wall painting can be traced back to Indian rock art paintings that date back to 4000 BC. History tells us that Out-of-home advertising and billboards are the oldest forms of advertising.
As the towns and cities of the Middle Ages began to grow, and the general populace was unable to read, signs that today would say cobbler, miller, tailor or blacksmith would use an image associated with their trade such as a boot, a suit, a hat, a clock, a diamond, a horse shoe, a candle or even a bag of flour. Fruits and vegetables were sold in the city square from the backs of carts and wagons and their proprietors used street callers (town criers) to announce their whereabouts for the convenience of the customers.
As education became an apparent need and reading, as well as printing, developed advertising expanded to include handbills. In the 17th century advertisements started to appear in weekly newspapers in England. These early print advertisements were used mainly to promote books and newspapers, which became increasingly affordable with advances in the printing press; and medicines, which were increasingly sought after as disease ravaged Europe. However, false advertising and so-called "quack" advertisements became a problem, which ushered in the regulation of advertising content.
As the economy expanded during the 19th century, advertising grew alongside. In the United States, the success of this advertising format eventually led to the growth of mail-order advertising.
In June 1836, French newspaper La Presse was the first to include paid advertising in its pages, allowing it to lower its price, extend its readership and increase its profitability and the formula was soon copied by all titles. Around 1840, Volney B. Palmer established a predecessor to advertising agencies in Boston. Around the same time, in France, Charles-Louis Havas extended the services of his news agency, Havas to include advertisement brokerage, making it the first French group to organize. At first, agencies were brokers for advertisement space in newspapers. N. W. Ayer & Son was the first full-service agency to assume responsibility for advertising content. N.W. Ayer opened in 1869, and was located in Philadelphia.
In the early 1920s, the first radio stations were established by radio equipment manufacturers and retailers who offered programs in order to sell more radios to consumers. As time passed, many non-profit organizations followed suit in setting up their own radio stations, and included: schools, clubs and civic groups. When the practice of sponsoring programs was popularised, each individual radio program was usually sponsored by a single business in exchange for a brief mention of the business' name at the beginning and end of the sponsored shows. However, radio station owners soon realised they could earn more money by selling sponsorship rights in small time allocations to multiple businesses throughout their radio station's broadcasts, rather than selling the sponsorship rights to single businesses per show.
In the early 1950s, the DuMont Television Network began the modern practice of selling advertisement time to multiple sponsors. Previously, DuMont had trouble finding sponsors for many of their programs and compensated by selling smaller blocks of advertising time to several businesses. This eventually became the standard for the commercial television industry in the United States. However, it was still a common practice to have single sponsor shows, such as The United States Steel Hour. In some instances the sponsors exercised great control over the content of the showup to and including having one's advertising agency actually writing the show. The single sponsor model is much less prevalent now, a notable exception being the Hallmark Hall of Fame.
The 1960s saw advertising transform into a modern approach in which creativity was allowed to shine, producing unexpected messages that made advertisements more tempting to consumers' eyes. The Volkswagen ad campaignfeaturing such headlines as "Think Small" and "Lemon" (which were used to describe the appearance of the car)ushered in the era of modern advertising by promoting a "position" or "unique selling proposition" designed to associate each brand with a specific idea in the reader or viewer's mind. This period of American advertising is called the Creative Revolution and its archetype was William Bernbach who helped create the revolutionary Volkswagen ads among others. Some of the most creative and long-standing American advertising dates to this period.
The late 1980s and early 1990s saw the introduction of cable television and particularly MTV. Pioneering the concept of the music video, MTV ushered in a new type of advertising: the consumer tunes in for the advertising message, rather than it being a by-product or afterthought. As cable and satellite television became increasingly prevalent, specialty channels emerged, including channels entirely devoted to advertising, such as QVC, Home Shopping Network, and ShopTV Canada.
Marketing through the Internet opened new frontiers for advertisers and contributed to the "dot-com" boom of the 1990s. Entire corporations operated solely on advertising revenue, offering everything from coupons to free Internet access. At the turn of the 21st century, a number of websites including the search engine Google, started a change in online advertising by emphasizing contextually relevant, unobtrusive ads intended to help, rather than inundate, users. This has led to a plethora of similar efforts and an increasing trend of interactive advertising.
The share of advertising spending relative to GDP has changed little across large changes in media. For example, in the US in 1925, the main advertising media were newspapers, magazines, signs on streetcars, and outdoor posters. Advertising spending as a share of GDP was about 2.9 percent. By 1998, television and radio had become major advertising media. Nonetheless, advertising spending as a share of GDP was slightly lowerabout 2.4 percent.
A recent advertising innovation is "guerrilla marketing", which involve unusual approaches such as staged encounters in public places, giveaways of products such as cars that are covered with brand messages, and interactive advertising where the viewer can respond to become part of the advertising message.Guerrilla advertising is becoming increasing more popular with a lot of companies. This type of advertising is unpredictable and innovative, which causes consumers to buy the product or idea. This reflects an increasing trend of interactive and "embedded" ads, such as via product placement, having consumers vote through text messages, and various innovations utilizing social network services such as Facebook.
The same advertising techniques used to promote commercial goods and services can be used to inform, educate and motivate the public about non-commercial issues, such as HIV/AIDS, political ideology, energy conservation and deforestation.
Advertising, in its non-commercial guise, is a powerful educational tool capable of reaching and motivating large audiences. "Advertising justifies its existence when used in the public interestit is much too powerful a tool to use solely for commercial purposes." Attributed to Howard Gossage by David Ogilvy.
Public service advertising, non-commercial advertising, public interest advertising, cause marketing, and social marketing are different terms for (or aspects of) the use of sophisticated advertising and marketing communications techniques (generally associated with commercial enterprise) on behalf of non-commercial, public interest issues and initiatives.
In the United States, the granting of television and radio licenses by the FCC is contingent upon the station broadcasting a certain amount of public service advertising. To meet these requirements, many broadcast stations in America air the bulk of their required public service announcements during the late night or early morning when the smallest percentage of viewers are watching, leaving more day and prime time commercial slots available for high-paying advertisers.
Public service advertising reached its height during World Wars I and II under the direction of more than one government.
The marketing mix has been the key concept to advertising. The marketing mix was suggested by Jeremy McCarthy, professor at Harvard Business School, in the 1960s. The marketing mix consists of four basic elements called the four Ps Product is the first P representing the actual product. Price represents the process of determining the value of a product. Place represents the variables of getting the product to the consumer like distribution channels, market coverage and movement organization. The last P stands for Promotion which is the process of reaching the target market and convincing them to go out and buy the product.Geana, Mugur Valentin.
Virtually any medium can be used for advertising. Commercial advertising media can include wall paintings, billboards, street furniture components, printed flyers and rack cards, radio, cinema and television adverts, web banners, mobile telephone screens, shopping carts, web popups, skywriting, bus stop benches, human billboards, magazines, newspapers, town criers, sides of buses, banners attached to or sides of airplanes ("logojets"), in-flight advertisements on seatback tray tables or overhead storage bins, taxicab doors, roof mounts and passenger screens, musical stage shows, subway platforms and trains, elastic bands on disposable diapers,doors of bathroom stalls,stickers on apples in supermarkets, shopping cart handles (grabertising), the opening section of streaming audio and video, posters, and the backs of event tickets and supermarket receipts. Any place an "identified" sponsor pays to deliver their message through a medium is advertising.
Sales promotions are another way to advertise. Sales promotions are double purposed because they are used to gather information about what type of customers you draw in and where they are, and to jumpstart sales. Sales promotions include things like contests and games, sweepstakes, product giveaways, samples coupons, loyalty programs, and discounts. The ultimate goal of sales promotions is to stimulate potential customers to action. 
Increasingly, other media are overtaking many of the "traditional" media such as television, radio and newspaper because of a shift toward consumer's usage of the Internet for news and music as well as devices like digital video recorders (DVRs) such as TiVo.
Advertising on the World Wide Web is a recent phenomenon. Prices of Web-based advertising space are dependent on the "relevance" of the surrounding web content and the traffic that the website receives.
Digital signage is poised to become a major mass media because of its ability to reach larger audiences for less money. Digital signage also offer the unique ability to see the target audience where they are reached by the medium. Technology advances has also made it possible to control the message on digital signage with much precision, enabling the messages to be relevant to the target audience at any given time and location which in turn, gets more response from the advertising. Digital signage is being successfully employed in supermarkets. Another successful use of digital signage is in hospitality locations such as restaurants. and malls.
E-mail advertising is another recent phenomenon. Unsolicited bulk E-mail advertising is known as "e-mail spam". Spam has been a problem for email users for many years.
Some companies have proposed placing messages or corporate logos on the side of booster rockets and the International Space Station. Controversy exists on the effectiveness of subliminal advertising (see mind control), and the pervasiveness of mass messages (see propaganda).
Unpaid advertising (also called "publicity advertising"), can provide good exposure at minimal cost. Personal recommendations ("bring a friend", "sell it"), spreading buzz, or achieving the feat of equating a brand with a common noun (in the United States, "Xerox" = "photocopier", "Kleenex" = tissue, "Vaseline" = petroleum jelly, "Hoover" = vacuum cleaner, "Nintendo" (often used by those exposed to many video games) = video games, and "Band-Aid" = adhesive bandage) these can be seen as the pinnacle of any advertising campaign. However, some companies oppose the use of their brand name to label an object. Equating a brand with a common noun also risks turning that brand into a genericized trademark - turning it into a generic term which means that its legal protection as a trademark is lost.
As the mobile phone became a new mass media in 1998 when the first paid downloadable content appeared on mobile phones in Finland, it was only a matter of time until mobile advertising followed, also first launched in Finland in 2000. By 2007 the value of mobile advertising had reached $2.2 billion and providers such as Admob delivered billions of mobile ads.
More advanced mobile ads include banner ads, coupons, Multimedia Messaging Service picture and video messages, advergames and various engagement marketing campaigns. A particular feature driving mobile ads is the 2D Barcode, which replaces the need to do any typing of web addresses, and uses the camera feature of modern phones to gain immediate access to web content. 83 percent of Japanese mobile phone users already are active users of 2D barcodes.
A new form of advertising that is growing rapidly is social network advertising. It is online advertising with a focus on social networking sites. This is a relatively immature market, but it has shown a lot of promise as advertisers are able to take advantage of the demographic information the user has provided to the social networking site. Friendertising is a more precise advertising term in which people are able to direct advertisements toward others directly using social network service.
From time to time, The CW Television Network airs short programming breaks called "Content Wraps," to advertise one company's product during an entire commercial break. The CW pioneered "content wraps" and some products featured were Herbal Essences, Crest, Guitar Hero II, CoverGirl, and recently Toyota.
Recently, there appeared a new promotion concept, "ARvertising", advertising on Augmented Reality technology.
With the dawn of the Internet came many new advertising opportunities. Popup, Flash, banner, Popunder, advergaming, and email advertisements (the last often being a form of spam) are now commonplace. Particularly since the rise of "entertaining" advertising, some people may like an advertisement enough to wish to watch it later or show a friend. In general, the advertising community has not yet made this easy, although some have used the Internet to widely distribute their ads to anyone willing to see or hear them. In the last three quarters of 2009 mobile and internet advertising grew by 18.1% and 9.2% respectively. Older media advertising saw declines: .1% (TV), .7% (radio), .8% (magazines) and .7% (newspapers ).
Another significant trend regarding future of advertising is the growing importance of the niche market using niche or targeted ads. Also brought about by the Internet and the theory of The Long Tail, advertisers will have an increasing ability to reach specific audiences. In the past, the most efficient way to deliver a message was to blanket the largest mass market audience possible. However, usage tracking, customer profiles and the growing popularity of niche content brought about by everything from blogs to social networking sites, provide advertisers with audiences that are smaller but much better defined, leading to ads that are more relevant to viewers and more effective for companies' marketing products. Among others, Comcast Spotlight is one such advertiser employing this method in their video on demand menus. These advertisements are targeted to a specific group and can be viewed by anyone wishing to find out more about a particular business or practice at any time, right from their home. This causes the viewer to become proactive and actually choose what advertisements they want to view.
The concept of crowdsourcing has given way to the trend of user-generated advertisements. User-generated ads are created by consumers as opposed to an advertising agency or the company themselves, most often they are a result of brand sponsored advertising competitions. For the 2007 Super Bowl, the Frito-Lays division of PepsiCo held the Crash the Super Bowl contest, allowing consumers to create their own Doritos commercial. Chevrolet held a similar competition for their Tahoe line of SUVs. Due to the success of the Doritos user-generated ads in the 2007 Super Bowl, Frito-Lays relaunched the competition for the 2009 and 2010 Super Bowl. The resulting ads were among the most-watched and most-liked Super Bowl ads. In fact, the winning ad that aired in the 2009 Super Bowl was ranked by the USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter as the top ad for the year while the winning ads that aired in the 2010 Super Bowl were found by Nielsen's BuzzMetrics to be the "most buzzed-about".
This trend has given rise to several online platforms that host user-generated advertising competitions on behalf of a company. Founded in 2007, Zooppa has launched ad competitions for brands such as Google, Nike, Hersheys, General Mills, Microsoft, NBC Universal, Zinio, and Mini Cooper. Crowdsourced advertisements have gained popularity in part to its cost effective nature, high consumer engagement, and ability to generate word-of-mouth. However, it remains controversial, as the long-term impact on the advertising industry is still unclear.
There have been increasing efforts to protect the public interest by regulating the content and the influence of advertising. Some examples are: the ban on television tobacco advertising imposed in many countries, and the total ban of advertising to children under 12 imposed by the Swedish government in 1991. Though that regulation continues in effect for broadcasts originating within the country, it has been weakened by the European Court of Justice, which had found that Sweden was obliged to accept foreign programming, including those from neighboring countries or via satellite. Greeces regulations are of a similar nature, banning advertisements for children's toys between 7 am and 10 pm and a total ban on advertisement for war toys".
In Europe and elsewhere, there is a vigorous debate on whether (or how much) advertising to children should be regulated. This debate was exacerbated by a report released by the Kaiser Family Foundation in February 2004 which suggested fast food advertising that targets children was an important factor in the epidemic of childhood obesity in the United States.
In New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, and many European countries, the advertising industry operates a system of self-regulation. Advertisers, advertising agencies and the media agree on a code of advertising standards that they attempt to uphold. The general aim of such codes is to ensure that any advertising is 'legal, decent, honest and truthful'. Some self-regulatory organizations are funded by the industry, but remain independent, with the intent of upholding the standards or codes like the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK.
In the UK most forms of outdoor advertising such as the display of billboards is regulated by the UK Town and County Planning system. Currently the display of an advertisement without consent from the Planning Authority is a criminal offense liable to a fine of £2,500 per offence. All of the major outdoor billboard companies in the UK have convictions of this nature.
Naturally, many advertisers view governmental regulation or even self-regulation as intrusion of their freedom of speech or a necessary evil. Therefore, they employ a wide-variety of linguistic devices to bypass regulatory laws (e.g. printing English words in bold and French translations in fine print to deal with the Article 120 of the 1994 Toubon Law limiting the use of English in French advertising). The advertisement of controversial products such as cigarettes and condoms are subject to government regulation in many countries. For instance, the tobacco industry is required by law in most countries to display warnings cautioning consumers about the health hazards of their products. Linguistic variation is often used by advertisers as a creative device to reduce the impact of such requirements.
Advertising has gone through five major stages of development: domestic, export, international, multi-national, and global. For global advertisers, there are four, potentially competing, business objectives that must be balanced when developing worldwide advertising: building a brand while speaking with one voice, developing economies of scale in the creative process, maximising local effectiveness of ads, and increasing the companys speed of implementation. Born from the evolutionary stages of global marketing are the three primary and fundamentally different approaches to the development of global advertising executions: exporting executions, producing local executions, and importing ideas that travel.
Advertising research is key to determining the success of an ad in any country or region. The ability to identify which elements and/or moments of an ad that contributes to its success is how economies of scale are maximised. Once one knows what works in an ad, that idea or ideas can be imported by any other market. Market research measures, such as Flow of Attention, Flow of Emotion and branding moments provide insight into what is working in an ad in any country or region because the measures are based on the visual, not verbal, elements of the ad.
In the realm of advertising agencies, continued industry diversification has seen observers note that big global clients don't need big global agencies any more. This is reflected by the growth of non-traditional agencies in various global markets, such as Canadian business TAXI and SMART in Australia and has been referred to as "a revolution in the ad world".
The ability to record shows on digital video recorders (such as TiVo) allow users to record the programs for later viewing, enabling them to fast forward through commercials. Additionally, as more seasons of pre-recorded box sets are offered for sale of television programs; fewer people watch the shows on TV. However, the fact that these sets are sold, means the company will receive additional profits from the sales of these sets. To counter this effect, many advertisers have opted for product placement on TV shows like Survivor.
Advertising education has become widely popular with bachelor, master and doctorate degrees becoming available in the emphasis. A surge in advertising interest is typically attributed to the strong relationship advertising plays in cultural and technological changes, such as the advance of online social networking. A unique model for teaching advertising is the student-run advertising agency, where advertising students create campaigns for real companies. Organizations such as American Advertising Federation and AdU Network partner established companies with students to create these campaigns.
Evidence-based advertising refers to advertising principles, which have been proven through experimental studies. They can be applied to an advertising campaign with high confidence of increasing persuasiveness regardless of time and place. Principles are usually accompanied with various conditions, which must be taken into consideration when applying them. According to Professor J. Scott Armstrong from The Wharton School, evidence-based principles draw upon typical practice, expert opinion, factual evidence and empirical evidence.
Marketing is the process by which companies create customer interest in products or services. It generates the strategy that underlies sales techniques, business communication, and business development. It is an integrated process through which companies build strong customer relationships and create value for their customers and for themselves.
Marketing is used to identify the customer, to keep the customer, and to satisfy the customer. With the customer as the focus of its activities, it can be concluded that marketing management is one of the major components of business management.Marketing evolved to meet the stasis in developing new markets caused by mature markets and overcapacities in the last 2-3 centuries. The adoption of marketing strategies requires businesses to shift their focus from production to the perceived needs and wants of their customers as the means of staying profitable.
The term marketing concept holds that achieving organizational goals depends on knowing the needs and wants of target markets and delivering the desired satisfactions. It proposes that in order to satisfy its organizational objectives, an organization should anticipate the needs and wants of consumers and satisfy these more effectively than competitors.
Marketing is defined by the American Marketing Association (AMA) as "the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large." The term developed from the original meaning which referred literally to going to a market to buy or sell goods or services. Seen from a systems point of view, sales process engineering views marketing as "a set of processes that are interconnected and interdependent with other functions, whose methods can be improved using a variety of relatively new approaches."
The Chartered Institute of Marketing defines marketing as "the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably." A different concept is the value-based marketing which states the role of marketing to contribute to increasing shareholder value. In this context, marketing is defined as "the management process that seeks to maximise returns to shareholders by developing relationships with valued customers and creating a competitive advantage."
Marketing practice tended to be seen as a creative industry in the past, which included advertising, distribution and selling. However, because the academic study of marketing makes extensive use of social sciences, psychology, sociology, mathematics, economics, anthropology and neuroscience, the profession is now widely recognized as a science, allowing numerous universities to offer Master-of-Science (MSc) programmes. The overall process starts with marketing research and goes through market segmentation, business planning and execution, ending with pre and post-sales promotional activities. It is also related to many of the creative arts. The marketing literature is also adept at re-inventing itself and its vocabulary according to the times and the culture.
An orientation, in the marketing context, related to a perception or attitude a firm holds towards its product or service, essentially concerning consumers and end-users. Throughout history marketing has changed considerably as consumer tastes are changing faster.
|Orientation||Profit driver||Western European timeframe||Description|
|Production||Production methods||until the 1950s||A firm focusing on a production orientation specializes in producing as much as possible of a given product or service. Thus, this signifies a firm exploiting economies of scale, until the minimum efficient scale is reached. A production orientation may be deployed when a high demand for a product or service exists, coupled with a good certainty that consumer tastes do not rapidly alter (similar to the sales orientation).|
|Product||Quality of the product||until the 1960s||A firm employing a product orientation is chiefly concerned with the quality of its own product. A firm would also assume that as long as its product was of a high standard, people would buy and consume the product.|
|Selling||Selling methods||1950s and 1960s||A firm using a sales orientation focuses primarily on the selling/promotion of a particular product, and not determining new consumer desires as such. Consequently, this entails simply selling an already existing product, and using promotion techniques to attain the highest sales possible.
Such an orientation may suit scenarios in which a firm holds dead stock, or otherwise sells a product that is in high demand, with little likelihood of changes in consumer tastes diminishing demand.
|Marketing||Needs and wants of customers||1970 to present day||The 'marketing orientation' is perhaps the most common orientation used in contemporary marketing. It involves a firm essentially basing its marketing plans around the marketing concept, and thus supplying products to suit new consumer tastes. As an example, a firm would employ market research to gauge consumer desires, use R&D to develop a product attuned to the revealed information, and then utilize promotion techniques to ensure persons know the product exists.|
Recent approaches in marketing is the relationship marketing with focus on the customer, the business marketing or industrial marketing with focus on an organization or institution and the social marketing with focus on benefits to the society. New forms of marketing also use the internet and are therefore called internet marketing or more generally e-marketing, online marketing, search engine marketing, desktop advertising or affiliate marketing. It tries to perfect the segmentation strategy used in traditional marketing. It targets its audience more precisely, and is sometimes called personalized marketing or one-to-one marketing.
|Orientation||Profit driver||Western European timeframe||Description|
|Relationship marketing / Relationship management||Building and keeping good customer relations||1960s to present day||Emphasis is placed on the whole relationship between suppliers and customers. The aim is to give the best possible attention, customer services and therefore build customer loyalty.|
|Business marketing / Industrial marketing||Building and keeping relationships between organizations||1980s to present day||In this context marketing takes place between businesses or organizations. The product focus lies on industrial goods or capital goods than consumer products or end products. A different form of marketing activities like promotion, advertising and communication to the customer is used.|
|Social marketing||Benefit to society||1990s to present day||
Similar characteristics as marketing orientation but with the added proviso that there will be a curtailment on any harmful activities to society, in either product, production, or selling methods.
A firm in the market economy survives by producing goods that persons are willing and able to buy. Consequently, ascertaining consumer demand is vital for a firm's future viability and even existence as a going concern. Many companies today have a customer focus (or market orientation). This implies that the company focuses its activities and products on consumer demands. Generally there are three ways of doing this: the customer-driven approach, the sense of identifying market changes and the product innovation approach.
In the consumer-driven approach, consumer wants are the drivers of all strategic marketing decisions. No strategy is pursued until it passes the test of consumer research. Every aspect of a market offering, including the nature of the product itself, is driven by the needs of potential consumers. The starting point is always the consumer. The rationale for this approach is that there is no point spending R&D funds developing products that people will not buy. History attests to many products that were commercial failures in spite of being technological breakthroughs.
A formal approach to this customer-focused marketing is known as SIVA (Solution, Information, Value, Access). This system is basically the four Ps renamed and reworded to provide a customer focus. The SIVA Model provides a demand/customer centric version alternative to the well-known 4Ps supply side model (product, price, placement, promotion) of marketing management.
If any of the 4Ps had a problem or were not there in the marketing factor of the business, the business could be in trouble and so other companies may appear in the surroundings of the company, so the consumer demand on its products will become less.
In this sense, a firm's marketing department is often seen as of prime importance within the functional level of an organization. Information from an organization's marketing department would be used to guide the actions of other departments within the firm. As an example, a marketing department could ascertain (via marketing research) that consumers desired a new type of product, or a new usage for an existing product. With this in mind, the marketing department would inform the R&D department to create a prototype of a product/service based on consumers' new desires.
The production department would then start to manufacture the product, while the marketing department would focus on the promotion, distribution, pricing, etc. of the product. Additionally, a firm's finance department would be consulted, with respect to securing appropriate funding for the development, production and promotion of the product. Inter-departmental conflicts may occur, should a firm adhere to the marketing orientation. Production may oppose the installation, support and servicing of new capital stock, which may be needed to manufacture a new product. Finance may oppose the required capital expenditure, since it could undermine a healthy cash flow for the organization.
Herd behavior in marketing is used to explain the dependencies of customers' mutual behavior. The Economist reported a recent conference in Rome on the subject of the simulation of adaptive human behavior. It shared mechanisms to increase impulse buying and get people "to buy more by playing on the herd instinct." The basic idea is that people will buy more of products that are seen to be popular, and several feedback mechanisms to get product popularity information to consumers are mentioned, including smart card technology and the use of Radio Frequency Identification Tag technology. A "swarm-moves" model was introduced by a Florida Institute of Technology researcher, which is appealing to supermarkets because it can "increase sales without the need to give people discounts."Other recent studies on the "power of social influence" include an "artificial music market in which some 19,000 people downloaded previously unknown songs" (Columbia University, New York); a Japanese chain of convenience stores which orders its products based on "sales data from department stores and research companies;" a Massachusetts company exploiting knowledge of social networking to improve sales; and online retailers who are increasingly informing consumers about "which products are popular with like-minded consumers" (e.g., Amazon, eBay).
A distinction should be made between marketing research and market research. Market research pertains to research in a given market. As an example, a firm may conduct research in a target market, after selecting a suitable market segment. In contrast, marketing research relates to all research conducted within marketing. Thus, market research is a subset of marketing research.
Types of marketing research
Marketing research, as a sub-set aspect of marketing activities, can be divided into the following parts:
By these definitions, an example of primary research would be market research conducted into health foods, which is used solely to ascertain the needs/wants of the target market for health foods. Secondary research, again according to the above definition, would be research pertaining to health foods, but used by a firm wishing to develop an unrelated product.
Primary research is often expensive to prepare, collect and interpret from data to information. Nonetheless, while secondary research is relatively inexpensive, it often can become outdated and outmoded, given it is used for a purpose other than for which is was intended. Primary research can also be broken down into quantitative research and qualitative research, which as the labels suggest, pertain to numerical and non-numerical research methods, techniques. The appropriateness of each mode of research depends on whether data can be quantified (quantitative research), or whether subjective, non-numeric or abstract concepts are required to be studied (qualitative research).
There also exists additional modes of marketing research, which are:
The field of marketing strategy encompasses the strategy involved in the management of a given product.
A given firm may hold numerous products in the marketplace, spanning numerous and sometimes wholly unrelated industries. Accordingly, a plan is required in order to manage effectively such products. Evidently, a company needs to weigh up and ascertain how to utilize effectively its finite resources. As an example, a start-up car manufacturing firm would face little success, should it attempt to rival immediately Toyota, Ford, Nissan or any other large global car maker. Moreover, a product may be reaching the end of its life-cycle. Thus, the issue of divest, or a ceasing of production may be made. With regard to the aforesaid questions, each scenario requires a unique marketing strategy to be employed. Below are listed some prominent marketing strategy models, which seek to propose means to answer the preceding questions.
With the rapidly emerging force of globalization, the distinction between marketing within a firm's home country and marketing within external markets is disappearing very quickly. With this occurrence in mind, firms need to reorient their marketing strategies to meet the challenges of the global marketplace, in addition to sustaining their competitiveness within home markets.
A marketing firm must ascertain the nature of the customers buying behaviour, if it is to market its product properly. In order to entice and persuade a consumer to buy a product, marketers try to determine the behavioural process of how a given product is purchased. Buying behaviour is usually split in two prime strands, whether selling to the consumer, known as business-to-consumer (B2C) or another business, similarly known as business-to-business (B2B).
This mode of behaviour concerns consumers, in the purchase of a given product. As an example, if one pictures a pair of sneakers, the desire for a pair of sneakers would be followed by an information search on available types/brands. This may include perusing media outlets, but most commonly consists of information gathered from family and friends.If the information search is insufficient, the consumer may search for alternative means to satisfy the need/want. In this case, this may be buying leather shoes, sandals, etc. The purchase decision is then made, in which the consumer actually buys the product. Following this stage, a post-purchase evaluation is often conducted, comprising an appraisal of the value/utility brought by the purchase of the sneakers. If the value/utility is high, then a repeat purchase may be bought. This could then develop into consumer loyalty, for the firm producing the pair of sneakers.
Relates to organizational/industrial buying behavior. B2C and B2B behavior are not exact, as similarities and differences exist. Some of the key differences are listed below:
In a straight re-buy, the fourth, fifth and sixth stages are omitted. In a modified re-buy scenario, the fifth and sixth stages are precluded. In a new buy, all aforementioned stages are conducted.
Marketing management can also note the importance of technology, within the scope of its marketing efforts. Computer-based information systems can be employed, aiding in a better processing and storage of data. Marketing researchers can use such systems to devise better methods of converting data into information, and for the creation of enhanced data gathering methods. Information technology can aid in improving an MKIS' software and hardware components, to improve a company's marketing decision-making process.
In recent years, the netbook personal computer has gained significant market share among laptops, largely due to its more user-friendly size and portability. Information technology typically progress at a fast rate, leading to marketing managers being cognizant of the latest technological developments. Moreover, the launch of smartphones into the cellphone market is commonly derived from a demand among consumers for more technologically advanced products. A firm can lose out to competitors, should it refrain from noting the latest technological occurrences in its industry.
Technological advancements can facilitate lesser barriers between countries and regions. Via using the World Wide Web, firms can quickly dispatch information from one country to another, without much restriction. Prior to the mass usage of the Internet, such transfers of information would have taken longer to send, especially if via snail mail, telex, etc.
Services marketing, as the label suggests, relates to the marketing of services, as opposed to tangible products (in standard economic terminology, a tangible product is called a good).
A typical definition of a service (as opposed to a good) is thus:
As examples of the above points, a train ride can be deemed as a service. If one buys a train ticket, the use of the train is typically experienced concurrently with the purchase of the ticket. Moreover, a train ride cannot be smelt, heard, tasted or felt as such. Granted, a seat can be felt, and the train can be evidently heard, nonetheless one is not paying for the permanent ownership of the tangible components of the train.
Services (by comparison with goods) can also be viewed as a spectrum. Not all products are pure goods, nor are all pure services. The aforementioned example of a train ride can be deemed a pure service, whilst a packet of potato chips can be deemed a pure good. An intermediary example may be a restaurant (as the waiter service is intangible, and the food evidently is tangible in form).
Online Advertising is a form of promotion that uses the Internet and World Wide Web for the expressed purpose of delivering marketing messages to attract customers. Examples of online advertising include contextual ads on search engine results pages, banner ads, Rich Media Ads, Social network advertising, interstitial ads, online classified advertising, advertising networks and e-mail marketing, including e-mail spam.
One major benefit of online advertising is the immediate publishing of information and content that is not limited by geography or time. To that end, the emerging area of interactive advertising presents fresh challenges for advertisers who have hitherto adopted an interruptive strategy.
Another benefit is the efficiency of advertiser's investment. Online advertising allows for the customization of advertisements, including content and posted websites. For example, AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing and AdSense enable ads to be shown on relevant web pages or alongside search results of related keywords.
Online advertising encompasses a range of types of advertising, some of which are deployed ethically and some are not. Some websites use large numbers of advertisements, including flashing banners that distract the user, and some have misleading images designed to look like error messages from the operating system, rather than advertisements. Websites that unethically use online advertising for revenue frequently do not monitor what advertisements on their website link to, allowing advertisements to lead to sites with malicious software or adult material.
Website operators that ethically use online advertising typically use a small number of advertisements that are not intended to distract or irritate the user, and do not detract from the design and layout of their websites. Many website owners deal directly with companies that want to place ads, meaning that the website linked to by the advertisement is legitimate.
Legitimate advertising often is opt-in, or has a clear opt-out option, which differentiates it from spam.
There is also a class of advertising methods which are considered unethical and may even be illegal. These include external applications which alter system settings (such as a browser's home page), spawn pop-ups, and insert advertisements into non-affiliated webpages. Such applications are usually labelled as spyware or adware. They may mask their questionable activities by performing a simple service, such as displaying the weather or providing a search bar. These programs are designed to dupe the user, acting effectively as Trojan horses. These applications are commonly designed so as to be difficult to remove or uninstall. The ever-increasing audience of online users, many of whom are not computer-savvy, frequently lack the knowledge and technical ability to protect themselves from these programs.
The use of online advertising has implications on the privacy and anonymity of users. If an advertising company has placed banners in two Web sites. Hosting the banner images on its servers and using third-party cookies, the advertising company is able to track the browsing of users across these two sites.
Third-party cookies can be blocked by most browsers to increase privacy and reduce tracking by advertising and tracking companies without negatively affecting the user's Web experience. Many advertising operators have an opt-out option to behavioural advertising, with a generic cookie in the browser stopping behavioural advertising.
Though, as seen above, the large majority of online advertising has a cost that is brought about by usage or interaction of an ad, there are a few other methods of advertising online that only require a one time payment. The Million Dollar Homepage is a very successful example of this. Visitors were able to pay $1 per pixel of advertising space and their advert would remain on the homepage for as long as the website exists with no extra costs.
In addition, ads containing streaming video or streaming audio are becoming very popular with advertisers.
Legitimate Email advertising or E-mail marketing is often known as "opt-in e-mail advertising" to distinguish it from spam.
Affiliate marketing is a form of online advertising where advertisers place campaigns with a potentially large number of small (and large) publishers, whom are only paid media fees when traffic to the advertiser is garnered, and usually upon a specific measurable campaign result (a form, a sale, a sign-up, etc). Today, this is usually accomplished through contracting with an affiliate network.
Affiliate marketing was an invention by CDNow.com in 1994 and was excelled by Amazon.com when it launched its Affiliate Program, called Associate Program in 1996. The online retailer used its program to generate low cost brand exposure and provided at the same time small websites a way to earn some supplemental income.
Many advertising networks display graphical or text-only ads that correspond to the keywords of an Internet search or to the content of the page on which the ad is shown. These ads are believed to have a greater chance of attracting a user, because they tend to contain content relevant to the user's search query. For example, a search query for "flowers" might return an advertisement for a florist's website.
Another newer technique is embedding keyword hyperlinks in an article which are sponsored by an advertiser. When a user follows the link, they are sent to a sponsor's website.
In addition to contextual targeting, online advertising can be targeted based on a user's past clickstream. For example, if a user is known to have recently visited a number of automotive shopping / comparison sites based on clickstream analysis enabled by cookies stored on the user's computer, that user can then be served auto-related ads when they visit other, non-automotive sites.
Semantic advertising applies semantic analysis techniques to web pages. The process is meant to accurately interpret and classify the meaning and/or main subject of the page and then populate it with targeted advertising spots. By closely linking content to advertising, it is assumed that the viewer will be more likely to show an interest (i.e., through engagement) in the advertised product or service.
Given below is a list of top ad server vendors in 2008 with figures in millions of viewers published in an Attributor survey. Since 2008 Google controls estimated 69% of the online advertising market.
|Vendor||Ad viewers (millions)|
It should be noted that Google acquired DoubleClick in 2007 for a consideration of $3.1 Billion. The above survey was based on a sample of 68 million domains.
Internet marketing, also referred to as i-marketing, web-marketing, online-marketing or e-Marketing, is the marketing of products or services over the Internet.
The Internet has brought media to a global audience. The interactive nature of Internet marketing in terms of providing instant responses and eliciting responses are the unique qualities of the medium. Internet marketing is sometimes considered to be broad in scope because it not only refers to marketing on the Internet, but also includes marketing done via e-mail and wireless media. Management of digital customer data and electronic customer relationship management (ECRM) systems are also often grouped together under internet marketing.
Internet marketing ties together creative and technical aspects of the Internet, including: design, development, advertising, and sales.
Internet marketing also refers to the placement of media along many different stages of the customer engagement cycle through search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), banner ads on specific websites, e-mail marketing, and Web 2.0 strategies. In 2008, The New York Times - working with comScore - published an initial estimate to quantify the user data collected by large Internet-based companies. Counting four types of interactions with company websites in addition to the hits from advertisements served from advertising networks, the authors found the potential for collecting data upward of 2,500 times on average per user per month.
Internet marketing is associated with several business models:
The targeted user is typically browsing the Internet alone therefore the marketing messages can reach them personally. This approach is used in search marketing, where the advertisements are based on search engine keywords entered by the users.
And now with the advent of Web 2.0 tools, many users can interconnect as "peers."
Internet marketing and geo marketing places an emphasis on marketing that appeals to a specific behaviour or interest, rather than reaching out to a broadly defined demographic. "On- and Off-line" marketers typically segment their markets according to age group, gender, geography, and other general factors. Marketers have the luxury of targeting by activity and geolocation. For example, a kayak company can post advertisements on kayaking and canoeing websites with the full knowledge that the audience has a related interest.
Internet marketing differs from magazine advertisements, where the goal is to appeal to the projected demographic of the periodical, but rather the advertiser has knowledge of the target audiencepeople who engage in certain activities (e.g., uploading pictures, contributing to blogs) so the company does not rely on the expectation that a certain group of people will be interested in its new product or service.
Geo targeting (in internet marketing) and geo marketing are the methods of determining the geolocation (the physical location) of a website visitor with geolocation software, and delivering different content to that visitor based on his or her location, such as country, region/state, city, metro code/zip code, organization, Internet Protocol (IP) address, ISP or other criteria.
Internet marketing is relatively inexpensive when compared to the ratio of cost against the reach of the target audience. Companies can reach a wide audience for a small fraction of traditional advertising budgets. The nature of the medium allows consumers to research and purchase products and services at their own convenience. Therefore, businesses have the advantage of appealing to consumers in a medium that can bring results quickly. The strategy and overall effectiveness of marketing campaigns depend on business goals and cost-volume-profit (CVP) analysis.
Internet marketers also have the advantage of measuring statistics easily and inexpensively. Nearly all aspects of an Internet marketing campaign can be traced, measured, and tested. The advertisers can use a variety of methods: pay per impression, pay per click, pay per play, or pay per action. Therefore, marketers can determine which messages or offerings are more appealing to the audience. The results of campaigns can be measured and tracked immediately because online marketing initiatives usually require users to click on an advertisement, visit a website, and perform a targeted action. Such measurement cannot be achieved through billboard advertising, where an individual will at best be interested, then decide to obtain more information at a later time..
Because exposure, response, and overall efficiency of Internet media are easier to track than traditional off-line mediathrough the use of web analytics for instanceInternet marketing can offer a greater sense of accountability for advertisers. Marketers and their clients are becoming aware of the need to measure the collaborative effects of marketing (i.e., how the Internet affects in-store sales) rather than siloing each advertising medium. The effects of multichannel marketing can be difficult to determine, but are an important part of ascertaining the value of media campaigns.
From the buyer's perspective, the inability of shoppers to touch, smell, taste or "try on" tangible goods before making an online purchase can be limiting. However, there is an industry standard for e-commerce vendors to reassure customers by having liberal return policies as well as providing in-store pick-up services.
Information security is important both to companies and consumers that participate in online business. Many consumers are hesitant to purchase items over the Internet because they do not trust that their personal information will remain private.
Some companies that purchase customer information offer the option for individuals to have their information removed from the database, also known as opting out. However, many customers are unaware if and when their information is being shared, and are unable to stop the transfer of their information between companies if such activity occurs.
Another major security concern that consumers have with e-commerce merchants is whether or not they will receive exactly what they purchase. Online merchants have attempted to address this concern by investing in and building strong consumer brands (e.g., Amazon.com, eBay, Overstock.com), and by leveraging merchant/feedback rating systems and e-commerce bonding solutions. All of these solutions attempt to assure consumers that their transactions will be free of problems because the merchants can be trusted to provide reliable products and services. Additionally, the major online payment mechanisms (credit cards, PayPal, Google Checkout, etc.) have also provided back-end buyer protection systems to address problems if they actually do occur.
In a national survey between November 30, 2009 and December 27, 2009, the Pew Research Center found that 74% of American adults (ages 18 and older) use the Internet.  The same study found that 60% of American adults use broadband connections at home. 55% of American adults connect to the Internet through a wireless network like a public/private access point, a WiMax network, or a cellular 3G/4G network through a mobile cellular device.
The number of banks offering the ability to perform banking tasks over the internet has also increased. Online banking appeals to customers because it is often faster and considered more convenient than visiting bank branches. Currently over 150 million U.S. adults now bank online, with increasing Internet connection speed being the primary reason for fast growth in the online banking industry. Of those individuals who use the Internet, 44 percent now perform banking activities over the Internet.
Internet auctions have become a multi-billion dollar business. Unique items that could only previously be found at flea markets are now being sold on Internet auction websites such as eBay. Specialized e-stores sell an almost endless amount of items ranging from antiques, movie props, clothing, gadgets and much more. As the premier online reselling platform, eBay is often used as a price-basis for specialized items. Buyers and sellers often look at prices on the website before going to flea markets; the price shown on eBay often becomes the item's selling price. It is increasingly common for flea market vendors to place a targeted advertisement on the Internet for each item they are selling online, all while running their business out of their homes.
In addition to the major effect internet marketing has had on the technology industry, the effect on the advertising industry itself has been profound. In just a few years, online advertising has grown to be worth tens of billions of dollars annually. PricewaterhouseCoopers reported that US$16.9 billion was spent on Internet marketing in the U.S. in 2006.
This has had a growing impact on the electoral process. In 2008 candidates for President heavily utilized Internet marketing strategies to reach constituents. During the 2007 primaries candidates added, on average, over 500 social network supporters per day to help spread their message. President Barack Obama raised over US$1 million in a single day during his extensive Democratic candidacy campaign, largely due to online donors.
Affiliate marketing is a marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate's marketing efforts. Examples include rewards sites, where users are rewarded with cash or gifts, for the completion of an offer, and the referral of others to the site. The industry has four core players: the merchant (also known as 'retailer' or 'brand'), the network, the publisher (also known as 'the affiliate'), and the customer. The market has grown in complexity to warrant a secondary tier of players, including affiliate management agencies, super-affiliates and specialized third parties vendors.
Affiliate marketing overlaps with other Internet marketing methods to some degree, because affiliates often use regular advertising methods. Those methods include organic search engine optimization, paid search engine marketing, e-mail marketing, and in some sense display advertising. On the other hand, affiliates sometimes use less orthodox techniques, such as publishing reviews of products or services offered by a partner.
Affiliate marketingusing one website to drive traffic to anotheris a form of online marketing, which is frequently overlooked by advertisers.  While search engines, e-mail, and website syndication capture much of the attention of online retailers, affiliate marketing carries a much lower profile. Still, affiliates continue to play a significant role in e-retailers' marketing strategies.
The concept of revenue sharingpaying commission for referred businesspredates affiliate marketing and the Internet. The translation of the revenue share principles to mainstream e-commerce happened almost four years after the origination of the World Wide Web in November 1994.
During November 1994, CDNOW launched its BuyWeb program. With this program CDNOW was the first non-adult website to introduce the concept of an affiliate or associate program with its idea of click-through purchasing. CDNOW had the idea that music-oriented websites could review or list albums on their pages that their visitors may be interested in purchasing. These websites could also offer a link that would take the visitor directly to CDNOW to purchase the albums. The idea for remote purchasing originally arose because of conversations with music label Geffen Records in the fall of 1994. The management at Geffen wanted to sell its artists' CDs directly from its website, but did not want to implement this capability itself. Geffen asked CDNOW if it could design a program where CDNOW would handle the order fulfillment. Geffen realized that CDNOW could link directly from the artist on its website to Geffen's website, bypassing the CDNOW home page and going directly to an artist's music page.
Amazon.com (Amazon) launched its associate program in July 1996: Amazon associates could place banner or text links on their site for individual books, or link directly to the Amazon home page.
When visitors clicked from the associate's website through to Amazon and purchased a book, the associate received a commission. Amazon was not the first merchant to offer an affiliate program, but its program was the first to become widely known and serve as a model for subsequent programs.
In February 2000, Amazon announced that it had been granted a patent on all the essential components of an affiliate program. The patent application was submitted in June 1997, which predates most affiliate programs, but not PC Flowers & Gifts.com (October 1994), AutoWeb.com (October 1995), Kbkids.com/BrainPlay.com (January 1996), EPage (April 1996), and several others.
Affiliate marketing has grown quickly since its inception. The e-commerce website, viewed as a marketing toy in the early days of the Internet, became an integrated part of the overall business plan and in some cases grew to a bigger business than the existing offline business. According to one report, the total sales amount generated through affiliate networks in 2006 was £2.16 billion in the United Kingdom alone. The estimates were £1.35 billion in sales in 2005. MarketingSherpa's research team estimated that, in 2006, affiliates worldwide earned US$6.5 billion in bounty and commissions from a variety of sources in retail, personal finance, gaming and gambling, travel, telecom, education, publishing, and forms of lead generation other than contextual advertising programs.
Currently the most active sectors for affiliate marketing are the adult, gambling, and retail industries. The three sectors expected to experience the greatest growth are the mobile phone, finance, and travel sectors. Soon after these sectors came the entertainment (particularly gaming) and Internet-related services (particularly broadband) sectors. Also several of the affiliate solution providers expect to see increased interest from business-to-business marketers and advertisers in using affiliate marketing as part of their mix.
Websites and services based on Web 2.0 conceptsblogging and interactive online communities, for examplehave impacted the affiliate marketing world as well. The new media allowed merchants to become closer to their affiliates and improved the communication between them.
Eighty percent of affiliate programs today use revenue sharing or cost per sale (CPS) as a compensation method, nineteen percent use cost per action (CPA), and the remaining programs use other methods such as cost per click (CPC) or cost per mille (CPM).
Within more mature markets, less than one percent of traditional affiliate marketing programs today use cost per click and cost per mille. However, these compensation methods are used heavily in display advertising and paid search.
Cost per mille requires only that the publisher make the advertising available on his website and display it to his visitors in order to receive a commission. Pay per click requires one additional step in the conversion process to generate revenue for the publisher: A visitor must not only be made aware of the advertisement, but must also click on the advertisement to visit the advertiser's website.
Cost per click was more common in the early days of affiliate marketing, but has diminished in use over time due to click fraud issues very similar to the click fraud issues modern search engines are facing today. Contextual advertising programs are not considered in the statistic pertaining to diminished use of cost per click, as it is uncertain if contextual advertising can be considered affiliate marketing.
While these models have diminished in mature e-commerce and online advertising markets they are still prevalent in some more nascent industries. China is one example where Affiliate Marketing does not overtly resemble the same model in the West. With many affiliates being paid a flat "Cost Per Day" with some networks offering Cost Per Click or CPM.
In the case of cost per mille/click, the publisher is not concerned about a visitor being a member of the audience that the advertiser tries to attract and is able to convert, because at this point the publisher has already earned his commission. This leaves the greater, and, in case of cost per mille, the full risk and loss (if the visitor can not be converted) to the advertiser.
Cost per action/sale methods require that referred visitors do more than visit the advertiser's website before the affiliate receives commission. The advertiser must convert that visitor first. It is in the best interest for the affiliate to send the most closely targeted traffic to the advertiser as possible to increase the chance of a conversion. The risk and loss is shared between the affiliate and the advertiser.
Affiliate marketing is also called "performance marketing", in reference to how sales employees are typically being compensated. Such employees are typically paid a commission for each sale they close, and sometimes are paid performance incentives for exceeding targeted baselines. Affiliates are not employed by the advertiser whose products or services they promote, but the compensation models applied to affiliate marketing are very similar to the ones used for people in the advertisers' internal sales department.
The phrase, "Affiliates are an extended sales force for your business", which is often used to explain affiliate marketing, is not completely accurate. The primary difference between the two is that affiliate marketers provide little if any influence on a possible prospect in the conversion process once that prospect is directed to the advertiser's website. The sales team of the advertiser, however, does have the control and influence up to the point where the prospect signs the contract or completes the purchase.
Some advertisers offer multi-tier programs that distribute commission into a hierarchical referral network of sign-ups and sub-partners. In practical terms, publisher "A" signs up to the program with an advertiser and gets rewarded for the agreed activity conducted by a referred visitor. If publisher "A" attracts publishers "B" and "C" to sign up for the same program using his sign-up code, all future activities performed by publishers "B" and "C" will result in additional commission (at a lower rate) for publisher "A".
Two-tier programs exist in the minority of affiliate programs; most are simply one-tier. Referral programs beyond two-tier resemble multi-level marketing (MLM) or network marketing but are different: Multi-level marketing (MLM) or network marketing associations tend to have more complex commission requirements/qualifications than standard affiliate programs.
Merchants favor affiliate marketing because in most cases it uses a "pay for performance" model, meaning that the merchant does not incur a marketing expense unless results are accrued (excluding any initial setup cost). Some businesses owe much of their success to this marketing technique, a notable example being Amazon.com. Unlike display advertising, however, affiliate marketing is not easily scalable.
Some merchants run their own (i.e., in-house) affiliate programs using popular software while others use third-party services provided by intermediaries to track traffic or sales that are referred from affiliates (see outsourced program management). Merchants can choose from two different types of affiliate management solutions: standalone software or hosted services, typically called affiliate networks. Payouts to affiliates or publishers are either made by the networks on behalf of the merchant, by the network, consolidated across all merchants where the publisher has a relationship with and earned commissions or directly by the merchant itself.
Successful affiliate programs require significant work and maintenance. Having a successful affiliate program is more difficult than when such programs were just emerging. With the exception of some vertical markets, it is rare for an affiliate program to generate considerable revenue with poor management or no management (i.e., "auto-drive").
Uncontrolled affiliate programs didand continue to do so todayaid rogue affiliates, who use spamming, trademark infringement, false advertising, "cookie cutting", typosquatting, and other unethical methods that have given affiliate marketing a negative reputation.
The increased number of Internet businesses and the increased number of people that trust the current technology enough to shop and do business online allows further maturation of affiliate marketing. The opportunity to generate a considerable amount of profit combined with a crowded marketplace filled with competitors of equal quality and size makes it more difficult for merchants to be noticed. In this environment, however, being noticed can yield greater rewards.
Recently, the Internet marketing industry has become more advanced. In some areas online media has been rising to the sophistication of offline media, in which advertising has been largely professional and competitive. There are significantly more requirements that merchants must meet to be successful, and those requirements are becoming too burdensome for the merchant to manage successfully in-house. An increasing number of merchants are seeking alternative options found in relatively new outsourced (affiliate) program management (OPM) companies, which are often founded by veteran affiliate managers and network program managers. OPM companies perform affiliate program management for the merchants as a service, similar to advertising agencies promoting a brand or product as done in offline marketing.
Affiliate websites are often categorized by merchants (i.e., advertisers) and affiliate networks. There are currently no industry-wide accepted standards for the categorization. The following types of websites are generic, yet are commonly understood and used by affiliate marketers.
Affiliate networks that already have several advertisers typically also have a large pool of publishers. These publishers could be potentially recruited, and there is also an increased chance that publishers in the network apply to the program on their own, without the need for recruitment efforts by the advertiser.
Relevant websites that attract the same target audiences as the advertiser but without competing with it are potential affiliate partners as well. Vendors or existing customers can also become recruits if doing so makes sense and does not violate any laws or regulations.
Almost any website could be recruited as an affiliate publisher, although high-traffic websites are more likely interested in (for their own sake) low-risk cost per mille or medium-risk cost per click deals rather than higher-risk cost per action or revenue share deals.
There are three primary ways to locate affiliate programs for a target website:
If the above locations do not yield information pertaining to affiliates, it may be the case that there exists a non-public affiliate program. The most definitive method for finding this information is to contact the website owner directly.
Since the emergence of affiliate marketing, there has been little control over affiliate activity. Unscrupulous affiliates have used spam, false advertising, forced clicks (to get tracking cookies set on users' computers), adware, and other methods to drive traffic to their sponsors. Although many affiliate programs have terms of service that contain rules against spam, this marketing method has historically proven to attract abuse from spammers.
In the infancy of affiliate marketing, many Internet users held negative opinions due to the tendency of affiliates to use spam to promote the programs in which they were enrolled. As affiliate marketing matured, many affiliate merchants have refined their terms and conditions to prohibit affiliates from spamming.
As search engines have become more prominent, some affiliate marketers have shifted from sending e-mail spam to creating automatically generated webpages that often contain product data feeds provided by merchants. The goal of such webpages is to manipulate the relevancy or prominence of resources indexed by a search engine, also known as spamdexing. Each page can be targeted to a different niche market through the use of specific keywords, with the result being a skewed form of search engine optimization.
Spam is the biggest threat to organic search engines, whose goal is to provide quality search results for keywords or phrases entered by their users. Google's PageRank algorithm update ("BigDaddy") in February 2006the final stage of Google's major update ("Jagger") that began in mid-summer 2005specifically targeted spamdexing with great success. This update thus enabled Google to remove a large amount of mostly computer-generated duplicate content from its index.
Websites consisting mostly of affiliate links have previously held a negative reputation for underdelivering quality content. In 2005 there were active changes made by Google, where certain websites were labeled as "thin affiliates". Such websites were either removed from Google's index or were relocated within the results page (i.e., moved from the top-most results to a lower position). To avoid this categorization, affiliate marketer webmasters must create quality content on their websites that distinguishes their work from the work of spammers or banner farms, which only contain links leading to merchant sites.
Some commentators originally suggested that Affiliate links work best in the context of the information contained within the website itself. For instance, if a website contains information pertaining to publishing a website, an affiliate link leading to a merchant's Internet service provider (ISP) within that website's content would be appropriate. If a website contains information pertaining to sports, an affiliate link leading to a sporting goods website may work well within the context of the articles and information about sports. The goal in this case is to publish quality information within the website and provide context-oriented links to related merchant's websites.
However, more recent examples exist of "thin" Affiliate sites which are using the Affiliate Marketing model to create value for Consumers by offering them a service. These thin content service Affiliate fall into three categories:
Although it differs from spyware, adware often uses the same methods and technologies. Merchants initially were uninformed about adware, what impact it had, and how it could damage their brands. Affiliate marketers became aware of the issue much more quickly, especially because they noticed that adware often overwrites tracking cookies, thus resulting in a decline of commissions. Affiliates not employing adware felt that it was stealing commission from them. Adware often has no valuable purpose and rarely provides any useful content to the user, who is typically unaware that such software is installed on his/her computer.
Affiliates discussed the issues in Internet forums and began to organize their efforts. They believed that the best way to address the problem was to discourage merchants from advertising via adware. Merchants that were either indifferent to or supportive of adware were exposed by affiliates, thus damaging those merchants' reputations and tarnishing their affiliate marketing efforts. Many affiliates either terminated the use of such merchants or switched to a competitor's affiliate program. Eventually, affiliate networks were also forced by merchants and affiliates to take a stand and ban certain adware publishers from their network. The result was Code of Conduct by Commission Junction/beFree and Performics, LinkShare's Anti-Predatory Advertising Addendum, and ShareASale's complete ban of software applications as a medium for affiliates to promote advertiser offers. Regardless of the progress made, adware continues to be an issue, as demonstrated by the class action lawsuit against ValueClick and its daughter company Commission Junction filed on April 20, 2007.
Affiliates were among the earliest adopters of pay per click advertising when the first pay-per-click search engines emerged during the end of the 1990s. Later in 2000 Google launched its pay per click service, Google AdWords, which is responsible for the widespread use and acceptance of pay per click as an advertising channel. An increasing number of merchants engaged in pay per click advertising, either directly or via a search marketing agency, and realized that this space was already well-occupied by their affiliates. Although this situation alone created advertising channel conflicts and debates between advertisers and affiliates, the largest issue concerned affiliates bidding on advertisers names, brands, and trademarks. Several advertisers began to adjust their affiliate program terms to prohibit their affiliates from bidding on those type of keywords. Some advertisers, however, did and still do embrace this behavior, going so far as to allow, or even encourage, affiliates to bid on any term, including the advertiser's trademarks.
Affiliate marketing is driven by entrepreneurs who are working at the edge of Internet marketing. Affiliates are often the first to take advantage of emerging trends and technologies. The "trial and error" approach is probably the best way to describe the operation methods for affiliate marketers. This risky approach is one of the reasons why most affiliates fail or give up before they become successful "super affiliates", capable of generating US$10,000 or more per month in commission. This "frontier" life combined with the attitude found in such communities is likely the main reason why the affiliate marketing industry is unable to self-regulate beyond individual contracts between advertisers and affiliates. Affiliate marketing has experienced numerous failed attempts to create an industry organization or association of some kind that could be the initiator of regulations, standards, and guidelines for the industry. Some examples of failed regulation efforts are the Affiliate Union and iAfma.
Online forums and industry trade shows are the only means for the different members from the industryaffiliates/publishers, merchants/advertisers, affiliate networks, third-party vendors, and service providers such as outsourced program managersto congregate at one location. Online forums are free, enable small affiliates to have a larger say, and provide anonymity. Trade shows are cost-prohibitive to small affiliates because of the high price for event passes. Larger affiliates may even be sponsored by an advertiser they promote.
Affiliate marketing currently lacks industry standards for training and certification. There are some training courses and seminars that result in certifications; however, the acceptance of such certifications is mostly due to the reputation of the individual or company issuing the certification. Affiliate marketing is not commonly taught in universities, and only a few college instructors work with Internet marketers to introduce the subject to students majoring in marketing.
Education occurs most often in "real life" by becoming involved and learning the details as time progresses. Although there are several books on the topic, some so-called "how-to" or "silver bullet" books instruct readers to manipulate holes in the Google algorithm, which can quickly become out of date, or suggest strategies no longer endorsed or permitted by advertisers.
Outsourced Program Management companies typically combine formal and informal training, providing much of their training through group collaboration and brainstorming. Such companies also try to send each marketing employee to the industry conference of their choice.
Other training resources used include online forums, weblogs, podcasts, video seminars, and specialty websites.
Affiliate Summit is the largest conference in the industry, and many other affiliate networks host their own annual events.
A code of conduct was released by affiliate networks Commission Junction/beFree and Performics in December 2002 to guide practices and adherence to ethical standards for online advertising.
Cost per action networks can be viewed as a threat to "classic" affiliate marketing networks. Traditional affiliate marketing is resource-intensive and requires continual maintenance. Most of the maintenance includes managing, monitoring, and supporting affiliates. The goal of affiliate marketing is directed toward long-term and mutual beneficial partnerships between advertisers and affiliates. Cost per action networks, however, eliminate the need for the advertiser to build and maintain relationships to affiliates, as that task is performed for the advertiser by the cost per action network. The advertiser makes an offer, almost always CPA-based, and the cost per action networks handle the remainder of the process by mobilizing their affiliates to promote that offer. Cost per sale and revenue sharing are the primary compensation models for classic affiliate marketing, and are rarely found in cost per action networks. Affiliate marketers typically avoid the topic of cost per action networks; however, if it is being discussed, the debates can become heated and explosive.
Members of the marketing industry are recommending that "affiliate marketing" be substituted with an alternative name. Affiliate marketing is often confused with either network marketing or multi-level marketing. Performance marketing is a common alternative, but other recommendations have been made as well.
In April 2008 the State of New York inserted an item in the state budget asserting sales tax jurisdiction over Amazon.com sales to residents of New York, based on the existence of affiliate links from New Yorkbased websites to Amazon. The state asserts that even one such affiliate constitutes Amazon having a business presence in the state, and is sufficient to allow New York to tax all Amazon sales to state residents. Amazon challenged the amendment and lost at the trial level in January, 2009. The case is currently making its way through the New York appeals courts.
Cookie stuffing involves placing an affiliate tracking cookie on a website visitor's computer without their knowledge, which will then generate revenue for the person doing the cookie stuffing. This not only generates fraudulent affiliate sales, but also has the potential to overwrite other affiliates' cookies, essentially stealing their legitimately earned commissions.
Many voucher code web sites use a click to reveal format, which required the web site user to click to reveal the voucher code. The action of clicking places the cookie on the website visitor's computer. The IAB  have stated that "Affiliates must not use a mechanism whereby users are encouraged to click to interact with content where it is unclear or confusing what the outcome will be.",
Interactive advertising uses online or offline interactive media to communicate with consumers and to promote products, brands, services, and public service announcements, corporate or political groups.
In the inaugural issue of the Journal of Interactive Advertising , editors Li and Leckenby (2000) defined Interactive Advertising as the "paid and unpaid presentation and promotion of products, services and ideas by an identified sponsor through mediated means involving mutual action between consumers and producers." This is most commonly performed through the Internet; often using video content as a delivery medium.
The goals of interactive advertising are usually akin to the traditional objectives of advertising, i.e. to sell a product. This in turn means that many of the traditional elements of advertising impact and effectiveness remain relevant, even within the scope of interactive media. However, according to the Journal of Interactive Advertising 2001, interactive advertising also has some properties that expand the range of potential objectives and that improve advertising effectiveness. Interactive advertising also has the potential to decrease the losses associated with poorly coordinated advertising, to reduce the difficulties commonly encountered in clearly communicating an advertising message and to help overcome new product hurdles, such as a consumer rejection.
There are many different facets to Interactive Advertising, including varying methods and types. Using many different types of cognitive tools and advert presentations, organizations can enhance the impact of their campaigns with this type of advertising. According to Thorson (1996), all advertisements can be classified into one of five basic categories, including: product/service, public service announcement, issue, corporate and political. Advert types also interact with the user's motives to influence outcomes, or consumer responses, reinforcing the need for Interactive Advertising as a means of persuading potential consumers and target audiences.
Using the Internet as the main medium for Interactive Advertising to study the methods, types and outcomes, we can then sound out the different user or advertiser controlled aspects.
Functions, Internet motives and mode are the main factors of user controlled aspects. In fact, a number of researchers and practitioners argue that consumers have more control on the Internet than do advertisers (Roehm & Haugtvedt, 1999). Some have gone so far as to argue that interactive marketing and advertising techniques will not work unless practitioners "step into the shoes" of and approach the Internet from the consumer's vantage point (Cross & Smith, 1997).
Internet aspects that are under the control of the advertiser. Most of these variables include structural elements, such as ad types, formats and features. This does not mean that consumers never control the structure of the interactive ads. Banner Ads, pop-up ads, sponsorship, hyperlinks and non-carrier websites are examples of Advertiser controlled Interactive Advertising.
It is important to remember interactive advertising begins with online advertising. Using search to find the businesses that excel in this medium reveals that the organic search leads are dominating the pay per click companies in this area.
The web banner is displayed when a web page that references the banner is loaded into a web browser. This event is known as an "impression". When the viewer clicks on the banner, the viewer is directed to the website advertised in the banner. This event is known as a "click through". In many cases, banners are delivered by a central ad server.
When the advertiser scans their logfiles and detects that a web user has visited the advertiser's site from the content site by clicking on the banner ad, the advertiser sends the content provider some small amount of money (usually around five to ten US cents). This payback system is often how the content provider is able to pay for the Internet access to supply the content in the first place. Usually though, advertisers use ad networks to serve their advertisements, resulting in a revshare system and higher quality ad placement.
Web banners function the same way as traditional advertisements are intended to function: notifying consumers of the product or service and presenting reasons why the consumer should choose the product in question, although web banners differ in that the results for advertisement campaigns may be monitored real-time and may be targeted to the viewer's interests. Behavior is often tracked through the use of a click tag.
Many web surfers regard these advertisements as highly annoying because they distract from a web page's actual content or waste bandwidth. (Of course, the purpose of the banner ad is to attract attention and many advertisers try to get attention to the advert by making them annoying. Without attracting attention it would provide no revenue for the advertiser or for the content provider.) Newer web browsers often include options to disable pop-ups or block images from selected websites. Another way of avoiding banners is to use a proxy server that blocks them, such as Privoxy. Web browsers may also have extensions available which block banners, for example Adblock Plus for Mozilla Firefox, or AdThwart for Google Chrome.
The pioneer of online advertising was Prodigy, a company owned by IBM and Sears at the time. Prodigy used online advertising first to promote Sears products in the 1980s, and then other advertisers. Curiously, one of the advertisers on Prodigy in early 90s was AOL, one of Prodigy's competitors. Incidentally, Prodigy was first in online shopping, banking, stock trading as well. Prodigy was unable to capitalize on any of its first mover advantages, including online advertising.
The first clickable web ad (which later came to be known by the term "banner ad") was sold by Global Network Navigator (GNN) in 1993 to Heller, Ehrman, White and McAuliffe, a now defunct law firm with a Silicon Valley office. GNN was the first commercially supported web publication and one of the very first web sites ever.
HotWired was the first web site to sell banner ads in large quantities to a wide range of major corporate advertisers. Andrew Anker was HotWired's first CEO. Rick Boyce, a former media buyer with San Francisco advertising agency Hal Riney & Partners, spearheaded the sales effort for the company. HotWired coined the term "banner ad" and was the first company to provide click through rate reports to its customers. The first web banner sold by HotWired was paid for by AT&T, and was put online on October 25, 1994. Another source also credits Hotwired and October 1994, but has Coors' "Zima" campaign as the first web banner.
In May 1994, Ken McCarthy mentored Boyce in his transition from traditional to online advertising, and first introduced the concept of a clickable/trackable ad. He stated that he believed that only a direct response modelin which the return on investment of individual ads was measuredwould prove sustainable over the long run for online advertising.
In spite of this prediction, banner ads were valued and sold based on the number of impressions they generated. This approach to banner ad sales proved successful and provided the economic foundation for the web industry from the period of 1994 to 2000 until the market for banner ads "crashed" and there was a radical revaluation of their value.
The new online advertising model that emerged in the early years of the 21st century, introduced by GoTo.com (later Overture, then Yahoo and mass marketed by Google's AdWords program), relies heavily on tracking ad response rather than impressions.
|Name||Width px||Height px||aspect ratio|
|Rectangles and Pop-Ups|
|Banners and Buttons|
|Half page ad||300||600||2|
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a web site or a web page in search engines via the "natural" or un-paid ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results. Other forms of search engine marketing (SEM) target paid listings. In general, the earlier (or higher on the page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search and industry-specific vertical search engines. This gives a web site web presence.
As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work and what people search for. Optimizing a website may involve editing its content and HTML and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines. Promoting a site to increase the number of backlinks, or inbound links, is another SEO tactic.
The acronym "SEO" can refer to "search engine optimizers," a term adopted by an industry of consultants who carry out optimization projects on behalf of clients, and by employees who perform SEO services in-house. Search engine optimizers may offer SEO as a stand-alone service or as a part of a broader marketing campaign. Because effective SEO may require changes to the HTML source code of a site, SEO tactics may be incorporated into web site development and design. The term "search engine friendly" may be used to describe web site designs, menus, content management systems, images, videos, shopping carts, and other elements that have been optimized for the purpose of search engine exposure.
Another class of techniques, known as black hat SEO or spamdexing, uses methods such as link farms, keyword stuffing and article spinning that degrade both the relevance of search results and the user-experience of search engines. Search engines look for sites that employ these techniques in order to remove them from their indices.
Webmasters and content providers began optimizing sites for search engines in the mid-1990s, as the first search engines were cataloging the early Web. Initially, all webmasters needed to do was submit the address of a page, or URL, to the various engines which would send a "spider" to "crawl" that page, extract links to other pages from it, and return information found on the page to be indexed. The process involves a search engine spider downloading a page and storing it on the search engine's own server, where a second program, known as an indexer, extracts various information about the page, such as the words it contains and where these are located, as well as any weight for specific words, and all links the page contains, which are then placed into a scheduler for crawling at a later date.
Site owners started to recognize the value of having their sites highly ranked and visible in search engine results, creating an opportunity for both white hat and black hat SEO practitioners. According to industry analyst Danny Sullivan, the phrase "search engine optimization" probably came into use in 1997.
Early versions of search algorithms relied on webmaster-provided information such as the keyword meta tag, or index files in engines like ALIWEB. Meta tags provide a guide to each page's content. Using meta data to index pages was found to be less than reliable, however, because the webmaster's choice of keywords in the meta tag could potentially be an inaccurate representation of the site's actual content. Inaccurate, incomplete, and inconsistent data in meta tags could and did cause pages to rank for irrelevant searches. Web content providers also manipulated a number of attributes within the HTML source of a page in an attempt to rank well in search engines.
By relying so much on factors such as keyword density which were exclusively within a webmaster's control, early search engines suffered from abuse and ranking manipulation. To provide better results to their users, search engines had to adapt to ensure their results pages showed the most relevant search results, rather than unrelated pages stuffed with numerous keywords by unscrupulous webmasters. Since the success and popularity of a search engine is determined by its ability to produce the most relevant results to any given search, allowing those results to be false would turn users to find other search sources. Search engines responded by developing more complex ranking algorithms, taking into account additional factors that were more difficult for webmasters to manipulate.
Graduate students at Stanford University, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, developed "backrub," a search engine that relied on a mathematical algorithm to rate the prominence of web pages. The number calculated by the algorithm, PageRank, is a function of the quantity and strength of inbound links. PageRank estimates the likelihood that a given page will be reached by a web user who randomly surfs the web, and follows links from one page to another. In effect, this means that some links are stronger than others, as a higher PageRank page is more likely to be reached by the random surfer.
Page and Brin founded Google in 1998. Google attracted a loyal following among the growing number of Internet users, who liked its simple design. Off-page factors (such as PageRank and hyperlink analysis) were considered as well as on-page factors (such as keyword frequency, meta tags, headings, links and site structure) to enable Google to avoid the kind of manipulation seen in search engines that only considered on-page factors for their rankings. Although PageRank was more difficult to game, webmasters had already developed link building tools and schemes to influence the Inktomi search engine, and these methods proved similarly applicable to gaming PageRank. Many sites focused on exchanging, buying, and selling links, often on a massive scale. Some of these schemes, or link farms, involved the creation of thousands of sites for the sole purpose of link spamming.
By 2004, search engines had incorporated a wide range of undisclosed factors in their ranking algorithms to reduce the impact of link manipulation. Google says it ranks sites using more than 200 different signals. The leading search engines, Google and Yahoo, do not disclose the algorithms they use to rank pages. Notable SEO service providers, such as Rand Fishkin, Barry Schwartz, Aaron Wall and Jill Whalen, have studied different approaches to search engine optimization, and have published their opinions in online forums and blogs. SEO practitioners may also study patents held by various search engines to gain insight into the algorithms.
In 2005 Google began personalizing search results for each user. Depending on their history of previous searches, Google crafted results for logged in users. In 2008, Bruce Clay said that "ranking is dead" because of personalized search. It would become meaningless to discuss how a website ranked, because its rank would potentially be different for each user and each search.
In December 2009 Google announced it would be using the web search history of all its users in order to populate search results .
Real-time-search was introduced in late 2009 in an attempt to make search results more timely and relevant. Historically site administrators have spent months or even years optimizing a website to increase search rankings. With the growth in popularity of social media sites and blogs the leading engines made changes to their algorithms to allow fresh content to rank quickly within the search results. This new approach to search places importance on current, fresh and unique content.
By 1997 search engines recognized that webmasters were making efforts to rank well in their search engines, and that some webmasters were even manipulating their rankings in search results by stuffing pages with excessive or irrelevant keywords. Early search engines, such as Infoseek, adjusted their algorithms in an effort to prevent webmasters from manipulating rankings.
Due to the high marketing value of targeted search results, there is potential for an adversarial relationship between search engines and SEO service providers. In 2005, an annual conference, AIRWeb, Adversarial Information Retrieval on the Web, was created to discuss and minimize the damaging effects of aggressive web content providers.
SEO companies that employ overly aggressive techniques can get their client websites banned from the search results. In 2005, the Wall Street Journal reported on a company, Traffic Power, which allegedly used high-risk techniques and failed to disclose those risks to its clients. Wired magazine reported that the same company sued blogger and SEO Aaron Wall for writing about the ban. Google's Matt Cutts later confirmed that Google did in fact ban Traffic Power and some of its clients.
Some search engines have also reached out to the SEO industry, and are frequent sponsors and guests at SEO conferences, chats, and seminars. In fact, with the advent of paid inclusion, some search engines now have a vested interest in the health of the optimization community. Major search engines provide information and guidelines to help with site optimization. Google has a Sitemaps program to help webmasters learn if Google is having any problems indexing their website and also provides data on Google traffic to the website. Google guidelines are a list of suggested practices Google has provided as guidance to webmasters. Yahoo! Site Explorer provides a way for webmasters to submit URLs, determine how many pages are in the Yahoo! index and view link information.
The leading search engines, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo!, use crawlers to find pages for their algorithmic search results. Pages that are linked from other search engine indexed pages do not need to be submitted because they are found automatically. Some search engines, notably Yahoo!, operate a paid submission service that guarantee crawling for either a set fee or cost per click. Such programs usually guarantee inclusion in the database, but do not guarantee specific ranking within the search results. Two major directories, the Yahoo Directory and the Open Directory Project both require manual submission and human editorial review. Google offers Google Webmaster Tools, for which an XML Sitemap feed can be created and submitted for free to ensure that all pages are found, especially pages that aren't discoverable by automatically following links.
Search engine crawlers may look at a number of different factors when crawling a site. Not every page is indexed by the search engines. Distance of pages from the root directory of a site may also be a factor in whether or not pages get crawled.
A variety of methods can increase the prominence of a webpage within the search results. Cross linking between pages of the same website to provide more links to most important pages may improve its visibility. Writing content that includes frequently searched keyword phrase, so as to be relevant to a wide variety of search queries will tend to increase traffic. Adding relevant keywords to a web page's meta data, including the title tag and meta description, will tend to improve the relevancy of a site's search listings, thus increasing traffic. URL normalization of web pages accessible via multiple urls, using the "canonical" meta tag or via 301 redirects can help make sure links to different versions of the url all count towards the page's link popularity score.
A SEO tactic, technique or method is considered white hat if it conforms to the search engines' guidelines and involves no deception. As the search engine guidelines are not written as a series of rules or commandments, this is an important distinction to note. White hat SEO is not just about following guidelines, but is about ensuring that the content a search engine indexes and subsequently ranks is the same content a user will see.
White hat advice is generally summed up as creating content for users, not for search engines, and then making that content easily accessible to the spiders, rather than attempting to game the algorithm. White hat SEO is in many ways similar to web development that promotes accessibility, although the two are not identical.
White Hat SEO is merely effective marketing, making efforts to deliver quality content to an audience that has requested the quality content. Traditional marketing means have allowed this through transparency and exposure. A search engine's algorithm takes this into account, such as Google's PageRank.
Black hat SEO attempts to improve rankings in ways that are disapproved of by the search engines, or involve deception. One black hat technique uses text that is hidden, either as text colored similar to the background, in an invisible div, or positioned off screen. Another method gives a different page depending on whether the page is being requested by a human visitor or a search engine, a technique known as cloaking.
Search engines may penalize sites they discover using black hat methods, either by reducing their rankings or eliminating their listings from their databases altogether. Such penalties can be applied either automatically by the search engines' algorithms, or by a manual site review. One infamous example was the February 2006 Google removal of both BMW Germany and Ricoh Germany for use of deceptive practices. Both companies, however, quickly apologized, fixed the offending pages, and were restored to Google's list.
SEO is not necessarily an appropriate strategy for every website, and other Internet marketing strategies can be much more effective, depending on the site operator's goals. A successful Internet marketing campaign may drive organic traffic, achieved through optimization techniques and not paid advertising, to web pages, but it also may involve the use of paid advertising on search engines and other pages, building high quality web pages to engage and persuade, addressing technical issues that may keep search engines from crawling and indexing those sites, setting up analytics programs to enable site owners to measure their successes, and improving a site's conversion rate.
SEO may generate a return on investment. However, search engines are not paid for organic search traffic, their algorithms change, and there are no guarantees of continued referrals. (Some trading sites such as eBay can be a special case for this, it will announce how and when the ranking algorithm will change a few months before changing the algorithm). Due to this lack of guarantees and certainty, a business that relies heavily on search engine traffic can suffer major losses if the search engines stop sending visitors. It is considered wise business practice for website operators to liberate themselves from dependence on search engine traffic. A top-ranked SEO blog Seomoz.org has suggested, "Search marketers, in a twist of irony, receive a very small share of their traffic from search engines.." Instead, their main sources of traffic are links from other websites.
Optimization techniques are highly tuned to the dominant search engines in the target market. The search engines' market shares vary from market to market, as does competition. In 2003, Danny Sullivan stated that Google represented about 75% of all searches. In markets outside the United States, Google's share is often larger, and Google remains the dominant search engine worldwide as of 2007. As of 2006, Google had an 85-90% market share in Germany. While there were hundreds of SEO firms in the US at that time, there were only about five in Germany. As of June 2008, the marketshare of Google in the UK was close to 90% according to Hitwise. That market share is achieved in a number of countries.
As of 2009, there are only a few large markets where Google is not the leading search engine. In most cases, when Google is not leading in a given market, it is lagging behind a local player. The most notable markets where this is the case are China, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the Czech Republic where respectively Baidu, Yahoo! Japan, Naver, Yandex and Seznam are market leaders.
Successful search optimization for international markets may require professional translation of web pages, registration of a domain name with a top level domain in the target market, and web hosting that provides a local IP address. Otherwise, the fundamental elements of search optimization are essentially the same, regardless of language.
On October 17, 2002, SearchKing filed suit in the United States District Court, Western District of Oklahoma, against the search engine Google. SearchKing's claim was that Google's tactics to prevent spamdexing constituted a tortious interference with contractual relations. On May 27, 2003, the court granted Google's motion to dismiss the complaint because SearchKing "failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted."
In March 2006, KinderStart filed a lawsuit against Google over search engine rankings. Kinderstart's web site was removed from Google's index prior to the lawsuit and the amount of traffic to the site dropped by 70%. On March 16, 2007 the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (San Jose Division) dismissed KinderStart's complaint without leave to amend, and partially granted Google's motion for Rule 11 sanctions against KinderStart's attorney, requiring him to pay part of Google's legal expenses.
Search engine marketing, or SEM, is a form of Internet marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs) through the use ofsearch engine optimization, paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion.. The New York Times restricts the definition to 'the practice of buying paid search listings'.
In 2008, North American advertisers spent US$13.5 billion on search engine marketing. The largest SEM vendors are Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing and Microsoft adCenter. As of 2006, SEM was growing much faster than traditional advertising and even other channels of online marketing. Because of the complex technology, a secondary "search marketing agency" market has evolved. Many marketers have difficulty understanding the intricacies of search engine marketing and choose to rely on third party agencies to manage their search marketing.
As the number of sites on the Web increased in the mid-to-late 90s, search engines started appearing to help people find information quickly. Search engines developed business models to finance their services, such as pay per click programs offered by Open Text in 1996 and then Goto.com in 1998. Goto.com later changed its name to Overture in 2001, and was purchased by Yahoo! in 2003, and now offers paid search opportunities for advertisers through Yahoo! Search Marketing. Google also began to offer advertisements on search results pages in 2000 through the Google AdWords program. By 2007, pay-per-click programs proved to be primary money-makers for search engines. In a market dominated by Google, in 2009 Yahoo! and Microsoft announced the intention to forge an alliance. The Yahoo! & Microsoft Search Alliance eventually received approval from regulators in the US and Europe in February 2010.
Search engine optimization consultants expanded their offerings to help businesses learn about and use the advertising opportunities offered by search engines, and new agencies focusing primarily upon marketing and advertising through search engines emerged. The term "Search Engine Marketing" was proposed by Danny Sullivan in 2001 to cover the spectrum of activities involved in performing SEO, managing paid listings at the search engines, submitting sites to directories, and developing online marketing strategies for businesses, organizations, and individuals.
Some of the latest theoretical advances include Search Engine Marketing Management (SEMM). SEMM relates to activities including SEO but focuses on return on investment (ROI) management instead of relevant traffic building (as is the case of mainstream SEO). SEMM also integrates organic SEO, trying to achieve top ranking without using paid means of achieving top in search engines, and PayPerClick SEO. For example some of the attention is placed on the web page layout design and how content and information is displayed to the website visitor.
Paid search advertising has not been without controversy, and the issue of how search engines present advertising on their search result pages has been the target of a series of studies and reports by Consumer Reports WebWatch. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also issued a letter in 2002 about the importance of disclosure of paid advertising on search engines, in response to a complaint from Commercial Alert, a consumer advocacy group with ties to Ralph Nader.
Vested interests appear to use the expressionSEM to mean exclusively Pay per click advertising to the extent that the wider advertising and marketing community have accepted this narrow definition. Such usage excludes the wider search marketing community that is engaged in other forms of SEM such as Search Engine Optimization and Search Retargeting.
Another ethical controversy associated with search marketing has been the issue of trademark infringement. The debate as to whether third parties should have the right to bid on their competitors' brand names has been underway for years. In 2009 Google changed their policy, which formerly prohibited these tactics, allowing 3rd parties to bid on branded terms as long as their landing page in fact provides information on the trademarked term. Though the policy has been changed this continues to be a source of heated debate.
Pay per click (PPC) is an Internet advertising model used on websites, in which advertisers pay their host only when their ad is clicked. With search engines, advertisers typically bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target market. Content sites commonly charge a fixed price per click rather than use a bidding system.
In contrast to the generalized portal, which seeks to drive a high volume of traffic to one site, PPC implements the so-called affiliate model, that provides purchase opportunities wherever people may be surfing. It does this by offering financial incentives (in the form of a percentage of revenue) to affiliated partner sites. The affiliates provide purchase-point click-through to the merchant. It is a pay-for-performance model: If an affiliate does not generate sales, it represents no cost to the merchant. Variations include banner exchange, pay-per-click, and revenue sharing programs.
Websites that utilize PPC ads will display an advertisement when a keyword query matches an advertiser's keyword list, or when a content site displays relevant content. Such advertisements are called sponsored links or sponsored ads, and appear adjacent to or above organic results on search engine results pages, or anywhere a web developer chooses on a content site.
Among PPC providers, Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, and Microsoft adCenter are the three largest network operators, and all three operate under a bid-based model. Cost per click (CPC) varies depending on the search engine and the level of competition for a particular keyword.
The PPC advertising model is open to abuse through click fraud, although Google and others have implemented automated systems to guard against abusive clicks by competitors or corrupt web developers.
There are two primary models for determining cost per click: flat-rate and bid-based. In both cases the advertiser must consider the potential value of a click from a given source. This value is based on the type of individual the advertiser is expecting to receive as a visitor to his or her website, and what the advertiser can gain from that visit, usually revenue, both in the short term as well as in the long term. As with other forms of advertising targeting is key, and factors that often play into PPC campaigns include the target's interest (often defined by a search term they have entered into a search engine, or the content of a page that they are browsing), intent (e.g., to purchase or not), location (for geo targeting), and the day and time that they are browsing.
In the flat-rate model, the advertiser and publisher agree upon a fixed amount that will be paid for each click. In many cases the publisher has a rate card that lists the CPC within different areas of their website or network. These various amounts are often related to the content on pages, with content that generally attracts more valuable visitors having a higher CPC than content that attracts less valuable visitors. However, in many cases advertisers can negotiate lower rates, especially when committing to a long-term or high-value contract.
The flat-rate model is particularly common to comparison shopping engines, which typically publish rate cards. However, these rates are sometimes minimal, and advertisers can pay more for greater visibility. These sites are usually neatly compartmentalized into product or service categories, allowing a high degree of targeting by advertisers. In many cases, the entire core content of these sites is paid ads
In the bid-based model, the advertiser signs a contract that allows them to compete against other advertisers in a private auction hosted by a publisher or, more commonly, an advertising network. Each advertiser informs the host of the maximum amount that he or she is willing to pay for a given ad spot (often based on a keyword), usually using online tools to do so. The auction plays out in an automated fashion every time a visitor triggers the ad spot.
When the ad spot is part of a search engine results page (SERP), the automated auction takes place whenever a search for the keyword that is being bid upon occurs. All bids for the keyword that target the searcher's geo-location, the day and time of the search, etc. are then compared and the winner determined. In situations where there are multiple ad spots, a common occurrence on SERPs, there can be multiple winners whose positions on the page are influenced by the amount each has bid. The ad with the highest bid generally shows up first, though additional factors such as ad quality and relevance can sometimes come into play (see Quality Score).
In addition to ad spots on SERPs, the major advertising networks allow for contextual ads to be placed on the properties of 3rd-parties with whom they have partnered. These publishers sign up to host ads on behalf of the network. In return, they receive a portion of the ad revenue that the network generates, which can be anywhere from 50% to over 80% of the gross revenue paid by advertisers. These properties are often referred to as a content network and the ads on them as contextual ads because the ad spots are associated with keywords based on the context of the page on which they are found. In general, ads on content networks have a much lower click-through rate (CTR) and conversion rate (CR) than ads found on SERPs and consequently are less highly valued. Content network properties can include websites, newsletters, and e-mails.
Advertisers pay for each click they receive, with the actual amount paid based on the amount bid. It is common practice amongst auction hosts to charge a winning bidder just slightly more (e.g. one penny) than the next highest bidder or the actual amount bid, whichever is lower. This avoids situations where bidders are constantly adjusting their bids by very small amounts to see if they can still win the auction while paying just a little bit less per click.
To maximize success and achieve scale, automated bid management systems can be deployed. These systems can be used directly by the advertiser, though they are more commonly used by advertising agencies that offer PPC bid management as a service. These tools generally allow for bid management at scale, with thousands or even millions of PPC bids controlled by a highly automated system. The system generally sets each bid based on the goal that has been set for it, such as maximize profit, maximize traffic at breakeven, and so forth. The system is usually tied into the advertiser's website and fed the results of each click, which then allows it to set bids. The effectiveness of these systems is directly related to the quality and quantity of the performance data that they have to work with - low-traffic ads can lead to a scarcity of data problem that renders many bid management tools useless at worst, or inefficient at best.
In February 1998 Jeffrey Brewer of Goto.com, a 25-employee startup company (later Overture, now part of Yahoo!), presented a pay per click search engine proof-of-concept to the TED conference in California. This presentation and the events that followed created the PPC advertising system. Credit for the concept of the PPC model is generally given to Idealab and Goto.com founder, Bill Gross.
Google started search engine advertising in December 1999. It was not until October 2000 that the AdWords system was introduced, allowing advertisers to create text ads for placement on the Google search engine. However, PPC was only introduced in 2002; until then, advertisements were charged at cost-per-thousand impressions
Although GoTo.com started PPC in 1998, Yahoo! did not start syndicating GoTo.com (later Overture) advertisers until November 2001. Prior to this, Yahoo's primary source of SERPS advertising included contextual IAB advertising units (mainly 468x60 display ads). When the syndication contract with Yahoo! was up for renewal in July 2003, Yahoo! announced intent to acquire Overture for $1.63 billion.
Cost per impression, often abbreviated to CPI or CPM for Cost per thousand impressions, is a phrase often used in online advertising and marketing related to web traffic. It is used for measuring the worth and cost of a specific e-marketing campaign. This technique is applied with web banners, text links, e-mail spam, and opt-in e-mail advertising, although opt-in e-mail advertising is more commonly charged on a cost per action (CPA) basis although sometimes CPM is used.
An online advertisement impression is a single appearance of an advertisement on a web page. Each time an advertisement loads onto a user's screen, the ad server may count that loading as one impression. However, the ad server may be programmed to exclude from the count certain nonqualifying activity such as a reload, internal user actions, and other events that the advertiser and ad serving company agreed to not count. For online advertising, the numbers of views can be a lot more precise. When a user requests a web page, the originating server creates a log entry. Also, a third party tracker can be placed in the web page to verify how many accesses that page had. There are other advertising pricing structures, which are generally referred to as Cost Per Action (CPA) :
CPI and/or Flat rate advertising deals are sometimes preferred by the publisher/webmaster because they will receive a more consistent fee proportional to the amount of traffic.
Today, it is very common for large publishers to charge for most of their advertising inventory on a CPM or CPT basis. A related term, effective cost per mille (eCPM), is used to measure the effectiveness of advertising inventory sold (by the publisher) via a CPC, CPA, or CPT basis.
This type of advertising arrangement closely resembles television and print advertising methods for speculating the cost of an advertisement. Often, industry agreed approximates are used. With television, the Nielsen ratings are used; print is based on the circulation a publication has.
CPM is frequently used in advertising to represent cost per thousand. When used in advertising it relates to the cost per thousand page impressions.
For sites earning revenue for advertising impressions, the related abbreviation RPM (revenue per thousand impressions) may be used.
It is important to remember that when someone says something like, "our CPM is $5," this means that the cost per impression is $0.005.
Dave, Chaffey, et.al.(2006) Internet Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. Prentice Hall:England
Cost Per Action or CPA (sometimes known as Pay Per Action or PPA) is an online advertising pricing model, where the advertiser pays for each specified action (a purchase, a form submission, and so on) linked to the advertisement.
Direct response advertisers consider CPA the optimal way to buy online advertising, as an advertiser only pays for the ad when the desired action has occurred. An action can be a product being purchased, a form being filled, etc. The desired action to be performed is determined by the advertiser.
The CPA can be determined by different factors, depending where the online advertising inventory is being purchased.
CPA is sometimes referred to as "Cost Per Acquisition", which has to do with the fact that most CPA offers by advertisers are about acquiring something (typically new customers by making sales). Using the term "Cost Per Acquisition" instead of "Cost Per Action" is not incorrect in such cases, but not all "Cost Per Action" offers can be referred to as "Cost Per Acquisition".
In CPL campaigns, advertisers pay for an interested lead (hence, Cost Per Lead) i.e. the contact information of a person interested in the advertiser's product or service. CPL campaigns are suitable for brand marketers and direct response marketers looking to engage consumers at multiple touchpoints by building a newsletter list, community site, reward program or member acquisition program.
In CPA campaigns, the advertiser typically pays for a completed sale involving a credit card transaction.
There are other important differentiators:
In other words, the eCPA tells the advertiser what they would have paid if they had purchased the advertising inventory on a Cost Per Action basis (instead of a Cost Per Click, Cost Per Impression, or Cost Per Mille/Thousand basis).
The Online Lead Generation Glossary
Tutorial on the CPA / CPM / CPC / dCPM advertising models