The term Digital Marketing was first used in the 1990s. The digital age took off with the coming of the internet and the development of the Web 1.0 platform. The Web 1.0 platform allowed users to find the information they wanted but did not allow them to share this information over the web. Up until then, marketers worldwide were still unsure of the digital platform. They were not sure if their strategies would work since the internet had not yet seen widespread deployment. In 1993, the first clickable banner went live, after which HotWired purchased a few banner ads for their advertising. This marked the beginning of the transition to the digital era of marketing. Because of this gradual shift, the year 1994 saw new technologies enter the digital marketplace. The very same year, Yahoo was launched. Also known as "Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web" after its founder Jerry Yang, Yahoo received close to 1 million hits within the first year. This prompted wholesale changes in the digital marketing space, with companies optimizing their websites to pull in higher search engine rankings. 1996 saw the launch of a couple of more search engines and tools like HotBot, LookSmart, and Alexa. 1998 saw the birth of Google. Microsoft launched the MSN search engine and Yahoo brought to the market Yahoo web search. Two years later, the internet bubble burst and all the smaller search engines were either left behind or wiped out leaving more space for the giants in the business. The digital marketing world saw its first steep surge in 2006 when search engine traffic was reported to have grown to about 6.4 billion in a single month. Not one to get left behind, Microsoft put MSN on the backburner and launched Live Search to compete with Google and Yahoo. Then came Web 2.0, where people became more active participants rather than remain passive users. Web 2.0 allowed users to interact with other users and businesses. Labels like ‘super information highway’ began to be applied to the internet. As a result, information flow volumes –including channels utilized by digital marketers- increased manifold, and by 2004, internet advertising and marketing in the US alone brought in around $2.9 billion. Soon, social networking sites began to emerge. MySpace was the first social networking site to arrive, soon followed by Facebook. Many companies realized all these fresh new sites that were popping up were beginning to open new doors of opportunities to market their products and brands. It opened fresh avenues for business and signalled the beginning of a new chapter to business. With new resources, they needed new approaches to promote their brands & capitalize on the social networking platform. The cookie was another important milestone in the digital marketing industry. Advertisers had begun to look for other ways to capitalize on the fledgling technology. One such technique was to track common browsing habits and usage patterns of frequent users of the internet to tailor promotions and marketing collateral to their tastes. The first cookie was designed to record user-habits. The use of the cookie has changed over the years, and cookies today are coded to offer marketers a variety of ways to collect literal user data. Products marketed digitally are always now available to customers. Statistics collected by the Marketingtechblog for 2014 show that posting on social media is the top online activity in the US. The average American spends 37 minutes a day on social media. 99% of digital marketers use Facebook to market, 97% use Twitter, 69% use Pinterest and 59% use Instagram. 70% of B2C marketers have acquired customers through Facebook. 67% of Twitter users are far more likely to buy from brands that they follow on Twitter. 83.8% of luxury brands have a presence on Pinterest. The top three social networking sites used by marketers are LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. The digital market is in a constant state of flux. A Digital Marketing professional must find ways to keep up with this change. They need to be able to keep an eye out for emerging trends and the development of newer and smarter Search Engine Algorithms. After all, nobody can afford to get left behind in this race.
The information products industry, broadly defined to include products based on data, information, and knowledge, is intensely dynamic in terms of growth and the pace of new product introduction. The complexity in the variety of product offerings and the number of firms offering those products in this industry is shown by the fact that there are more than 36,000 information product suppliers in the United States; 90 percent of these have less than $1 million in annual sales.1 Revenues for the information industry are large; for example, radio and TV accounted for $54 billion in domestic revenues in 1993; film and recorded music for $35 billion; newspapers, books, and magazines, $85 billion; and business information suppliers, another $26 billion. Despite the economic importance and the rapid pace of innovation of this industry, no previous research has examined the design and development of information products. Research in the management of innovation and new product development has focused primarily on physical, assembled products such as automobiles, video-cassette recorders, portable cassette players, power tools, computers, and various types of production equipment.2 This focus has been broadened by studies of innovation in no assembled products such as ice and glass and of innovation in software products.3 In this article, we focus on information products. We define information products broadly to include information provided in either electronic or printed form and sold to external markets as well as that provided by information systems departments within firms to internal “customers.”
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