What is Online Advertising?


Online advertising is a form of advertising that uses the Internet and World Wide Web in order to deliver marketing messages and attract customers. Examples of online advertising include contextual ads (ads relevant to some content or context) on search engine results pages, banner ads, Rich Media Ads (flash, video, silverlight), Social network advertising, advertising networks and e-mail marketing, including e-mail spam sadly.

A major result of online advertising is information and content that is not limited by geography or time. Online advertising differs from traditional advertising in a few important ways. First, online advertising is much more measurable than traditional advertising. With online advertising an advertiser can count exactly how many potential customers saw their ad, how many times each customer saw each ad, and how many customers responded to the ad by clicking or otherwise converting. Further, an advertiser has control over exactly which ad a customer sees, when they see the ad, and how often they see any ad. An advertiser is also able to customize each ad to a unique user's interest or context. Compared with traditional advertising where most advertisers do a scatter shot campaign hoping to catch some potential customers at the right time, online advertising is much more targeted and accountable. The market for online advertising media inventory is much more efficient than that of traditional advertising. By this I mean the price which advertisers pay for their online media is more closely controlled by true supply and demand for that media, and is filtered from sellers manipulation. Of course this varies greatly depending on where you buy your media.

The emerging area of interactive advertising presents fresh challenges for advertisers who have hitherto adopted an interruptive strategy.