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By Bob Paajanen and Cathy Allington, Chief Editors
Email: bobpaaj@mb.sympatico.ca
Email: awwful@camtech.net.au

Internet Marketing: Can You Resist a Byte?

When Eve offered Adam a "bite" of the apple – he was unable to resist. Bill Gates has offered us a "byte" of his apple – have you succumbed to temptation?

The advent of the Internet is the most exciting marketing innovation in history. 100 million users worldwide, with an estimated 200 million by the year 2000. As with the fabled apple, the temptation can be disastrous for some and overwhelmingly profitable for others.

The purpose of the Journal of Internet Marketing is to show small to medium sized businesses how to take a "byte" and profit. We will utilise the best of current academic and practical thinking to give you practical advice on how to maximise the enormous potential of the Internet to your profit.

Some facts:

  • Consumers are increasingly being educated to expect and thus demand 24 hour a day, 7 day a week sales and service.

  • Consumers today are more educated and want more information prior to making a purchasing decision.

  • Because the Internet meets these 2 basic criteria of consumer needs, the worldwide market of Internet users is growing exponentially, faster than any other media.

Television has traditionally been the biggest spending medium for advertisers seeking to sell products and services. With an estimated market penetration in the Western world of around 95%, TV has been accepted as a "traditional" advertising medium for many years. But look at the history of TV!

At the end of World War 2, there were an estimated 10,000 television sets in use only, with about half of these in New York City. By the end of 1949, 1 million sets had been sold. By 1956, the gross income of the television industry – predominantly advertising – was around $590 million.

The Internet and Internet Marketing is less than 10 years old – really only achieving increasing prominence as a marketing tool over the past 5 years. And yet already, after such a short time span, revenue from commerce conducted over the Internet in 1997 is estimated at $9 billion! Clearly, "There’s gold in them thar bytes!"

The rules of successful Internet marketing have not yet been clearly spelt out. Television was seemingly much easier – it was something tangible which you could see, and required very little effort or understanding on behalf of the viewer. It was something both marketers and consumers could relate to, and relied predominantly on visual impact for its marketing success.

Conducting commerce over the Internet is different. There are guidelines to follow. There are success stories. Surprisingly, there is also a lot of common sense.

We look forward to sharing that with you over the future editions. Our objective is to help you to unravel the "mysteries" of Internet Marketing. We intend to teach you how to "byte" the apple, without choking on the pips!

Each issue will include articles which reflect current thinking and practices, together with our own comments and insights. Please complete the following subscriber information to receive your quarterly copy via email.

Please also feel free to respond by way of a letter to the Editors.