At its third edition of annual event 'Google for India', Google hosted a digital advertising track, bringing together industry experts, top advertisers and ad agencies to share insights on how digital has changed consumer behaviour and is offering new opportunities to help businesses grow. Debbie Weinstein, Managing Director, YouTube/Video Global Solutions Google, said, "Spurred by growth in India's internet and smartphone users and low data costs, there is huge demand for online video and today over 225 million Indians come to YouTube every month on mobile making it the destination where brands can gain their attention."

Executives from Ford, Future Group, Marico and ShopClues, spoke about understanding consumer journeys both online and offline, across multiple devices and the ability to engage them based on their intent, not just demographics. Brands can better connect with customers in the moments that matter most to them through Google's intent signals across screens through tools such as life events that helps advertisers reach people during major milestones when purchase behaviour changes, including getting married, moving cities, graduating college etc. Google uses machine learning technology that picks up these nuances makes them available in all AdWords languages.

Speaking on engaging audiences to drive results, Anurag M, Managing Director, Ford Motors said, "In 2016, two percent of our sales came through digital spends. Currently, more than 20 per cent of our sales are driven by digital, and some of our dealers are already getting one third of their sales from it. We reduced cost by seven times and reduced time to purchase by customers to half. Today, for every rupee we spend on digital we get offline sales equivalent of 30 times and our aim is to push that return higher."

With viewership on YouTube shifting to mobile, over 85 per cent of its views are on mobile and mobile watch-time is growing at 400 per cent year-on-year. Some of the solutions offered by Google to leverage this shift are, TrueView For Action that helps brands use their video ads to drive any online action that matters for the brand it could be booking a trip, a test drive, or more information on the website. There is also a feature , TrueView For Shopping, which allows advertisers to showcase product details and images along with the ability to click to purchase from a brand or retail site all within the video ad. Anuradha Aggarwal, CMO, Marico explained how they experimented with Livon with a digital-only strategy. " We spent 80 per cent of our budget on digital and saw 18 per cent growth in sales offtake and 65 per cent growth in modern trade and e-commerce without spending a dollar on TV."