If you aspire to launch a marketing career, make sure you research programs that include Internet marketing in their curricula. Vying for the public's attention has always been an extremely competitive task, but in the age of e-mail, chat rooms, Web sites, and e-commerce, the rules have changed dramatically.
How TiVo Changed the World
If you have TiVo, or any of the other digital recording services, you probably spend very little time watching commercials. That's great for you, but terrible for anyone in marketing. Now that advertisers don't have your undivided attention, they have had to develop better ways of making sure you know about their wares. Product placement can only go so far. Billboards and radio jingles lost their luster a long time ago. The Internet is the new medium for marketing.
There are many different types of Internet marketing. Search engine optimization, or the process of tweaking a Web site so that it ranks among the top results in search engines, is probably the most popular and effective form. Every company wants to rise to the top of the search engine queries especially on Google, MSN, and Yahoo. After all, how often do you go to page 2 of the search engine results when you're looking for your favorite pair of brand name jeans?
Banner ads and pay-per-click ads are probably the next most popular forms of Internet marketing. Banner ads are ads placed within actual Web pages while pay-per-click ads are those that appear in search engine results, like those at the top of the page when you conduct a search in Google. Ranking high among pay-per-click ad is a complicated process in which companies bid for certain search phrases. The jury is divided on how effective banner and pay-per-click ads are for long-term branding, but they sure produce results for the time being. Don't expect them to go all way anytime soon.
Spam is the last and least effective form of Internet marketing. Most any advertising degree program that you join will strongly discourage you from using any type of spamming whatsoever. Any school that does otherwise is a program worth staying away from.
Marketing in the New Millennium
Although the above forms of Internet marketing are the most popular avenues today, it's anyone's guess as to what will happen next. Spamming was unheard of 15 years ago. Search engine optimization was practically nonexistent five years ago. What will tomorrow bring? A quality advertising and marketing degree program will keep you up-to-date on the latest trends, and help you make predictions about future ones.
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