There is no doubt about it—the Internet has changed the world we live in. Never before has it been so easy to access information; communicate with people all over the globe; and share articles, videos, photos, and all manner of media.
The Internet has led to an increasingly connected environment, and the growth of Internet usage has resulted in the declining distribution of traditional media: television, radio, newspapers, and magazines. Marketing in this connected environment and using that connectivity to the market is marketing.
Marketing embraces a wide range of strategies, but what underpins successful remarketing is a user-centric and cohesive approach to these strategies. While the Internet and the World Wide Web have enabled what we call new media, the theories that led to the development of the Internet have been developing since the 1950s.
A Brief Timeline in Internet Development marketing
- 1958. The U.S. Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) is established to lead science and military technological developments.
- 1961. Massachusetts Institute of Technology publishes a research paper on packet-switching theory.
- 1961–69. Research into internet computer communications and networks is ongoing.
- 1969. Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), commissioned by the U.S. Department of Defense, goes live; U.S. universities connect network facilities for the first time.
- 1971. Ray Tomlinson creates the first network e-mail application.
- 1973. Protocols to enable multi-network Internet opportunities are developed; first international ARPANET connections are made.
- 1976. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II sends an e-mail.
- 1978. First spam e-mail is recorded.
- 1980. Tim Berners-Lee develops rules for the World Wide Web and is credited as being the “Web’s father”; Alan Estate develops the first search tool, known as “Archie.”
It’s all about being connected!
In its simplest form, the Internet is a collection of connected documents or objects. Hyperlinks are what connect these documents. The Internet is a worldwide network that allows for information to be shared between users (also known as “nodes”). The World Wide Web is a subset of this that caters specifically to Web sites. A hyperlink is a virtual link from one document on the World Wide Web to another. It includes the uniform resource locator (URL) of the linked-to document, which describes where on the Internet a document is. It is what you enter in the address bar of the browser because it is the address of that document on the Internet.
A URL provides information to both browsers and people. URLs include domain names, which translate to Internet protocol (IP) addresses. Every Web site corresponds to an Internet protocol (IP) address, which is a structured series of dots and numbers indicating where it is physically located. When you enter a URL into the address bar of a browser, the DNS record indicates where the document is that you are linking to. Many domains can translate to the same IP address.
How Do People Access the Internet?
People connect to the Internet and access content in many different ways. When it comes to the physical connection to the Internet, the market presents a number of options:
- 3G (third-generation mobile and wireless communication)
- Wi-Fi and WiMAX
- ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line
And that list goes on. The devices people use vary from mobile phones and small handheld devices to personal notebooks and desktop computers. The environment that people are in when they access the Internet also differs.
So what does this all have to do with marketing? Marketing is about conversations, and the Internet has become a hub of conversations. The connected nature of the Internet allows us to follow and track these conversations and provides entry points for all parties. What follows in this book are ways of conversing with potential and existing customers using the Internet.
Not only do these environmental factors affect how people use the Internet, but also their reasons for using the Internet can have an effect on how they interact online. For some people, it is primarily a communication channel, and their online activity is focused on their e-mail in-box, while for others it may be a research channel, with search engines playing a large role in their online experience. Having such a diverse audience means that there are many channels available to marketers when it comes to marketing.