With digital marketing increasingly becoming an integral part of the marketing mix, online advertisers are exploring the potential of the dependence of consumers on the medium. The two sectors which seem to be growing the most in the online advertising space over the past year in India are education and automobiles.
For instance, Google still draws its biggest revenue from search advertising in verticals like telecom, travel and financial services but has seen a 50 per cent rise in the number of auto advertisers in the past year. “The year 2009 was an interesting year. With ROI (return on investment) weighing heavily on every advertiser’s mind, one can see even conventional/traditional companies like auto, FMCG (fast moving consumer goods), telecom, education and government moving to the online medium to reach out and engage with their audience in a more effective and efficient manner,” said Parminder Singh, Business Head, Google India.”
Adding: “Education and auto have seen growth. Against a 50 per cent increase in the number of auto advertisers, we have seen a 100 per cent year-on-year growth in searches related to autos from India in the last one year. Also, the SME (small and medium enterprises) sector is fast awakening to the importance of advertising. For 2010, search will be the core of our business, but we have started advertising through Orkut and YouTube, that are attracting huge audiences.”
Thanks to the impact of the recession, banks and financial services took a step back in advertising, giving way to auto and education. While education saw a 100 per cent growth last year, auto searches and advertising saw a rise mainly on occasions like the Auto Expo and the launch of a new car. “The auto and education industry are both very sizable in India, with healthy growth rates. The auto industry in India is at $34 billion (Rs 1.6 lakh crore) and expected to grow between 8 and 9 percent. Education is at $20 billion (Rs 92,000 crore) and growing at over 20 per cent. Given this scenario in India, we have seen good growth in our searches related to both these sectors.
Education searches see an absolute peak when exam results are announced. We see a lot of searches related to research on education — right from choosing a field or school to preparing for a project for a particular course. Last year, education has grown at over 100 per cent. On the other hand, advertising in the auto sector has grown around 20-25 percent, which again peaks during specific instances like auto shows or, take for example, the Nano launch,” says Anurag Dod, CEO, Guruji.com.
Online advertising for education has moved from pay per click to pay per acquisition and five to six per cent of Guruji.com’s revenues comes from the education sector.
With both sectors seeing huge potential, online advertisers are leaving no stone unturned to cash in. One recent trend in online advertisements by sectors is to make these interactive. Says Vivek Pahwa, CEO, Accentium Web: “You may see an ad that asks you to play a fun game. When you click on it, you play the game and, at the same time, are directed to a website. Other interactive ads ask for a vote of some kind. These are particularly effective because they engage the user. The benefits of providing maximum exposure for a minimal cost that online ads provide have made companies across segments realise the importance of online media for advertising and are making extensive use of it. Online advertisements benefit all customers and different advertisers can use the medium innovatively, depending on their need and time.”
Accentium says it plans to reach out to 15-20 per cent of the Internet audience in the coming years.
Generally speaking, businesses that are price-sensitive and want to communicate their changing price points stand to benefit the most. Travel and leisure make a good example. Automobiles are another, where models and colours change quickly, as does pricing. Computers, books, music make the next best examples: the product is very predictable and does not have to be touched or felt before a buy decision,” says Arpita Mukherjee, manager — marketing & CRM, Max Healthcare Institute Ltd, part of Max Healthcare, which spends close to seven per cent of the marketing budget on the online space and aims to increase this in 2010-11.