I. Introduction

One of the main characteristics of our society is rapid technological growth. One aspect of this growth is the information superhighway or better known as the internet. The World Wide Web, the newest and most user friendly facet of the internet to date has introduced new commercial standards in today’s business world. One of these standards relates to marketing. The commercial activity of the World Wide Web requires the interaction of many disciplines. These disciplines are subject to the rapid development of the Web. The subject of discussion of this paper will be the effect of the Web on these disciplines. A specific hypothesis will be developed in relation to the potential changes marketing will go through in the future because of the Web.

The World Wide Web was introduced by the Physics Engineer Tim Berners-Lee, while working at CERN, a European high-energy physics laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. It was originally conceived in 1989 and the main idea was that information should be accessible through a simple interface on any kind of computer, anywhere on a network.

When it became publicly available in 1991, the Internet community jumped on it immediately. In 1993, the Web got a phenomenal boost with the release of Mosaic which in 1994 was replaced by Netscape Navigator - a graphical user interface called a Browser - that now runs in virtually any personal computer. That gave the Web a look and feel of a Macintosh or any Windows-type program.

The World Wide Web is the newest and fastest growing part of the internet and has 30 million users worldwide, of whom about the two-thirds in the US. It can be called the interactive medium of the future (Tom Jones, 1996), with a user growth rate of 15% per month. The typical users are usually male between 15 and 35 years old, and are city residents. They are interested in technology, computers, sports, travel, and music, they like innovation, and invest a lot of time and money in their hobbies. They are open to the world, technologically competent, educated, often speak more than one language, and are creative and pioneering.

In terns of marketing, the Web can be used in two ways. By renting space from a commercial internet provider or large corporation's Web page, or by creating an independent commercial or internet site, with maintained pages, operators, archive space, and the ability to accept advertising from others.

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Copyright Alexandros © 1996