Exploring the implications of the internet for consumer marketing

  • Robert A. Peterson
  • Sridhar Balasubramanian
  • Bart J. Bronnenberg
Marketing In The 21st Century


Past commentaries on the potential impact of the Internet on consumer marketing have typically failed to acknowledge that consumer markets are heterogeneous and complex and that the Internet is but one possible distribution, transaction, and communication channel in a world dominated by conventional retailing channels. This failure has led to excessively broad predictions regarding the effect of the Internet on the structure and performance of product and service markets. The objective of this article is to provide a framework for understanding possible impacts of the Internet on marketing to consumers. This is done by analyzing channel intermediary functions that can be performed on the Internet, suggesting classification schemes that clarify the potential impact of the Internet across different products and services, positioning the Internet against conventional retailing channels, and identifying similarities and differences that exist between them. The article concludes with a series of questions designed to stimulate the development of theory and strategy in the context of Internet-based marketing.


Marketing Consumer Market Harvard Business Review Electronic Market Brand Choice 
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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert A. Peterson
    • 1
  • Sridhar Balasubramanian
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bart J. Bronnenberg
    • 1
  1. 1.the University of TexasAustin
  2. 2.Yale UniversityUSA

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