How the Internet has Changed Marketing in the Western World

Since the world wide web became available to the general public in the early 1900s, businesses and marketing companies have been turning it to their advantage in every way possible. While traditional advertising is far from extinct, online marketing has become the primary focus of most western companies.

Online marketing

Here are some of the major impacts the internet has had on consumer marketing.


Service costs are still a factor with any marketing medium, but with digital marketing, material costs all but disappear. A banner ad on a web page may be seen by millions of people, without the cost of printing millions of newspapers, magazines or leaflets.

Social media marketing, if you manage your own page and posts, is cost-free – unless you opt for paid Facebook ads. If you’re running a competition or giveaway, whatever prize you offer will be a cost factor, but typically, it’s well worth it for the marketing.

Data Collection

With traditional print media, it’s hard to track how many people see your advert. Are your five thousand newspaper ads being seen, or do four thousand people toss the advertising section right off the bat? With online advertising, computers can keep a record of the number of views a page with your ad gets, though not everyone will see or notice it.

A more accurate record is the number of clicks your ad gets – these are people who have seen your ad and been intrigued enough to click on it. This gives valuable data as to whether you’re advertising in the right place to be seen by your target market.

Going Viral

Viral advertising can be invaluable to a 21st-century business. By creating high quality, popular content to market their brand, they make the commercial “noncommercial”. This type of content, once created, needs little or no further marketing, as it is usually shared by consumers on social media and other platforms, essentially marketing itself.

Digital marketing


Search engine optimization came about some time after the internet, primarily because of how competitive and expensive online advertising has become. It involves online content, usually in the form of articles or blogs, including links designed to increase a company’s web traffic, and improve their search engine rankings. The industry is constantly growing, with a movie on SEO even being released this year.

Targeted Marketing

Because of the amount of information available about most of us on the web, companies are now better able to market to individuals. By collating data about your buying and browsing habits, companies can tailor email newsletters and advertising, even the ads that show up in your Facebook feed, to you as an individual.

In an era where consumers are constantly pelted with information and advertising, both in the real world and online, marketing companies are always looking for new ways to get our attention. From email marketing to pop-ups, banners and social media campaigns, everyone is looking to get ahead in their industry.