The evolution of the internet has redefined marketing, dividing the area into that which is done online and the other, the traditional. How the internet revolutionized marketing can be seen by looking at the history of the internet.
As the internet was being developed, growing number of communities had become interested and with the number of scientists getting involved in the development of the internet, with the increase in attendance in their meetings, working groups were created. As the number of groups became interested with the internet with the growth of the commercial sector, broad user communities have become included plus an increase in commercial activity. The internet today is not limited to email and file sharing; it now supports audio and video streams (Baker, T. n.d; Leiner, et. Al Dec 2006).
The internet started just for the simple purpose of providing faster and better long-distance communication and file transferring for the military. This objective necessitated the need to develop networked computers and continuous development of its structure resulting in further development of its functions and networking capacity. It is this functional and capacity development that furthered the development itself attracting more and more users, interested and involved groups. The result is a "chicken-and-egg" pattern between development and the number of users. This continuous increase in the number of users and the continuous development of the internet made internet into an ideal setting for faster and wider market reach. It is also the evolution of the internet and its resultant user population increase that paved the way to the birth of a virtual community which spawned new products, new market, new market places, new commercial systems and thus, e-commerce and online marketing (Baker, T. n.d; Leiner, et. Al Dec 2006).
Online marketing is distinguished from the traditional form in terms of the setting where products are marketed (Internet 2006). It refers to the process of advertising products in the internet. Ways of online marketing are similar to that of the traditional form except that the former is done using electronic versions (Geld 2003), that is, the printed brochures and flyers become electronic brochures and flyers, which could then be easily distributed using emails, forums, file sharing and link sharing. The online version of word-of-mouth involves the promotion in community-based websites such as forums, chat rooms, peer-to-peer sharing, link promotion and blogging.
As said earlier, the rise of the internet has also spawned new marketing strategies. If the traditional marketing methods have companies pay advertising companies to place ads in different places, online marketing has its own version. Advertisers are paid by the companies to market their products, bringing forward new online-specific marketing strategies like paid-to-click, paid-to-read emails, spamming, traffic exchanges, link exchanges, content-making, file-sharing and online classifieds. The method in which transactions are made have also changed with the existence of online facilitators such as Paypal, Ebay, Amazon, all of which connecting the buyer and the seller through structured systems (Internet, 2006). Depending on the product, distribution can be made online or offline. Electronic products such as ebooks, music and