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Advertisers are expected to shift and spend millions in internet advertising in the coming years than TV, print ads and other traditional advertising media. With the rapid growth in technology, the internet is becoming an important one stop point for consumers in finding most of their needs. Be it communication, entertainment, shopping, information search, internet serves as a panacea for all their requirements. Many consumers are online every day for their personal work, but do they notice the ads, banners displayed on that webpage, and most important their recall value. The current study investigated the effectiveness of internet advertising on consumer behavior by conducting a case study of University of Nairobi Students. The study sought to determine the effectiveness of internet advertising on reach and creation of awareness; to establish the reliability of internet advertising through recall; and to determine the relationship between internet advertising and purchase decision.The study used a case study research design. The target population was the University of Nairobi students. The study used stratified sampling technique to select 100 study respondents. The primary data was collected using questionnaires. Content analysis was used to analyze qualitative data while the quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics using SPSS. Regression and Correlation analysis was used to show the relationships among the variables. The data was presented through percentages, means, standard deviations and frequencies. The study found that internet advertising was effective on reach and creation of awareness due to diverse usage, and established that its reliability as an advertising media was low compared to TV. Internet advertising has significant relationship with purchase decision of the consumers and therefore is a key determinant in influencing consumer behaviour. The study determined that there is a positive relationship between internet advertising and consumer purchase decision and further recommends that companies should conduct a market research on the different markets in various countries to ensure that the internet advertising initiatives being implemented suits the targeted markets to improve product purchases.



1.1 Background to the study

Internet has grown tremendously in both its applications and number of users due to its unique characteristics of flexibility, interactivity, and personalization. It has been a very useful tool for communication, entertainment, education, and electronic trade (Ko et al., 2004; Koyuncu and Lien, 2003). The revolutionary change brought forth by information technology has an important impact on the daily lives. It has transformed the way we do business by allowing retailers to offer unlimited range of products and services to all consumers from around the world at any point in time. The Internet has emerged as an advertising medium (Silk et al., 2001). Many companies have turned to the Internet to advertise their products and services; and the Internet is deemed to be the most significant direct marketing channel for the global marketplace (Faber et al., 2004; Ko et al., 2004; Korgaonkar and Wolin, 2002). Companies are pouring billions of dollars into Internet advertising to obtain greater return on investment on ads (Edwards, 2005; Joines et al.,2003).

The Internet has given consumers more control in accessing information on products and services. There are several factors that contribute to consumers pull for online content—consumers are the one who decide when, where, what, and how much commercial content they wish to view (Korgaonkar and Wolin, 2002). The Internet enables consumers to access an unlimited range of products and services from companies around the world, and it has reduced the time and effort they spend on shopping (Ko et al., 2004).

Consumers play a much more active role in searching for information online with some goal in mind, and that goal can influence individual behaviors and responses to online information and advertisements (Smith, 2002). With the rapid advancement in the computer industry, many companies have made the Internet as part of their advertising media mix to take advantage of the online technologies (Calisir, 2003).

The Internet has become a popular advertising platform because marketers found that the Internet possess greater flexibility and control over the advertising materials (Ducoffe, 1996).

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