The Internet has recently come of age. Started
in the late 1960s by the U.S. Government, the global computer
network Internet has become the standard medium of communication
across over 40 thousand organizations, connecting over 30
million people worldwide. Internet members can exchange
information using electronic mail and bulletin boards; they
can preview catalogues, check flight information, make hotel
reservations, and in the near future, they will be able
to do banking on the Internet.
The World Wide Web, or the Web in short, is
the mechanism that makes navigating the Internet extremely
easy. The Web is a collection of documents (called pages)
that are linked together. Each document can reside on any
computer in the world, and using a simple language called
hypertext, any page can point to any other page anywhere.
And by simply pointing and clicking the mouse button, or
by typing the location of a page, a person can retrieve
any page on the Web, 24 hours a day, anywhere on this planet.
The far reaching connectivity provided by the global computer
network Internet and Web presents an enormous potential for
an advertising medium. The Internet and the Web are tremendously
appealing because they have the following features:
- Tremendous worldwide reach
There are currently an estimated of 30 to 40 million people
in over 100 countries connected through the Internet,
significantly growing to somewhere between 100 to 200
million people by the year 2000. America Online, Prodigy,
and Compuserve, the three largest online service companies
in the world with over 9 million members, just opened
the Web to their members. The Economist magazine estimated
that the Web portion of the Internet has around 20 million
members. This number will at least double in a year.
- Suitable audience demographic
Recent surveys by two researchers at Georgia Institute
of Technology indicated that the current Web members have
the following characteristics:
Young:Their average age is 31 years old.
Professional: 45% of them work in a professional
Educated: 56% have university or post-graduate
Have high disposable income: Average income is
$65,000.-, about three-times the GNP per capita of the
U.S.A. Over 42% have income between $35,000 and $75,000.
These people are the most likely to travel!
- Continuous and instant access
All members of the Internet and the Web can access and
transfer information continuously 24 hours a day, almost
instantaneously. Retrieving information over the Internet
will normally take only one or two minutes to get from
Pittsburgh, United States to Sydney, Australia, exactly
on the opposite side of the globe. Sitting in his apartment
in Tokyo, a traveler can retrieve your hotel Web page,
served by a Web site located in California. All in one
minute or less. Your business' information and advertising
message on the Web can reach any potential customers in
the world instantaneously.