The Early Days of Digital Marketing – Part 1

Digital marketing and the early internet.

It’s easy to take almost every kind of digital marketing for granted these days, considering just how much there is out there. In fact, this is part of the reason you should use a professional digital marketing agency like JumpSIX Marketing to help you stand out from an endless sea of banner ads, pop-ups, in-stream video ads and all the other varieties of online advertisement out there.

For those who grew up with the internet as a part of daily life, it might be hard to imagine anything different than our current digital landscape. But, for those old enough to have seen the initial beginnings of the world wide web – the publically available internet that became what we’re familiar with now – you might remember things been pretty different.

The JumpSIX Marketing blog looks back on the earlier days of digital marketing, and how it adapted as the internet evolved.

Early Digital Marketing

We all know what banner ads look like. In fact, banner ads being so prevalent to this day is part of the challenge of making your brand stand out from all the others. Almost every website you visit will have banners at the top, bottom, and sides of the screen. But how long have banner ads been used?

Banners have actually been one of the mainstays of digital advertising since 1994. The banner appeared on HotWired, a digital offshoot of Wired, as a way to raise revenue to pay staff. Banner ads have endured as an advertising technique for so many years because, quite simply, they work.

While poorly designed or intrusive banners might be infuriating, banners designed to be informative, eye-catching and non-intrusive are still a major benefit to advertisers. At JumpSIX Marketing, banner ads are just one of a variety of ads we create for clients to use as part of a display advertising strategy.

Targeted Advertising

Initially, the majority of digital marketing functioned in a similar fashioned to print or TV advertising. Banners – and later pop ups – would be thrown out into the ether in the hopes of catching the attention of the right people.

As the internet became more prevalent, advertisers became more savvy and more switched on to just how beneficial digital advertising could be. Companies with a focus on online marketing began to form strategies for targeted advertising as early as 1995.

The following year saw developments in being able to measure whether the ads were actually reaching the right people, laying the foundation for the metrics that are used to measure digital marketing success today.

Pop-Up Pop Out

Those reading who are old enough to remember the emergence and popularity boom of the internet very likely remember the digital scourge of pop-up ads in the late 90s. As more advertisers struggled to find attention online, pop-ups became a quicker and easier way to make sure your ads were seen.

They also became one of the most hated forms of digital advertising, and even now are what many veteran internet users think of when they hear the term “intrusive advertising”. It didn’t take long for most web browsers to come equipped with an option to simply block all pop-ups by default, forcing advertisers to be more creative, and less annoying, with their campaigns.

The Future of Marketing Online

The history of digital marketing is dense, so we’ll be returning to this topic in a future blog to look at how the content and presentation of digital ads has changed, as well as how targeting has been further refined. In the meantime, it’s important to remember just how quickly much of this evolution has happened.

As the pace of changes in trends and tastes gets faster, so does the need to quickly react to shifts in demographics and audience interest to make sure you can hold the attention of potential customers. At JumpSIX Marketing, we use our digital insight to inform all of the work we do – from SEO and search engine marketing, to display advertising and web design. If you’re looking to keep on top of digital advertising changes, contact JumpSIX Marketing today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *