Today, the Internet presents a multitude of opportunities to reach out to a global audience. But, to stay ahead of the times, one must do more than just reach out. What matters most is to reach out to the right people in the right market. Gauging the relevance of an advertisement before its delivery to the target audience is key to garnering the desired response. And this delivery requires a combination of skills, one that an expert possesses.
Enter Ozone Media
Bengaluru-based Ozone Media (Ozone) began in February 2006 as the online market matured and Internet usage increased between 2004-2005. The company delivers online advertisements in the form of banners to target websites.
We have been having three digit percentage growth in the last three years, and hope to continue this way in the coming year,” says Kiran Gopinath, founder and chief executive at Ozone Media
Ozone began as Webshastra back in 1999-2000. Its founder and chief executive, Kiran Gopinath, has over 12 years experience in Internet advertising. He co-founded Webshastra, an Internet advertising firm, with Warburg Pincus as investors. With the dotcom bust, Webshastra hung in there till a major revival saw its rebirth as Ozone. Since then, Ozone has found that growth has been easier and clients are increasingly becoming aware of the need for online marketing as part of their growth plans.
In July 2008, Ozone received venture funding from IDG Ventures. “Today, we are well-capitalised, so for the time being, we are not looking for additional funding,” says Gopinath.
With the second round of the dotcom boom, one of the developments is that several small publishers have established themselves. This poses a difficulty for advertisers to be present in these places that still bring significant, and meaningful, viewers. Ozone acts as the single window medium, aggregating these sites and delivering banner advertisements to relevant websites. “We are very strong in the regional segment online too,” says Gopinath.
To strengthen their delivery and reach out to those looking for regional markets, Ozone has offices in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Gurgaon. Plans are in place to expand globally. “We have been having three digit percentage growth in the last three years and hope to continue this way in the coming year,” he adds.
Currently, Ozone has clients from the U.S., the U.K., Singapore, the Middle East as well as Australia. This year, with greater focus on the international markets, it expects the contribution from them to go up by 40 per cent. “India is an emerging market as compared to the U.S. or the U.K. There, the market is very mature, and the usage of the Internet is more extensive,” points out Gopinath. For international clients, Ozone offers the opportunity to reach out to niche South-Asian clients.
Ozone Media’s clients include HSBC, SBI, ICICI, Yahoo!, Dell, NDTVjobs, Lenovo, Cleartrip, In.com, Britannia, Huggies, Virgin Mobile, Timesjobs.com, SimplyMarry.com, Zapak.com, Makemytrip.com and Citibank. One of the challenges the company faces is to encourage those advertising in the traditional media to advertise online. And for this it has to depend on a variety of skills – analytics, marketing, delivery and results.
Finding a strength
While Google AdSense works on the concept of keywords, Ozone delivers banner advertisements on targeted websites. “I feel that web analytics is critical and therefore have a strong team for that,” says Gopinath. Currently, Ozone has a total employee strength of 40 people, with three dedicated staff for international markets. This number is expected to go up to 6, while the overall employee strength is expected to touch 60 by 2011.
The analytics team, along with Ozone’s experience and intuition, analyses the client requirements and the websites, identifying specific websites that cater to the audience advertisers are looking for. The company charges on pay per click, pay per view or pay per action model, depending on the nature of client and their requirement.
“When it is keywords based, if a consumer is looking for say air tickets, then the relevant ads are served. But in our model, we place ads where they are viewed by potential consumers as well,” explains Kiran.
To be able to do this, Ozone has a strong presence in verticals such as finance, banking and telecom. And when new clients come up, they study their requirements, understand user behaviour and develop delivery models. Content of the website also determines the quality and relevance. This is similar to how print publications work where advertisement decisions are taken based on relevant readership profile.
One of the new segments Ozone is targeting is the fast moving consumer goods segment. Another is for women in the age group of 18 years to 44 years who hold purchasing power. For the latter, Ozone has launched EVA, which is a channel that aggregates websites used by women and can be used to target advertisements meant for working women, college goers, would-be mothers and the likes. Gopinath takes immense pride in playing the role of an intermediary with a purpose. Ozone has found its strength in devising a delivery model that ensures relevant viewership. Amongst its future plans is the introduction of a video advertising network early next year, which will enable further online branding.
In the four years of its existence and with its background in the sector, the company has gained an understanding of how the dynamics work and put in place a strategy that ensures it delivers on its promise. With three digit growth rates and an expanding market, Ozone is confident of making itself a leading name in this segment to fulfill its long-term vision of being a key player in the digital space.