The Primacy of Online Advertising

DISCLAIMER

The Primacy of Online Advertising is a study made to assess the effectiveness of such marketing method for promoting a company’s products and services - The Primacy of Online Advertising introduction. However, the results of the study do not and can not entirely determine if online advertising is the best among all advertising alternatives. While the paper may give focus on the advantages of online promotion, it does not aim to create competition among these advertising means and can not conclude if indeed online advertising is the best way to promote all or most of the products and services in the market. The success of advertising a product or a service is still dependent on how well the choice of the marketing mix fits the subject.

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Abstract

            The advent of technology has brought new heights for many industries, including that of advertising. This height almost threatened the traditional advertising media, namely television, radio, and print, and reached an extent of synergy where traditional media were using the internet to advertise themselves whereas the internet is putting the traditional media in very little use to advertise themselves.

            This is not the only proof that the online advertising culture is on the rise. The creation of new developments have opened more doors for advertisers in getting customer’s attention, and ultimately influence them to buy their products or get their services. As a result, the online advertising became bigger than ever, and as more people discover the online life, so do more advertisers struggle for a piece of the web, get noticed, and hit the consumerism jackpot.

Hypothesis

Why is online advertising growing so big, and at a faster rate than how its counterparts did? Why are more advertisers being lured into this new marketing? Is online advertising considerably better than other means? How has online advertising helped brands grow?

Online advertising is bound by many questions, most of them questions of wonder on how this newbie made it to the industry ruled by television, radio, and printed materials. The Primacy of Online Advertising discusses the online advertising industry, the process of promotion using the World Wide Web, in hope to shed light to these questions and more surrounding the subject. Growing in an unprecedented rate, online advertising is by far the trendiest and most cost-effective means for many companies to make their products known, or to create recall for their products. Subscribed to by advertisers both old and new, online promotions enabled new products and services to be marketed in more creative ways. Online advertising incorporated tested marketing advantages gained from traditional media while using technology to deliver it in enticingly new ways.

Arguably, this new way of advertising products has taken an edge in the marketing industry because of many things: potential, market reach, exposure, cost, and its compatibility to the ever-changing lifestyle of customers. With an evaluation of the effectiveness of online advertising, its advantages as well as disadvantages, and how it competes against other advertising industries. It also concludes on why it can be considered better than its competition, and tests its effectiveness and concept on a real service industry both through theory and practice. The paper therefore concludes that online advertising is a better advertising alternative today.

Introduction

            From a mere interconnection of files, the internet has now conquered all industries and is connecting people all over the world. Companies big and small has been widely influenced by this technology that now it is hardly imaginable to do business without the influence of the internet. (Zumwinkel 2002) This is the case especially if you are talking about advertising.

When online advertising started in HotWired in 1994 with an AT&T click-on banner (Hollis 2005), it was not necessarily hot. Fortunately, the time it was waiting for came. The online advertising industry has never been bigger. Now, it is taking competitive edge against other advertising forms, especially radio and print advertising. Companies who have surveyed their consumers and found out that customers spend more time on the internet rather than listen to the radio or read magazines have resorted to online advertising. There are also advertisers who opted for the online option to make a difference—hopeful to get consumers’ attention—and avoid the conventional advertising methods.

The Primacy of Online Advertising aims to prove through valuable resources that online advertising, unlike pessimists say, is a viable option for companies who would like to reach a new market—a market that is growing bigger every day. In doing so, the paper follows this set of objectives:

·      To collect as much information there is to study online advertising;

·      To identify its strengths and weaknesses through key issues;

·      To prove the effectiveness of online advertising; and

·      To know if online advertising can work for small industry players.

The paper discusses several key issues that directly affect the online advertising industry. The advertising industry today is discussed, followed by the advantages of advertising online. In covering why companies should advertise online, several sub-topics appears to be useful for discussion. For one, consumer psychology is important, as well as impact, competitive advantage, and innovative edge. All these factors shall help prove the effectiveness of online advertising.

Online advertising also treks a highly competitive industry reigned over by television, radio, print, and other media. However, the paper attempts to differentiate this so-said competition where there is no claims to be made for naming online advertising as the best, but rather a choice for advertisers. There is also an attempt to predict the future of online advertising.

After the key issues, discussed from pages 8 to 18 of the paper, an evaluation and analysis of the collected data is introduced in page 9. The evaluation and analysis will help explain the relevance of the collected data into proving the primacy of online advertising. A design agenda will also be included tackling the use of online media to advertise a microenterprise.

The 28-paged paper will use secondary sources in data collection as well as primary accounts based on evaluating the secondary sources. The Primacy of Online Advertising does not utilize surveys of any sorts as it attempts to create a global study of the subject. While the design agenda of the paper talks about a small enterprise in Singapore, it does not focus in proving that online advertising is effective in Singapore alone. Being a global thing, the internet and online advertising that comes with it is approached in a global perspective in this paper. Thus, the attempt to prove that online advertising is an effective medium for marketers approaches the big world, as big as the World Wide Web now is.

Key Issues

Advertising Today

            Today’s is a highly saturated advertising world. When a buyer rides a bus or the subway, uses a public toilet, reads the newspaper, or watches the television, he is bombarded by hundreds of products and services parading to catch his attention, and ultimately convince him to purchase them. With this scenario, it may be difficult to imagine how a product, service, or even an advertising avenue can penetrate the advertising world. However, this evidently did not become a problem for alternative advertising avenues to get a share of the limelight. Despite the television being the ruler of all advertising channels, new players are not letting themselves very far behind. There is still the radio, who never fails to stimulate listeners with audio commercials. There is also the eternal allure of print advertisements that we see on magazines, newspapers, posters, and fliers. Marketers also play with details in advertising, using marketing ploys such as coupons, freebies, samplers, shows, and many others. And then there is online advertising which grew as fast as the population of web users.

            The advertising world is changing fast and marketers are always right on track, ready to take on the changes and making sure that their exposure of their products and services are updated for the consumers. As Mary Wells Lawrence, referring to the need for new advertising techniques, said:

                                    “In this business, you can never wash the dinner

dishes and say they are done. You have to keep

doing them instantly.” (Simpson 1988)

Timing is very important, and so is execution. Marketers are always ready to try on what is hot and ditch what is not to please their buyers and keep them. Innovation is an important aspect in any industry and businesses need to grow with it, always searching and implementing new ways to market. (Alziari 2002) The changes in the advertising world include the rise in online marketing, rising next to television and ahead of radio advertising. Meyer (2006) approves to this by saying that in 1995, the online advertising industry raked in as much as three times the earnings of radio advertising.

Why advertise online?

For bigger companies, there was no choice to be made. Rather, it will be necessary to exploit all four media for the sake of making the product widely known. But the case is different for small- and medium-size enterprises who can only allot a budget in one or two advertising methods. It is essential for them to be able to choose the better avenues in which to put their advertisements. If they choose the wrong channel, there is the grave risk of wasting their hard-earned advertising money without any returns.

There are four points of discussion when proving that online advertising is the better alternative for companies aspiring to advertise their products or services: consumer psychology, advertising impact, competitive advantage, and innovative edge.

Consumer Psychology: Understanding the Buyer

In discussing any form of advertising, there is a very heavy weight put on consumers—the target of all advertisements and the judges to a product’s success or failure. Many books discuss the psychology of consumerism, trying to figure the psychology behind what consumers want and how to make them buy a product or avail a service. Consumer psychology, Hopkins (2005) certify, is indeed an important part of advertising—that the buying decisions of customers are largely dependent on the way they think and feel.

Advertising does not only intend to sell, it also aims to create groups of clients. The ultimate goal is to get a group of regular consumers, while remaining sensitive about their individual preferences. (Boorstin 1973) Advertising is only considered effective when it has served its purpose of reaching the most number of customers, at the most cost-effective way, with the most number of responses. In the end, customer perception is the measure of success for both the advertisement as well as the advertising channel.

Hopkins (2005) seconds Boorstin by saying that scientific advertising requires a marketer to be specific and think of one buyer who embodies the mass of buyers he has or is expecting. This regard to individuality is greatly important in advertising. But when a marketer has classified the individualistic preferences of his consumers, he should try and touch generalities as well. Statistics and a little research will not hurt.

            According to Warholic (2007), 83% of males and 75.2% of females between 18 and 24 years old have internet access. The same source states that the Online Publisher’s Association’s Generational Study on September 2004 proved that internet and television tied at the top as the most popular media. 96% of survey respondents also confirmed that they will go online first if they need to get information. Data like these are factors that help marketers decide how they place their products. Thus, as more advertisers go online, more marketers are lured to join the bandwagon.

            Warholic (2007) further reveals information about consumers:

Usage of internet

(Males and females, 18-24 years old)
74%   entertainment

73%   part of daily routine

65%   informational

50%   relaxation
Internet vs. other media

(Males and females, 18-24 years old)
76%   Finding information is better online than   magazines

72%   Finding music is better online

56%   Reading a story online is the same as offline

50%   Photo browsing is same online and offline
Table 1. Usage of internet and its relation with other media.

            This is the first aspect that made internet advertising big: it is capable of knowing its audience and relating to them. Foo (2005) agrees, saying that among the advantages of online advertising is delivering personalized messages to much targeted market. This is evident in the homogenous lineup of many advertising placements in subject-specific sites. For instance, we will see athletic brands, energy drinks, and health supplements being advertised in sports websites, but will see very few of them in websites catering for mothers.

            This niche marketing aspect of online advertising, Meyer (2006) agrees, is undoubtedly one of the biggest advantages of online marketing over other advertising venues. As an example, a hotelier who finds out that 57% of vacationers reserve tickets online before a trip or a vacation (Online advertising advantages 2001), a feature that television or radio cannot do without the help of the telephone, will might as well place an advertising placement online rather than on a 10-seconder television spot which will cost more but give less exposure.

Impact is the Name of the Game

Consumers, as well, are affected by advertising. The more effective the product is advertised, the better consumers remember the product or service and the more chances the product or service will be bought. The way a product or service is presented in an advertisement also makes a big difference in the consumer’s perception towards purchasing. Furthermore, the presentation is influenced by many factors, including the look and feel of the advertisement (is it familiar or unique? appealing or not?), completeness (did it say where thee products can be bought? for how much?), accuracy (was the advertisement truthful?), and positioning (how and where was the advertisement placed?). As Bruneau (2000) puts it:

            “Your advertising should blaze new trails to reach the

people you want to reach. If your ad is just like something

that’s been done before, you’re taking a chance that the

audience hasn’t changed. And in today’s world, that’s a big risk.”

An effective advertising channel preferably offers all these factors affecting the presentation of the product. Thus, in proving that online advertising is better, apart from customer response it shall be noted if it has the above-mentioned factors.

            Many advertisements have come and go, but there are few which people just can’t grow out of. In effect, the brands sported in those unforgettable advertisements also enjoy, equally, the popularity of their commercials. This is how effective impact is in the advertising industry.

            Online advertisements enjoy impact with its capabilities of presenting products and services because it enables traditional advertising to be shown to the audience in different ways. Foo (2005) refers to this as synergy, stating that creativity becomes boundless with the advent of online marketing.

Competitive Advantage

            Apart from these, another bullet point is the different avenues in which advertisements can be made, and how online advertising stands out among these avenues. King over the advertising industry for ages, offline advertising has helped billions of brands be known. Using the power of television, radio, and print media, it became a fool-proof choice for any company. Consumers, in return, benefited from the power of offline advertising. It was highly accessible, part of the daily routine, and had incredible register. But online advertising grew faster and bigger because of less production and placement costs, new and creative placement techniques, global reach, accessibility, and the feasibility of measuring how many customers have been reached and how they are responding, apart from other perks. This is competitive advantage.

            In business, competitive advantage is defined by Gadiesh (2002) as the things that set a company apart and above its competitors. This is true in concluding that online marketing has competitive advantage.

            Niche or segmented marketing, as said a while ago, is an advantage of online advertising. Because the people who access certain websites have particular points of interests in common, marketers are able to sift through the details and use very specific messages and advertising tactics to get the consumers’ attention.

            On a larger scope, an advantage of online advertising is also in its geographical reach, as it can encompass and reach audiences from different countries across the globe at the fastest rate and the cheapest cost. (Foo 2005)

            A more important aspect as well is the ability of marketers to track the results of their advertising placements, depending on the style of advertisement they choose. (Meyer 2006) Here applies a management adage that Sawhney (2002) asserted:

                                    “There’s an old saying in management that, if you

can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”

As HotWired started the online advertising bandwagon, it was also the first to test the effectiveness of the trend with the help of Millward Brown (Hollis 2005)—a test which led to the conclusion that banner ads were able to get consumer’s attention and helped build the brand it sported.

            With these proofs of online advertising being better, Sharma (2005) claims that surveys showed many marketers are cutting down spending on traditional advertisement to invest more on online marketing.

78%
Search engines
64%
Blog advertising
57%
RSS (Really Simple Syndication)
52%
Mobile device advertising
Table 2. Online advertising choices of marketers vs. traditional media. (Sharma 2005)

            Studies also revealed that online consumers spend about 1/3 of their time in the office online, as much time as they would spend on a normal day watching TV. (Sharma 2005) Also, these people who have access to the internet are generally buyers, or people capable of buying the stuff they see in advertisements if they feel they need them or want them.

            Swartz (2005) is also positive about online advertising. He points out that one of the most famous forms of online advertising, the paid search ads which appear at the top, side or pop up window when a related keyword is searched such as with a search engine such as Yahoo or Google, is chosen by many marketers for its cost-effectiveness. With paid search ads, the banner displays the advertisement—with the brand name—but advertisers only get to pay when the ad is clicked—far better versus the upfront fees demanded by traditional media

It is especially true that online marketing gets a marketer more for his advertising money rather than just spending for television or a radio advertisement. Brown (2003) asserts this advantage, saying that it is better for a product or service to be advertised with effectiveness despite a poor budget, rather than having an effective budget but a poor advertisement.

Another advantage of online advertising is the number of online audiences that can be reached at any one time. Statistics say that there is an average of 35 million people daily in Yahoo and AOL, far more than audiences of TV and radio shows. (Swartz 2005)

Innovative Edge

            Upon proving that online advertising is better, it is noteworthy to study its staying power. Is it a fad, or an alternative advertising module that is here to stay? Innovative edge, or its ability to adapt to the fast and constantly changing lifestyle of the consumers, shall answer this question. If resolved in favor of online advertising, this proves which the better advertising method is.

            The staying power of online advertising is evident in its big role in synergistic advertising. Bruneau (2000) defines synergistic advertising as the use of different media conveying the same message at one time, which is more effective instead of using the same single media to convey a message at different times.

            Continuous improvements on technology and developments in the internet shall also be beneficial to the online advertising industry, as it will surely break new grounds in the processes in which advertisements are placed online. The more advanced technologies become, the more creative, impressive, and impactful advertisements online can become.

Is there Competition with the Other Media?

            In the beginning interactive advertising online was feared as it can easily overpower traditional media, as many media players predict. (Steinbock 2000) Online marketing was aggressive, new, trendy, and unlike traditional media it became evident that it is cheaper and more effective depending on how it is used strategically. Godin (2000) says that marketers should not be hampered by their desire to earn out of selling their ideas. It is therefore safe to say that the internet, with all its quick and free information, is the advertising way to go.

But claiming that online advertising is the best method is altogether different from saying that it is a better advertising alternative today, and this statement may not be absolutely appropriate because all advertising channels are options open for marketers to use. In fact, Schumann and Thorson (1999) states that when the online marketing industry was just starting, many critics highlighted the loopholes in using the online medium. However, only big marketers can use all four media. For the ordinary advertiser who is working on a shoestring budget for advertising, a choice among the media available will be necessary. It follows that the advertiser should be able to choose the better media among all those available, if not the best.

This is where the competition lies. It is not making one the best channel among all others, it is assessing which is most effective for an advertiser who can only choose one or two channels to advertise into and get the most number of audiences know his product or service. In 1995 in the United Kingdom, Meyer (2006) reported that the online advertising industry has become three times bigger than the biggest the radio advertising market has been and a third as big as the television market with $2.48 in value. In the third quarter of 2006, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP reported that internet advertising reached its $4.28 value, according to a study it did for Interactive Advertising Bureau. (U.S. online advertising hits high in 3Q 2006) In fact, even other media is utilizing the internet to penetrate the online audience. This is evident in the growing number of television stations setting up websites and placing online advertisements. The popular YouTube.com, which is catering to television-style video uploading/downloading is even offering advertisements before each video is presented. Many television stations also started offering taped episodes of their programs online. The same goes with radio stations, with online radio channels sprouting up all over the world wide web. Interestingly, very few websites advertise in television and radio shows, or even offer themselves accessible in these media.

Forecasts on Online Advertising

            According to Online advertising advantages (2001), about 12 million people buy and sell things online. This statistic refers to the buyers and sellers only. Thus, this figure can still grow when we speak of people who get exposed to online advertisements but buy the products or services offline such as over-the-counter or through the telephone or mail order. It is therefore safe to say that the exposure brought about by online marketing to products and services is even more than this figure, considering that many people see online advertisements without necessarily buying them.

As exhibited in many researches that have been discussed above, online advertising also enjoys a consistent growth. To add, in the end of 2006 online advertising was up by 25%. (Associated Press2006) This further ratifies the strength that online advertising is getting as time goes by. This, Draizen (2007) says, indicates that marketers are beginning to realize the real power of advertising through the interactivity of internet marketing. This realization is beneficial for the staying power of online marketing in the advertising arena.

The growth in broadband connectivity is a third advantage that cannot be denied of online marketing. More people are using broadband and real-time, speedy internet connections, allowing better imagery which is especially helpful in the success of online advertisements. This is certified by Halper (2004) saying that researchers predict by 2009 there will be 38 million subscribers in WiFi in US and Western Europe. This growth is advantageous not only to the internet providers. Online advertising grows as the internet grows, and with faster connections online surfing becomes easier and more popular. In effect, online advertisements shall also grow. The creativity also enjoys positive effects, as more executions become possible with better internet connection.

Methods and Approach

The research on why online advertising is better than offline advertising will utilize a thorough research using existing studies and sources. Existing researches and white papers on the subject will be widely beneficial. Likewise, books on consumer psychology, advertising, marketing, and online promotions will be used extensively throughout the research. Articles from magazines and newspaper carrying relevant data to effectively answer the research question will also be used. As the paper subscribes to the effectiveness of technology in industries, internet sources will also be extensively utilized.

            For analyzing the paper, the author will be analyzing the data gathered from different sources and will try to interpret their effects on proving or disproving as well as answering the thesis of the research. The analysis shall also include comparisons between the author’s and other sources’ analyses of the topic. This shall reveal if online advertising was better than offline means, why, and in what extent.

Evaluation and Analysis

Today’s advertising arena has virtually changed because of the birth of online advertising. Online advertising trekked up the market slowly yet surely, and its popularity has now become a tremendous phenomenon that never fails to surprise, with all its new tricks and techniques to catch the consumer’s attention being cooked up everyday. It is an industry where there is a need to constantly invent something new. Indeed, with advertising one should be up for the challenge to create, innovate, and participate. Repetition is acceptable, but using convention and intrusion without creativity will waste precious time, money and effort.

Take for example spam or unsolicited email that does not often get attention from its readers. In fact, more spasm get blocked or deleted readily by recipients who do not bother wasting time even just opening them. Timing and execution is important in advertising, because the impression of the people to a product and their desire to buy is often dictated by their attitudes. If an advertisement is placed at a wrong time and with a bad execution, consumers may get a negative or bad impression about the product.

Companies big and small can benefit from online advertising. Still, the most number of subscribers for online advertising is undoubtedly the small and medium advertisers. As discussed, big companies can advertise in any form of media that they please, and they can hire researchers and advertising agencies to do the tedious task of creating and placing the advertisement in the most effective way they think there is. Smaller companies, however, need to get a channel that is cheap yet effective, and can reach the most number of people with what little investment for advertising they can give. A notable case is that of eBay, whose advertisements proliferate online. The rise of eBay may be credited to the subliminal execution of their advertisements. They achieved a level of success because they were being seen by internet users, who are also their market as internet sellers and buyers. This exemplifies that consumer psychology is one reason why online advertising is a good choice. It offers every individual consumer a message, yet collective enough to reach big populations. Thus, an advertisement online in Singapore accessed by a consumer in a different country can still get an exposure effective enough for it to sell.

Research showed that there are 83% male and 75.2% female consumers aged 18 to 24 years old who have access to the internet. This figure, it should be noted, is within the age range of people who are buyers of commodities. Thus, if these buyers see the online advertisements companies place, they are getting exposed to them. If we come up with the average of 83% and 75.2%, we see that the products these populations see online have 79% of maximum chance to get bought. The generational study of the Online Publisher’s Association also says much about online advertising. If internet is the most popular media, then it is safe to conclude that online advertisements get the advantage of this channel’s popularity as well.

Table 1 in the key issues shows how the internet, deemed as a popular media by the respondents, is used. In their own percentages, entertainment, daily routine, information, and relaxing were named as reasons for using the internet. This exhibits that people accessing the internet were purposeful in their use of it, the same way that people watch television or listen to the radio, or read a newspaper pr magazine. On the other hand, the comparison made between the internet and other media showcased that more respondents find the internet as more effective in many aspects such as music, research, and photo browsing. This ratifies the 96% of the respondents who said that they will go to the internet first to get information they need.

This opens up the discussion to the advantages of online advertising. As already evident in the research, online advertising delivers personalized yet collective messages. Advertisers are able to do this niche marketing or segmented marketing approach because every website has a specific topic, and thus very specific audiences. For instance, an airline company who wants the most targeted advertisement shall install placements on tourist and travel websites. Despite that niche marketing capability, the messages they deliver is also collective so the same airline company can show up in a lifestyle blog or an RSS service and still get noticed.

Impact is also enjoyed by online advertising, especially because it offers new ways of presenting products and services. First, it utilizes sounds and video, something television is also capable of providing yet something internet can offer at a cheaper price. Boundless creativity, as said, has been the key.

Competitive advantage is another pillar of online advertising. Apart from the very positive effects of niche marketing, geographical reach also plays an important role. The internet can reach global audiences, and matched with the collective yet personalized messaging that it offers it is very advantageous to products and services. The internet also enables results tracking, measured by surveys and hits, which is otherwise difficult to do with the other media such as television and radio. These make online advertising options popular.

In Table 2 was a comparative survey on the more popular means of advertising online. 78% chose the most popular search engine, which   as we expounded, is popular because of its cost-effectiveness. Advertising in search engines can be priced as low as free, especially with the chief players Yahoo and Google. Some advertisers also choose to take the edge and pay for these search ads, but cleverly too they sometimes only pay when they get a hit (when the ad is clicked by a user). Thus, they get exposure but sometimes need not spend a dime for it.

Blog advertisements is another growing trend. Blogs, or online diaries, are becoming popular for it allows internet users to create a personalized page about their life, work, or hobbies. When ads are placed in blogs, the advertisers also only get to pay the blogger advertising fees if a blog reader clicks on the advertisement—and advertisers have a way of knowing the it is really the reader and not the blogger who clicks on the advertisement.

Other popular means are RSS (Really Simple Syndication) that allows advertisements to be fed automatically with news and other RSS contents straight to an audience personal computer. For instance, a customer can get an advertisement if he subscribed to the RSS of Yahoo News. Mobile device advertising, another growing trend, is catching up and taking on the online advertising popularity by sending messages to mobile phone subscribers. With the advanced technology of mobile phones today, advertisements do not only limit themselves to simple texts but also through MMS (multimedia message system) which uses pictures and sounds, video, and sound clips. Thanks to GPRS and newer technology, this forming of advertising is getting better.

The research found that online consumers spend 1/3 of their time online. According to the study, this is as much as the time that they would spend on television on a normal day. This is evidence that online advertising is on a good ground. It should also be noted that online consumers are capable of buying products and services, considering that the population of internet subscribers and users are in the upper classes. This is furthered by the fact that the population of internet users is growing. The study reports that Yahoo and AOL alone are enjoyed by 35 million viewers, daily. It should be noted that there are many more websites out there, thus many more audiences not in the statistics but being touched by online advertising.

Synergy has played an important part in the success of this advertising. Giving it innovative edge, online advertising was able to use technology to offer what traditional media offers conventionally. Instead of just interrupting a show on television, the advertisement may be placed inside a text frame or beside a video or picture to get noticed—a respect the consumers surely appreciate. The internet’s growth is also pillared by synergy as many companies, especially the big ones, can choose to advertise in all media and enjoy the benefits if reaching all kinds of consumers—online or offline. As well, technological developments have made the growth positively well, and consistent.

With the growth in audience share, advertising possibilities, broadband connectivity and the speed of connection, as well as creative executions, online advertising is on the rise. Because of being true to the premise that it can reach the most number of audiences at the least amount of capital, online advertising is the better advertising alternative for most companies today.

Summary

            The growth of online advertising surprised the players of other media especially in terms of the innovations that it offered. Today, there are many ways in which a company can advertise their products, but the question lies with how much companies are willing to spend for an exposure…and if they have the money to fund such undertaking. Secondarily, companies need to figure out if the money they are spending is worth it. This can be measured by the amount of exposure the advertising channel can offer, and the specification of this exposure.

            By using online advertising, companies get advertising opportunities that has more exposure, even global exposure, to targeted and segmented markets at less cost compared to advertising using traditional media. With enough understanding about consumer psychology, impact, competitive advantage, and innovative edge, online advertising is a choice for many marketers for their advertisements.

            However, it should be declined to name online advertising to be the best advertising channel today. The comparison should highly concentrate on which channel is a better choice for companies, advertisers, or marketers who need a comprehensive exposure at a lesser cost. Given that television, radio, and print advertising are highly costly, online advertising became a better choice for many.

            With the advantages of online advertising, it is sure to stay. The continuing innovation and development in the technological world will do much and contribute to the growth of this industry. Having proven its effectiveness, too, makes it safe to assume that online advertising will be a better choice for many in the years to come.

Design Agenda

            Having seen the advantages of online advertising, it is best to study its effectiveness as put in a real-life setting. It has been known to work for many big companies who were able to set up flashy and highly artistic websites. But will it work for a lowly restaurant such as SengHuat Eating House, a hawker stall in Singapore that offers great food at very reasonable prices but with very little money to get global attention?

            It has been said that online advertising has both consumer psychology and impact. Thus, SengHuat shall be placed in places where its target visitors are most probably visiting. Tourist and travel websites as well as paid search ads for the keywords hawker stalls, Singapore, Singapore restaurants, and the likes will be useful. The execution possibilities are endless.

A primary option is click-on banner advertisements or text links in travel and tourist websites. Even the growing trend of pop-up advertising may be used. These banner advertisements shall be leading to the SengHuat website which will offer information on the food house, menu, prices, location, and other offerings. Free listings in search engines and travel websites will also be utilized. Yahoo and Google which offer this free service are top options. Travel review sites such as travel blogs are also on the list and will have to be created and marketed. Linking the website to these blogs and having ex-deals with other sites specially travel ones will be of big help. Authoritative travel guides may also be contacted for assistance, such as Lonely Planet.

            This will be undoubtedly more cost-effective for many different reasons. First, placing advertisements in tourist and travel websites will enable SengHuat to reach travelers going to and around Singapore. The idea may be too grandiose for a hawker stall, but executing the advertisement and making SengHuat appear as a travel destination to experience the best food of Singapore will fit the idea. Secondly, the use of online advertising is the most cost-efficient advertising means because it can reach global audiences, travelers and Singaporeans alike. It does not confine the exposure of SengHuat to Singaporeans alone, it can reach as far and wide as Europe and the United States where backpackers are especially present and consistent customers to these hawker stalls when they travel in other countries.

            Thirdly, studies have shown that travelers mostly check information online first before consulting offline references. This includes travelers inquiring information on their destinations, making it easy for SengHuat to penetrate them. Travelers planning their trips check the internet for food shops, hotels, and things to do in their destination. If they find Seng Huat online, SengHaut gets better chances of getting visited by the tourist compared to having no online presence at all. In connection, businesses should learn to adapt to changes, even in advertising, and it is highly advantageous for SengHuat to take its first step by having online presence.

Lastly, if SengHuat places the advertisements in other media, it will have to deal with millions of dollars coordinating with lots of television and radio stations and publishers, whose audiences are not necessarily segmented as travelers to Singapore. Thus, spending money on these channels will prove futile.

The use of online marketing has been proven useful for expanding small businesses. Even hawker stall in other countries who have simply signed up free on search engine listings are getting customers from all over the globe, eager to taste what they have to offer and what the clients expected to get from another side of the world. With online advertising, it is highly expected that SengHuat will achieve its goals of becoming a tourist destination in Singapore.

Summary

            SengHuat Food Stall will find online advertising beneficial for its quest to be a tourist food destination in Singapore. Exploiting the advantages of online advertising will give it the exposure it needs at a fraction of its cost. While it may be too grandiose at first thought, it shall be remembered that online advertising fits any budget, and even stalls like SengHuat which has little or no money can exploit this free resource.

Conclusion

Online advertising has proven itself to be the better choice for companies who are in the dilemma of choosing which advertising channel is the best to choose, given that they cannot invest on all media available. While television is undoubtedly a prestigious choice, the expense that companies had to undertake in placing their commercials in thousand-dollar 30-second spots have stifled television advertising use for smaller companies. With very cost-effective offers and boundless possibilities in presenting a product or service, online marketing achieved an unprecedented growth that has been fast and advantageous to both marketers and online players alike. Its growth was tremendous, that even other media are using the internet to advertise themselves to online audiences, where interestingly very little number of online players advertise themselves on television, radio, or print.

It has been a good start for online advertising, and though there is no real competition between it and the other media, sometimes a choice must be made. And oftentimes, as proven in the study, online advertising enjoys the primacy.

References

Alziari, L. 2002, ‘Obtaining market leadership by valuing innovation, autonomy, and partnership internally’, in M Ashby & S Miles (authors), Leaders talk leadership: top executives speak their minds, Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 117-120

Associated Press 2006, McClatchy advertising growth: online up, classifieds down. Retrieved March 3, 2007, from http://www.startribune.com/535/story/857856.html

Boostin, D. 1973, The Americans: the democratic experience, Random House, New York.

Brown, G. 2003, Advertising for results. Retrieved March 2, 2007, from the Ad4results website database.

Bruneau, E. 2000, Prescription for advertising, Boston Books, Washington

Foo, S. 2005, Online advertising-advantages and disadvantages. Retrieved February 28, 2007, from http://wiki.media-culture.org.au/index.php/Online_Advertising_-_Advantages_and_Disadvantages

Gadiesh, O. 2002, ‘Navigating in today’s business environment: companies with a “strategic principle” have a tool at the ready ’, in M Ashby & S Miles (authors), Leaders talk leadership: top executives speak their minds, Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 104-105

Godin S. 2000, Unleashing the idea virus, Do You Zoom, Inc., New York.

Halper, M. 2004, ‘Future focus’, Time, 13 December, p.50.

Hollis, N. 2005, ‘Ten years of learning on how online advertising builds brands,’ Journal of Advertising Research, vol. 45, no. 2, pp.255

Hopkins, C. 2005, Scientific advertising. Retrieved March 1, 2007, from the Project Gutenberg database

Meyer, D. 2006, In U.K., online advertising overtakes magazines. Retrieved March 2, 2007, from http://news.com.com/In+U.K.,+online+advertising+overtakes+magazines/2100-1024_3-6104592.html

Online advertising advantages 2001. Retrieved February 28, 2007, from http://www.economy.co.yu/english/marketing/online_advertising_advantages.html

Sawhney, M. 2002, ‘The new sources of competitive advantage’, in M Ashby & S Miles (authors), Leaders talk leadership: top executives speak their minds, Oxford University Press, New York, pp.109-112

Schumann, D. and Thorson, E. 1999, Advertising and the world wide web, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, New Jersey

Sharma, D. 2005, Online advertising on upswing. Retrieved February 28, 2007, from http://news.com.com/Online+advertising+on+upswing/2100-1024_3-5693617.html

Simpson, J. 1988, Simpson’s contemporary quotations, Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.

Steinbock, D. 2000, The birth of internet marketing communications, Quorun Books, Connecticut

Swartz, J. 2005, Growth of online ads hits high speed. Retrieved March 2, 2007, from http://www.usatoday.com/money/advertising/2005-01-16-online-ads_x.htm

U.S. online advertising hits high in 3Q 2006. Retrieved March 3, 2007, from http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=2652392&CMP=OTC-RSSFeeds0312

Warholic, J. 2007, The new web world. Retrieved March 2, 2007, from http://pwebs.net/marketing/articles/internet-marketing-media.htm

Zumwinkel, K. 2002, ‘Leadership in the globalized marketplace’, in M Ashby & S Miles (authors), Leaders talk leadership: top executives speak their minds, Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 127-130

Bibliography

Books

Alziari, L. 2002, ‘Obtaining market leadership by valuing innovation, autonomy, and partnership internally’, in M Ashby & S Miles (authors), Leaders talk leadership: top executives speak their minds, Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 117-120

Boostin, D. 1973, The Americans: the democratic experience, Random House, New York.

Bruneau, E. 2000, Prescription for advertising, Boston Books, Washington

Gadiesh, O. 2002, ‘Navigating in today’s business environment: companies with a “strategic principle” have a tool at the ready ’, in M Ashby & S Miles (authors), Leaders talk leadership: top executives speak their minds, Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 104-105

Godin S. 2000, Unleashing the idea virus, Do You Zoom, Inc., New York.

Sawhney, M. 2002, ‘The new sources of competitive advantage’, in M Ashby & S Miles (authors), Leaders talk leadership: top executives speak their minds, Oxford University Press, New York, pp.109-112

Simpson, J. 1988, Simpson’s contemporary quotations, Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.

Steinbock, D. 2000, The birth of internet marketing communications, Quorun Books, Connecticut

Zumwinkel, K. 2002, ‘Leadership in the globalized marketplace’, in M Ashby & S Miles (authors), Leaders talk leadership: top executives speak their minds, Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 127-130

Electronic books

Brown, G. 2003, Advertising for results. Retrieved March 2, 2007, from the Ad4results website database.

Hopkins, C. 2005, Scientific advertising. Retrieved March 1, 2007, from the Project Gutenberg database

Schumann, D. and Thorson, E. 1999, Advertising and the world wide web, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, New Jersey

Internet sources

Associated Press 2006, McClatchy advertising growth: online up, classifieds down. Retrieved March 3, 2007, from http://www.startribune.com/535/story/857856.html

Foo, S. 2005, Online advertising-advantages and disadvantages. Retrieved February 28, 2007, from http://wiki.media-culture.org.au/index.php/Online_Advertising_-_Advantages_and_Disadvantages

Meyer, D. 2006, In U.K., online advertising overtakes magazines. Retrieved March 2, 2007, from http://news.com.com/In+U.K.,+online+advertising+overtakes+magazines/2100-1024_3-6104592.html

Online advertising advantages 2001. Retrieved February 28, 2007, from http://www.economy.co.yu/english/marketing/online_advertising_advantages.html

Sharma, D. 2005, Online advertising on upswing. Retrieved February 28, 2007, from http://news.com.com/Online+advertising+on+upswing/2100-1024_3-5693617.html

Swartz, J. 2005, Growth of online ads hits high speed. Retrieved March 2, 2007, from http://www.usatoday.com/money/advertising/2005-01-16-online-ads_x.htm

U.S. online advertising hits high in 3Q 2006. Retrieved March 3, 2007, from http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=2652392&CMP=OTC-RSSFeeds0312

Warholic, J. 2007, The new web world. Retrieved March 2, 2007, from http://pwebs.net/marketing/articles/internet-marketing-media.htm

Journals

Hollis, N. 2005, ‘Ten years of learning on how online advertising builds brands,’ Journal of Advertising Research, vol. 45, no. 2, pp.255

Magazines

Halper, M. 2004, ‘Future focus’, Time, 13 December, p.50.

 

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