The Digital Marketing Opportunity in India for Western Brands

We talk rightly about the huge opportunities that exist for Western brands now to reach new audiences online in ’emerging’ BRIC markets.

China with the sheer volume of netizens shines out as the single most attractive market; with over half a billion people online, over 1 million millionaires and a huge appetite for all things luxury and Western.

Whilst China is undoubtedly a key market now for luxury Western brands, the digital landscape is far from being straight forward.

Google has less than 5% of the search engine market now in China, and this share is being eroded even further by the emergence of Qihoo.

Baidu continues to dominate, with 80% of the market share and the rules for SEO differ to Google in nuance, as well as having to factor in the overriding influence of Baidu-owned sites, which can dominate organic search.

The social landscape is also significantly different, with Twitter and Facebook missing from the equation, and the dominance of We Chat, Sina Weibo & Tencent, all accounting for huge market shares.

China clearly demands a completely different approach to the rest of the World, and the skill-sets required to impact this market wholly differ to the West.

The Indian online landscape however is very different. There are 150 million internet users in India now*, making it the 3rd biggest internet market. The digital landscape practically mirrors our own digital landscape in the UK.

Google dominates the market in India with c80% market share, much like our own. Facebook and Twitter are massive and dominate the social landscape, and LinkedIn is emerging as a serious channel for business users.

All of this makes for a very interesting opportunity for Western brands, who can adapt their western strategies digitally with the minimum of fuss, to tap into this massive and increasingly cash-rich consumer market. Oh, and English is a readily accepted online language!

All of this makes India a very interesting market indeed, and like in the West 10 years ago, opportunities for early entrants are sizable.

This market will only increase in size, surely making it a prime opportunity for Western brands’ growth plans.

*Source IAMAI 2013 Report