Investment in search will only grow as it's an intent-driven platform: Aditya Varadarajan

At the Festival Marketing Edition of e4m Upfront, Aditya Varadarajan, Head of Account Management - Microsoft Advertising, InMobi, spoke about leveraging the power of 'Search'

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Sep 6, 2021 10:15 AM

The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation and that has only increased brands' renewed focus on Search. Even traditional companies are now stepping into the game for driving their branding or performance objectives. At the Festival Marketing Edition of exchange4media Upfront, Aditya Varadarajan, Head of Account Management - Microsoft Advertising, InMobi, talked about how brands can leverage the power of Search, for Branding & Performance Marketing, in the new era.

Firstly, Aditya spoke of the impact of the pandemic on the way consumers search online. “Last year, we saw a rise in search activity amongst users across industry verticals, as the lockdown led to an increase in reliance on digital channels. In verticals like e-commerce, BFSI, and consumer durables, search has played an important role. It captures more than 40% audience share when it comes to e-commerce, considering it's a performance-driven vertical,” he observed.

Aditya mentioned, “The user involvement on search will only increase in the coming years. We have observed that search is being leveraged by users at various stages of the buying cycle, right from the initial product discovery to making the purchase decision finally. This enables brands to build relevant touchpoints and track performance at each stage. At the same time, brands have the opportunity to also showcase new offerings, which the users might not be aware of.” 

He also shared that there has been a rise in the number of users searching for hyperlocal services such as “grocery delivery” and “kirana stores” near them in the past year. Additionally, with schools and colleges remaining shut, users have been opting for online educational and learning platforms for continued learning and upskilling. Location-specific searches along with vernacular searches have also seen a rise.

Speaking about how the search market has evolved in the last year with the influx of volume on digital, Aditya said, “We've also seen the marketing mix change on the audience side of things on search. It gives brands a unique opportunity to explore new avenues and leverage the true potential of search. Not just for performance, but also for the branding side of things. Brands can get more creative and innovative in building new and engaging customer experiences.” 

“Currently, the search market in India has been growing at 17% year-on-year,” he revealed. Expounding on the potential of leveraging search for branding campaigns, he said, “The concept of leveraging Search for Branding has been overlooked in the past. Search is also among one of those platforms that can help brands cover the entire spectrum, from building brand awareness to creating sales and remarketing avenues, to building loyalty amongst their customer base.”

Furthermore, he also mentioned how search at a macro level is changing. “In the past year, we've seen more than INR 3725 crore in investment in search as per Dentsu's Digital Advertising in India Report. We only see this increasing in the future as it's an intent-driven platform.

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