Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in India are using the Internet as a medium to generate more qualified leads and sales, and Google AdWords claims to deliver that value to businesses with their search engine advertising platform.
Google AdWords delivers relevant advertisements when someone is looking for a product or service on Google Search--making the ad more useful and relevant. The business only pays when someone clicks on the ad.
"Facebook on the other hand is a display advertising solution and serves a different kind of marketing need," asserted Sandeep Menon, head of marketing at Google India.
According to Menon, Google has been witnessing triple digit growth in terms of advertising revenues from SMBs in India. In the last two years, Google India has raced ahead to become the fastest growing SMB market for Google globally.
"With an estimated 47 million SMEs (small and midsize enterprises) in the country--India is a strategic market for Google. We have made significant investments in localizing our market outreach to tap the various clusters of SMEs. In the last year alone, we have significantly ramped up the efforts to maximize our reach and educate the Indian SME on the benefits of online advertising."
Google India has been ramping up its efforts to educate SMEs about the power of digital advertising and evangelize the Google AdWords platform.
It has now 10 Premier SME Partners in India and is aiming to have a sales workforce of over 10,000 people through this program in next year. The Google Engage program now has over 3,000 partners spread across 165 cities in India. Also, Google India has set up dedicated call centers who provide local language support in six Indian languages to SMEs who want to get online and start their campaigns.
The advertising potential of Indian SMBs has interested Google for quite a while.
In the past, Google has taken steps to help SMBs in India to gain from the digital economy by helping them establish online presence for free through their "India Get Your Business Online" campaign. In the last year and a half, they've developed and published free websites for over 175,000 SMBs from over 8,000 Indian cities.
Obviously, this wasn't a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) exercise but an organized program to bring physical or offline businesses to Web adding them to the pool of potential digital advertisers.
Kathana Jewelers, a hybrid store making jewelry buying a visually appealing and hassle free experience for their consumers, started using AdWords with a modest budget of INR 20,000 (US$370) per month in 2010 and now have raised it to over INR 100,000. The revenue scaled phenomenally and today, AdWords accounts for 100 percent of their advertising budget.
"AdWords worked great for our jewelry store and it was the best strategy that we invested in," said Aditya Gupta, director of marketing at Kathana Jewelers.
While Google AdWords face stiff competition from Facebook Marketing solutions for the digital budgets in Indian SMBs, the huge market would keep the two companies, and other players, satiated. For businesses, digital advertising is helping them to effectively gain customer base and impact the top line with enhanced revenues in the long run.