Advertising on the Web - Academic Research


Our long list is structured under the following headings:


  • Project 2000 A five-year sponsored research effort devoted to the scholarly and rigorous investigation of the marketing implications of commercializing hypermedia computer-mediated environments (CMEs) like the World Wide Web and other emerging electronic environments.

  • Marketing in Hypermedia Computer-Mediated Environments: Conceptual Foundations is excellent theoretical analysis of the Web as a medium for market communications. In this working paper, which is written by Donna Hoffman and Thomas Novak, the communication characteristics of Hypermedia CMEs (such as the Web) are analyzed, and a structural model of consumer behavior is developed incorporating the notion of flow.

  • Commercial Scenarios for the Web: Opportunities and Challenges - this paper by Hoffman, Novak and Chatterjee explores the role of the web as a distribution channel and a medium of marketing communication, the benefits of using the Web in a commercial context, and the barriers to commercial growth of the Web.

  • Business on the Internet - Emerging Uses of The World Wide Web by Lead Users A report by Steve Bennet. The study looks at commercial acivity on the Internet and discusses this in relation to business competition and innovation. The author concludes the investigation by stating that the Internet is seeing the birth of a new industry - a new paradigm for competition which has altered the traditional costs of business transactions. (Adapted from a 1994 MIT working paper. Updated January 1st 1995).

  • The Digital Medium Meets the Advertising Message is an article about how interactive digitized marketing differs from traditional mass media marketing. Written by Martin Nisenholtz, the senior vice president of advertising firm Ogilvy & Mather.


  • The Executive Guide to Marketing on the New Internet An introduction to what the the World Wide Web is and does. The paper has no date, but it seems to be from mid 1995.

  • 20 Reasons to Put Your Business on the World Wide Web Marketing reasons for using WWW technology. Comes with French and Spanish translation.

  • The Business of the Internet A basic but well-written introduction to the Internet as a business tool.

  • The Economic Consequences of WWW is a paper by Arnold Kling from October 1994. This paper attempts to begin a qualitative exploration of the economic consequences of the World Wide Web. It suggests that the marketing cost function using WWW has some unique properties. The economic changes implied by this unusual cost function are sketched out. Finally, the challenges to conventional economic paradigms are discussed.


  • The CommerceNet/Nielsen Internet Demographics Survey: Executive Summary - this survey is the most comprehensive study of Internet and World Wide Web size and use to date. The results fully document the importance of the Internet in general and the World Wide Web in particular as communication media which need to be taken seriously.

  • Analysis of Post-Stratification Weighting Procedures - Since the results of the initial survey were issued, Nielsen conducted analyses to determine the best method of computing the respondent weights. As a result, the respondent weights were revised and the August 1995 results were updated.

  • The Hermes Project A research project on the commercial uses of the World Wide Web. The Hermes project has the following objectives: 1) To understand why customers and businesses decide to try, use and provide commercial resources on the World Wide Web. 2) To develop a reliable methodology to track and predict important customer and corporate trends. 3) To provide useful commerce related information to the Web community.

  • GVU's 5th WWW User Survey Home Page As the name indicates, this is the 5th WWW use survey. Graphic, Visualization, & Usability Center's (GVU) runs the Surveys as public service and as such, all results are free. The surveys, since this is the 5th, are put out on the Internet as a questionnaires divided in eight categories (General Demographics, Advertising, Web/Internet Use, Transaction Security, Political Opinions, Purchasing Behavior, Data Privacy, Information Gathering, Content Authoring, Opinions of Vendors, Webmasters and Service Providers). This last survey was answered by 11.703 WWW users.

  • GVU's Sixth WWW User Survey. is now available. It is also run on a public service basis, and is free. It now has even more categories than the last survey.

  • Internet and Web Use in the United States: Baselines for Commercial Development by Hoffman, Novak & Kalsbeek, Project 2000 Working Paper, July 10, 1996. The papers objectives are to provide consumers, market researchers, Internet-based business interests, investors, the media, and policymakers - with accurate baseline numbers and marketing insights necessary to aid decision-making and stimulate inquiry in this complex and rapidly changing environment, and to demonstrate the difficulties and indeterminancies inherent in estimating a complex and moving target. The paper also gives a brief review existing studies of Internet use.

  • A New Marketing Paradigm for Electronic Commerce by Donna L. Hoffman & Thomas P. Novak, February 19, 1996. The paper argues that the traditional one-to-many model, with its attendant implications and consequences for marketing theory and practice, has only limited utility in emerging many-to-many media like the World Wide Web, and that a new marketing paradigm is required for this communication medium.

  • Emerging Technologies Research assess and forecast the impact of emerging information technologies on consumers using original primary research, including focus groups, online sampling and large telephone surveys that explore people's current behaviors, unmet needs and interest in using new interactive products and services. Publishes the newsletterInterActive Consumers



  • The Accidental SuperhighwayThe Economist's special survey on the Internet (July 1995).

  • [email protected]$$$ - this article by Herb Brody discusses whether the Internet will survive the transition from a government protectorate to a free-market medium.

  • JP Morgan - Financial Services Online - A brief but well written report about the progress of financial services companies in their efforts to market online products and services.


  • CCM's list of CME related sites contains pointers or descriptions of resource and referencematerial useful in the study of Computer-Mediated Communication.

  • The Information Economy - Hal Varian's collection of links to resources pertaining to the economics of internet, networksand information goods. A large part of the collection is not directly related to marketing.

  • Economics of Networks - collection of information on economic issues of networks from Stern School of Business. Not directly related to advertising.

  • Links 2000 is a large collection of Marketing and Advertising resources on the Net located at Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University.

  • Print Publications Related to Business Use of the Internet - Information on each publication, links to the publication's home page (if it has one), along with links from Net Happenings and the Internet Marketing Archives.

  • Nijenrode Business Webserver - the site contains the Business Bookstore, which has an impressive collection of links to other bookstores, publishers, journals and magazines, as well as an overview of business resources on the Internet (most of which are not about business on the internet).

  • net.acceptable- collection of links concerning techniques for using the Internet that are considered appropriate to the majority of Internet users.

  • net.presence - a collection of links related to creating an Internet presence.


  • Journal of Computer-mediated communication seeks to publish original essays and research reports on such topics as interpersonal and group processes in communication networks, issues of privacy, economics and access raised by the developing information infrastructure, instructional communication in distance learning, computer-supported cooperative work, and organizational and social policy issuesoccasioned by the new medium.

  • Computer-Mediated Communication Magazine (CMC) publish innovative essays, features, news, reviews, and other material that explores the many facets of communication using computer-mediated means.

  • Advertising Age The well-known advertising magazine online.


  • Wired Magazine - If you do not know Wired Magazine, you should look it up now! And you should also look up:

  • HotWired - also a must if you want to know about the Web. Same company as Wired Magazine.

  • C|Net - and while you are at it, look up C|Net as well.


There are two basic ways of tracking and measuring trafic on a site. One is to ask visitors to register and make use of a password. The other involves a cookie. Here are some sites you should visit to learn more about Usage Statistics and Cookies:

Usage Statistics :

Cookies :

  • What's a Cookie? is also from The Conaghan Report and gives a short introduction to the concept of cookies and some usefull links and articles, plus a few technical links.

  • Sites Dip Into Cookies to Track User Info is an article written by Whit Andrews from WebWeek that explains how cookies are being used and what they can be used for.

  • The Truth about Cookies published on C|Net on the 29th of April 1996 and written by Christopher Barr is about cookies, which aren't that magic after all. The article defuses some of the hype about the security risk posed by cookies.

  • Off-the-Shelf Tracking Tools Multiply is also from from WebWeek and authored by Kathleen Murphy. It is about all the new tracking tools that now are becoming available.

  • Search Engines Tuned to Track Users is an story from [email protected] Week which gives an idea of the new plans from both Infoseek Corp. and Lycos Inc. for measuring and monitoring people's behavior on the Web. These information will then be used to offer tailored content and advertising designed to match a user's taste and interests

  • Firefly is a good example of a personal software agent that understands people's tastes and interests, and allows users to access reviews and receive personalized recommendations on movies and music.

Not everybody likes the idea of being tracked on the Web :
Some people are not so happy about leaving a trail on the Web. Here are some links and articles about privacy on the Web
  • Privacy Demonstration is a site produced by The Center for Democracy and Technology, a non-profit public interest organization. It runs an interesting demo online which showes what information is available about you already. The only problem is that it is based on the IP number and not on the user. The ID the user leaves behind only works if the user is the only person with access to the machine. The site also gives the possibility of using The Anonymizer, a service that can shield user privacy.

  • The Anonymizer The anonymizer service allows the user to surf the web without revealing any personal information. The site also attempts to tell you who you are. It seems to have the same problem as the site of The Center for Democracy and Technology. It also gives some links to sites relevant to security on the World Wide Web.

  • Web 'cookies' may be spying on you has been written by Lee Gomes on the 3rd of February 1996. The article is about cookies in Netscape and Explorer and how these cookies could be used.

  • Who's Watching You Online? has been published on C|Net and is part one of a special report on "Privacy in the Digital Age". This first article talks about the risks of being watched by the boss at work and the dangers to privacy. It also gives the user the possibility to see what information is available on him/her. The site also gives the user the possibility to join a debate on the subject.

  • How Private Is Your Personal Information? is part two of the special report on "Privacy in the Digital Age". The second article gives the user the possibility to learn what information is being gathered on him/her and what is to be done to protect the users privacy.

  • Encrypting your data with ViaCrypt PGP/PE is an article by Victoria Hall Smith published by C|Net on September 19, 1996. The story is about Pretty Good Privacy, the de facto encryption standard for email. It tells the reader how to get PGP software and how to use it. ViaCrypt and its parent company, Lemcom Systems, were acquired by Pretty Good Privacy, Inc. in July,1996.

  • Fast Forward is a company that has developed software that filters out cookies and can block out banner ads and images. This could change the way the Web is financed.


  • Becoming an Internet Service Provider - a well-written article explains what it takes to become an ISP. Not directly related to advertising.

  • IBC Internet Business CenterA comprehensive and well-structured site containing useful information about doing business on the internet. The site also hosts a collection of links.

  • Internet Marketing Archives - Archives and resources for the Internet Marketing Discussion List. Digests, discussions, etc. The Internet Marketing Discussion List has been stopped by the moderator because as he says : "the level of discussion on the list has become less and less interesting over time, and we're repeating ourselves ad nauseum for the most part". It now only contains a searchable list of past discussions. But it also contains links to other sites, which could replace the Internet Marketing Archives. The Webmaster recommends three choises.

  • Network payment mechanisms and digital cash - written by Michael Peirce.

  • Electronic money Sources of information on the history of money, contemporary developments, and the prospects for electronicmoney.

  • AdMarket AdMarket is a gateway to marketing, media, advertising and public relations content on the World Wide Web.

  • Interactive Publishing Alert is a monthly electronic newsletter tracking trends and developments in online newspaper and magazine publishing.

  • The Internet and the Anti-net - this article by Nick Arnett argues that two distinct, loosely interconnected publicly accessible digital internetworks may emerge, which will surely be better than just one.

  • Strangelove Internet Entreprises is founded by Michael Strangelove, author of the book "How to Advertise on the Internet" and publisher of The Internet Business Journal.

  • The Conaghan Report: Tracking Audience and Advertising on the Web A variety of resources about usage tracking, measuring the spending on Web-based advertising and other sources of survey information.

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