Marketing communications on the Web provide benefits to both consumers and marketers. Many of these benefits stem from the form of the interaction between the web site and the consumer. Consider Zeke, an individual in the market for binoculars. Although he had little expertise, he did have some beliefs about binoculars. For example, he believed that well-performing binoculars would be very expensive because of the exacting nature of the optics. Similar logic led him to believe that it was important to match the type of binoculars to the intended use, such as hunting, bird watching, or watching sports. His search for information about binoculars began with locating and reading a Consumer Reports’ study on binoculars published in 1988. Although the report contained a great deal of information, he was somewhat skeptical about the usefulness of this information primarily because (1) the information was relatively old, and (2) there was little information about the use of binoculars for bird watching. This motivated him to “surf” the World Wide Web. In less than five minutes, he located a web page devoted to providing information, updated monthly, on binoculars for bird watching. Not only was there a great deal of important and current information, it was in a medium where Zeke could customize the input to his own needs. With the click of the mouse, he was able to go directly to the information
of interest to him, avoiding extraneous information about monoculars or photography. He was able to go directly to guidelines on how to evaluate and select binoculars. In addition, the site contained an analysis of different brands. The site also allowed him to reorganize brand information consistent with his specific needs. After analyzing information on the site, he purchased a pair of binoculars with which he has been very satisfied.