The History of Internet Marketing: The Marketing Revolution

Considering the current volume of internet marketing business, it’s hard to believe how young the internet marketplace is. While the timeline of internet marketing has been short, the cumulative events leading up to where we are now have impacted the entire globe faster than any marketing revolution in history. In 1994, spending for internet marketing totaled nearly nothing, but increased to over $300 million in 1995. Now, little more than a decade later, marketing spending and internet marketing business has exploded to nearly $200 billion (according to Forrester Research). Today, it’s hard to believe in having an organization which doesn’t have some kind of online presence.

When the internet was first introduced in the early 90s, it wasn’t considered to be an advertising medium at all. Instead, the internet was treated as a tool for exchanging emails and digital information, but wasn’t yet considered valuable for reaching customers. However, it wasn’t long before marketing pioneers began to see the potential for internet marketing business as millions of web surfers logging on each day to find valuable and relevant information. Within just a few years, informative and educational marketing, as well as graphically enticing banner ads began to be show up. It wasn’t long before results began to flood in which proved the value of the internet marketplace to even the most skeptical advertisers.

Most importantly, companies which had been spending huge chunks of their marketing budget on offline list building, begin to realize that they could accomplish the same thing via email…and for much less. It wasn’t long before everyone from industry giants such as Microsoft Corp. to small businesses began to build company sites and spend marketing dollars to attract qualified traffic. Next, search engine companies like Yahoo! began to create significant profits from advertising alone.

Then came the great internet marketing business bust around the year of 2000, which marked the beginning of the end for interruptive marketing such as flashing banner ads. What was happening? As interactive features were added to web pages, consumers were given the option of turning off marketing messages at will…and they did. Then entered the age of education based invitational marketing*, which crystallized with the creation of web 2.0 technology. Suddenly, billions of “voices” began to rise all over the world, as the internet marketplace became as much a global community as it was an advertising medium. This led to a relational based marketing** approach which has led to one of the most lucrative opportunities for solo entrepreneurs and small start ups alike to make a small fortune working from their spare bedroom.

Who knows where the internet marketing revolution will lead us, but one this is for sure: Those who understand the principles upon which the thriving internet marketplace is built will most likely never want for opportunities to create internet marketing business success and to earn a solid income.

* Invitational marketing is permission based and engages the customer by inviting them to join a newsletter or mailing list before trying to market to them.
** Relational Marketing is focused on customer contact and retention for boosting customer loyalty.

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