Nokia tops Google’s Brand Zeitgist

MUMBAI: Google unveiled the results of its first Brand Zeitgist that highlighted the most searched brands and activities related to Google search in India. Nokia is the most searched brand online followed by SBI, Samsung, Sony and BSNL.

Google, the world’s most valuable media company, held its first Creative Sandbox in India. The aim was to meet with marketing and advertising professionals and familiarise them with various tools that they can use to make their campaigns more effective.

For Nokia the two most popular activities are checking for model specifications and checking sticker prices. For Samsung it is research on mobile phones and looking for music downloads. For SBI it is online banking and recruitment. The other most searched brands are Tata, IRCTC, HDFC, ICICI and Airtel.
The finance search category saw a 73 per cent year on year growth. Telecom is the fastest growing search vertical. It is being driven by new product categories. It is the most promising in terms of monetisable query volumes. Lot of searches are done about data plans, retail outlets, online music stores connected to a particular service.

Education is one of the largest in terms of search with a 45 per cent year on year growth. 30-40 per cent of ad spend on search is for this category.

In the travel category train bookings lead the growth story. Air travel is giving way to train and bus bookings. Finance is sophisticated as 80 per cent of queries relate to specific brands. Mobile phones and Vas make up for 20 per cent of searches in telecom. In the automotive category Maruti is the leading car brand while Yamaha leads the motorbikes category. While there is search done on specific brands there is also a lot of reading happening on expert sites.

Google India product head Vinay Goel says that the aim is to make advertisers and marketers more aware of the online medium. “We are not trying to take away revenue from other sectors like print, television. Our aim is to grow the ad pie. We want advertisers to view the Internet as a mainstream technology to create effective solutions. This event gives the community the chance to look, touch, feel and play with the latest technologies. We can share with them insights into how technologies work to create campaigns and also do effective media buys.”
He noted that this was the right time to do this event given that there are 100 million desktop net users and 25 million net users on the mobile.

“We expect another 100 million users to be added over the next two years. People are spending more time on the Internet and it has doubled especially in tier two and three cities. The notion is that advertisers follow consumers. However the Internet gets just four per cent ad spend while the time that people spend on this medium is 30 per cent. Also as a country we are under advertising. We spend just 0.5 per cent of our GDP on advertising. We know that many businesses do not advertise. The Internet can offer them a cost effective way to get their message across.”

There were demo stations set up where people checked out what was happening. Ad solutions for Youtube were on display.

Goel noted that the IPL opened the door to access clients like Coca-Cola who otherwise do not use search.

Google has just launched two new services in India. One is the Remarketing Strategy. This is interest based advertising. For instance if a person visits a travel site like checks out a luxury hotel but leaves without making a purchase, the site can have an ad pop up on the users computer offering luxury hotels at a discount. One could also have a situation where two people visit an online retail store. One makes a complete purchase. The other only purchases some things from the checkout cart. The company can create two separate ads. Another new service is the Search Funnel. It allows an advertiser to better his ROI on search.

Meanwhile, Rick Malins who is in charge of Market Insights for Google noted that research shows that increasingly people want instant gratification online. “The Internet was made for porn but that is censored. What is the next best thing after sex on the Internet? The answers are Youtube, Orkut, Facebook. People engage in conversations like blogs. In a minute 24 hours worth of video are uploaded on Youtube. Brands can tap into these conversations.”
He added that one lesson for marketers is the wisdom of crowds. This means getting people together online for a common cause whether it is culture religion etc. He offered the example of the Obama campaign. He also notes that Mash Ups are becoming increasingly popular. For instance someone can create a video on Youtube by combining clips of other videos.

He also noted that the concept of Stuff That I Like is becoming more important in the online realm. For instance there is a boy called Fred whose channel on Youtube is the second most popular. It is about one kid creating content for other kids. “He gets more views than some TV shows.”

He said that one similarity that digital has to traditional media is that the more times an ad is viewed the more likely are people going to act. However the engagement is much more online as it is one‘s personal space. The communication is heard more clearly.

Goel is excited about the fact that 3G is coming in. That is because Google will then have the chance to create apps for video and animation. “Right now mostly SMS is used. The mobile is a smarter tool than the desktop. It offers voice recognition. It has cameras that allow you to record. It also has a sense of location. So an advertiser can deliver a more targeted ad."

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