Academic journal article International Journal of Marketing Studies

A Review of the Activities of Advertising Agencies in Online World

Academic journal article International Journal of Marketing Studies

A Review of the Activities of Advertising Agencies in Online World

Article excerpt

Abstract

Internet can extend market reach and operational efficiency of advertising agencies and enhance their contributions to Iranian economy. This paper reports a review study to identify the factors affecting the activities of advertising agencies with regard to the emergence of online world. By reviewing the body of tradition, Internal and external variables, including relationship management, uncluttered homepage, creativity, lead generation, account manager, direct email, and sponsorship ads were identified as the core activities of advertising agencies in new world. To localize these variables in Iran, Student's t-tests were run for 34 different items used in the questionnaire. No significant difference (at 0.05 level) were found in the degree of validity of these variables; in other word, all variables get a good number of significance. Creativity was the most influential variable on the activities of advertising agencies reviewed. The findings of this study can be used to develop strategies for enhancing advertising agencies' involvement with the Internet.

Keywords: Internet advertising, Interactive agency, Lead generation, Uncluttered home page

1. Introduction

Regarding the time taken by different media to reach fifty million audiences, the internet has spent only four years to reach this number of users in comparison to 38 and 13 years taken respectively by the radio and TV (Robert and Fox, 1999). The emergence of internet as the imperative channel of marketing (Shen, 2002) is the biggest challenge and, at the same time, the largest opportunity (Schwartz, 1998). Considering branding and direct selling purposes, internet has changed into an influential intermediary for advertisers in a small period of time (Shen, 2002). According to Interactive Advertising Bureau (2011), "Internet advertising revenues in the U.S. hit $7.3 billion for the first quarter of 2011, representing a 23 percent increase over the same period in 2010 " By considering this exceptional growth, the question raised here is: do online advertising works like traditional advertising? In addition, do we need to have new practices and solutions?

It is evident that this new medium, like the conventional ones, is working on dissemination of information (Zeff and Aronson, 1999). However, its way of control made Internet completely different from the previous ones. In comparison to traditional, one-to-one media, Internet is many-to-many and interactive (Rogers and Thorson, 2000; Han, 1995; Ko et al., 2005). Internet allows publishers to switch from a mass dissemination practice to a targeted dissemination practice. Turban (2006) has listed many advantages for advertising through this medium. Taking these advantages into consideration, Internet advertising looks quite more effective than mass media advertising. Nevertheless, there is no common want to use this medium as an advertising channel. This paper aims at to consider this hesitation from an intermediate point of view and take advertising agencies' role into account.

According to Richards and Curran (2002), "Advertising is a paid non-personal communication from an identified sponsor, using mass media to persuade and influence an audience (p. 64)". It is clear the phrase "a paid non-personal communication" that advertising is a service, prepared and published by an internal or external intermediate (agency and medium), and undoubtedly is a function of their capability. Parasuraman and Zeithaml (1983) believe that the people who prepare the materials are the core actors.

The agency's first priority is to meet client satisfaction. Advertisers and marketers argue that they can only adopt Internet as an advertising channel when advertising agencies could identify specific metrics and scales with the purpose of evaluating the results and presenting a report (Coffey, 2001; Meforlond, 1998). Due to the interactive nature of Internet, and presence of the consumers who can easily make some comments and tell what they really want, there is no choice but to accept advertisers and marketers' argument ant try to be aligned with this fact. …

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