Internet marketing has arrived in India and how. A recent study by IAMAI-Pinstorm puts the size of Search Engine Marketing in India at Rs 236 crore. This, according to speakers at a workshop on ‘Marketing through Internet, mobile and search engine’, offered a tremendous opportunity and could yield high ROI. The workshop was jointly organised by media school FMCC and Media Estate.
Speaking on the occasion, Rahul Nanda, VP, WebChutney, said, “Brands are trying to engage with customers online through search marketing, viral marketing, display advertisement, mailers, microsites, communities and blogs. Search marketing clearly has become the hot favourite. Google’s search revenue is 60 per cent of its total revenue, around $1.3 billion. 40 per cent of its revenue comes from AdSense itself.”
“To make SEM work for you, one needs to select relevant keywords and group by goals, test messaging and keywords from time to time and revise campaigns keeping what is working and use reporting tools to measure results,” Nanda further said.
Mahesh Murthy, Founder, Pinstorm, said, “The way we have known advertising is basically interruption marketing. The problem with such advertising is that viewers think it is the price to pay for their entertainment. So they ignore the advertiser and thus the advertiser loses relevance and respect.”
Comparing between interruption marketing and contextual marketing, Murthy said, The former is where the advertiser focuses on the target audience, and interrupts them to deliver his message. The latter is where the advertiser focuses on the target audience when they are in the right context and frame of mind, and then delivers his message.”
Contextual marketing, especially driven by search and content, has grown to Rs 70,000 crore globally in just three years. In India, spends have reached nearly Rs 236 crore in just two years. Contextual ads get around 5 million clicks a month in India.
Speaking on the usefulness of Web Analytics, Gopika Dawar, Senior Analyst, Quasar Media, said, “Web analytics allows one to take informed decision rather than gut feel decision.” Calling it Performance Marketing, Dawar said, “Web analytics helps one to know the details of the user profile – like who they are, where they came from, what they look at, which country they belong to, length of their visits, etc.”
“Different types of sites like informational, service and support, lead generation and retail have different business goals and hence require unique analysis capabilities,” she added.
Various web measurement tools like Google Analytics, which is free, and others like NetTracker, Hitbox and Web Trends are available in the market for the same purpose.
Speaking on business application of blogs, Rajesh Lalwani, an independent consultant, said, “Blogs could be used for conversatioinal marketing. Many CEOs like Jonathan Schwartz, President, Sun Microsystems, have taken up writing blogs to engage with their stakeholders and others, like Microsoft, have even used their employees’ blogs to give it a human face and soften its image.”
Emphasising on the need of blogs in today’s world for marketing purposes, Lalwani said, “Advertising will continue to drive sales, media relations will drive visibility, however, Blogs bring transparency, a first-hand perspective based on participation both from the company and the consumer.”
Giving the now-famous example of the Dell disaster, he said that marketers needed to engage with bloggers and keep a track on what they said on the blogsphere through blog search engines like Technorati.
Lalwani, however, also pointed out that using blogs for marketing wasn’t necessarily about setting up a blog. “You may not have one but may still use the blogosphere to your advantage,” he said.