Analysis of advertiser performance data indicates that iXiGO.com has delivered superior return on investment (RoI) to premium advertisers in comparison to horizontal portals and horizontal search engines. Krishna Iyer, Head, Affiliations & Advertising, iXiGO.com, said "We have found that the audience of our travel search constitutes the most desirable chunk of online shoppers in India with high receptiveness to premium brands. This inference is based on our research, measured responses to advertiser campaigns by clickthrough rates (CTRs) and responses (queries / leads) generated by campaigns across various brand categories."
Traditionally, advertisers & media agencies have relied on generic search engines and large media portals as a part of their online advertising strategy. The iXiGO case study validates that higher value for brands can be created with lower marketing spends. The strategy lies embedded in targeting the most valuable "long-tail" internet users who spend quality time online, own credit cards, purchase online quite frequently and are savvy early-adopters of technology & web 2.0 products. Since they are discerning about which internet sites they visit and use, discovering and targeting such users on generic/horizontal portals can be challenging and expensive. With the growth of vertical properties across travel, jobs, matrimony, cricket, bollywood and shopping - advertisers are discovering that spreading their budgets across vertical properties ensures wide & deep reach to the most qualified eyeballs for those verticals. Research also indicates that vertical sites which have an organically grown and sticky user-base tend to perform better for the same dollar spent as compared to mass-marketing led larger portals.
With reduced budgets during downturns, advertisers are keen to build their brand & product awareness with more efficient and focused spending on the people who matter the most. Siddhartha Singh, Marketing Manager, India at Travelocity, remarks "Travelocity recognizes that Travel Search Engines are one of the most effective ways for travel businesses to acquire the relevant audience. The iXiGO team worked closely with us to design campaigns, suggest formats and tweak them in order to maximize the RoI"
Digital media buying agencies are increasingly seeing value in media plans that mix horizontal media sites (or generic search) for a wider audience base with niche vertical search sites such as iXiGO.com with greater relevancy. Vivek Iyer, Head of Media Buying and Planning at Interactive Avenues comments - "Online travel sites have discerning audiences who use comparison search before making a purchase decision. Publishers such as iXiGO.com provide relevant content to an in-market audience resulting in deeper brand engagement. Vertical search hence delivers more focused eyeballs compared to generic search."
"The focus of online advertising has shifted from quantity to quality. If a premium advertiser had a choice between reaching 6 million people with an average annual income of 2 Lakhs versus 1 million people with an average annual income of 9 Lakhs, guess which one he/she would choose?", asks Aloke Bajpai, Founder & CEO, iXiGO.com. " Brands as diverse as Nokia, HP, Dubai Tourism, Emirates, Mastercard, Air France and Tata have chosen the iXiGO.com network for reaching out to smart value-conscious travelers with high ability to spend. With quality vertical publishers emerging, it is only a matter of time before advertising dollars spent on verticals become just as big as those spent on generic sites."
iXiGO.com is India’s leading online & mobile travel search engine based out of Gurgaon. iXiGO.com searches across multiple airlines, hotels, trains and bus booking sites to find the best travel deals. Launched in June 2007 by IIT, INSEAD and Amadeus alumni Aloke Bajpai, Rajnish Kumar and Dharmendra Yashovardhan, iXiGO.com has been recognized by NASSCOM as India’s Top-100 Innovator. BusinessToday and Wall Street Journal/Mint have named it among India’s 10 hottest startups in 2008 for its unique market approach, product usability, and passionate management team.
iXiGO is backed by BAF Spectrum, a Singapore-based seed-investment fund. For more information about iXiGO, visit www.ixigo.com or m.ixigo.com (WAP).
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