afaqs!

Google searches for more local advertisers

By Kapil Ohri , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | November 18, 2010
The search giant plans to launch local-language call centres, appoint more sales partners and may use traditional advertising, in order to rope in more AdWords users from smaller towns in India.

Google India is beefing up its efforts to rope in more local advertisers for AdWords, the online advertising program that helps marketers to serve ads (as sponsored links) on Google's search results page.

For this purpose, the company has decided to set up new local-language call centres, which would contact, communicate with and teach the usage of AdWords to marketers, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Google will also establish its physical presence across various towns and cities in India.

The internet firm has already set up a new call centre (inbound and outbound) in Hyderabad, which will provide regional language -- Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam -- support to SMEs or marketers in the Southern region for its AdWords program.

However, this is not Google's first customer care centre for AdWords in the country. Its first call centre went live in early 2009 in New Delhi, from where it provides AdWords support in English and Hindi. The company claims that it handles calls from about 1,000 advertisers daily at its New Delhi call centre.

Over the next few months, Google plans to launch more call centres in other parts of India, which would provide assistance in Bengali, Oriya, Gujarati and Marathi as well.

Through the new call centres, the firm plans to contact more than 2,000 advertisers daily by 2011.

Apart from contacting prospective advertisers over the phone, the company has already initiated its endeavour to reach local marketers -- based in smaller towns and cities such as Udaipur and Chandigarh -- through on-ground events, direct mailers and AdWords partners.

Speaking to afaqs!, Sridhar Seshadri, head, online sales, Google India, reveals, "We will inform SMEs through direct mails and conduct 100 road shows or on-ground events across 25 cities, such as Jaipur, Surat, Ahmedabad, Ludhiana, Cochin and Tirupur in the coming year to inform and educate local marketers on how they can utilise and leverage Google AdWords for their business."

To extend reach, the search firm will also appoint more AdWords sales/reseller partners in various cities in India. "Anyone or any local organisation -- technology or Web development firm, search marketing company or digital agency - can become a 'partner' for AdWords. It is like a franchise system," says Seshadri.

He adds that the role of the partner would be to "help us to reach or fetch more number of local marketers, without the physical existence of Google in the local areas. They can organise on-ground events on their own and contact advertisers directly."

"Partners will be free to offer other value-added, Web related solutions to advertisers, whom they will rope in for the AdWords program," Seshadri adds.

He further clarifies that Google would not charge any fees from firms or persons who want to partner with Google for AdWords. Instead, partners will be free to earn their revenue from value-added services, such as Webpage development, which they could offer to advertisers.

Google already has seven sales partners for AdWords in India.

The search giant is also contemplating the use of traditional advertising to reach advertisers in smaller towns. "We may use print and radio advertising and beef up on-ground activities to add more AdWords users from smaller towns next year," says Seshadri.

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