The online channel is of particular interest to me as a communication vehicle. Of specific interest, is the way in which people use the internet.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics released Household use of information technology, 2005-06, showing that 60% of Australian households had internet access, up 4% from the previous survey. The main use of the internet from home was for personal/private purposes. The 2007 Digital Futures Report from the Centre for the Digital Future of the University of Southern California highlighted the increasing use by Americans of the internet for both social and work-related activities. Centre Director, Jeffrey Cole said in the press release: “we are now witnessing the true emergence of the internet as the powerful personal and social phenomenon we knew it would become”. Not surprisingly, as internet use and online activity increases, the online channel becomes even more important to marketers and advertisers.
Global online advertising is expected to grow most rapidly in the coming years, although still well short of television and print advertising in terms of total ad share. In Australia, online marketing is also taking off. eMarketer reports that advertisers intend to spend 22% of their 2007 advertising budget online this year, up 16% from last year. The same trend has been seen in the UK. In the US too, the future of marketing is online.
What this suggests is that the internet will be the new battleground for customer attention and customer interaction. The rapid growth in the online marketing channel will have repercussions for traditional media, like radio, television and print in the long term. How marketers use the online channel (as distinct from just replicating existing print advertising), will be critical to the success of online advertising in the future.