Zomato, the global restaurant search and discovery service has introduced context based advertisements on their mobile app, a shift from its earlier model where ads appeared only on the website.
Using location-based information (GPS), the app will show in-line ads targeted at users in a certain geographical area. The advertisers will continue to be restaurants and other eateries which are most relevant to a Zomato user.
In keeping up with the surge in mobile usage of e-commerce apps as opposed to the web browsers, 50% of Zomato's 30 million plus monthly visits come from its mobile apps across the globe, according to a statement.
Zomato's revenue model will now be based on hyper-local advertising contextual to the user search criteria. This allows restaurants to target customers already searching for dining options in their catchment area.
At present, over 4500 restaurant businesses in 15 countries globally advertise on Zomato, with the number of merchants increasing by the day.
Zomato’s Mobile Stategy
Zomato's mobile focus is also accompanied by the recently launched Zomato for Business application – an app built exclusively to help business owners engage with customers and drive business.
“We experimented a bit over the past few months, and we believe we have the right product in place now. This increases the reach of our advertisements by 100%,” said Zomato Co-Founder and COO, Pankaj Chaddah.
A paradigm shift in advertising
With consumers becoming more aware and more difficult to please, advertisers have to go the extra mile to be heard and have to make sure their ads strike a cord and provide valuable information to their consumers.
Context based ads are effective as they provide useful information without being intrusive like traditional ads and benefits both consumers and advertisers. Context based ads are best suited for mobiles and wearable devices as they are portable and have in-built GPS access, which plays an important role in keeping them effective.
Funding and rebranding
Zomato had recently raised 60 million led jointly by Info Edge (India) Limited and Vy Capital, with participation from Sequoia Capital. They had earlier raised USD 53 million from Info Edge (India) Limited and Sequoia Capital over multiple rounds of funding. This takes Zomato’s total funding to over USD 113 million and a post money valuation of $660 million.
The company also rebranded their logo as they wanted a symbol that could transcend languages, cultures, and geographical boundaries and be instantly recognisable to anyone who sees it. As expected they received encouragement and criticism for their move, but the founders felt it was a much needed move to take Zomato global.
Zomato is operating in 18 countries and planning to expand to 14 more across Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia, and the Americas with Ireland being their first target. With the launch of its section for Ireland, Zomato now covers over 3,000 restaurants in Dublin, and is available on web and mobile apps.