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Mobile Insights with InMobi: Q&A with Rohit Dosi on Search Advertising and Microsoft in India

Matt Kaplan
Content Strategist
11 min read
Posted on July 17, 2020

Welcome to another edition of Mobile Insights with InMobi! This is our new Q&A series, where we sit down with leading mobile marketing and in-app advertising experts to get their take on the current state of the world.    

Note: Want to listen to previous editions of Mobile Insights with InMobi? Head to our SoundCloud page for more.  

For this interview, I sat down with Rohit Dosi, Business Head of Microsoft Advertising at InMobi, on July 13. In this conversation, we talked about the current state of search advertising, what Indians are searching for during the lockdown and the many advantages of Microsoft search, among other topics. Tune in now to hear the whole conversation! 

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Top Quotes from Rohit 

  • “Search advertising is very different from the overall display and video advertising world. Search advertising is a lot more based on keyword focused queries, so it is extremely targeted towards its user. In terms of ad formats as well, while there are a lot of new ad formats, which video and display advertising has to offer, but I strongly feel that the search advertising is less intrusive, as the overall experience on the ads is very user intent related. The ads are only showcased when a user actually searches for something in the form of search queries. In fact, surveys have indicated that 90% of the searchers, they know exactly what they are actually looking for. And that's a very, very strong signal, which also makes it a lot more performance oriented. And actually, it's easier to nudge the users towards the final end goal of the advertiser as well, whether it is it is in terms of the purchase that is supposed to be made or in terms of a download or a sign up, which is required to be done." 

  • “Search advertising is just not only focused on performance as well, but I think it is helping the users at every end of the marketing funnel, whether it is driving brand awareness or consideration or performance and even retargeting, so I think search advertising is there at all stages of the funnel. It has significant impact across the user funnel. In fact, while there are newer ad formats available in the market, search advertising still contributes to like 25% of the overall digital media spends in terms of market share. And I think it is the second biggest digital advertising format after social as well. So I think it'll continue to grow in the years to come. But search advertising is a really relevant tool for advertisers across their customer journey in terms of marketing.” 

  • "Users now are searching for a lot more after COVID as we have seen in the last three to four months. Even during the lockdown situation in India, specifically, people are spending more than six plus hours on their mobile and smartphones. And now with people being on laptops, considering work from home remote situation, they are even spending more time on servers.” 
     
  • “Some of the interesting trends that have picked up in the last three to four months is hyperlocal search has increased a lot. So let's say you know phrases like near me, things near me, right? Whether it is grocery near me, doctors near me, vets near me or pharmacies, etc. These are the searches specifically that have started to happen a lot more than they were happening before the COVID situation. I think entertainment searches have increased a lot, searches like best movies to watch, shows to watch, highest IMDb rated movies, etc. are also a lot more what the users are searching for nowadays, I think with social distancing becoming a norm, gas transactions have taken a backseat for the users.”  
     
  • “I think they have started to pay their utility bills, whether it's internet or phone charges or buy Wi-Fi recharges, etc., everything is happening on the platform. We do see a lot of these searches also increasing in India and especially with the scale and diversity of cashless payment adoption in India, since that is very vast. A large number of customers are now getting acquainted to the overall online payment norm as well, and I think that's the reason the overall searches in these categories have also been growing.”  
     
  • “Other interesting trends that we have seen, what the Indians are searching for is online car and two-wheeler insurances, right? So this is a category while a lot of insurances for vehicles used to happen on an offline basis before. A lot of them are also now searching for online methods of getting these insurances done.”  
     
  • “People are looking for online educational courses people do are spending a lot of time on their laptops on their phones at home. So they do want to upscale their skill sets and that's the reason I think online education and courses as a category has picked up.”  
     
  • “Gaming is another one there is a massive surge across you know, across the vertical whether it's online gaming, real money games, games like poker, rummy, etc. have seen a massive traction with users spending a lot more time on gaming nowadays.”  
     
  • “I think Microsoft search advertising has a relatively higher qualified audience. I think more educated people with higher purchasing power in general. And they use the search engine to discover products and services. So let's say if I was to talk about buying higher ticket items, the items which have higher worth. It will be easier to close that search funnel on being visible compared to any other competitors or search engines out there.” 
     
  • “I think a lot of brand discovery and product research also happens on Microsoft search as compared to the other search engines. I think what Microsoft search advertising has unique is a combination of right audience technology coupled with brand safety and data security.”   
     
  • “Advertising on Microsoft search is also a must for marketeers, since the audience that you might find here might not be there on any other platform.” 
     
  • “Every platform that is there out definitely has its own value. And that's one thing which is also very cool to make some advertising is that it is a combination of right audience technology, coupled with its own unique users. And I think anyone looking out for search, I think search is always on. You know people are always searching, so there is a significant impact that you can create, using search on the user across different funnels, whether it is consideration or brand awareness or performance. And I think Microsoft search advertising does bring in a lot of its own unique audiences and technology for the marketers out there to use.” 
     
  • “I think search advertising in general has evolved a lot, with the newer formats that we have. There are a significant, different formats that are now available on search platforms as well. And then those features are also available on Microsoft search advertising. Fairly different creative, innovative formats are now available on search as well for the audience to be able to understand the message and communication a bit better, rather than generally just the traditional text ad format that was there before.” 
     
  • “A lot more needed in terms of how you reach your customers. So that is not only the right audience, but I think right messaging is also a very significant component, because I think using creative ad formats or right messaging will definitely affect the consumer and will also definitely influence them in a positive way." 

Interested in learning more about Microsoft Search Advertising? Reach out today to get more information and to get started partnering with MSA and InMobi. 

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About the Author/Interviewer     

Matthew Kaplan has over a decade of digital marketing experience, working to support the content goals of the world’s biggest B2B and B2C brands. He is a passionate app user and evangelist, working to support diverse marketing campaigns across devices. 

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