Marketing in the Information Age
 4rth year course in the Division of Management, University of Toronto at Scarborough, Canada
SECTION C - Oct / Nov 2004     © by Prof. W. Tim G. Richardson

This page last changed 2004 Oct 13 (took out the material on branding and put it in its own unit)
. Promotion in conventional marketing terms means
  • Mass Selling
    • Advertising [paid promotional activities]
    • Publicity [non-paid promotional activities]
  • Personal Selling
    • Sales account executives selling products/services to business
    • direct contact with the customer
  • Sales Promotion
    • brand managers working with retailers to merchandise the product
    • contests, coupons, reward programs
The Basic Promotion Objectives, according to traditional marketing, are 
  • Informing 
  • Persuading 
  • Reminding 

In this course we will introduce a concept in the world of online marketing which many might agree to, but few follow.

promotion = communication
communication = listening
listening = hearing 

"To be successful in attracting traffic, using a good domain name and brand building, you need to be more effective at hearing what the customer wants."


As we discussed in the lecture - Mass Selling, particularly paid advertising, has overwhelmed customers offline and online [as noted below when we discuss Superbowl ads] and as a consequence there is a greater drive for companies, [particularly online companies competiting in a very competitive marketplace], to use direct marketing techniques.

These techniques seek to obtain your mailing address and email address to send advertising material directly to you - however, as we discussed in class, there are problems with this that have to do with violations of privacy - of which we talk further about in the next section.



It is interesting to note the increasing number of traditional companies using Super Bowl ads to profile the internet side of their business, as well as the new companies. Some of the companies are investing big money on a gamble to get recognition, others are using their ad to feature a new service, and others are using it to reinforce existing awareness to keep competitors at bay.

In fact, the whole arena of Super Bowl ads has taken on a hype of its own now and is sometimes referred to as the "Oscars" for marketing campaigns.
Yahoo has listed all the spots on one of their pages and you can go here to view RealPlayer / or Windows Media Player segments of the ads.

Story filed Monday, Jan 31, 2000 in the Yahoo Tech Headlines section
"Can You Remember Those Super Bowl Dotcom Ads?"
formerly at
Some 17 ``dot-coms'' advertised on the game this year (Jan 2000), up from three last year ... spending up to $3 million each on those 30-second Super Bowl ads?

In Jan 2000, the following Internet companies had Superbowl spots:, 
Oxygen Media,,,, 
WebMD,, E-Trade,,
Charles Schwab.

What did people think of the usefulness of the ads in Jan 2000?
Michael Cooney wrote in, and article titled
"How to blow $73,000 a second"

Michael Cooney explains "The "dot-com" Superbowl ads cost $2.2 Million for each 30 second spot. Most of these "dot-com" companies were near-unknowns. How would you have spent the $2.2 Million? For your first contact, is it better to talk to 60 million of the general population (half of whom were running to the kitchen for more chips and dip) one time for 30 seconds, or address 1,000,000 of your hottest, most likely prospects, for  10 minutes? Iíll pick the latter any time.

 For $2.2 Million, each company could have hired a direct response expert to create a direct mail package, hired a top list company to produce a finely-tuned, customized  list of 1,000,000 of your best, most-likely-to-buy prospects, and mailed to them your most irresistible, compelling case for doing business with you. That would win hands down over the Superbowl ad approach, I guarantee you. One of those Superbowl ads actually ended with the statement: "...did we just waste $2 Million?" Hereís your  answer, guys: YES!"

. So, if Superbowl ads aren't that great , ? is, why do people still "bet the farm" on them?
Is it a consequence of the C.E.O.'s ego,  who wants to establish that their company is now in the big leagues?
Is it a positioning statement they want to convey to their competitors?
Do they not understand that mass marketing is less effective than direct marketing?


Jan 28th

"Last year (Jan 2000) in Atlanta, Georgia, two dozen dot com companies mortgaged their futures for a one-shot chance at establishing brand recognition among 130 million football viewers. Many of the adverts were arty, incomprehensible and panned by critics and consumers alike for failing to make it clear what the companies did. 

This year [Jan 2001] only 10% of the 30-second spots during the three-hour sports extravaganza have been bought by internet firms, a third of last year's figure"

"The big buyers for this Super Bowl (2001) are financial services firms, especially brokers and investment bankers, who are locked in an escalating battle for retail and online customers. 
Lauren Chambliss

. It will be interesting to see how the Superbowl commercials in January 2001 reflect the challenges in the "" world over the past 12 months. Many significant dot.coms have gone bust which has caused some people to be sceptical about the future of e-business. Other people say this is a natural "Dawrwinian" development and the result will be more competitive leaner companies.

In studying e-business, we look for indicators of trends, and one of the significant indicators is the marketing associated with large sporting events - of which the Superbowl, Olympics and World Cup Soccer are the biggest.

WTGR Judith Schoolmam
writing in Daily News online

Schoolman writes that "At $2.5 million for a 30-second spot, this year's Super Bowl ads are
 going to look a little like the stock market ó old economy companies are hot, dot-coms are not....While TV coverage of the game the last two years were laced with  ads from Internet companies, the Nasdaq' 39% plunge in 2000 took  the steam out of many dot-coms ó or worse.As a result, this year  just three major dot-coms are set thus far to advertise."

Ads Slumping? Chpt 8, 
. There are a number of current stories available that discuss whether, or not, companies are making money advertising on the Web, and, the companies who sell advertising. Superbowl ads are not so common with people in 2001 - other forms of advertising are also being challenged.

. There are a number of reasons why we would be considered about ad revenue falling for AOL - one obvious one is because it is an industry leader and may indicate a trend effecting the whole economy. An advertising slump simply means people are buying less ads in mainstream media - ? is this because
  • people cannot afford ads 
  • people don't want to pay the money for  ads in high priced media
  • advertisers don't think ads are effective and are using other methods
  • customers aren't buying because of ads, so they are a waste of money

"Web Ads To Make Content Sites Profitable By 2005 - Forrester"

Featherly notes that "... Dot-com news, music and entertainments sites have been laying people...a new report by market analysis firm Forrester Research predicts that if such companies can hang on for just two more years, profitability will arrive. And the oldest media revenue source - advertising - once again will step in as the savior."

Feathjerly quotes Forrester media analyst Eric Scheirer
"it's very difficult for sites that are advertising-based to be profitable today. But that's changing, and very rapidly"

"Says Scheirer, as advertisers continue flocking to the Web to get the word out about their products, they will be forced to compete for many of the same "super-target" online content pages - search-query returns on Yahoo and the shopping-bot results on the site are two examples. But not all advertisers will be able to schedule ad appearances on those pages, nor will they wish to pay the high price those ad slots will fetch, according to the Forrester report.  Instead, the study says, the trickling will begin. Just below the "super-target" site grade  lies what Scheirer labels "premium" site pages, well-contextualized pages of content designed to work with targeted ads"

"There is no doubt, the analyst says, that the current picture is bleak, and that many online publishers could be convinced to throw in the towel now....But patience will bear fruit, the analyst insists."


Chpt 8


Chpt 8


"Technology Enabled Relationship Management"
page 300 in the Schneider/Perry book, 2nd Edition

"The nature of the web, with its two way communication features and traceable connection technology, allows firms to gather much more information about customer behaviour and preferences than they can using micromarketing approaches"

"Technology Enabled Relationship Management occurs when a firm obtains detailed information about a customer's behaviour

  • preferences (where the click on a site, what the spend time looking at)
  • needs (they have Windows 98, Windows ME)
  • and buying patterns (frequency, amount)
and, uses that information to 
  • set prices (offer discounts to repeats, or, like Amazon does, avoid discounts)
  • negotiate terms (30, 60 day payments)
  • tailor promotions (free upgrades, add ons, servicing)
  • add products and features (cross selling and upselling)"

    . So we have a classic case of how technology is facilitating business in the "Information Age" by allowing vendors to do things which will contribute to the CLV of each customer.
    (CLV - Customer Lifetime Value)
Technology Enabled Relationship Management = CRM Customer Relationship Management (with some qualification)

Technology Enabled Relationship Management would, strictly speaking, apply to customers, vendors, partners, government agencies - anything you want to have a better relationship with, using technology such as the internet

As Schneider and Perry explain on page 300, the term Technology Enabled Relationship Management is not so often used and it is more common to speak of Customer Relationship Management - that is to say using the internet to facilitate longer term relationships, and more profitable relationships with customers by using internet situations - and, like many things since 1998, you can use an "e" prefix and call it eCRM

. This is a good portal - which covers many eCRM topics