Digital Summit 2006: The myths of search marketing

By , agencyfaqs! | In Others | January 19, 2006
According to media stalwarts, search engine marketing in India is poised for heady growth in 2006, despite the slow start last year

On the second day

of Digital Summit 2006 in Mumbai, Sanchit Sanga, business director, mOne, Group M, talked about the various myths that prevail around the search engine marketing business.

According to Sanga, one of the biggest myths that exist among marketers and advertisers is that search engine marketing only works for a classified advertising model. To disprove that, Sanga claims that 25 of the Group M clients (which is one of the largest groups of media agencies in India) actually opted for search engine based marketing.

He claimed that the average ticket size for these clients was much more than a few thousand US dollars.

Sanga said that one of his competitors was of the opinion that search marketing was no science. Sanga said he disagreed with his industry colleague because the entire process was very methodical and one needed to use it very intelligently.

The other myths that Sanga talked about were that search marketing is only for sellers, and used only by small companies.

He cited a successful instance of search marketing to prove his point, of a news channel using search marketing to promote its celebrity interview show. Sanga claims that after one week of exclusively using the search marketing option, the television ratings of the show jumped up 25 per cent. At the same time, he stressed the importance of looking at a wider base of search keywords, not just the obvious ones. Thus, for this programme centred around a famous Bollywood actress, besides the obvious use of the actress' name, they also bought search words involving the names of other actresses, as well as anything to do with Bollywood, or even dating.

However, he did not specify how he had reached the conclusion that the growth in viewership could be attributed wholly to the search campaign.

Also present at the summit was Ashutosh Srivastava, CEO, South Asia, Group M. He talked about the strategies that needed to be adopted by marketers for an online retail model. According to Srivastava, potential online buyers, who are typically in the younger age group, believe in experimenting, which is a positive sign. They are the ones who might not directly buy online, but would certainly check out the details on the Net before purchasing a product. He says, "This can be a great platform to reach out to potential customers."

However, he also cautioned that this segment of consumers should be addressed very sensitively, or else it might have a negative impact as happened in the case of a dairy product.

Based on the strong influence certain bloggers have on the youth, this dairy company launched a website designed as a blog and hired the top five bloggers to promote it. But soon, people realised that these bloggers were guided by a commercial motive and the tide turned against the marketers. The company received a deluge of hate-mail and even boycott threats.

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