The early existence of internet marking started in the early 1990's when text-based and simple websites were predominantly used in offering product or service information around the world. The Bristol-Myers Squibb was the first company that officially launched an online marketing campaign. A US-based drug company, the Bristol-Myers Squibb launched the use of online marketing to basically develop the public awareness in using a certain drug called "Excedrin". During the tax season in 1997, law and marketing firms declared the Excedrin as a "Tax Headache" supplement from online advertising websites. Bristol-Myers provided an online free sample of the drug to American internet users.
According to Linda Himelstein of Business Week, the use of the World Wide Web in promoting Excedrin resulted to series of good responses coming from Bristol-Myers. Himelstein also wrote in her article that in just one or two days, the Brtistol-Myers already estimated 30,000 added names in their online customer list. Standardized technology industries such as Microsoft and IBM began to incorporate their internet providers and several software programs in the Bristol-Myer's existing online marketing campaigns. Both industries also began throwing away millions of dollars from online marketing efforts to give way for the Bristol-Myer's campaign. Several websites such as Yahoo is said to be one of the online-based firms that was able to quickly acquire high amount of profit from online marketing. Yahoo successfully targeted the "never before seen" type of messages from the online marketing industry. The highly trafficked website generated the monitoring of hits every online advertisement acquires per day. In 2000, many online marketing firms were forced by Yahoo to tighten their online advertising revenue. During the same year, Yahoo reported that the online marketing firms' customer bases dwindled during the "Cooling Stage" of the US economy.
The expenses used for internet marketing in the US, Canada and other neighboring countries totaled to 300 Billion Dollars in 1996. In 1994, the average online marketing figure totaled to 175 Billion Dollars which were all spent for traditional advertising campaigns in one year. The online marketing industry began to rise when the number of internet users and home based businessmen or entrepreneurs continued to increase in America during the mid-1990's. In the year 1997, the online advertising industry's budget increased to $1 billion. Online marketing expertise and advertisement writer Bill McRea wrote in his article that one of the most popular online marketing firms in America and some European countries today is the "Houston Online Marketing". According to McRea, the Houston online marketing has several advantages that comprises well with affiliated online marketing firms in the US including several western and European countries as well. The benefits of Houston online marketing provided by McRea include the following:
• Online consumers can easily log onto the website and get to know the overall features of the product or service any time of the day.
• Online marketing companies could save more money due to the website's necessity in reducing sales force rates and online advertising expenses.