Saturday, July 29, 2006

Marketing to India- Pointers from MarketingSherpa

India has proved to be a tough market to crack for many a company, be it companies trying to set up operations there or simply trying to sell their products/services. I personally know of a few companies that have attempted to make investments in India using the approach adopted in other markets and then failed miserably-- and then blaming the country for their failures (not entirely unjustified, one must admit).

India's ministers and parliamentarians who are pitching to attract companies to India now use an aggressive appproach --- "hey, we know there are problems, but if you want to succeed, you better treat these as opportunities, instead of just griping; don't wait till things are perfect". This was the spirit demonstrated when a delegation of parliamentarians from India visited Singapore a few months ago; and it seems to be the same spirit shown by India's commerce minister Kamal Nath on a recent trip to Japan.

Anyway, the point here is that every country poses its unique challenges, with some countries posing more than others. India is no different -- and while marketing to the Indian market, companies should take care of several factors. MarketingSherpa recently posted an article that has tips on companies choosing to market to the Indian public. In summary, the article suggests three key approaches:
a) Try viral marketing
b) Follow up with telemarketing and banner ads
c) Use Hinglish (yes, the combination of Hindi & English, just as they say Singlish in Singapore).

In reality, life is not half as simple as it sounds here, but nevertheless a good starting point for someone who doesn't know India.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Why don't search engines show more results on the first page?

The typical search engine user is said to not go beyond the 3rd page (beyond the top 30 results) of the search results pages. In fact, many don't even go beyond the first page.

Google and Yahoo both have the option to set the number of search results a user wants (haven't seen it on MSN -- may be it does exist). Why not set the default number of results per page to be 30 instead of the current 10?

That way, searchers will be presented with more organic search results, which should by definition be the most relevant results for a search user. The search engines could also display more sponsored results with a longer page.
Or do the search engines fear loss of revenue with more organic results on a page?