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Writer: Saloni Datta - Friday, Feb 08,2013 8:11 PM

Magazine publishers call for better measurement mechanism

Apart from garnering revenue for the publishers, significant advertising is appreciated by readers and consumed with interest. Readers screen advertisements in the same way as they screen editorial content by looking for items that interest, intrigue, entertain and inform them.

In the run-up to the seventh edition of the Indian Magazine Congress (IMC), the annual conference of the Association of Indian Magazines (AIM) to be held on February 14 and 15 in Mumbai, we speak to a cross section of magazine publishers to find out more about their expectations from advertisers. Here is what they have to say…

Tarun Rai, President, AIM and CEO, World Wide Media
We believe magazines deserve more attention from advertisers and media buyers than they are getting currently. We want them to look beyond just numbers and understand the relationship magazines have with their readers. Understand the engagement readers have with their magazines. Our research has shown that there is no other medium that engages with readers as deeply as magazines do. And this leads to very high trust scores and a much superior RoI on advertisers’ expenditure.

R Rajmohan, General Secretary, AIM and Publisher, OPEN Media Network 
Each medium is different and the manner in which audiences consume them and engage with them are different. Hence, what applies to one, doesn't necessarily apply to another. One needs to look at the strength of each while evaluating them, going beyond sheer numbers thrown up by readership surveys. Magazines are a highly engaging medium. There has been enough research the world over, and the AIM-initiated Engagement Survey puts that in an Indian perspective. Engagement level of audiences, irrespective of size, should be an extremely critical factor in measuring media effectiveness.

Maheshwar Peri, Publisher, Careers 360
Niche magazines don’t have an issue getting advertisers as they are exposed to a filtered audience. The science of RoI has to really evolve and magazine effectiveness should increase. Advertisers need to study the market better and not just go by the numbers that they get on an Excel sheet, in understanding the market. I would urge them to look beyond the numbers and study the demographics to get a better picture of the magazine’s audience.

Mitrajit Bhattacharya, Vice President, AIM, and President and Publisher, Chitralekha Group
We have got enough research-based proof from across the world, as to how magazines, when added to a TV-based media plan, add to RoI more than a TV-only plan, even for FMCG brands. Econometric modelling has resulted in definite conclusions. In fact, at the forthcoming IMC next week, we have a session on ‘Proof of Performance – How magazine media engages and delivers’, where a FIPP report comprising data collated from over 100 case studies would be presented. We will also present an excellent research based on neuroscience that measures engagement scores of the magazine media. I am sure advertisers will be delighted with the insights offered from these global research studies.

Pradeep Gupta, Chairman and Managing Director, Cyber Media
We expect advertisers to understand that magazines are not getting their fair share of the pie. The engagement quotient is far higher than what is spent on them.

Amrit Rai, Publisher, ELLE India
Advertisers in India have evolved and are more up to date with international practices and trends. It is the endeavour of brands such as ELLE (with access to 43 international editions), to continuously educate the Indian advertising world of how trends are changing in the global space. We find that advertisers in India are savvy and understand the value that brands such as ELLE bring to the table.

Maneck Davar, Proprietor, Executive Editor and Publisher, Spenta Multimedia
There needs to be a realisation that the magazine and advertising industries are branches of the same tree, yet they almost always adopt adversary positions. The problem we face is that of payment as the Indian Newspaper Society refuses to accord membership to our publications, on grounds not very substantial. We also face a problem with fly-by-night operators who issue post-dated cheques against advertisements and then disappear, knowing full well that legal processes take too long.

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