CAMPAIGN INTERACTIVE: NEW-MEDIA CLINIC - Biggest use of the Net will be for commerce rather than marketing

I got some flak a few months ago for saying that one of the rules of the emerging new media would be that Websites are not for marketing.

I got some flak a few months ago for saying that one of the rules

of the emerging new media would be that Websites are not for


Web designers and ad agency Netties were aghast. The country’s marketing

directors, however, appear to concur with my heretical sentiments, if a

report from KPMG Management Consulting is to be believed.

The report, based on a survey of marketing directors at more than 100

leading UK companies, confirms that the single biggest use of the Net,

as envisaged by the client community, is commerce. Transactions are what

will make company Websites tick, not information about the materials

used to make a product, or a poxy game loosely based on a brand


Sure, the findings show that online marketing budgets have doubled in

the past year. But they remain extraordinarily low compared with other

media - at an average of pounds 68,000 per company - and the companies

taking part all had an annual turnover of more than pounds 200 million.

Furthermore, the survey finds that by the year 2000, marketing budgets

will have increased to only pounds 157,000 a year, still a fraction of

overall marketing spend. By contrast, the marketing directors questioned

said they expected a third of their total sales to be due to an Internet


Of course, not all of these transactions will be conducted via the Net -

the biggest threat to the commercial future of the Net is still seen as

security, the report reveals - but only purists will be put off by this.

The reality will still be one of mainstream consumers selecting goods

and services over the Net. If they feel they have to pick up the phone

to make the transaction, so be it. It’s still shopping on the Net and

companies that aren’t there will fall behind rivals who are.

As online activity of this nature takes off, the growing numbers of

Internet users will attract a greater proportion of the advertising

pound to the medium. But will these users really want to surf, visit a

variety of sites for fun and lap up all manner of commercial messages in

the process? Or will they go straight to the Tesco site, do their

shopping, then settle down in front of Richard and Judy? My money’s on

the latter.


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