Types of Advertising on the Internet
Push and pull advertising is a way of categorizing how people interact with an advertisement. If the ad interrupts the individual’s attention to show other information, it is push advertising (Yuan, 2006). Advertising that gives control over what information is accessed and for how long and how often, is pull advertising (Yuan, 2006). Pull advertising is designed to help individuals who have certain goals and needs to find a product or service that meets that goal (Yuan, 2006). Traditional media such as television and radio are push oriented (the radio or television program is interrupted by advertisements), while magazines and newspapers are more pull oriented (you might search out a list, article, movie times). The Internet offers both types of advertising. In a study on Internet advertising in the United States and France it was found that on-demand channels have a stronger impact on sales than push channels (Brettel & Spilker-Attig, 2010).
Pop-up advertising is one type of push advertising. The advertisement appears in a separate browser window, or in the same window, on top of already on-screen content (Yuan, 2006). The pop-up has to be closed to continue with the previous activity (Yuan, 2006). The pop-up advertisement usually links to a website to learn more or order the product.
Search-engine advertising. Search-engine placement is the inclusion of a website in a search engine. A company can request to be added and categorized into a search engine or it can wait until it is indexed by the search engine. Once listed, the company will appear in the search engine results when someone enters a keyword that matches the company’s profile. The ranking of that company on the results was determined from search engine to search engine. The ranking can be increased through search engine optimization. Search engine optimization is the process of creating or making changes to a website so that search engines can find and index the website better and increase its ranking (Wilson & Pettijohn, 2006). The higher the rank in a search engine, the more likely consumer traffic visits the website (Ghanour, Benwell, & Deans, 2010). Search engines also offer paid placement in their search engines.
Search-engine advertising usually takes place in the form of paid placement. With sponsored links, paid listings, and pay-for-performance, advertisers pay to place their click-through advertisements in search engines (Ghose & Yang, 2009). This is a form of targeted advertising that is consumer specific (Ghose & Yang, 2009). Advertisers bid on keywords and when a user types in that keyword, a link to the advertiser’s website is displayed as a sponsored link along at the top of the list (or in the margins of the page) before unpaid results (Ghose & Yang, 2009). The more an advertiser pays for a keyword, the higher the company will show in the rankings (Ghose & Yang, 2009). The most prevalent payment method for advertisers is cost per click (Ghose & Yang, 2009). Every time a user clicks the link to go to the website the advertiser pays (Ghose & Yang, 2009).
Banner advertisements can appear at the top, bottom, or side of web pages and will advertise or promote a product or service. This can be on search engine pages, individual websites, social media websites, and any other type of Internet website (Yannopoulos, 2011). Banners can usually be clicked to link the user to a company’s website (Yannopoulos, 2011).
Social media. Social media, such as LinkedIn, Google Plus, and Facebook, offer a venue for companies that market themselves. Social media marketing can be in two forms. One form is a commercial or business page where people can interact and post reviews, where new products and promotions can be announced, and where product information can be found (Quan-Haase & Young, 2010). Social media advertising can also take place in the form of advertising on the sides or top of pages as people browse profile pages.
Corporate websites. Websites are the foundation to an online corporate presence. The website can be the first point of contact for consumers. A website can be viewed as a combination of direct selling and advertising, as it both can be designed to engage a visitor in a dialogue and/or generate awareness, provide information, and demonstrate products (Yannopoulos, 2011). A company that does not want to sell products directly from its website will still benefit from having a website, because it is a cost efficient way to gain new customers and service existing customers (Sweeney, MacLellan, & Dorey, 2007).
Websites usually serve multiple stakeholders (investors, potential employees, and consumers) and have multiple objects from sales to building brand image (Hwang, McMillan, & Lee, 2003). Websites also have the ability to individually target stakeholder groups through menu links that target that stakeholder group (Hwang, McMillan, & Lee, 2003). Stakeholder groups identified in the Hwang, McMillan, and Lee (2003) study include (a) consumers, (b) business partners, (c) employees, (d) investors, (e) communities, and (f) government. The use of a website as a marketing tool is not limited to the time and space constraints of traditional marketing, such as a television commercial or the limited size of a newspaper advertisement (Hwang, McMillan, & Lee, 2003).
According to Durkin and McGowan (2001), there are a few basic models of how a company might choose to establish a web presence through a website, including:
• Billboard model – This is the most basic model with just a one-page website that incorporates a marketing message. The display usually provides a way for a user to find more information. This has a low cost and, according to Durkin and McGowan (2001), is good for businesses that do not want to offer actual products or services over the Web.
• “Yellow Pages” approach – This method is more of a guide to information with ads that tell about the business’ products or services. The website would not have any e-commerce capabilities.
• Virtual storefront –This is a full informational site that includes the marketing of products and services. The site is also enabled with e-commerce so that it acts like another location of a business.
Similarly, Gurau and Duquesnois (2011) conducted a study on French winery websites and divided the sites into three online marketing orientations, including:
• Information orientation websites are only used for information about the wine and the winery and no interactive communication such as email addresses are provided. Communication is suggested through traditional mail or phone.
• Interactive communication websites have all the information from the information orientation, but also allow interactive communication through blogs, email, forums, and online registration for newsletters and news.
• Transactional websites offer everything from informational and interactive approaches and add the ability to order the product directly through the website.
With billboard, “Yellow Pages,” and information-orientation approaches companies want to drive business to a store or possibly phone orders (Yannopoulos, 2011). Ghanour, Benwell, and Deans (2010) identified four capabilities of websites including (a) information, (b) transactional, (c) customer service, and (d) promotional. Information is the primary purpose of commercial websites (Chen & Wells, 1999; Ghanour, Benwell, & Deans, 2010). Information about the product/service, background of the company, and contact information should be included (Ghanour, Benwell, & Deans, 2010). Transactional capabilities allow a consumer to purchase a product online. Customer service on websites can range from frequently asked questions pages to more interactive interfaces such as a live chat session with a customer service representative. Promotional capabilities inform consumers about a site or promote products/services within the site (Ghanour, Benwell, & Deans, 2010). Websites, as marketing and advertising tools, are the subject of this study.