Nitin Mathur, senior director and head of marketing of Yahoo! in India and Southeast Asia, speaks to Beryl Menezes about the pioneering web portal’s focus on digital advertising, social media and the mobile segment -- three growth drivers for the company going forward.
Yahoo!’s market share in India and abroad has taken a major hit due to Google’s rising popularity...
Contrary to popular thinking, Yahoo! actually has a 60% share of the India market.
However, 54% of our users are mobile users (200 million worldwide), and we are aggressively tapping the mobile space, as we believe this is where the main Internet usage will come from.
So what investments have you made in the mobile platform to stave off competition?
According to a Boston Consulting Group report, India’s internet users currently number 120 million, which is expected to reach 237 million by 2015. Mobile usage through communication and content consumption (video, photos, social media) will lead the way.
Yahoo! relaunched apps like Yahoo! Mail and Flickr – the photo-sharing website – in December last year, and also introduced the Dropbox app for easier file-sharing and Yahoo! Cricket app on the iPhone and Android operating systems. Since the relaunch, Yahoo! Mail mobile users save 36 million minutes per day due to faster speed, while the relaunched Flickr app has seen the number of photos uploaded increase by 25%.
What is Yahoo! doing to improve its advertising revenues?
Yahoo!’s core source of revenue is digital advertising, and we are the leaders in India when it comes to display advertising. However, the digital advertising market in India is barely 5% of the overall advertising pie – as compared to about 30% globally. Thus, a lot needs to be done to boost digital advertising in India, which is the future of advertising. The good news is that the digital advertising market in India is growing by 20% annually.
So what is Yahoo! doing to boost digital advertising in India?
In the last 6-8 months, Yahoo! has been working with companies to arrive at vertical-specific insights, by tracking online consumer behaviour, in order to better meet target audience demand.
So, instead of the usual analytics, Yahoo! Also provides customised surveys for various sectors to find out customer purchase triggers, and it is also promoting complimentary use of digital with traditional advertising today. The latter has been very successful, especially in traditional advertising sectors like FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) and auto, where the online advertising spend has increased by 3-5% and 8-10%, respectively. Sectors like telecom,
What about integration with social media?
Yahoo! has integrated its platform with both Twitter and Facebook, which has definitely helped drive traffic to Yahoo! In digital advertising, too, social media integration aids in customer engagement.