Quick five with Ozone Media’s Senthil Govindan
Govindan talks about the Indian digital ecosystem and evolution of online marketing, among other things…
Founded in 2006, Ozone Media is a cross platform ad network headquartered in Bangalore. With capabilities across media platforms, depth through data and core technology development, Ozone Media runs campaigns for e-commerce, daily deals, travel, FMCG, financial services, and other emerging internet sectors.
Ozone Media’s clientele includes marquee names such as HSBC, SBI, ICICI, Yahoo!, Dell, NDTVjobs, Lenovo, Cleartrip, In.com, Britannia, Huggies, Virgin Mobile, Zapak, Makemytrip and Citibank, etc.
In conversation with exchange4media, Senthil Govindan, Associate Vice President of the Products Division, Ozone Media Solutions shares his views on the digital ecosystem in India and the evolution of online marketing.
How is the Indian digital ecosystem shaping up?
India’s internet penetration hit 137 million last year. The Indian online audience was 121 million in 2011 and 91 million in 2010 indicating that the space is growing by more than 22 per cent every year. Most online users fall into socio-economic categories that are attractive to marketers.
While we are seeing rapid growth and penetration of digital marketing both, because of user adoption of the medium and because of advertiser awareness, we have a long way to go before the true potential of this space is realised.
In your view, what would be the biggest challenge plaguing the Indian industry?
The online space today is mostly seen as a medium to gather information. With the deluge of information available online, users leverage this medium to look up items but many end up buying in the traditional brick and mortar stores. This is similar to what online retailers used to find in the US a few years ago.
What can an online company do to get better returns from leaking traffic?
Beyond ensuring a great experience to consumers, there are third party innovations which are very helpful for online businesses. Retargeting, for example, is one such way that seeks to convert visitors into buyers by studying their behaviour patterns.
Elaborate on retargeting and how it can help online businesses.
Only a small percentage of visitors to any online business transact on their website. Retargeting allows the advertiser to show banner ads only to people who have visited the advertiser’s site. The late CK Prahalad talked about the N=1 (offers will be tailored to each individual) and R=G (using the best global resources) model that the business world will evolve towards. Dynamic retargeting is a classic application of his model. Every customer online who sees a retargeted ad will see products that are relevant to him/her. This is enabled by capturing data about the products a user visits on the advertiser’s website. This information is retrieved in real-time when the ad is to be served. Ozone Media’s Smarton is one such dynamic retargeting tool.
How do you see the online marketing world evolving over the next couple of years?
We are seeing the initial stages of audience data being leveraged to drive effective online marketing campaigns. I predict that this type of advertising will become a critical part of digital marketing over the next couple of years. We will also find that the importance of stand-alone inventory starts diminishing and the role of data starts becoming more critical.
While I tout the importance of data, it’s important to keep in mind that audience data by itself is useless. A fundamental development on the inventory delivery side that is helping target users in a selective manner is the onrush of Real Time Bidding (RTB). Since millions of impressions can be procured in a cherry-picked fashion, this provides a way to run a much focused audience-based campaign.
Premium publishers who are already attractive to advertisers for the reach and quality of audience on their site are also likely to leverage the data trend. I foresee that over the next year, many publishers will segment their own visitors in order to deliver ads based on audience segments they have created amongst their visitors. This increased value provided to advertisers will be key to increasing the yield obtained from their inventory.
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