It’s a common phenomenon in the Indian advertising and media industry that value options are delivered differently at the same time on the same media. Well-known industry names such as Paritosh Joshi of Star India, R Gowthaman of Mindshare, Tarun Katial of Big FM, Pearl Uppal of Yahoo!, and Hemant Malik of ITC constituted the panel that discussed issues regarding costs and measurement metrics.
According to Paritosh Joshi, the value that broadcasters and media owners brought to the industry with the tangible products needed due consideration. “Having seen the industry grow in the manner it has, we see aggregation of valuable audiences, and on the basis of their response at different slots, we determine the cost of media insertions. Broadcasters, advertisers, and media agencies all have their own perspectives when it comes to price issues of media,” he said.
Tarun Katial felt that television had been enjoying ‘premium’ rates, especially in the prime time slots. But, on the other hand, radio as a medium was underrated. “Television has about 100-odd channels, but radio hardly has 10-12 players. I think today’s clients are not well educated about the radio, and that they are not fully aware of its potential. Surprisingly, several planners don’t think radio, and that’s why clients too don’t ask for it,” he noted.
Mindshare India’s Gowthaman explained that at the end of the day it was about margins, and not about TRPs. “It’s about money and how much the clients are shelling out in buying a particular media that matters,” he pointed out.
Yahoo!’s Uppal explained that Internet was still at a nascent stage in India, and that it was caught in a completely different set of problems. “There are various measurement metrics to gauge effectiveness of the Internet as a tool to advertise. The medium has a great audio visual capability, but the problem is low bandwidth. Another problem is PC literacy in the country. And on top of this, the eco-system also requires agencies to invest behind communication strategy,” she pointed out.
Uppal further explained that measurement was a concept that media agencies found expensive to deal with, and in case of the creative agencies, there was an issue of time management. But Internet had greater value than most of other media. Yahoo!’s front page charged more than what Hindustan Times did, and also reached a wide number of audiences, she pointed out.
ITC’s Malik said that the clients won’t be interested in paying more if they knew about the cheaper options available in the industry. “We are committed to spending more than 1 per cent of our budget. I am not interested in paying more, if I am getting it done cheaply,” Malik said.
Gowthaman pointed out that the industry was a victim of matrices. “We have to look at business planning rather than TAM or research for that matter,” he concluded.