Internet Advertising

Learning Objectives

  • to understand that the internet is used as an advertising medium for different sized companies.

Learning Outcomes

Must – understand all the advertising mediums on offer.

Should – recognise how transactional data is used in online advertising.

Could – discuss the impact on society of using online advertising for companies.

Transactional Data

When you buy or sell something this is called a Transaction.  Transactional data is the information collected from that sale or purchase.  This transactional data is stored in databases which can then be searched and sorted.  Personalised information is often stored in cookies (small text files) created on your computer when you visit a website.

Why is transactional data important for businesses?

Transactional data is important for businesses that you buy from because:

  • it allows the tracking of a delivery.
  • it allows the organisation to keep a record of your purchases with them.
  • it contains important data about the customers buying habits and the products that they might be interested in buying.

What Transactional Data is collected?

The following are examples of types of transactional data that are collected about customers purchases.

  1. Details of the Item that was purchased
  2. Delivery tracking data that displays the location and status of the item
  3. Personal information from your online account.
  4. Date and time of the purchase.
  5. The purchase price of the item.
  6. The reference number allocated to the purchase.

What is transactional data used for?

Transactional data is important for a business and is collected for a variety of reasons including;

  • understand a customers buying habits and to notice purchase trends.
  • to provide a more personalised experience by promoting goods that a customer might be likely to be interested in or purchase.
  • for targeted advertising campaigns.
  • to create personalised marketing, by allocating vouchers and promotions for customers who may be interested in buying goods.
  • to track the delivery of goods.

Internet Advertising

Internet advertising is a popular and growing medium in order for organisations to advertise their goods and services.  Internet advertising normally consists of text, image and visual adverts which are targeted towards customers.

Why advertise?

Companies advertise online as they have the ability to reach lots of customers in a quick and meaningful fashion.  Internet advertising is a quick form of advertising, and it is much more affordable medium than say the use of TV adverts.  Companies can gather information and analyse it using statistics to find out customers opinions about products.

Search Engine Advertising

As part of an advertising campaign, companies try to get there sites higher up search engine results in order to catch customers and potential customers attention.  The easiest way to do this is by using Google Adwords.  Google Adwords is a service offered by Google, which promotes companies who pay to place their organisation higher up in a search engine results.   The companies select keywords carefully, and these are used in order to place the results.  The companies pay Google on a “Cost per Click” basis, so for every visit, a small fee is payable to Google.  In reality, a higher placing means more visits, which in turn should mean higher potential sales.  The “Cost per Click” payments is a price worth paying for increased revenue.

Using Social Media

Social Media sites use information that they know about it users in order to target them with advertising.  Social Media sites use tracking cookies from websites, some third party cookies.  These adverts are then displayed on the social media users page in the form of visual adverts.  Some organisations pay social media sites such as Facebook to advertise its goods and services online to potential customers.

Viral Marketing

Viral marketing or Viral Videos as they are often known, are a form of advertising videos or content which is designed in such away that it is shared online using social media.  Its content has enough interest or entertainment in it that users pass it on or share it with other users.  Quickly the sharing grows in order to become an instant hit.

Below are 3 examples of popular Viral Marketing Videos that were shared originally online and became hits.

Why is Viral Marketing used?

  • content goes “viral” it spreads very quickly
  • it is very cheap as the company does not have to pay for advertising.
  • memorable content means that people remember the brand name associated with it.

Targeted Marketing

Online targeted marketing is about concentrating online advertising on the groups of customers who are most likely to buy a product.  Online organisations collect and combine online data from:

  • cookies that are used to store your browsing habits.
  • transactional data collected.
  • social networking sites.
  • microblogging sites.
  • personal information from online profiles.

The organisations then query that data to send adverts just to those users whose age, gender, interests or previous purchases suggest they might buy a particular product.

Personalised Techniques

Personalised techniques are used in targeted marketing.  They make advertisements relevant to a particular customer using their personal information and have the aim of persuading the customer to buy related products.


Ensure you have an adequate set of notes for all the content covered in this lesson.

Use the revision app for GCSE ICT on the student desktop on your computer.  Complete the activities for everything covered so far up to Topic 4.