digital advertising has made its way into the media plans of major advertisers, publishers are vying for bigger slices of the pie. AOL has entered the Indian market with ambitious plans. Yahoo! has invested heavily in research to develop better and more marketable products, and Google is upbeat about the newly-acquired DoubleClick expanding its world view.
That leaves Microsoft, with its portal, MSN.
After lacklustre responses to its search and video ad initiatives, Microsoft is still seeking a killer app in the digital advertising space. The Bill Gates founded firm has, after considerable marketing effort, established itself as a key player in India's PC and software market. However, its online offerings remain largely in the shadows.
In an exclusive conversation with agencyfaqs!, Bowman said, "India is at a very key stage in online advertising. Our research shows that the Indian audience below the age of 19 years is using digital as prime media."
Microsoft is bringing its re-branded sales effort, Digital Advertising Solutions, to India. The offering is meant to help advertisers get a multi-pronged ad campaign on Microsoft's online products, which include MSN and Windows Live services.
The portfolio will eventually include advertising on Office Offline, Xbox Live, Microsoft TV and Windows Mobile-enabled phones. Digital Advertising Solutions was launched globally in September 2006 and now applies to the company's online sales team in India.
Bowman said that Microsoft's future focus areas will be mobile and social networking services. "We would like to improve the connection between Live Messenger and mobile. We also want to makes Live Spaces, our social networking product, stronger in India," he added.
He said that there are many factors that are pushing the growth of digital advertising in India. These include increasing Internet penetration, adoption of broadband and growing online ad spends by Indian companies, such as ICICI and India's ministry of tourism, in foreign markets.
According to comScore, MSN has a reach of 68 per cent of the Indian online audience. Now that the audience is divided over a number of portals, the time has come for Microsoft to get aggressive on sales. After losing out on the significant DoubleClick deal, the company is stepping up efforts to offer a technologically improved version of its own ad platform.
© 2007 agencyfaqs!