The corporate Web site. Every company has one; and at some point, the marketing department has attempted to use online advertising as a means of attracting prospects and ultimately helping fill their company's sales pipeline. This is in a business-to-business (B2B) context, of course, where the Web site typically plays the role of online brochure, demo center and self- service customer support representative.

Yet for the tens of thousands of B2B Web sites, online promotion is not as popular as it once was. In July of 2002, research firm GartnerG2 reported that in 2001, B2B marketing efforts comprised less than 11 percent of all online advertising dollars spent. The reason? The promise of reaching highly targeted and motivated audiences via online advertising often went unfulfilled. In an era of declining marketing budgets due to an overall decline in the economy, most businesses simply cannot afford investing in such unproductive activities.

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