Electronic Marketing: What You Can Expect
Mack, Tim, The Futurist
The e-marketing industry has a bright future out watch out for some underhanded tactics.
The future of marketing is there for anyone to see--just log onto the Internet. In less than a decade the World Wide Web has changed from a research enclave to the Main Street of the world. In spite of resistance from those who treasured its earlier academic and free-spirited nature (back when "everything on the Internet was free"), the Web has become a booming marketplace. In the years ahead it will continue to shift from a medium of personal communication and expression to a place of economic opportunity.
While some writers, such as David Brin in his science-fiction novel Earth, predicted the sweep and pervasiveness of the Web, its social and economic impacts continue to surprise us. The rate of change on the Net is amazing--nothing seems to stand still. In contrast to Moore's Law, where computer speed and capacity double every 18 months, the Internet seems to double in capacity (if not speed) every 18 weeks. Accordingly, we have the luxury of watching a process unfold in what seems like time-lapse photography.
The World Wide Web was still a novelty to many marketers even 18 months ago, but Internet marketing is now coming into its own. U.S. consumers spent at least $2.3 billion over the Internet during the 1998 Christmas season alone (and were expected to spend $9 billion in 1999). Eight and a half million U.S. households purchased holiday gifts online in 1998, up from 2 million in 1997, according to The Wall Street Journal. Online clothing sales tripled to $330 million from 1997, The New York Times noted, and are expected to continue growing at a similar rate.
Although the Internet is not yet equal to other forms of marketing media in terms of returns, the research firm FIND/SVP determined that the Internet rose from eighth to about fourth place among consumer media over the past five years--a fivefold increase. The last half-decade saw declines of around 5% in the amount of hours per week that Americans watched network TV, listened to the
radio, and read newspapers. A few media, magazines and books, for example, grew at about the same rate. Only cable TV showed serious growth over this period, with an increase of about 50%.
Part of the Internet's increasing popularity is fueled by the growing use of credit cards online. According to MasterCard International, the most often purchased Net products were software (41%), followed by books (29%) and computer hardware (18%). Smaller but growing categories …
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Publication information: Article title: Electronic Marketing: What You Can Expect. Contributors: Mack, Tim - Author. Magazine title: The Futurist. Volume: 34. Issue: 2 Publication date: March 2000. Page number: 40. © 1999 World Future Society. COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group.
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