Google India: We still have a long way to go


A recent survey conducted by Google India revealed that more than 1 out of 2 Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) use the Internet as a sales medium to get business leads. A total of 785 SMEs were involved in the study.

Due to the growing trend of Internet usage in India, online advertising seems to be the most effective way to getting online conversions. Cost effectiveness and quick reach make a far more viable option than any other marketing communication channels.

The survey was conducted to understand the usage patterns and the importance of online media to SMEs in India. There were several interesting facts that were discovered. One thing for sure, a growing number of SMEs is employing online means to reach out to their target audience.

Google India Head (Online Sales) Sridhar Seshadri told the Economic Times, “While the absolute number of SMEs with an online presence is very low compared to the actual (number of) businesses in India, we are pleasantly surprised to see increasing understanding amongst Indian SMEs to use the web for business growth.”

Below are more highlights from the survey:

  • Accessing emails is top activity amongst the SMEs
  • 71% SMEs use the Internet to search for vendors and suppliers
  • 40% use the Internet to create online listings and to advertise
  • 58% of SMEs with websites use the internet to generate business leads
  • Amongst the SMEs that have an online presence, 56 per cent of them feel the Internet is a cost-effective medium
  • SMEs with marketing spends between 2.5 to 7 million INR per annum tend to spend higher on the online medium and rely less on traditional media like print and television.
  • 79% of SMEs believe that Internet advertising can provide a greater reach than the traditional advertising mediums like print and television
  • Among all the SMEs surveyed, those involved in insurance, IT hardware, travel and tourism spend around 30-45 percent on online marketing
  • Majority of the spend (43%) comes from SMEs who spend between 1.2 to 2.5 INR on advertising on an annual basis, reflecting the low cost benefit of the Internet.
  • Annual online spend is high among SMEs in the media and entertainment, gems and jewellery and apparel sectors
  • Display advertising and email marketing are the most popular forms of Internet advertising
  • 30 per cent of SMEs use search engine advertising to market their product and services.

Despite positive survey result, Seshadri feels that Google India still has a long way to go. “In the last two years, we have seen a significant increase in the number of businesses that have started to advertise online. But with over 35 million SMEs in the country, we have a long way to go,” he said.

Sure it is. But on a positive note, that would also mean high growth for Google India.

(And yes, we're serious about ethics and transparency. More information here.)

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