Kolkata: Having already doubled its small and medium enterprise (SME) customer base in India within a year, global Internet search giant Google is now aggressively trying to reach out to the entire sector for online advertising.
India has an estimated 35 million SMEs, out of which only about 200,000 have an online presence through domains, sub-domains and blogs.
"We plan to reach out to all of them, as well as educate the ones who are not online, on the benefits of online advertising," Google Asia-Pacific Head (Online Sales and Operations) Aliza Knox told.
Google earns the bulk of its global revenue from `Adwords`, which allows advertisers to place ads against search results best suited to their interests.
Small businesses with limited budgets for creative and media buying are attracted because they get a cheap platform to extend their footprint and that too, with a quick and measurable return on investment (ROI).
"Unlike big players, who are concerned mainly about branding on the Internet, small retailers are actually looking at lead generation and business. For them, we are like a shop front," she said.
At present, Google India has one call centre where a thousand small and medium-sized firms from 250 Indian cities and towns call in every day to understand how the `Adwords` service can help market themselves on the web.
"We plan to scale up the capacity of this initiative and double it by next year and also invest in providing support in other regional languages like Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Gujarati and Marathi," Knox said.
To offer a jump start service to all small businesses with an online presence, the search engine major had recently launched a free advertising coupon worth Rs 2,500 and a month`s free consultation and advice on how to manage campaigns online.