Google targets Indian growth

10 March 2011

NEW DELHI: Google is seeking to leverage online display, video and social networking ads to drive growth in India.

As may be expected, the American corporation is hoping to build up its main source of income in the Asian nation, where internet penetration and digital literacy are rising rapidly.

"Search is our core business. It will remain core to us and we will continue to invest in that," Shailesh Rao, managing director of Google India, told the Business Standard

Concurrently with these efforts, however, the organisation intends to further develop alternative offerings, such as its display network.

"Globally, the display ad business for Google is $2.5bn," said Rao. "In India, the display ad business is a substantial part of our revenue. It's well north of 10% of our total revenues in India."

YouTube will play a vital role in this strategy, and the video-sharing portal hosted a live stream of the government's Union Budget last week in a tie-up with CNBC TV 18.

This included showing ads alongside the speech given by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, rather than interrupting coverage to air commercials, as was the case on TV.

Elsewhere, Vodafone recently ran homepage banners supporting the roll out of its 3G service in India, one element of an integrated campaign led by television.

The mobile operator also boasts a popular branded YouTube channel in India, attracting 8.5m hits to date, boosted by extremely successful ads featuring animated characters called ZooZoos.

Among other firms exploiting YouTube are Tata Motors, which promoted its Aria model, while confectionary giant Perfetti sponsored reality programme Zor Ka Jhatka when it was added to the site.

In January, Reliance BIG, the broadcaster, allied with consumer goods manufacturer Hindustan Unilever to fund the premiere of Bollywood Film Dabangg on YouTube.

MTV has also run video ads for the new series of MTV Roadies on Orkut, a social network owned by Google.

An advantage of making greater use of online is receiving real-time feedback on performance, and a growing reach across the country.

"We will help you build brands, engage with your audience and acquire customers, retain customers," said Rao.

"We have a full suite of online platforms with a massive user base that we can bring to help you execute your marketing strategy."

Data sourced from Business Standard; additional content by Warc staff