Web advertising, not to mention the Internet itself, finds itself in a stage of relative infancy and therefore provides marketers with novel challenges and situations which need to be dealt with caution . The realm of Web advertising is unchartered terri tory! In terms of South
, the country finds itsef somewhat behind technologically. However, this may not prove to be a disadvantage as the uncertain nature of Web advertising may make a policy of 'watching and learning' most viable. What implications will this new technology have for marketing? What is the nature of Web advertising? How can a business use the medium effectively ? Where is all this going ? These questions appear to be most pertinent in the process of understanding interact ive marketing on the Internet. The qualified opinion of John Matthee, a Web site designer employed by Adept Internet (an Internet service provider), was sought in accumulation of a large sum of the following data. This seems appropriate as the novelty of Web advertising at this stage h as led to generral lack of academic data in the practicalities of advertising via this medium. 2) THE INTERNET: AN INTRODUCTION 2.1) Original development of the Internet What was originally created by the US military to provide a secure means of communication in case of nuclear war, which has now become known as the Internet, has metamorphosed into the strategic global communications tool of our era. The end of the cold w ar left this massive installed structure - initially dubbed ARPANET- without much of a purpose. Soon universities, major corporations and governments began to piggyback on to the global framework, extending its reach and commercialising it. Known as the N et to aficionados, the Availability of cheap, accessible and easy-to-use Net access points throughout the world has seen the number of global Internet users increase dramatically each month. While the convenience of electronic mail was initial catalyst for Internet growth world wide, it's the emergence of the World Wide Web (WWW) multimedia interface that has captured the attention of prospective users across the globe. The resources available on the WWW are as varied as they are extensive. There hundreds of thousands of sites which can be broadly categorised under topics such as sport, entertainment, finance and many more (Perlman, 1996). 2.2) Development of Internet in South Africa Perlman (1996, p 29) ventured that 'South Africa is major global Internet player. It currently rates in the top 15 in the world terms of Internet growth rates.' Local user numbers are certainly fueled by universities, companies and schools. The genesis of South Africa's rapid Internet growth seems to stem from UniNet, the Internet service offered to the countries major tertiary institutions and steered from Rhod es University. This explains the phenomenon whereby the majority of local Internet entrepreneurs - many of them are under thirty and already multi-millionaires - come from tertiary education backgrounds where they were weaned on readily available Internet access. Popular 'browser' client software for navigating the multimedia WWW includes Netscape and Microsoft Internet Explorer. On the other end, there exist approximately 30 local companies which call themselves ISP's (Internet Service Providers), which operate in similar fashion to a cellular company such as Vodacom, providing either dial-up connections to the Internet and/or leased line connectivity to companies. This has led to the explosion of a number of related ventures, such as companies who speci alise in producing multimedia web pages (such as Adept Internet), Internet commerce, cable companies and modem suppliers (Perlman, 1996). 2.3) Technological Implications for Marketing Joseph (1996, p. 29) concisely described the situation as such: ' Marketing, like most business disciplines, is undergoing a period of change as a direct result of the information revolution. The rapidly declining costs of and increasing power of information processing technology is altering the in which customers and businesses relate to each other. Marketers, however should be cautious not to attempt a quantum leap from more traditional meth ods as this is sure to bring issues such as lack expertise to the fore which could prove disastrous (Steyn, 1996). Essentially, the point is that as a marketing drive, the additional services supplied by technology provides the marketer with the opportunity to gain an edge in the race to win the consumer. More and more, new technology appears to be focusing on the add ition of value. On an individual level, for example, the marketer may use the technology to make himself more accessible to the consumer thus adding to his service levels. A company may realise added value by investing in expensive multimedia kiosks which introduce the subject of interactive marketing (Joseph, 1996). The emergence of new and revolutionary technology forms a double-bladed sword, as it can represent both an opportunity and a threat to the business. In particular, this technology places an interesting and novel challenge on the shoulders of the modern da y marketer. The failure to utilise these developments can put the business at a great competitive disadvantage while even the practical application of the technology can provide major problems caused simply by the novelty of the options, a general lack of expertise and the difficulty of accurate prediction (David, 1997). The process must begin with the individual himself. A marketer who is not pushing the bounds of personal technological progression is most likely not inclined to do the same for the company (Joseph, 1996). Joseph (1996, p.29) concluded that 'The Internet, multi-faceted appliances and even the creation of new applications for old technology are all the of the marketing visionary.' 3) THE INTRODUCTION OF INTERACTIVE MARKETING ON THE INTERNET Internationally, the Internet medium is successfully selling everything from nuts and bolts to motorcars, property and traditional mail order products. A pertinent question that arises is: 'What forces led to either the accidental emergence of interactive marketing on the internet or the realisation of a need for the development of an alternative marketing medium that satisfied specific consumer or marketer needs?' Steyn (1996, p.13) introduces the concept of interactive marketing through the words:'Interactive marketing uses new technologies to overcome practical database and direct marketing problems whilst building more rewarding customer relationships'. From the marketers' point of view, interactivity, is the convergence of three main advertising functions or activities: direct marketing, sales promotion and conventional above the line advertising. The developments allowed by interactive marketing throug h the Internet focus mainly on how profitable market segments were identified and how these segments were reached. Interactivity allows the opportunity to track individual customers one at a time and to build individual relationships with each. This indic ates the vast benefits that Internet interactivity supply in terms of database formulation, management and utilisation. However, the main challenge that does and will continue to plague advertisers in the future will be persuading the viewer to try the se rvice. Interactivity has three core characteristics: * Offer much more information than a television advertisement. * Requires the conventional copywriting skills combined with those of the direct marketer to turn the browsing viewers into sales prospects. * The emphasis, simply due the nature of the medium, is more likely to be on sales promotion type tools to entice the viewers to visit an ad and then on constantly refreshing the content and creative treatment, to ensure that they revisit it (Steyn, 1996) . The issues of the nature of the Internet as an advertising medium and the creation and maintenance of an Internet web site are addressed fully in sections 7) and 6.3) respectively. CD-ROM technology is unique in its ability to combine vital parts of promotion, that is: print, audio and visual messages in a package that can be distributed according to a random access database. (Steyn, 1996). Clever marketers are using the medium to draw buyers closer to their companies as a whole and not just closer to the products or services they provide. This emphasises the advantages interactive marketing provides in terms of creating stronger, more unde rstanding relationships with consumers. The introduction of interactive marketing and specifically interactive advertising heralds the beginning of an era where customers will choose the advertising they wish to see, when they want to see it. This proves to be a hallmark of the contemporary con sumer who is far more informed than his blindly accepting predecessors have been. Consumers of today are evermore demanding personalised attention from businesses that wish to serve them. Furthermore, the very fact that the modern consumer is better infor med fuels his need for informed transactions with businesses. The modern consumer wants to know what product he is buying, what its detailed characteristics are, how he can expect it to perform, what alternatives he is faced with and why he should pay the offered price for it. The nature of interactive marketing on the Internet provides an ideal medium for the satisfaction of the demanding modern day consumer. It is obviously of critical importance that a marketer recognises these needs and develops syste ms for satisfying them, hence, interactive marketing on the Internet. Steyn (1996, p.13) boldly concludes that 'There is therefore no doubt that interactive marketing is helping to overcome practical database and direct marketing problems while building more rewarding customer relationships.' Online shopping Online shopping is an element of interactive marketing that has found itself under the spotlight since its recent inception. Virtual retail sites on the Web continue to grow. Some sites are purely promotional while on the other extreme consumers are promised the lowest prices as the product is drop-shipped directly from the manufacturer (Swart, 1996). Anyhow, the Internet as a shopping mall has not enjoyed a favourable reputation as it is seen as a golden opportunity for sophisticated thieves to obtain credit card numbers from the cable. As a result businesses have shied from any Net-based commerce. As a result the Web has been trapped in a form of time warp, usable only as an information medium and not as a transaction medium. Of the thousands of South African companies on the Web, few offer anything more than highly informative web sites which still leave the consumer wondering: 'I wish the Internet could take me that one step further, SAFELY'. However, the tide is swiftly changing due to bold technology and business moves. The improved security and growth if the electronic-commerce infrastructure ha s prompted optimistic projections for the future of interactive online sales. Furthermore, South Africa suffers from an intolerable postal problem and an effective home delivery system would have to be developed for home shopping to be viable (Rath, 1997). However, thoughts of an unrivalled ability to compare products, to be provid ed with product information and to be shown product demonstrations and alternative views will spur the quest for a workable online shopping system with great urgency. Recently a groundbreaking development in online shopping was made by M-Web in collaboration with over a thousand tenants ranging from large corporations such as ABSA to small retailers and service providers. Bruce Cohen, general manager of M-Web interact ive, claims that 'The M-Web mall is designed to accelerate interest in online shopping by providing a one-stop shopping environment under on virtual roof.' 4) WEB ADVERTISING 4.1) The Nature of Web advertising It is estimated that there is more than five million commercial pages on the Web, more than 100 companies are going online daily and that 'net-watching' has become a dedicated function within more progressive firms. Furthermore, companies that are online are more inclined to use this facility as a means for communicating new product developments (Rath, 1997). In practice, great achievements are being made in the sphere of Web advertising as the initial novelty of the concept wears off and experts in the field become more accustomed to the characteristics and dynamics of the Internet as an advertising tool (J. Matthee, personal communication, 20 April 1998). Nevertheless, the Internet is not yet a proven advertising medium and as such is untested, unregulated and unrefined (Swart.1996). This very situation often results in wise businesses approaching Internet advertising companies that possess the necessary expertise to advertise effectively on the Internet. The Internet's lack of intrusiveness as a medium (see Section 7) implies that direct marketing requires action by the consumer. In order to induce this required action, an advertiser needs to know his audience intensely in order to be able to entice brows ers to enter the site. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the advertising agency not only to incorporate above-the-line strategies but also to include the below-the-line strategies in all their Internet clients' campaigns 4.2) Web advertising Channels The origins of Web advertising are ironically rooted in what many consider as a frustrating method called 'spamming' whereby messages concerning products or business information were sent at random to Internet users e-mail addresses. This crude form of ad vertising can be likened to common junkmail found in a postbox among things of relevance such as personal mail and bills. Things have progresses somewhat and a number of channels have become available to the business interested in Web advertising and rega rdless of which channel is decided upon it is common practice to approach an online agency for aide (J. Matthee, pesonal communication, 20 April 1998). Creating an Electrical Storefront Thousands of businesses have established a home page on the Internet which offer a wide variety of information such as: descriptions of the company and its products; a company catalogue describing product's features, availability and prices, company news, opportunities to speak with staff members and the ability to place an order before leaving the site. The main objective of these sites is brand building. Another aim may be to support an event and in this case the page may be temporary. When a company decides to open an electronic storefront it has two choices: 1) The company can open its own store on the Internet through a Web server or; 2) The company can buy a location on commercial online service. The online service will typically design the electronic storefront for the company and advertise its addition to the shopping mall for a limited period of time (Kotler, 1997). Participating in Forums, Newsgroups and Bulletin Boards These groups are not designed for commercial purposes especially but participation may improve a company's visibility and credibility. Bulletin boards are specialised online services that centre on a specific topic or group. Forums are discussion groups l ocated on commercial online services and may operate a library, a conference room for real time chatting, and even a classified advertisement directory. Finally, newsgroups are the Internets version of forums, but are limited to people posting and message s on a particular topic, rather than managing libraries or conferencing (Kotler, 1997). Placing Advertisements Online A number of ways exist for companies or individuals or companies who wish to place advertisements on commercial online services. Firstly, major commercial online services offer an advertisement section for listing classified advertisements whereby the ads are listed according to when they arrived with the most recent arrivals topping the list. Secondly, ads can be placed in certain newsgroups that are set up for commercial purposes. Thirdly, ads can be placed on online billboards. This method can be irrit ating to the browser because the advertisements appear while subscribers are using the service even though they did not request an ad (Kotler, 1997). A fourth option is to hire an advertising agency to create and place an advertisement at a popular site on the Web, similar to buying timeslots on a television channel. Advertising on search engines such as Lycos and Yahoo also proves to be effective although very expensive (J. Matthee, personal communication, 20 April 1998). Using E-mail A company can encourage prospects and customers to send questions, suggestions, and even complaints to the company, using the company using the companies E-mail address. Customer service representatives can respond to the customers in a short time via E-m ail (Kotler, 1997). 5) WEB ADVERTISING DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTH AFRICA In South Africa, the Internet is still restricted to very niched market providing companies with the chance to exploit this opportunity and build a database of visitors to their site. This situation is quite obviously attributable to the economics of Sout h Africa's social class structure. This is an advantage because marketers can use this information to create accurate profiles of the visitors to their site and develop personalised advertising efforts, which are especially crucial in the sphere of Web ad vertising. Currently, in South Africa, Computicket (http://www.computicket.com) has taken the lead in online bookings although services that are provided by Computicket naturally lean towards the use of the Internet as a medium (Douvos, 1996). David Frankel of Internet Solutions summed up the South African situation neatly by saying that '.... People are still getting their hands around it [the Internet] and working out how to make money out of it. I don't think that anyone is doing so at prese nt in South Africa, although a lot of people are trying.' IS-Commercial a division Internet Solutions scored a South African first in 1996 in the development of a software engine that searched only South African Web resources. This introduced a new aspect to Web advertising in South Africa as it means that local Web users no longer have to sift through a colossal amount of topical hypertext links from around the globe. Advertising on the South African Web has surely benefited from this development which makes South African relevant material far more accessible a nd therefore implies increases Web site hit rates. The search engine that was developed is called Ananzi and is currently the second most hit Web site in the country. Advertisers now have the opportunity of placing an icon on this page which immediately g ives them a formidable brand prescience (Williams, 1997). A host of Web page advertising companies have sprung up in South Africa, including an upstart from Port Elizabeth, called Web Advertising, which have succeeded in forming a technology and capability sharing association with the United States advertising a gency Web advertising (Perlman, 1996). After unprecedented growth in the Internet in 1996, The Loerie awards included a new category in 1997 dedicated to Web creativity and corporate use of the Internet. 6) WEB ADVERTISING AND THE BUSINESS 6.1) Introduction Companies are increasingly recognising the importance of applying a full-systems perspective in using their communication tools. The aim is to set the overall communication budget and the right allocation of funds to each communication tool. Web advertis ing is becoming a more and more vital component of a firm's advertising budget and therefore demands sensible and rational consideration and planning. The dynamics and relative novelty of Web advertising makes it crucial that the progressive business, which is proposing a Web advertising campaign, draw up a comprehensive advertising program. It is vital for organisations that are considering an Internet marketing strategy to effectively coordinate each component. The bottomline is that organisations are putting themselves into the global marketplace. It is thus important for people to be crit ical of what works well and what meets their need with an Internet marketing strategy (Perlman, 1996). By using the standard advertising program process (Kotler, 1997) as a base, it is simple to outline the characteristics of the Internet which a business must take into consideration when planning a Web advertising campaign. The various steps involved in t he process of planning an advertising program are depicted in section 5.2.1 below and the specific characteristics of the Internet are superimposed into this framework in section 5.2.2 through section 5.2.7. 6.2) Developing and Managing an Advertising Program 6.2.1) Introduction to the Advertising Program Process In developing an advertising program, marketing managers must always start by identifying the target market and buyer motives. This applies, perhaps even more so, to the new advertising alternative represented by the Internet. The next step is to make fiv e major decisions in developing an advertising campaign, known as the five Ms: * Mission: What are the advertising objectives? * Money: How much can be spent? * Message: What message should be sent? * Media: What media should be used? * Measurement: How should the results be evaluated? 6.2.2) SWOT Analysis This step is a necessity when studying the feasibility of any intended business proposition and when the planning of that operation takes place. It involves a study of the firm's internal strengths and weaknesses as well as the external opportunities and threats presented by circumstances in the environment. Web advertising provides a special challenge to marketers and planners due to its relative infancy, which brings previously un-encountered circumstances to the fore. In terms of internal strengths and weaknesses, it is common practice at this stage in Web advertising for businesses to approach Internet service providers such as Adept Internet to manage the intricacies of advertising on the Internet. Therefore, issues concerning ability to actually place an effective advertisement on the Internet are shifted to specialised companies. According to Trafex managing director David Pegg ' ...few organisations have the technical skills and financial resources to establish a nd manage a sophisticated private trading network. It makes sense for companies to focus on their core business and let experts look after their trading partner connections.' The study of external threats and opportunities in Web advertising largely involves market analysis and the attempt to identify the company's typical customer, how they can be enticed to visit the company's web site and how they can convinced to keep on v isiting the web site. Web site design companies and dedicated tracing companies who try to check the demographics of a visitor to site are coming to the fore, creating an entirely new industries in the process (Perlman, 1996). Research in South Africa cla ssifies the Web user base as a niche, particularly from the point of view that the users tend to share characteristics that make them a targetable segment. Profile of the model Web user: Internet surfers would certainly be considered technologically progr essive, innovators and early-adopters. In terms of demographic profiles, the mean age of users worldwide is around 35 years, with approximately 50% having tertiary education and mostly earning A incomes. Male users have outnumbered female users in the pas t but gender parity has recently been reached (Rath, 1997). 6.2.3) Advertising objectives It is not uncommon with the advent of the Internet and the advertising possibilities that it provides that many companies become rash in their plans for Web advertising. This can be disastrous without first analysing the objectives of a promotion via the web. The essence of the medium is still to be assessed in relation to the way business can be conducted. 6.2.4) How much can be spent? The direct set up costs to the marketer are likely to be in excess of R100 000 for an above-average site but, further to this cost, are costs if site maintenance, enhancements and server storage. The direct and indirect costs of Web site development are t herefore not insignificant, requiring considerable capital, time and energy to establish and to keep it alive (Rath, 1997). Smaller scale businesses, for example a coffee shop such as Fandango in Stellenbosch, which wishes to utilise Web advertising, can expect to pay from R1000 for web site design. A site such as this could be linked to four other sites and also requires cons tant maintenance which often entails higher costs than the development of the Web site (J. Matthee, personal communication, 20 April 1998). 6.2.5) Message It should be stressed that Internet site development is part of the marketing function and does not fall within the realm of the Information Technology Department. Management is often tempted to allow the IT department to create a Web site because it woul d seem to offer the most cost-effective solution. However, the sites that have been designed by programmers are notable for their lack of creativity and generally do not entice the viewer. This, in essence, revolves around the question of the Web sites me ssage (Rath, 1997). The principles that apply to media such as television and radio are generally applicable to message formulation on a Web site although valuable information that is dynamic seems to be the key (J. Matthee, personal communication, 20 April 1998). 6.2.6) Medium The Internet as an advertising medium has a number of inherent advantages and disadvantages which are discussed in section 7. 6.2.7) Measure and Evaluate Performance To quantify a Web sites contribution to revenue is often quite difficult. Where sales are generated more-or-less directly off the Net, the company's return on investment is a matter of simple arithmetic. However, where the company provides an added value service via the Net, the site's contribution to the bottom line is far less easy to quantify (Rath, 1997). In terms of actual Web site design effectiveness, processes are still largely undefined. Many online organisations do exist, however, that monitor and provide Web site statistics, namely number of hits and how for how long visitors stayed at the site, for a fee (J. Matthee, personal communication, 20 April 1998). Furthermore, information can be obtained detailing the demographics of visitors to a Web sit although this is more difficult. This can enable a company to measure the Web site's effectiveness in terms of reaching the company's target market. It is quite c ommon now for the Web itself to be used for research purposes with companies asking Web users for personal responses to products, sites and messages. This also provides feedback on the sites effectiveness and facilitates corrective action. 6.3) The Web site Itself 6.3.1) Web site Design Web site design is very much a grey area in terms of the fact that Web advertising is a relatively new addition to a business choice of promotional alternatives. However, guidelines do exist which can increase the chance of web site effectiveness. These i nclude questions such as: Who would use our service or product; how likely is our target market to be on the Net and who understands the culture of this new medium to create a site that encapsulates the brand, the culture and the practicality of web adver tising. Other aspects are the understanding of the need to employ the expertise of a company that specializes in design for an interactive medium. Incorporating a wealth of useful information, interactive games and an ease of navigation through the site have also proved to increase Web site effectiveness (Joseph, 1997). Experience and creativity are most definitely necessary characteristics of a Web site designer who is usually employed by an Internet service provider such as Adept Internet. Feedback via methods that are mentioned in section 5.2.7 above could provide in dications of responses to Web site design. Once again, the principles applied in the television, radio and print media all apply to the design of a Web site. Fundamentals of consumer behaviour and psychology should be understood by anybody attempting to u ndertake commercial Web site design (J. Matthee, personal communication, 20 April 1998). 6.3.2) Web Site Maintenance As with any medium of advertising, an inferior display can be detrimental to a firm's image. However, Web site maintenance due to its reliance on a newly developed technology must receive special attention. This explains why a company may induce greater expenditure in the maintenance of a Web site than in the actual design and creation of the sit e. Maintenance of a Web site has two implications: Firstly, information supplied by the site must be dynamic, that is, it must be updated regularly in order to draw browsers on the Net to revisit the site; secondly, the site must be checked regularly to e nsure that no errors have occurred in the content as a result of any damage to data for instance (J. Matthee, personal communication, 20 April 1998). An example of the second problem is clearly demonstrated by the printout of the coffee shop Fandango's We b site in which the main picture failed to load. See figure 1 in section 5.4 below. (Take note: John Matthee, who originally designed the site and who, as an employee of Adept Internet, is hired to handle the maintenance of the site, has since rectified the problem.) 6.4) Profiles of Examples Example1: Fandango The Fandango Web site provides an example of the importance of site maintenance. See figure 1. Example2: SAA This provides a successful example of advertising by means of putting up an entire site which serves a brand building exercise. The airline's site took all-important factors outlined above in section 5.3.1 into consideration and the result is self-evident. The site won the prestigious Magellan award which is contested for by two million sites. 7.) THE INTERNET AS AN ADVERTISING MEDIUM 7.1) Advantages . The demographics of the average Internet surfer are attractive enough to warrant their inclusion as an important niche market (Rath, 1997). The Web can be transformed into a research tool, a brand builder and an advertising medium in one swoop, something not offered by other media (Joseph, 1996). Furthermore, unlike other media where the advertising agency is the only link between the client and the media owner, the Web allows the client to become the media owner. From the company's point of view, by buying into the technology itself, a company ha s the ability to enter the world of cyber marketing without the intervention of any intermediaries. Yet another competitive advantage of this medium is that it provides advertisers with reassuringly detailed demographics about who actually saw their advertisement, turning it into a marketing research as well as an advertising medium (Williams, 1996). Interactive media can operate in territories not covered by a vendor's sales force. It can bring the showroom and the sales pitch to the buyers remote locations simply by dropping it in the post. 7.2) Disadvantages Lack of Intrusiveness The persuasive elements of the Internet advertisement usually lie at least one click away from the user's current location and this requires the user to be sufficiently interested in the product or intrigued by the advertisement banner to click the to the advert. Limitations of Banners The Web has primarily been used for the presentation of text and graphics onto fairly small computer screens. This size limitation restricts the conventional Web ad to a banner asking the user to click 'here' for more information. This in turn provides en dless creative restrictions (McDonald, 1997). Radical Fragmentation It is very difficult for any given site to draw enough attention to itself to attract an audience large enough to matter to an advertiser. 8) WEB ADVERTISING SCENARIOS FOR THE NEAR - TERM FUTURE Scenario #1: Web site Shakeout There are good reasons to question whether the Web advertising pie will prove large enough to support the numerous commercial Web sites that are counting on it for sustenance. Recent reports that some publishers are scaling back their web publishing ambit ions, or shutting down sites altogether lend credence to the notion that there will be significant 'shakeout' as commercial Web sites fail for lack of a viable business model (McDonald, 1997). Scenario #2:Advertising-content hybrids Advertisers who do not sell their products directly to consumers but still want to find a way to participate in interactive media will revert to a model that prevailed in the early days of television sponsorship. By sponsoring a site that consumers value, the advertiser will hope to build positive associations for the brand. The communication limitations of banners will be overcome by surrounding content with imagery related to the sponsoring brand. Where practical sponsor-friendly content will be interle aved will brand-neutral content. Though there will be some reaction against this hybridisation on the part of media critics and consumers alike, the form will probably still flourish as the digital equivalent of the infomercial (McDonald, 1997). Scenario#3: Internet service provider's provoke privacy whiplash New generations of Internet service provider will emerge that will provide an extraordinarily sophisticated database that captures information on how individual subscribers use the Internet. This will enable the marketer to customise communications back into the box in the subscriber's home and hereby the Web will be able to live up to its promises of one-to-one marketing (McDonald, 1997). Scenario#4: Advertisements get detached from the media Marketers will be able to sent targeted information to subscribers on their past Web usage patterns regardless of what current Web sites they are visiting. In effect, they will be able to sell the audience to advertising directly without the intermediary of the media (McDonald, 1997). 9) CONCLUSION The Internets Multimedia arm, the World Wide Web, can support both consumer marketing and trade marketing objectives. The Web is where all the commercial activity and its importance as a new medium has been recognised to the extent that it will be measure d in all US media research from this year. The Web provides a company with access to a global audience of consumers in their millions, and also to a very wide range of companies (Rath, 1997) The Internet has provided marketers with exciting and challenging advertising prospects. There will undoubtedly be many lessons to be learned in the near-future concerning the intracacies and quirks of the medium. South Africa is technologically equipped to make full use of the Internet's capabilities and South African marketer's are provided with an opportunity to prove themselves to a very viable Internet market. In conclusion , the future of the Internet and Web advertising can be encapsulated through the words of John Matthee - 'bigger and better, bigger and better...'. 10) References 2. Direct Marketing . Supplement 96. Marketing Mix; Vol. 14, lss 6, p 1 - 43, Jul.; 1996 3. Douvos, E. Net Sales Marketing Mix; Vol. 14, lss 7, p14, Aug., 1996 4. Hopkins, B. Beyond direct marketing. Market Mix; Vol. 14, lss 7,p10, Aug. 1996 5. Joseph, E, The wonderful wired world of Marketing; Internet: Technology. Marketing Mix, Vol. 14. Iss 7, p28 - 29, 31, 33 -34, Aug., 1996 6. Kotler, P, (1997). Marketing Management (9th ed.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall 7. Perlman,L. 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